With the rise and overabundance of the crystalmat, inevitably a species designed to eat it specifically would rise. The shovelface splits off from the chunky knightworm to do exactly that. As its name suggests, the shovelface’s face is a shovel. It uses this unusual trait, along with the extra strength granted by the development of a “neck” segment, to dig under and uproot crystalmats so that it can feed on them with its radula-covered tongue. As there is so much food, it is much more tolerant of other members of its species than its ancestor was and it isn’t uncommon to see a sizeable group gathering together to devour the same mat.
Following the life cycle of the crystalmat, polar populations of the shovelface prosper in the spring and summer when the mats are growing like mad, but the population suffers when winter arrives. The polar population handles this by hibernating through the dark winters; when spring comes, they awaken, ready to devour the new growth of crystalmats. Hibernation length decreases further and further south, as it is triggered by their food source dying out. Southern populations where the crystalmats grow on other flora will climb these flora to pry the mats away to eat; the species as a whole has developed an additional leg joint to help with this. They will also eat colony crystals just as readily as they eat crystalmats.
The shovelface is otherwise much like its ancestor. It uses the size of its spikes and luster of its crystal butt to attract mates, and it lays thousands of eggs which are dispersed by water.