Gladiator clawneresca

Some chaotic clawnerescas accidentally floated to dingus, due to the abnormal climate and irradiation their nuclear genomes got extremely confused, and the population lost its two distinct morphs, instead evolving in a unique direction. The gladiator clawneresca has no external armor, all of the armor is subdermal and has heavy metals from its environment incorporated into it to protect against the minor but still notable radiation of Dingus. The gladiator clawneresca is wholly white, with a fade to black towards the posterior as well, an adaptation to breeding methods explained later.

Overall when not occupied with producing young the gladiator clawneresca is a fairly limited generalist predator, eating whatever small fauna it can find, typically squashing smaller ones like confusiants and “insects” and strangling/crushing larger ones like nostalgithyons and proto mamals. Its most notable action is towards the (hopefully) end of this phase the construction of a “display pit”, a large hole in the ground the clawneresca will work on for potentially over a year until it is ready to wait for a potential mate. When a mate comes along the gladiator will grab a piece of debris (typically the one they used to dig the pit in the first place) and run around wildly with it throughout the display pit, the judger will make their decision based on speed, color shape and size of the debris, as well as how many times the impresser crashed or slowed down, if they are deemed suitable the two will begin working on the largest project one may complete in its life.

The breeding pit, despite its name, is not a peaceful place, and not quite a place of love, generally nucleus exchange takes place in the foliage a few days after the pit is completed, which may take up to 3 years. The pit itself is impressive, nearly 9 meters deep and with sharp pieces of debris pointed inwards, this is where the gladiator clawneresca gets its name, not from what it is, but what it turns other fauna into. Generally mated pairs work together, swooping at suitable targets to harass them into this pit, the first target generally will not have much issue involved as it can only wait for when they drive in a second organism, the gladiator clawneresca retains a small amount of spite for this exact situation, should the two organisms not fight already, one may shoot a stream of diluted spite at them, both aggravating them and giving them mild spite poisoning, usually not enough to notably damage the target’s tissues, but enough to get them irritated enough to start tussling. Even though these targets may be many times the clawneresca’s size they are often not so disproportionate to their opponent, and will be forced, even over the course of days, to slowly fight to the death until they finally die of their injuries, the stress, or the exhaustion (the clawnerescas do not cease egging them on even at night), the typically weakened survivor is then further forced to the walls by the pair, where it is either mobbed to death or may even accidentally give itself a debilitating injury on the spikes, with two usually large corpses now available the couple will release their underdeveloped young from their mouth to feed freely on the corpses. These young build up nutrient stores until they finally climb upwards, spread their fingers, and inflate their gas sacks, sending them hopefully high up into the air, where they may drift for up to a week and a half before settling on flora and hunting microfauna until they reach adult size.

The adults often have a curious behavior of “peeking”, lifting up a single finger and its correspondent eye (they have developed this digit tied eye arrangement to take up less space in their DNA so they can stay light to float easier) to get a view of their surroundings, and often spectate the battles they incite from the air. Juveniles may practice driving targets into certain spaces and even incite fights between nearby fauna for no visible reason other than their own entertainment, they may also be seen roleplaying for practice in their mating displays, often using abandoned or unattended display arenas to hone their displaying and judging skills. Breeding arenas are often incidentally multigenerational, as some couples find it easier to refurbish decrepit ones rather than build their own, they also incidentally contribute to the development of ponds in some areas they live, as old display and breeding arenas may become flooded with water, providing oases in the more arid parts of their range. These also incidentally gather megafauna in inhabited areas, benefiting new couples even decades after the original owners have passed on.

They float to move much more their ancestors, as it puts them out of reach of the numerous threats, of which there are many more in Dingus than in their ancestral home of Beans.

A gladiator clawneresca breeding arena.
A big walker 2 within a gladiator clawneresca breeding arena for scale.
A gladiator clawneresca display arena.
A gladiator clawneresca skateboarding in a display arena.