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As the Slimestalk increased in size and adapted to compete with other flora and fauna, its larval and adult forms have become increasingly disparate in order to adapt to their own unique circumstances. The Beastpalm has effectively made the best of both worlds, with the cost of having a somewhat energetically taxing life cycle.

The larval form has made a number of small advancements from its ancestor. Most notably, its two ‘leaves’ have a quite different shape from those of the adult. These appendages have taken on a paddle-like shape with two long, hooked needles. The bases of the leaves and needles have more flexible joints, allowing them to do a strange shuffling “walk”. The muscular organ in the mouth has elongated into what can be described as a long tongue, which is used to pick up bits of detritus. Along with the rasping spines located just above the mouth, this allows them to efficiently eat larger foods such as faunal corpses. They also bathe in the sun to absorb light, though the larvae do not depend on photosynthesis as much as their ancestor, which is why they are more pale.

Its eyes have also further developed, and now have a primitive chitinous covering that acts as a lens. However, this lens eventually becomes too thick to effectively see through, and must be shed along with the rest of the exoskeleton. The back has also flattened in such a way that the eyes face outwards towards the horizon, allowing them to detect predators more easily. Despite these advancements, their eyes are still not very complex, being more like simple ocelli. In addition, a defensive horn also protrudes from the front of the head. The larva is able to rear up in defense, with the horn making it look taller than it really is to intimidate predators.

Larval form

Due to the transitional state between a larval male and mature female being especially vulnerable, the larvae must build up a lot of energy. Upon hatching, the already well-developed larvae must quickly eat as much as they can, similar to a terran caterpillar. Excess energy is stored in the continually broadening tail. Even though this weighs down the organism, they will still continue to gorge themselves as much as they can before they are ready to become sessile.

New adaptations have also developed in the adult form. After planting themselves, their uniquely shaped larval limbs will shed off, allowing for their highly symmetrical adult leaves to grow in. While the larvae had needles of unique lengths and shapes, the needles of the adult are mostly the same size and form a circle around the head. The bottom edges of their new needles have tiny serrations to deter predators, though they are still able to regenerate like they did in their ancestor. While its needles are quite dark in color to absorb the most sunlight, the segments below the head are light greyish in color, as any chlorophyll in them would go to waste. Its upper leaves still exhibit phototropic behavior, and somewhat retain the larva’s flexible joints.

The mature organism then starts to continually grow new segments underground, creating a structure that loosely corresponds to a “root”. The pores on this underground section break up and absorb dirt from the ground. The soil then travels into their mucus transport system, and then shortly after into tubes which lead to the digestive system. It is here where any organic matter such as microbes are digested and water is absorbed, allowing the organism to collect nutrients into adulthood. The remaining waste is then passed back into its mucus tubing, where it is secreted above-ground. A small amount of what was once called mucus is secreted along with the digested soil, though this material now takes the form of a strong glue-like substance. This secretion hardens to become stiff and rubbery, and only needs to be used in small amounts to hold the external fortress together. It is slightly flexible, and has the ability to slowly retain its shape when pulled apart, similarly to the silk of a caddisfly larva. Because of their ability to absorb water from underground, the funnel-like organ on the adults has become less advantageous, though it has not become entirely vestigial. The funnel has also been modified into a shape with less wind resistance.

The Beastpalm has a total lifespan of around 30 years, with 6 years being spent as a mobile larva. Its eggs are larger and more durable, but fewer are produced.