Spitzenward

From 2speccers2tools wiki

Being one of the earliest Dingusian radfauna to evolve, the Eye Hound arose in vacant, pristine conditions; with ample food to go by, the earliest populations would be regarded as the continent’s first widespread predator group. Innumerable generations have passed since then, and the maturation of Dingusian ecosystems have given way to a wide variety of threats - predators and competition alike. With pressures mounting from all corners, some Eye Hounds were forced to adapt to these new conditions, so much so that they diverged into the genetically distinct Spitzenward.

The Spitzenward is a chiefly nocturnal fauna, most active during the hours in which much of its predators are asleep. In these low-light conditions, the huge, distinctive compound eye of its kin is already pre-adapted for such a life - possessing innumerable sensitive ocelli, this consolidated organ can easily scan the surrounding environment with only little light input. While an eye this huge isn’t as keen at processing precise imagery, this is made up for with twin sets of vibration-sensitive whiskers, effective for close-range sensory acuity. The plumbochitin beak of its ancestry has further developed, becoming long and lined with hook-like projections. These projections enable it to seize a number of small prey such the many varieties of “Insect” and Snuffler; upon subduing a suitable catch, the radfauna’s twin front arms pin it down as the beak now rips off chunks to be sent into the digestive tract.

Like its ancestry, the Spitzenward is a fleet critter, utilizing alternating leg movements to gain good speed for its size. It first momentarily launches off of the ground using its single hind leg, the energy stored in its muscles released; then by splaying its twin front arms somewhat in parallel, it touches down on the ground once more. As it brings its hind leg to the front, the front arms bend to the back, and once the former launches again, the paired arms are brought forward. Perhaps due to its small mass and the comparatively robust build of its legs, it is capable of surprisingly tight turns, whether in pursuit of prey or avoiding such from its own predators. In some confrontations against the latter however, the Spitzenward reveals a few feistier tricks up its sleeves. While otherwise a skittish radfauna, the Spitzenward can stand its ground should the need arise. Against the few present nocturnal predators in its range like a Radrake, it takes on a much nastier disposition - legs bunched close together and risen to feign the impression of a larger beast. Adding to the illusion are its luminous dorsal ridges; attaching to bands of muscle, these projections are risen, and certain chemical reactions taking place within give off a spectacular show of blinding light and radioactive emissions. Combined with a beak that can deliver a nasty bite, such displays are often successful in intimidating these foes.

Still, this does not make the Spitzenward completely immune to attack. Even against some prey radfauna like the Death Chest Liserd, one blast from a death laser organ is all it takes to end its days of scurrying about.

Interestingly, the resonating organ also doubles as an ear, not only able to produce sound, but by pressing onto the ground, it is likewise perceptive of them. This gives the Spitzenward an edge in detecting sounds indicative of predator presence, as well as allowing for communication between individuals.

When the sun finally rises in its dense jungle home, the Spitzenward darts back into the gloom of the undergrowth, obscured from the sights of now-awoken predators.

Similar to its ancestry, the Spitzenward must find a secluded spot to bud off new offspring via the belly. Young are precocial, and after depositing a few fleshy packages containing them, the parent shuffles off. It is worth noting that, due to the combination of a small size and high metabolism, the Spitzenward burns up energy fast, and must eat many times its mass a day just to replenish the expenditure, contributing to an overall short lifespan. Because of this, it can only produce a few batches of offspring in its life.