Corpse Spardi

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The Corpse Spardi split from its ancestor. Millions of years of flapping to parachute has allowed it to develop the musculature for powered flight. Its pelvic ring has been modified into a keel, its shape also coincidentally causing its raptorial arm to be pushed into a useless position. As such, its raptorial arm is reduced and it has become an obligate biped. Its wings are formed by patagia, one stretching from the anal arm to the end of the third digit and the other stretching from the knee to the head. Its wings are somewhat swept back like those of a Terran fighter jet, and a retractable membrane stretching between its anal fingers helps it to steer during flight. Thanks to its flight ability, it has been able to reach other continents apart from Darwin by flyway.

The Corpse Spardi is named for its feeding habits. It is exclusively a scavenger, its small size allowing it to thrive off of dead fauna alone. It uses its knife-like lateral mandibles to cut meat off of carcasses to eat. It can stuff a lot of meat into its mouth to carry to its babies. While somewhat graceful in the air, the Corpse Spardi is awkward on the ground, crawling about in an odd sprawled posture like that of a Terran bat. To take off, it must vault itself into the air.

The Corpse Spardi is a heterotherm. During flight, the heat generated by the muscular power of its wings keeps them warm enough to function, much like a terran insect. It must warm its wings before flying, however, and does so by stretching them out facing the sun. Because of this, it cannot be very active on a cold day. However, it does mitigate this somewhat by being fat—to a limited extent, its body fat protects it from cold.

Unlike its ancestor, the Corpse Spardi does not live exclusively in trees, as those offer little in terms of food and they require more energy to access. Adults without babies generally lack any set home, though they may sleep in flora, hollowed logs, and discarded or hollowed exoskeletons. Mated pairs will compete with other pairs for safe locations to raise their young, which are usually abandoned burrows of other species or hollowed logs and other flora. They mate by pulling back the membrane between their anal fingers and holding hands. Their young are born pseudo-radial and mature quickly, owing to their small adult size, and their flight ability is instinctive so they never have to be taught how. Adults will often mate several times a year.