Monklong

From 2speccers2tools wiki

As the omniclongulators evolved more and more powerful bullets, simply hiding in the trees and moving slowly wouldn’t do the trick. However, one group of shellclongs which had unusually lithe bodies were able to hang from branches and shuffle along them with only a few limbs. Eventually, this led to the radically different brachiating motion seen today in the Monklong.

When the monklong does decide to sit still and act similarly to its ancestor, it looks fairly similar to the shellclong, just with a more slender body and much longer front and hind limbs. However, when the monklong feels threatened, it can use its limbs to rapidly climb through the tangled branches, alternating between swinging with its front and hind arms. In order to facilitate this rapid motion, each of the limbs now has a thin notochord-like band of cartilage to make them stronger. These long limbs also help to fight away or altogether avoid treels.

The middle two pairs of arms remain short, and are largely used to pull apart plant matter and stuff it into the monklong’s ventral mouth-pouch. The actual mouth, meanwhile, has atrophied into nothing but a simple breathing hole, with the original digestive system remaining only as a thin and unused tube. The novel gut, meanwhile, has split into 3 chambers for more efficient digestion.

Monklongs communicate to each other using guinea-pig-like squeals. While they are incapable of forming permanent family bonds, they occasionally form loose groups of up to 7 members. While monklongs are still mostly herbivorous, they do occasionally supplement their diet with “insects” and arboreal snufflers. Their almond-shaped shell is mostly taupe with several thin, vertical, dark grey stripes running down its length.