Welcome to Care of Magical Creatures!

Welcome to Care of Magical Creatures! This is the second year of the course. You can find the first year of the course here. Below you can find links to an optional textbook, additional pages you may find of interest, and details about when and why the course was last updated. 

At this time, CoMC is taking PA applications. Interested applicants can apply here

The Care of Magical Creatures Companion Guide

Care of Magical Creatures Facebook Page

Past Creature Design Contests

Many artistic depictions of creatures used in this course were created by the DeviantArt user maryquiZe. We recommend checking out her work!

Course Last Updated: October 2021 for Broken Image Fixes and Grammar Corrections

Announcements Last Updated: October 2021

Banner Art Credit

Lesson 4) X Marks The Spot

X Marks The Spot

Welcome welcome! I hope everyone enjoyed making the propaganda poster during the last lesson. Now, before we go on any further, please head back to your dorms, and take off any shiny material or items. Today, we will be studying Nifflers!

Nifflers: The Treasure Hunters

Now, is everyone back? Yes? Good! Let’s get started then. Nifflers are treasure-hunting creatures from Great Britain, though they are now kept worldwide. They are usually black in color, and have a long snout. They sort of resemble the Muggle anteater. They have four fingers on their front paws, and three on their back paws and have large brown eyes.

Nifflers are very affectionate creatures. However, if they see anything shiny, they will go into a frenzy. They can be great pets, if kept outdoors, but if a Niffler is left in a house, they will wreck the house in search of shiny objects. They will bite someone who is wearing shiny jewelry, in their frenzy to get the object. Nifflers go after anything shiny: coins, keys, jewelry. While it is not recommended for one to keep a Niffler, goblins do so and use them to burrow deep into the earth to find treasures.

Nifflers live in burrows, called lairs, that go up to twenty feet below the surface of the ground. They will have various rooms for communal living, and each Niffler has a room of its own for sleeping. They are diurnal, which means they are active during the day and sleep at night.

Nifflers are herbivores, eating the different plants and roots in their lairs. They tend to eat weeds and shrubs, though they will not eat flowering plants. They are also rather smart when it comes to their food, and will not eat poisonous plants like poison ivy or oleanders. You will need to make sure both are not in your yard if you are keeping a Niffler. While they will not eat them, brushing against them can result in hair loss around that area. I have included pictures to the left, so you know what to look for.

Oleander flowers can come in varying shades of whites, oranges, yellows, pinks, and reds. They have five petals. They will flower all through the summer and fall. The flowers are extremely fragrant, so you should be able to smell them if you are unsure.

Poison ivy is a more well-known plant, causing rashes to those who touch it. It is seen in North America and Asia. This rash, itching, or irritation is caused by a compound called urushiol. Urushiol helps the plant retain water. Below is a handy graphic to help you identify poison ivy. Do not touch the leaf with your fingers, for obvious reasons. Use tweezers or something of the sort to remove them.

In order to keep a Niffler for a pet, which is perfectly legal, you will need to create an underground habitat for them. You will have to charm tunnels for them, so they will not have to dig the tunnels themselves. It is important to charm the tunnels so the Niffler can not add onto them. They have been known to dig under houses, in search of treasure, and collapse the support systems. Additionally, you can keep charms on your Niffler, to prevent it from leaving the area you have created for it.

While the Niffler will find food on its own, you can provide it with lettuce, not iceberg, and the tops of greens, like carrots. If you believe your Niffler feels skinny, the ribs being pronounced enough to place your finger between, you can order protein tonics to give to him or her. This will help your Niffler put on weight.

Nifflers can be taken out of the wild, and domesticated, however, magizoologists do not recommend this. This will disrupt the Niffler’s schedule and lifestyle. You also will not be able to create the bond you would buying one from a breeder. It is recommended to buy a baby Niffler, around six months old after they’ve been weaned, so you can create a bond with it. This will help the Niffler understand why it can’t go farther than the tunnels you’ve made for it, rather than trying to domesticate a wild Niffler, who will not understand.

Niffler mating is like that of other mammals. Nifflers will mate for life. If a mate dies, a Niffler will move on to a new mate, typically three to five months after the original mate’s death. Nifflers have one baby a year because their gestation cycle is 130-190 days long. The older the Niffler, the closer to the 130 day mark it gets. The first pregnancy of a Niffler is usually 180-190 days long, however, some have been reported to kindle, or give birth, at the 170 day mark. Nifflers will only have one baby at a time. Baby Nifflers, called pups, are weaned at six months of age. Weaning means that they stop drinking the milk from their mother, and start eating solid food solely.

The average lifespan of a Niffler is fifteen to twenty years. Nifflers will start to breed when they are about two years old and will cease breeding when their body is unable to anymore, usually around sixteen to eighteen years.

Disease Corner: Ringworm

Remember how I mentioned the bald spots Nifflers can get from poisonous plants earlier in the lecture? Nifflers can also get these bald patches from a fungal infection called dermatophytosis, or ringworm. Though the word “worm” is in the name, there are no worms involved with this infection. The most common genera of ringworm, trichophyton, feeds on keratin, or the material found on the outer layer of hair, skin, and nails. It is a fungal infection found in mammals.

Ringworm spots are circular bald patches. This is where the name comes from! Below is a picture of ringworm on a human arm. It will appear very similar, or almost identical, in animals. As you can see, there are some slight skin bubbles in the circle.

Ringworm needs to be treated with extreme caution. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can pass from your pet to you. In mundane animals, and for yourself, an antifungal topical cream is recommended. If you have a more severe case, with sores on multiple parts of your body, doctors will recommend oral medications along with topical ointments. When treating your magical creature, or yourself, you can use Episkey to heal the sore, and then apply antifungal topical ointment if the sore is not completely healed. Do not use Episkey more than once on a sore. This can lead to magically mutating the fungus, which isn’t something we want to do. With treatment, the sores will clear up within two to four weeks. Without treatment, sores can stay active for several months. The topical ointment should be applied twice a day for one week, while the oral medication is usually taken once a day for two weeks.

Now, I said you can get it from your pet. How can you prevent yourself from getting ringworm from your pet? When treating your pet, even if you are using Episkey, wear elbow-length gloves. After treating, put the gloves in the garbage, wash your hands thoroughly, and change and wash your clothes. If you happen to contract it, you need to be very careful about where you put your hands. Ringworm will spread to any area it comes in contact with, including the face and scalp. Use an antifungal wash when washing your hands, and if you touched your hair be sure to use an antifungal shampoo.


Today was your first look at diseases. I hope to introduce you to more as the year goes on. For now, you are free to return to your dorms and get your jewelry and shiny objects again. Remember, you have assignments due!

Lesson content written by Professor Elizabeth Anne

All pictures are found using the Google Images search engine, and belong to their owners.

In your second year of Care of Magical Creatures, we will explore and discover thirteen different creatures. These creatures range from pests to mythological creatures. A wide variety of creatures will be studied, from wizarding pets to demons. Different aspects of the creatures, like genetics and disease information will also be covered.
Course Prerequisites:
  • COMC-201

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