Rucs look like rocks, hence their popular name. They are part of the weasel family, but have much flatter faces, sometimes described as pug or bulldog like. Generally weighing 50-75lbs, their bodies average mildly larger than a 20L water tank. They are squat and solidly built. The fur is very thick, usually a mottled grey color resembling dirty limestone or more often granite. The skin hangs loosely causing a wrinkly or lumpy appearance, further aiding in camoflauge. With heavy eyelids and long eyelashes their eyes are hard to see. They have proportionally large feet and paws with large blunt claws, and very well developed front legs.
Rucs are ambush hunters, they sit at the sides of trails and wait for their prey to pass before springing suddenly. Their well developed front legs and large paws are used to bludgeon their prey, snapping bones and crushing vital organs to prevent their prey from escaping.
They are very solitairy beasts, usually ignoring the world. With their spectacular camoflauge, very thick fur, and loose skin, they are very difficult prey for most other predetors, and are usually left alone in return. The heavy fur enables them to withstand very frigid temperatures for long periods of time allowing them to flourish in winter when most other predetors fight to exist.
If a group of prey happens along, the ruc always attacks the last one to cross it's path, usually swiftly and quietly enough to not startle the ones who have already passed through. Rucs also have an interesting tendancy to drag their meals elsewhere. The prevailing theory is that they do not want to make their ambush location more noticeable, however a competing theory claims that they are making natural bottlenecks by scaring prey away from these feeding areas.
In winter rucs move down into the valley floors where prey and water is more readily available. Often staking out hiking trails in the parks, they prey on opportunistic wildlife using these easy paths.
A ruc's habitat, like most mountainous animals, varies by season. During the summer they tend to move up into higher elevations, both to get away from human activity and to avoid overheating on warm days. In the winter they decend into the valley floors following their prey. Rucs rarely move above the tree line as their natural forest prey also seldom venture there. They are most often found near water sources, again due to their ambush style hunting, but also because they do not like to move around very much. The territory covered by a ruc is rather small compared to other large carnivores, generally consisting of less than 5 to 10 square kilometers.
A ruc's diet mainly consists of rabbit. Mice, squirrels, and other smallish rodents balance out the majority of their diet. Rucs will take on larger prey if the opportunity appears or food get scarce. They have been known to attack humans in a few cases, generally unwatched children, however cross country skiers have been attacked almost as often. A ruc attack on a full grown human is rarely fatal (there is no supporting evidence of any fatalities), however many injuries have occured. Often the embarrassment of being attacked has caused victims to claim that a rock jumped out of nowhere at them instead of a ruc, thereby making a humerous story out of a much more serious, but less believable, fact.
Rucs are not easily avoided, their natural camoflauge and astounding levels of patience make them hard to spot. Usually they are described as a rock that 'doesn't look quite right'. The exception is in winter when they are the rock that doesn't have any snow on it at the side of the trail. Luckily they tend to avoid humans because we chase away their prey. They also seem to be detered by bright colors and patterns.