Toothadon

From 2speccers2tools wiki

As the number of large predators increased on Kamm, the sovanesti mamal turned out to be somewhat vulnerable, being commonly eaten by clonguses and larger mamals alike. The toothadon’s superior adaptations to the brutal island on which it lives has rendered the sovanesti nearly extinct by outcompetition, with only a relict population remaining.

As the toothadon’s major predators either killed them from out of sight or were too tall to effectively shoot with its awkwardly-positioned radiation turret, its already weak and seldom-used radiation organ has completely sealed up and is only used for thermoregulation, much like in its relative the kammalbou. Instead, they have 2 main defenses that, while not making it immune to its predators, do help to discourage predators from eating it and make each toothadon far less likely to catch.

A toothadon’s most notable physical defense is its armored hair-derived scales. These scales differ from their ancestors’ in that they cover significantly more of the toothadon’s body, and that they now end in sharp points. While this armor doesn’t actually block attacks from any of its predators, it does discourage predators from eating them due to the pointiness and large size of each scale.

The toothadon’s other main defense also comes with some other use. Unlike their solitary ancestors, toothadons are more gregarious, travelling in small foraging packs to search for food. Toothadons don’t have a permanent hierarchical structure, and simply share food evenly throughout the group. While this does help them forage for food, it’s not why this is considered a defense. Instead, this counts as a defense purely due to the concept of safety in numbers. When one toothadon is injured or hurt, all of the others scatter in different directions. This is especially helpful as deaf creatures, since their ancestors couldn’t even hear when their comrades were being slain just a few yards away (and frankly, they probably wouldn’t care too much anyway).

The toothadon is so named for its “teeth”, which aren’t even real teeth, of course. Instead, it has an odd form of heterodonty, in the form of a solid beak rather than multiple teeth. The front of the beak has a point and is used for tearing and biting meat, the middle of the beak is flat and used for shearing leaves, and the back area of the beak has a thick tooth-like process used for crushing the bones of carcasses. The keratin plates on the “tongue” are a bit pointier towards the back to keep food in the mouth, but are otherwise the same as the sovanesti’s. While the sovanesti still has obvious scavenging-specific adaptations, it doesn’t scavenge quite as much as its ancestor, although it still scavenges enough to overlap niches with the sovanesti mamal. Like their ancestor, the toothadon only hunts non-snuffler noserps when there are not enough carcasses around to sustain them, so they haven’t really developed a sophisticated hunting strategy. During these uncommon hunting encounters, a couple of random toothadons from the herd simply trot towards the prey item and bite at random parts of the body until it dies, with little regard for teamwork.