The animals of the Middle Kingdom, both domesticated and wild, are sometimes familiar and sometimes not.
Unfamiliar animals include the sivatherium, elasmotherium (unicorn), giant sloth and stegodon.
More familiar ones include the cave lion, dwarf hippopotamus, giant tapir, wooly rhinoceros, forest tiger, aurochs, ostritch, river dolphin, sea cow, frost (hokkaido) wolf, giant elk and long-nosed rat.
Some mythological animals and monsters, like the nian, are also to be found, as well as the hayra, omukade, hakutaku, longma, makara, penghou, and suzaku-bird.
Some of each have been domesticated, in the Middle Kingdom and elsewhere. The Shogunate uses domesticated hakutaku, especially in mountainous regions. The longma of Dandaka Forest have long been befriended by the vanara (they would not talk about it as domestication). The naga subjugated the makara, and ride them on land and in the water. Ren have domesticated many animals like the aurochs and sivatherium to pull heavy loads, as well as the suzaku-bird, which is large enough to ride and a powerful sprinter. Occasionally, wooly rhinos have been armored up, mounted with an archer’s platform, and sent into battle, but they are hard to control.