One of the older New York City urban legends involves alligators living in the sewer system. In Post-War days, wastelanders worry about Radigators living in the sewers. Unlike the mostly fictitious alligators living in the tunnels beneath the city, radigators are a stone cold and deadly fact.
Radigators look like a cross between alligators and canines, though there is no evidence that they are actually related to the latter group. They appear as their less evolved cousins in virtually every aspect except for their legs. Evolution has given radigators powerful legs that allows them to move at great speed. Unlike normal alligators, which slither or “high walk” with shorter, more diminutive legs, radigators have long, dexterous limbs that give them the ability to run at great speeds and afford much more agility.
The average radigator weighs between two and four hundred pounds and grows anywhere from six to ten feet long. Most of their length stems from their powerful tails, which are used for balance when running and act like rudders when swimming. Larger radigators have been encountered, and with proper nutrition, the creatures can grow enormous.
Male radigators are solitary creatures, while females live in clutches. They are very territorial creatures, living in the tunnels and sewers under the ruins of New York City. They defend their territory from not only other radigators but also from any other larger creatures that steps into it.
The type of food eaten by radigators depends upon their age and size. When younger, their diet primarily consists of small fish, radroaches, and bloatflies. As they mature, their prey progressively becomes larger and larger. In most cases, they are apex predators, and as such, consume anything that crosses their paths, including larger creatures such as mirelurks and humans.
Millions of years of evolution provided alligators with very powerful jaws. According to tests done during Pre-War times, an alligator bite was among the strongest among all animals, measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). Radigators have evolved slightly, with shorter jaws with sharper teeth. This has resulted in their bites being less powerful, but at the expense of the ability to open and shut their mouths quicker.
In addition to their deadly teeth, radigator tails can be deadly weapons. Used to help steer while swimming and to keep balance while running, their tails are extremely muscular. A radigator tail whip is the equivalent of a kick from a professional fighter, but at a greater length.
When not hunting, radigators can be timid creatures. When threatened, they hiss as a first line of defense. If whatever is threatening them does not back down, the radigator generally attempts to slink away if possible. If escape is not possible, the creatures become aggressive. Their skin is extremely tough and leathery, and provides a great deal of protection.