Seizing Bupper

From 2speccers2tools wiki

With so much meat on the hoof wandering around Dingus in the form of turdles and Unguliserds, it was only a matter of time predators would evolve to take advantage of them. Although the Nostalgithyons evolved to be ambush predators of mid-sized prey, while the Big walker 2 took an unorthodox approach as a megafaunal predator, it would instead be the Bug-Uppers that would rise up to be dominant predators. This first started off with the Hulk-Upper, which hastily took the ecological niche of megafaunal carnivores, but other Bug-Upper populations would take a different route. Some populations focused more on speed and agility over raw size and proved to be more competitve over all. Among a variety of other changes, the adaptations these populations evolve to better tackle the various mid-large sized herbivores of Dingus would result in them giving rise to the Seizing Bupper.

The first immediate difference from their ancestors is the fact their first pair of legs are now permanently raised off the ground, having become grasping appendages with sharp projections to help capture and dismember prey. The pedipalps of the Seizing Bupper still help with manipulating bits of food as well as ripping off said bits of food while the raptorial pair of limbs holds down prey, the pedipalps bringing the bits of food towards the jointed teeth so they can processed further until the chunks of tissue are small enough to be swallowed. Of course, the Seizing Bupper first needed to catch its prey before it can feed, and so they have evolved towards running down their prey. While the Seizing Bupper has become larger than their ancestor overall, the large legofauna has developed much longer legs compared to the Bug-Upper and a slimmer body so it can have a larger stride and not be weighed down as much. Combined with the pointy tips of their ancestor having turned into more claw-like structures to gain better purchase in the soil, the Seizing Bupper can run extremely quickly and for long distances thus allowing them to hunt fleet-footed prey such as the Liserlaps. The enormous eyes with a pupil containing multiple slits still play a prominent role, as the Seizing Bupper primarily rely upon vision to navigate and hunt. The endoskeleton and pumping lungs still play a key role in supporting its size, with the lungs having become even larger to get as much oxygen as the Seizing Bupper needs for their high-speed chases.

While fast moving prey does make up a large part of their diet, the Seizing Bupper will feed on a variety of other fauna as well, even tackling other large carnivores like the big walkers. Since many kinds of radfauna posses a radiation-related defense of some kind, the lead-rich "plumbochitin" found in both their exoskeleton and endoskeleton come in handy as protection. Despite the fact they cannot get through the lead-reinforce armor of this group, Seizing Buppers will hunt small turdles, either smaller species such as the Farm turdle or even the og turdle to the young of larger species such as young Lawnmower Turdles. To get around this, the Seizing Bupper have a pretty unique and pretty gruesome hunting strategy when it comes to turdle-hunting. If they catch their prey off guard, the Seizing Bupper will slash at the hind legs of the turdle, trying to sever tendons or cripple them in some other fashion. If they succeed, the Seizing Bupper will then begin to tear into the only really exposed area of the whole creature, the anus tail. With the crippled turdle being unable to escape or effectively fight back, the Seizing Bupper will eat them alive from the inside out, not unlike Terran wolves or hyenas. Getting into the good stuff can, however, take a long time and so scavengers will often show up while the Seizing Bupper is feeding which then leads to confrontations.

The Seizing Bupper still have their gonophores flare vividly to inform other Seizing Buppers if they are ready to mate. Once mating is complete, the female Seizing Bupper will seek out a secluded spot hidden by foliage and dig a shallow pit, where they then lay up to 300 eggs before burying them. This is due to the young being vulnerable to predators such as Radrakes, predatory Snufflers, or even Bug-Uppers and any ways to boost their chances of survival means the mother will have a higher reproductive success rate. Still, out of these 300 eggs, only about 3-4 of them will reach sexual maturity. As the Seizing Bupper evolved, they would end up partially competing with their larger relative known as the Hulk upper. This comes down to several different factors, such as the Seizing Bupper being faster and more agile while also having superior weaponry to dispatching prey. While the horny forms of Hulk uppers had a niche all for themselves, the unhorny forms of the species had a little more trouble, resulting in the species falling back more on their omnivorous habits and relying a bit more on flora than before.