Bighorn Scylla

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Bighorn Scylla
(Scylla panoptes)

24/?, unknown cause
Creator Nergali Other
Scylla panoptes
Epoch/Generation 1/143
Habitat West Mason Polar Scrub , East Mason Polar Scrub , North Mason Taiga , South Mason Taiga , Mason Polar Beach
Size 4 cm Long
Support Unknown
Diet Carnivore (Curtained Letti, Hexdigger, Provuci, Stisnite, Teci, Hexdriller), Scavenger
Respiration Unknown
Thermoregulation Unknown
Reproduction Asexual, Hard-Shelled Eggs

The bighorn scylla split from its ancestor and replaced it throughout most of its range. It has become better adapted to life on Mason, and has evolved several features that have improved its life cycle and increased its survival rate. They lay numerous hard-shelled eggs within patches of flora. The eggs will then hatch within several more weeks, producing a new generation of bighorn scylla whose infants are known as scylosi.

Now a pure carnivore, its jaws are larger, sharper, and much more powerful than those of its ancestor, allowing them to tear apart the flesh of their prey with relative ease. They secrete a primitive neurotoxin from the tips of them that serve to slow down their prey and thus make them easier to take down. In order to get in close enough to use their jaws, however, they first stalk their prey before charging them down. While not as fast as its ancestor, they possess a higher endurance and traction, and both of these make them effective hunters.

In terms of dealing with parasites they have evolved several defenses against them. Its skin secretes a thin layer of waxy material that helps to inhibit the amount of crustling colonies that can form on it. While not fully removing them, it does however make them more manageable. They have also developed a hard covering for their rectal opening that keeps it closed save for when in use. This prevents butt-plug dartons from using it as they are effectively "choked off" the opening and prevent them from entering.

When it comes to defenses and displays, the bighorn scylla has evolved several. When young, the horns serve to ward off predators that would otherwise make a quick meal of them. When older, they serve only to defend it from attacks from above, a rare occurrence as only larger bighorn scyllas are capable of doing this. They have also evolved a pair of tail-like growths near the back of their body which are covered in a strong smelling liquid. When flicked, they fling droplets of this liquid, spreading their scent for both territorial and mate attracting purposes.

Finally, bighorn scyllas have evolved a new adaption not yet seen on Mason. They have evolved numerous organs akin to the tympanal organ of the insects of Earth. Known as glaucusian pits, they are attached to small tubes that lead into the head and focus the vibrations caused by sounds, effectively allowing bighorn scylla the ability to "hear". Between each jaw are three of these glaucusian pits, and on each tusk itself are seven more. This relatively large amount of "ears" have granted them a major advantage over both their prey and competition during the long days and nights of Mason as it allows them to pick up sounds without the need to rely entirely on ground vibrations, thus allowing them to hunt with a greater efficiency.