has the honor of being the largest land mammal
on the world of Barsoom
in the famous science fiction novel
s of Edgar Rice Burroughs
. It is an eight-legged beast
, easily domesticated
purposes, serving as the local horse
The thoat is, however, much larger than any horse -- so must it be to serve as a mount for the tall Barsoomians. They average ten feet high at the shoulder, and have a broad, flat tail which is wider at the tip than at the root. It is held straight out behind while running, used for balance and, perhaps, supported by aerodynamic forces. The thoat's mouth is very large; it bisects the creature's skull nearly in half.
The thoat is hairless; its hide is a smooth, glossy dark gray. The belly is typically white, and its legs shade from grey at the shoulders to yellow at its heavily padded feed, which lack nails or claws.
A dead thoat can be rendered down into an oily substance, known as thoat oil, which is used as a lubricant and cleaning agent.
Thoats make their first appearance in the novel The Princess of Mars.