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(Humedax paralysis)
Creator Coolsteph Other
Humedax paralysis
Epoch/Generation 3/154
Habitat Mason Reef
Size 3.3 cm Long
Support Unknown
Diet Carnivore (Hexdigger, Hexdriller, young Hexborers)
Respiration Unknown
Thermoregulation Unknown
Reproduction Asexual, Eggs
Descendant of Ancestor of

The terrantor has a few physical and behavioral adaptations shared with the common mole. Its shoulders are broad and strong, as are its forefeet. This helps it dig. Unlike the mole, whose forefeet are spread out near its head, a terrantor's forefeet are far from the mouth and slightly below the body. This means the terrantor is better at digging pits below its body than burrows in front of it.

The similar behavioral adaptation is that it paralyzes prey items with a toxin in its saliva, storing them for later consumption in a 'larder'. The salivary glands are connected to the mouth tentacles by ducts. The ducts open at the tips of the mouth tentacles. On the microscopic scale, the openings are located on cones between the dozens of tiny hooks on the mouth tentacles. As it captures a prey item, the hooks make tiny rips or holes in the prey's skin. The toxic saliva is "spat" on the microscopic scale in the general area of those tiny rips or holes. In this way, it bypasses the skin's defenses and travels directly into the bloodstream, whereupon it affects the nervous system to cause paralysis.

The prey item, for easier transport, is stuffed into the terrantor's extensive oral cavity. (It does not exactly have a neck. The inside of what looks like its neck is the inside of its mouth.) When the terrantor has stuffed a large amount of prey items in its oral cavity, it goes to a larder burrow and spits them out into shallow, moist pits. The pits are an additional deterrent to escape: even if the prey items recover from the paralytic effects of the toxic saliva, they will have difficulty climbing out. They must first climb out to escape because the pits are too soggy for them to dig their way out.

Like its ancestor, the terrantor exploits burrows made by burrowing provuci. On occasion, it occupies a tunnel subsection that is fortunately not abandoned: if it encounters the original burrower, it will paralyze it and immediately eat it, for the body is too unwieldy to carry in its mouth. Since it cannot carry the provuci away, the provuci stays in one spot, paralyzed, and often dies a slow death as the terrantor comes back to eat it alive on multiple occasions. The burrowing provuci is apparently a rare treat to terrantors.

For additional horror, the terrantor is a baby-eater, for the prey items it consumes, even when not hexborers, are frequently baby or otherwise young organisms.

Rather than being attached to the rim of the mouth, the upper sensory tentacles are attached to the roof of the mouth, which is a cartilaginous equivalent to a hard palate. This gives the mouth greater room to expand.

(On the plus side, soggy underground pits are a great environment for future organisms to exploit. The environment is quite stable and is full of slow-moving food.)