Dorite Hedgestar

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Living exclusively around the shores of the Dorite Sea, this descendant of the Hedgestar has doubled in size and has adapted to a very different lifestyle compared to that of its ancestor. They have now evolved a more carnivorous diet, they now feed on several other beach-dwelling species. To aid in this change of diet, the mouthparts of this species are now extendable and even more flexible, to the point which they can not only be used to quickly push more water over its chemoreceptors, but also to latch onto and restrain prey. This function allows them to feed on smaller organisms that live outside of the water. In turn, this adaptation to the land has lead to the necessity of their newly evolved respiratory system, which involves two sets of three spiracles each. These spiracles are located on either half of their bodies, and they allow them to take in water and extract out the oxygen within for themselves, and allows them to exit the water for brief periods of time. With the help of a slow metabolism and a less-permeable skin - which is constantly moist to the touch - they can leave the water long enough in order to stalk their prey on the shorelines.

The Dorite Hedgestars now possess two distinct layers of spines; the first layer acts like armor plating running down its back, providing support and defense, while the second layer functions very much akin to that of traditional spines. Such spiny growths ward off most would-be predators, especially now that said spines cover a larger portion of their overall bodies.

An image showcasing how far its mouth parts can extend.

Feeding Strategy

Once prey is spotted, the Dorite Hedgestar will begin to approach it. It will stop once it is halfway out of the water, after which it will then attempt to latch onto its prey with its extendable mouth parts. If this doesn't work the first time, it will then try to get closer to it and repeat the process, though should its ambush tactics continue to fail they may eventually just give up and sink once more beneath the water's surface, where they will wait until they encounter easier prey. If, however, the prey is snagged onto successfully, the Dorite Hedgestar will then drag it back into the water and to its doom. Once the prey is restrained, it will then make a few incisions into their hide before releasing digestive enzymes into the wounds from its mouth parts. This aids in the predigestion of its food, making it much easier to consume and chew. It will continue to release more digestive enzymes as is needed, up until all that is left is a fleshy slurry to be devoured.