Snamfgus

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Isolated from competition, the noserps of Kamm have evolved towards very interesting directions, the most dominant clade of which made the unforeseen development of converting the mouth into a projectile weapon and designating a ventral patch to better handle digestion. While the clonguses are well specialized for subduing large, often hard-to-reach mobile prey, their key adaptations are also their greatest flaw in one area - herbivory. Because a clongus's mouth is so specialized as a projectile weapon, the best it could manage is awkwardly smothering over foliage with its digestive patch (if it even had the incentive). However it is here that a split from the more basal Nostalgias would adapt well to, and much sooner. Redeveloping the ability to chew from their m’am heritage, from these obscure origins came the Snamfgus - Kamm’s first specialist herbivore megafauna.

The Snamfgus does very much differ from its ancestry in a number of aspects, both morphological and behavioral. One of the most obvious changes is the presence of a sturdy beak composed of keratin and a bony base, similar to a mammalian horn. Much of the present Kammite flora possess either sturdy cell walls or mineralized supports, both of which make for tough meals (especially the latter, as bare bone would gradually get worn down from all that grinding); the Snamfgus however, comes equipped with even tougher tools to process these. With the keratinous sheath enveloping the bony bases, this noserp can grind down local vegetation with little worry. Behind the beak is a set of muscular cheeks, which not only aid in preventing the fauna’s meals from spilling over, but also in focusing the pulverizing force of the beak’s chewing motions in a condensed area. Within the beak are peg-like bosses which further pulverize the noserp’s meals, and the remaining pulp is shunted down a muscular esophagus all the way to the stomach, even when the fauna is lying parallel to the ground. Like a fingernail, the keratin sheath grows continually in its life, albeit slowly; if the sheath has been worn out too much, the noserp moves to feeding on softer flora like Nommosses so that it can rebuild faster; conversely, a sheath that has grown too much may deliberately be worn down on much rougher material such as branchnolm bark or, if far south enough, on a Woody Burstgrass.

Because its diet consists exclusively of floral roughage, its gut has become expansive and densely rugose to make the most of its meals, while mutualist Bruh Within cultures assist with fermentation; the bruh cultures provide an added benefit for the Snamfgus by absorbing the spite contained within some of the pissprickles their host consumes, mitigating potential spite intoxication. As a consequence, the Snamfgus is overall longer and bulkier than its ancestry, partly as a means to better store the surplus energy gained.

To locomote, the Snamfgus slithers on its rugged ventral side in a slight sidewinding motion. Facilitating this are slug-like muscular margins along its flanks, which help push against the soil. While this is rather cumbersome, the noserp has little need for speed, even when potential predators are present in its range.

Against the few predators which could take this noserp down (i.e. Guillotine Mamals), the Snamfgus is decently defended. Much of the noserp is covered with stiff, pointed quills - developed atavistically from integumentary genes inherited from its distant M’ungus heritage. If these get in a Guillotine Mamal’s clutches, these will stick and drive deep into the noserp’s aggressor, inducing pain sharp and persistent enough to dissuade all but the most stubborn of such mamals; if confronted head-on however, the mamal must then contend with the noserp’s crushing bite. As for the Sovanesti Mamal, the Snamfgus is simply too bulky to take out, and is thus ignored.

Beyond quills, the Snamfgus retains its ancestral pelage, although denser among southern populations as to better withstand the longer winters there. During this time, much of these noserps’ menus consist of branchnolm and burstgrass bark, and they would occasionally overwinter in abandoned Shrumffler dens.

Like other Kammite noserps, the Snamfgus is ovoviviparous, retaining and nourishing a few soft eggs within the mother’s body. Gestation occurs over a five-month period, starting in early autumn and ending when the chicks emerge out into the world by early spring when food supply is at its freshest. Small and having underdeveloped beaks, the chicks - typically numbering from one to three - are quite dependent on their mother, staying close to her and being fed via processed pulp from her own feedings served from her beak. The chicks would remain close to her for a few years until growing sufficiently robust and both the bony beak base and keratin sheath have matured, at which point they finally part ways.

Due to its impressive size and defenses, adult Snamfguses have little need for cryptic colorations, the most dominant color morphy being a silvery mint; in more open locales, the upper sections of the quills are a bold yellow in color to mimic the surrounding swathes of Kammite pissprickle. Younger Snamfguses however sport a smattering of taupe and bold blue as to make them appear less conspicuous in the branchnolm groves.