Thoat is a term that refers to several closely related species of eight-legged horse-like creatures native to Barsoom.
Appearance & Biology
A Thoat is a long, sleek creature with eight legs, a broad flat tail (that is less wide at the root than it is at the tip), and a large mouth that splits their head nearly in half. Thoats are slate in color shading into yellow at the feet, and their bellies are white. The Thoats survive almost solely on the yellow moss that covers much of the surface of mars.
There are Two primary species of Thoat are known, the smaller breed (about the size of a horse) which is an exact replica in appearance of the larger far more dangerous variety which stands ten feet at the shoulder. The smaller breed of Thoat is divided into many more breeds, there are riding varieties, and beef varieties (that truth be told vary little in appearance). There is also a rare white variety.
When John Carter first saw the thoats they appeared as dangerous and vicious as the Green Martians. Through little effort on John Carter’s part he was able to gain the affection and love of the thoats. They then became loyal and would follow him around like dogs, seemingly showing that the thoats foul temper was the result of abuse at the hands of the Tharks.
Both the Red and Green men of Barsoom have domesticated Thoats, for the purposes of food and transportation. Naturally the Greens use the much larger variety, and the reds use the smaller. There is a difference in the manner in which the two races treat the Thoats, Greens tend to treat them very cruelly.