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The first account of the Ophiotaurus is recorded in Greek and Roman Mythology. The original creature was born of the Greek goddess and personification of Earth, Gaia (entirely of her own accord, and without need for a mate).
When the creature was born, however, The Moirae (The Fates) prophesied that whoever sacrificed the creature's innards to a fire would gain power to overthrow the gods (a power highly sought by the Titans to win the Titanomachy, the war waged between the Titans and the gods).
So, the Ophiotaurus was immediately hidden away, kept in a dark underworld grove by the infernal river goddess Styx. Though, the Giant Aigaion (perhaps the same as the Hecatonchire Briareus) eventually found the creature, seized it and killed it on an altar, with an adamantine axe.
Thankfully, the prophecy associated with the creature could not be carried out. Before the innards of the Ophiotaurus could be sacrificed to the flames of Aigaion's altar, Zeus sent down a kite to snatch up the entrails.
As a reward, Zeus placed the Ophiotaurus among the stars as two separate constellations (Taurus and Cetus), as well as the altar where its guts were to be burned (Ara), and the bird who helped prevent the fall of the gods (Milvus).
The original Ophiotaurus, from whom all others descend, had the front end of a strong and handsome black bull, and the tail end of a giant black snake. However, due to its potent divine nature, its descendants are more various in their body makeup.
Some Ophiotauri have the same physical makeup as their divine ancestor (perhaps a different color or different color pattern), while others have only the head of a bull, and the body of a snake. Others still have the body of a bull and only the tail of a snake.
Some even have just the bodily build of a bull, covered in snakelike scales. Likewise, the species of snake that is mixed with the bull's nature, varies (from Diamondback Rattlesnake to Pit Viper to Anaconda to Black Mamba to King Cobra, and any others in between).
Though, it should be noted, the one sort of Ophiotaurus one is incapable of ever finding, is a female. Some unknown trait about the bovine/ophidian hybrid's genes seems to make its existence exclusively possible within male offspring. It is unknown whether this property is genetic or supernatural.
The Ophiotaurus combines the bull and the snake in more ways than simply physicality. While it has the temper of a bull, it also has a reptilian tendency toward seclusion and solitude. They are loners by nature, making them unsuited for life on cattle ranches or the like.
Fortunately, this does not normally result in acts of aggression by the Ophiotaurus. When others encroach on the creature's habitat, an Ophiotaurus will often simply move along, in hopes of avoiding confrontation. The only true time the Ophiotaurus normally feels compelled to react aggressively is when others disturb its specific home, or when cornered.
Likewise, the only time they seek to be social is when they are ready to mate. When that time comes, they become far more territorial, and much more likely to resort to acts of aggression and violence. Though, not surprisingly, Ophiotauri do not mate for life. Instead, they attempt to mate with as many females as they can, within their range, as often as possible.
As to their range, Ophiotauri can live comfortably in nearly any environment that true snakes breeds and bovine species live in, with very few exceptions.