Striped Hedgestar

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The Striped Hedgestar has expanded its diet to include the various fringeweed species in its range. Following this food source, it has moved into the wetlands of the five major rivers which empty into the tropical and subtropical waters of Vailnoff. It has doubled in size and gained a taller gait. Its legs have become longer and its back limb has developed stockier digits on its anal limb. Its dorsal side is covered in rows of spines, each row having slightly darker or lighter coloration than the neighboring row.

When threatened the Striped Hedgestar will curl its limbs into itself forming a ball of spines. This curling isn't entirely effective as a portion of the limbs and head are still reachable while curled, but this is offset by it instinctively rolling such that its weak point is against the seabed, and using its anal fingers to dig into the seabed and help anchor it to prevent it being flipped over. This is a relatively successful strategy and is only countered by Shearwyrms, whose specialized mouthparts can be used to avoid the Striped Hedgestars spines.

Reproduction has changed from their ancestor. Their eggs are still able to filter feed, but clutches can number in upwards of 500 eggs. The young hatch already transitioning into their bilateral forms, with their spines and mouths fully developed upon hatching. Mating occurs via the anal arms but the robust fingers provide less of a linkage than their ancestor. Females are generally larger than males but otherwise show no sexually dimorphic traits.