Devourer Asterplent

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The devourer asterplent speciated from its ancestor when several newborn pitfall asterplents landed in the south talon tropical scrub. From there, mutations multiplied and stacked on top of each other as the asterplents spread, birthing a brand new species. Reproduction is similar to their ancestors, with the young being launched into the air and the pappi falling off soon after they are launched into the air, with the young landing relatively safely.

When compared to its ancestor, the devourer asterplent has increased the morphological divide between faunal young and floral adults. And their name is not entirely unfounded: the young seem to be always hungry, eating whenever they have the chance and taking refuge under flora to get rest between meals. Their ability to consume microbes through their roots is now completely absent, with the roots now entirely for respiration.

Once the juveniles grow to a certain size, hormones flood their system to encourage them to eat and never stop until they are truly full. Once this occurs, the juveniles eat anything that moves and can fit in their mouths. Once their bellies are full, the juveniles take root and temporarily seal their mouths shut to keep prey from escaping as they grow. They use the nutrients taken from their digested prey to grow to full size, which takes about two days to complete, after which their mouths unseal and become a reproductive opening and their respiration roots change into anchoring roots. This opening is designed for reproduction and only reproduction, not requiring food in the form of prey in its adult stage, using its fat stores to develop gametes and inevitably give birth to young. Despite all this, the young and adults are relatively similar to their ancestors.


Around the mid-way point of their juvenile stage, a devourer asterplent will rarely (one in one million chance of this occurring) have their 'eat everything' hormones triggered early. These 'sancho' devourer asterplents eat everything in sight, including inedible objects such as small pebbles. Within three days to a week, these mutant individuals will die one of two ways. One way is that their legs will break under their own weight, and, unable to carry on, will eventually die of starvation. The second way, and far less likely, is that an individual will eat so much in one sitting that it will literally burst open, keeling over with dead, dying, and recently eaten prey escaping to live another day.