Found on the desert planet of Tatooine, the saurian ronto is a huge four-legged beast of burden. Locals, such as the native Jawas, use the ronto to haul cargo and passengers through the streets of port towns like Mos Espa and Mos Eisley. Though a towering 4.25 meters in height, rontos are nonetheless skittish and easily startled.
Rontos are extremely loyal and easily domesticated. They develop deep bonds with their masters and their keen sense of smell serves as an early warning to riders of imminent dangers. Their size is such that only the largest of Tatooine's predators risk attacking them. Even Sand People keep their distance from rontos, though a hungry krayt dragon fears little from the gentle herbivore.
Rontos have poor eyesight and are easily startled by sudden movements. They also require a great deal of water, making them something of an expensive investment to a typical moisture farmer or trader. Rontos are well suited for the desert, though. Their skin easily sheds excess heat. The flap-like folds framing their broad faces also radiate heat, and wrap around to cover their small eyes during sandstorms.
The rontos added into the Mos Eisley scenes for the Special Edition release of A New Hope are entirely computer-generated. It was a cousin of sorts to the digital models crafted for Jurassic Park; the ronto used a brachiosaur as a starting point with enough modification to make it distinctly Star Wars. Throughout the making of the sequence, the ILM animators referred to the otherwise nameless creature as a "bronto." When asked to name the animal, George Lucas dropped the 'b' from the name, and thus the ronto was christened.