Horned Carrkopod

From Sagan 4 Beta Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Only ten million or so years ago, the carrkin evolved to become a crab-like benthic organism. This tropical species went in the opposite direction, and has effectively “decarcinized” while still retaining some beneficial traits from their ancestor, such as their curled tails and modified claw-like antennae.

The most noticeable feature of the horned carrkopod is, as implied, the two large yellow horns on the males’ heads. These horns are used heavily in sexual selection, both to court females and to combat other males. When two males engage in combat, they will swim rapidly with the aid of their two leg-fins and bash into each other. They will do this over and over until one of them gives up. Only the adult males sport long yellow horns. Juvenile and female carrkopods have short brown horns, easily distinguishing them from the males. Females are also usually slightly smaller than males.

The horned carrkopod mostly feeds on the reefstar, but has also adapted to eat a wide variety of slow-moving or sessile asterzoans with the help of their nimble feeding claws. Because of their preference towards reefstars, they have become one of the most abundant fauna in Squidy Reef, threatening other species that have similar diets and causing euryptiles to become more abundant as well. This sudden ecological change has also caused reefstars to either quickly adapt or die out, with the better defended varieties being far more successful than the less fortified ones.

As mentioned before, their hind fins are now much more useful, and are their main defense against predators. When distressed, a carrkopod will use its powerful leg fins to make a quick getaway. They may also use them to travel to other areas more quickly, though they can still only be used in short bursts as they wear out quickly. Their tails, while still tucked under their body most of the time, can be extended outwards to help with mating and expel waste.