Author Topic: The Terralytes  (Read 962 times)

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Offline Pinstar

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The Terralytes
« on: February 26, 2008, 09:52:34 pm »
The book flickers to life and sorts through its database of creatures until stumbling upon the entry. This is what it has to say about Terralytes

The odd and energetic Terralytes are small mammalian like creatures. The Terralytes' distinguishing feature is their small moon-yellow horn located on their foreheads.

Vitals
Average size (adult): 1 foot tall at the shoulder, about 3 feet long from horn to tail.
Average Weight (adult): 9 pounds
Running speed: 30 mph, 40+mph in short bursts
Diet: Omnivores, preferr fruits, berries and larger insects as well as small amphibians and fish when they can catch them (rarely).
Natural lifespan: 30 years (most only make it about half that)
Social: Terralytes always travel in groups numbering around 10 to 15. They tend to remain hidden when numbering fewer than 10. A group of Terralytes is called a 'Brigade'.
Reproduction: While following traditional sexual reproduction of mammals, they bring their young into the world in a distinctly un mammalian way of laying eggs. Most clutches contain 2-3 eggs. Females are able to breed after just 1 year of age and gestate for 5 months.

Detailed appearance

The adult Terralyte is coated in a thick layer of fur. The fur color can range from pure milky white to a vibrant golden yellow and variations between the two extremes. The color of a terralyte's fur is not a function of genetics so much, but rather how much exposure to the sun they got as an egg. Bright golden Terralytes are extremely rare, as too much exposure to the sun will kill the terralyte in their own egg. A golden Terralyte is often weaker and less physically adept after hatching, so most do not make it past 2 weeks. A fully grown adult golden Terralyte is a sight to see and a valuable prize for intergalatic poachers and zookeepers alike.

The Terralyte's head is somewhat triangular in shape, coming to a point at their nose. Two ears are located on top of their head. These ears are able to perk up a full inch to detect faint sounds, and are also able to be pressed down against the skull to reduce wind resistance and keep them clean when the Terralyte is running.

Regardless of a Terralyte's fur color, they always sport a mask of golden fur around their eyes. Their eyes are very large for their body and set in the front of their skull. While lacking any fancy 'see in the dark' sensory adaptations, they make up for that fact by having four times as many rods and cones as most creatures their type.

 The other distinct feature is a single horn on the top of the Terralyte's forhead. The horn is about 1 inch in length. It is never entirely strait, it always leans slightly to the left or right, giving it a greater surface area at the tip. An odd fact is that you can always tell if a given Terralyte is left or right handed by which side their horn slopes toward. The horn sports distinct notches in it, Jagged notches show signs of use in combat, while circular notches indicate new growth with age. You can tell a terralyte's age by how many rings its horn has.

A terralyte's front paws are one of its greatest and most flexible assets. They can function as both legs to run quickly on, or as hands, complete with an opposable thumb that allow them to grasp and manipulate objects. They use their hands mostly for eating, grooming and grasping, they have been known to occasionally experiment with tool use, with limited success.

The last really distinguishing feature of the Terralytes is their three pronged tail. Their tail extends about half a foot, splitting into three distinct tails about halfway down the main tail. Given how Terralytes run, it was intially chalked up to be used for balance, which is true in more ways than one. The Terralytes use their main tail for balance when running along trees  and high rocks. After some experimentation and observation, it was determined that the two secondary tail offshoots are also used for balance, but rather they help the brain balance them. They allow the terralyte to maintain a sense of direction and which way is up and allow them to keep upright now matter what. Having one of these two tail offshoots damaged is not only very detrimental to a Terralyte's balance, but extremely funny to watch.

Combat:

According to the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy, it is near impossible to wound a Terralyte. Before you start picturing this creature with a suit of natural armor, allow me to explain. Terralytes have semi-hollow bones. While not completely hollow like birds, they are semi-hollow. The upshoot of this is that the Terralyte is much lighter and faster than it would have been with fully filled dense bones. The downside for them is that the moment they take physical trauma from another creature, they normally go from peachy keen to stone cold dead in one shot, there is no 'wounded' part in the middle. This doesn't seem to really bother them because they are fast and agile enough to pick their fights and are hard to hit in combat. When attacking, terralytes use their horns but never attempt to stab with them. Rather, they use the slanted edge to slash at their target, causing lacerations rather than puncture wounds on their prey. A brigade of Terralytes that are hungry enough have been known to hunt creatures bigger than them, assaulting their prey with slashes with their horns and running away to hide while their prey slowly bleeds to death. That said, they rarely attach anything bigger than them and normally do so to defend their young rather than for food.

(More coming later, including their rise to tribal life and beyond... any comments are greatly appreciated!)

« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 03:42:59 am by Pinstar »


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