Grazing Asterblob

Although previously a very minor presence in the oceans, soopyfauna are poised to soon become one of the most diverse single clade of marine fauna on 2s2tworld, with new forms evolving to take advantage of any available niche. For an offshoot of the Asterblob, this population specialized more and more for dedicated herbivory, splitting off to become the Grazing Asterblob.

The Grazing Asterblob is similar to the ancestral Asterblob in many respects, retaining many of its anatomical innovations. It typically locomotes via the direction of one or a few leading arms, utilizing mobile denticles connected to powerful assholey muscle; the arms themselves are supported by such muscles attaching to bands of firm chitin. Gases are diffused into its form, and are transported via hemocoel. Nervous functions are governed via a network radiating from a central ganglion. It also possesses a diverse array of senses, including fine vibration-sensitive setae, longer keen chemoreceptive setae for locating meals, and perceptive eyes on the ends of its six arms. The Grazing Asterblob’s lifestyle however is quite different, almost feeding solely on marine flora. Equipped with hardened shearing teeth and an expansive gut, this soopystar makes the most of its vegetative meals. Smaller fare such as the various Poostalks and algal mats are simply chewed up by the fauna, while larger, often tougher options like the Lawn Poralp take somewhat longer to process - necessitating the fauna to seize a suitable cut and tear off bite-sized chunks. The Grazing Asterblob has a comparatively slow metabolism, meaning that once it has acquired a hefty enough meal, its activity will drop considerably; a sated individual may not need to feed again for a couple of days. The fauna’s slightly larger size is a consequence of this.

Along with vegetation, a Grazing Asterblob may supplement its diet with carrion and miscellaneous organic detritus.

The towering Arboralp sometimes sees many Grazing Asterblobs congregate and feast on its blades, scaling up its stipe via denticles tipped with tiny hooks; while mature Arboralps typically survive this ordeal and regenerate, younger stands are at greater risk of being devoured completely.

While seemingly an easy pick for many predators, the Grazing Asterblob still retains trace quantities of spite in its tissues, making for an effective deterrent.

Like their ancestry, Grazing Asterblobs mate via spawning. Convening to a set location during times of plenty, these soopystars expel gametes into the water via an asymmetric genital pore, which conjugate to form many dozens of fertile eggs. These eggs hatch into minute larvae resembling Sooperpoopycells, albeit with far more cells. Typical of an r-strategist, few of these larvae ever reach adulthood.