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(Mortemapullum masoni)
Creator Nergali Other
Mortemapullum masoni
Epoch/Generation 3/154
Habitat Mason Reef
Size 6 cm Long
Support Unknown
Diet Herbivore (Red Smoolk, Magnet Smoolk, Fuskovnik, Tundrake), Scavenger
Respiration Unknown
Thermoregulation Unknown
Reproduction Asexual, Insect-like Eggs
Descendant of Ancestor of

With the increasing pressures put upon it, both from the environment and its relative, the terrantors, the terranite was eventually replaced by its descendant, the terratons. Taking to life aboveground, the terratons have evolved several new adaptions, including, perhaps most importantly, a waxy coating on their skin that serves not only as a primitive, natural "sunscreen" but also helps them to retain water, an important adaption for living on Mason. Composed of a biological pigment akin to scytonemin of Earth, this oily substance is sweated out of specialized pores on their backsides, and which turns green upon exposure to oxygen, helping to contribute to their coloration.

Another important adaption is their newly acquired bipedal stance. This posture allows them to stand above most of the smaller vegetation, and when combined with the reach of their feeding tentacles, allows them to pick the choicest flora to feed on. To help them to stand up, their feet have developed an extension on their sides, a pseudo-toe of sorts, to help spread out the weight of their bulkier forms, which in itself is an adaption to the cooler atmosphere of Mason.

The diet of this species involves primarily the numerous smoolks that thrive in the reef of Mason, though they have not yet entirely given up their predatory ancestry, as terratons will still readily consume corpses that they should come upon. Despite evolving an extended digestive tract for breaking down flora such as this, they are unable to digest the metallic compounds that accumilate in several of the smoolk species. As these compounds would otherwise accumilate in their guts, the terratons have thus evolved a process which allows them to "cough" them back up in pellet form. Said pellets have an unintended side-effect of serving as sites of growth for smoolks, creating a cycle of sorts furthered by the fact that the spores of the said smoolks tend to be coughed up in these pellets as well.

Finally, their respiratory system has become partially internalized for protection from predators that may otherwise target such vulnerable weak spots. It shares this trait with its distant relatives and main predator, the various scylla.

Semi-solitary creatures, they nonetheless tend to be found together in large groups due to the added benefits of protections from predators such as the several species of previously mentioned scylla. To aid in fending them off, the terratons will use their facial tusks to stab at them should they sense them. To counter this, many scylla have come to target the young, the old, and sickly in order to get around these defenses. Thus begins a new predator-prey relationship.

Made in collaboration with Coolsteph