Jafari dragons are designed for flight in most every sense of the word. They are about two horse lengths, and stand about ten feet tall, the size of a sedan when fully grown. Some grow to be as large as SUVs while others never pass the size of a horse.
The jafari are typically a base color of either blue or white, with plumage on the top of the head running down along the spine and across the tail base. The scales themselves are exceedingly thin and flexible, made of a cartilaginous chitin. These chitinous scales are small, connected like chainmail to one another, and seemingly designed to be both flexible and aerodynamic. They are configured in long lines and layered only about an inch thick.
The slick, rear facing scales not only allow air to flow over the body of dragon and rider, but water as well. Jafari, designed for both speed and endurance, are capable of air speeds in excess of 90 mph, water speeds of around 45 mph, and land speeds of an impressive 60 mph.
As is true of most dragons, air travel is the preferred means of travel for jafari dragons. Their wings, like most of their body, are made of a thick but flexible form of cartilage. Shaped like the wings of a peregrine falcon, they are some of the most energy efficient modes of transportation seen on a dragon. A Jafare can glide for miles without using any energy at all, and each pump of the wings has almost a 90% efficiency. The wingspan is usually equivalent to the length of the body, if not a little larger. The actual body of a Jafare is exceptionally thin, most of the height coming from the legs.
The land speed is achieved through four sets of powerful legs positioned equidistant from one another. The two primary sets are at either end, positioned much like a horses. These legs are well muscled, coated with the same downy white feathers that run along a jafare's (singular for jafari) spine. The four secondary legs are retractable and only used when running. While they lack the feathery coating and sinewy muscles of the primary legs, they have three joints which allow for extraordinary speed and tensile strength when bent and stretched. Both the primary and secondary legs have long claws made of layered chitin, designed to grip and release dirt, mud, grass, and rocks for better speed.
For water travel the secondary legs retract and the wings furl up. The primary legs are often crossed and folded as well, turning a jafare into a water serpent of sorts. Most jafari are given runes which allow their riders and themselves to breathe underwater.
While they lack the massive protective power of some of the more combat-oriented dragons, the scales of the jafari have an adaptation which allowed them to survive in the wild. They can mimic the light patterns of the area around them which allows them to camouflage and avoid combat. Without this, the jafari would likely have been wiped out by more aggressive species of dragons.
Unlike a number of species who make their home in a given locale or ecosystem, the jafari are nomadic, traveling in groups called basks made up of between three and eight jafare. The entire bask will stop when one female needs to lay an egg, and will wait the four to five days needed to hatch before moving on. Jafari are born with the ability to fly, and develop their running and swimming abilities later in life. Their retractable secondary limbs grow in by the end of their first year.
While wild jafari may live to be upwards of 31,000 years old, those who bond with a rider will never live more than a week longer than their riders, a result of the intense telepathic and emotional bond. The wild jafari are also exceptionally vocal, speaking a mixture of Elvish dialects and low sonic tones to communicate. Each bask is known to have it's own specific combination of frequencies and vocabulary words. As hatchlings leave their birth bask, they carry those communication patterns to new ones, and thus create their own language. When in captivity, communication is strictly telepathic.