Many native Cyantian wildlife have memories passed through genetics, much as the Cyantian Undersea species do. Only the water species gain the full memory set of their parents. Shivae, Gryphons, and Scythetails only gain a partial one, consisting of language, territory, and clan members. The others species do not retain memory in their genetics.
Even though Scythetails, Whips and Shivae are different species, due to a common ancestor they can interbreed (though they usually don't), and when they interbreed, their end traits tend to carry on (thus creatures like Taun, having Whip's wings and a Scythetail's tail blade).
Not all members of the sentient species have 'stars in their eyes' - occasionally one is born without sentience or the ability to speak - these are usually shunned by the others. Most of the time, the Cyantian animals that can talk, will not attack other animals that talk, unless they are starving, ill or frightened. The ones who can communicate, herbivores and carnivores, commonly live a long time and very stress free lives. Predators are outnumbered by prey and these prey animals WILL fight back as a group if they are attacked and can be very lethal. Fortunately... the percentage of non-talking prey animals is several times higher in herbivores than in carnivores. There are on occasion mothers who will be very protective of their 'dumb' children and manage to keep them from being banished for a long time... although typically, these children will not be acceptable mates or breeding stock for the talking females... males can sometimes be less choosy.
Some of the reason for the 'laws' keeping the sentient predators from attacking the speaking prey species is that a lot of those herbivores could be dangerous if they were constantly being attacked. They can think and they can plan just as well as Shivae.
Each species has its own language and dialects within them and they also share a very simple common language. Thus, Vas is surprised that Taun doesn't speak the common ... but his own. The majority of creatures will know their own language and a bit of common. Some will not know common at all.
The majority of hoofers, such as Snowbucks tend to follow the pattern of culture where a male takes a harem of one to four females, with the various males competing to impress a female to join his harem (with the approval of the females already in his harem). The Equis tend to accumulate more wives than that, and are more likely to severely injure a competitor to take a new mate.
Young does will leave their herds and herd together, as will young bucks for a year to two years when they turn two. They will not reach full maturity until they are four, males when they're five. They have a lifespan of up to fifty years, with the elders often living under the protection of their progeny once they pass childbearing/making age as teachers. All speaking hoofers move in herds or pairs, while the 'fools' (non-sentient, non-speaking) live on the fringes and walk alone.
There are basically two kinds of Cyantian animal by the time of the Cyantian strips other than Shivae!; those that are wild (or not far removed), and those that are domesticated and have spent their entire lives in captivity. The latter lose something of what makes them sentient depending on how they are raised. An animal caught from the wild and raised as a sentient creature will generally retain its sentience. Children of animals who have been domesticated, or ones that were raised as domestic animals eventually become little more than highly intelligent animals - they have minimal self awareness (about that of your average dog), and are quite willing to live to serve. The first Shivae to be brought in (which was one of Cler's chicks) were just as intelligent as the wild ones, and so were their chicks, but the ensuing generations were treated as nothing more than animals until they became 'dumb' and lost their language due to their owners not believing that they really could communicate, and evidence otherwise was nothing more than a cheap trick. Similar processes occurred with the gryphons and other captured creatures. They were separated from their kind and eventually became 'dumb' as generations passed.
This does not mean that the domesticated animals are not sentient, most of them are (they do tend to breed more non-sentient children though because normally non-sentient children are shunned by the sentients, limiting the propagation of non-sentient genes). It's just that they lose the ability to speak amongst even themselves after awhile of living in captivity and having their chicks taken from them so early that parent-to-child teachings are limited.
Shivae, Gryphons and others are just recently being recognized by Cyantians as having their own sentience after the first time a Technomage attempted to make a wild one into a familiar and it went completely psychotic on him, hence the reason that the ones that are currently used in their program are all essentially 'dumb'.