Omniclongulator

From 2speccers2tools wiki

With the rise of numerous derived clonguses competing with it and the rise of large mamals on the island of Kamm, the remaining population of clonguses had to adapt. They evolved into the omniclongulator, a far more sophisticated and efficient predator than its ancestor, hunting both medium sized terrestrial game and relatively large aerial prey. This effectively partitions its niche with the guillotine mamal, which usually goes for prey larger than itself. The omniclongulator has replaced its ancestor.

While its external appearance most obviously differs from its ancestor, the omniclongulator’s most important adaptation lies within. The gut diverticuli now have a unique shape and are highly specialized, acting as molds which shape the omniclongulator’s mud pellets into a more familiar, bullet-like shape. These gut diverticuli now also contain specialized keratin glands, causing the pellet to be formed partially out of microscopic keratin fibers. This reinforces the pellet’s structure by several orders of magnitude. The mechanism for firing the bullet is also more advanced, with the more primitive blowing mechanism being enhanced with a special, highly pressurized outcrop of the airway. Because of this, a bulge appears on the upper throat when the omniclongulator is ready to fire.

The omniglongulator has replaced its slug-like movement with a faster inchworm-like locomotion, with the foot on its midsection drying out and the anterior and posterior ends of the foot (which, perhaps, should more appropriately be called separate “feet” now) being quite sticky and thickened. Because it no longer coils around its prey, the omniclongulator has evolved highly muscular appendages around its now deeper digestive patch, serving to increase its surface area and allowing the omniclongulator to grab, hold, crush, and digest prey items once they have been shot. The true mouth (henceforth the barrel) is no longer used for eating, but it can still suck up water and mud. Its inside and tip also sport a dry keratin covering, preventing the very high-speed bullet from damaging the barrel. The eyes are beginning to separate, with only a thin band covered by a skin fold being between them.

The omniclongulator lays multiple large eggs into a small burrow and covers them up, sort of like a turtle. The offspring that hatch are relatively highly developed and mainly subsist on “insects” and kammals. Adult omniclongulators occasionally still get into disputes with guillotine mamals over food, although their more formidable bullets make them more likely to win such disputes, potentially instantly killing the mamal if the bullet strikes its head.

Bullet of an omniclongulator, extracted from its bullet-shaped gut diverticuli.