The lurker: a medium sized ambush predator (concept and Dedicated post)

SigmalxSigmalx USA Join Date: 2016-07-12 Member: 220132Members
edited July 2016 in Ideas and Suggestions
(this was copied from the creature concept board, but people kept overlooking it and wondering where it was, so here is a dedicated post)
I've got a medium sized (under 3 meters in length) deep sea predator that will exists in areas of atleast enough heat to support thermal generators. calling it a lurker currently. will begin to draw. the current design is of a quadrupedal animal that has a hinged muzzle with a top plate and two mandibles. a sail running down its back with armor plates and what looks like magnetite growing off of its back and sides. a scorpion like tail that is half its length is present and used for large prey or armored prey.

dimensions (going off a 6 foot tall human)
from snout to tail tip, it is around 3.1-3.3 meters. the muzzle tip to the back of the skull is a 10th of the body's length (excluding tail). the core body at its thickest is about 2 and a half feet, with the thinnest being about 1 foot (height wise); and the widest part of the body is about a meter in dimensions. the forelimbs are strong enough to support the creatures weight but not to suspend the weight vertically like the rear limbs can, limb is Plantigrade (like us). the rear limbs are digitigrade and muscular, boasting a strong buttocks and thigh muscles, enough to thrust the creature into the air about a meter or to hold its weight up in climbing, this creature stands on all fours about 5 feet and 7 inches, standing on its hind legs it stands well over 7 feet tall (2 meters). the (hand) composition of the forelimbs is built as two claws made for burrowing into the rocks of its environment. its feet are built in a star formation to support its weight and to hold itself when fighting for territory. its tail is long and cylindrical and contains half if not less than half of its body's length, and around a half meter in diameter, which is segmented every quarter meter. the tail ends in a tri prong pincer designed to pierce thick shellfish (and the metal of a sea moth without hull reinforcements). this pincer is at maximum a quarter meter and reinforced with natural sediments to be as hard as diamonds.

General: Lurkers are often solitary ambush predators, but they can inhabit about 50 per square kilometer. Rarely seen together, companionships do occur within the species, often times when moving to colder water as one can hunt while the other makes a den to preserve the heat of both lurkers.
Range/Biomes: It should go without saying areas with active Lava and geothermal activity, but this creature also appears in BloodKelp, Mountain, GrassyPlateaus, and the DeepReef Biomes. this creature can be found from 100M to 1700M bellow sea level and are more common near thermal hotspots
Predatory: As an ambush predator, this creature conserves energy by being dormant most of the day and appears to have sporadic sleep cycles due to its deep sea environment rarely receiving sunlight. How it hunts is by both burying itself in loose sediments and waiting for prey to approach; it attacks either by quickly unburrowing itself or by using its tail to impale the prey. it has a max ambush range of about 2 meters. it is attracted to light and will follow a source of light until its close enough to attack, or is entering another lurker's territory or it has gone out.
Nocturnal: These creatures are hyper photosensitive, and remain in areas of low sunlight, despite appearing in the Mountains and Grassy Plateaus, you will often find them in caves or near hotspots burrowed the entire day. in low light environments their 6 eyes scan the environment in thermal, black and white, and sonar. They are incredibly near to medium sighted, and anything further than 25 meters is outside their optic range and appears fuzzy and unfocused.
Territory: Males are highly defensive of their territory and will attack and attempt to kill any other animals who pose a threat to their territory, including the player and its vehicles. A lurker marks its territory with a specific pheromone only produce by the specific male, in a pinkish jelly like substance that is corrosive to human flesh, and its own bioluminescent color of white which strikes polarizing to surrounding water. Females are free to tread wherever they please and males will allow this for breeding favors or loyalty. Despite being a rare occurrence most partnerships are male exclusive and rarely females are involved in these pairings.
Reproduction: males will conjure in areas of high food supply and temperatures exceeding 35 degrees C, and begin to compete for females. Females are grouped together and will pick from living bachelors and place bets, if the bets are competing, the winning male gets both females while the losing male is either without a mate or dead. Females will dig a burrow and lay hundreds of small eggs into it, where the male will proceed to fertilize and mark the spot with his "jelly". after about a year growing inside the eggs, the newborn "Kelpies" burrow out and begin to look for food and grow, often eating siblings and any thing else nearby. this occurrence attracts predators who will swarm this area feasting upon the newborn Kelpies. this frenzy lasts for a month before predators return to their own territory, and the remaining Kelpies will continue to feast upon each other and surrounding fish, slowly growing and maturing, and eventually seeking out warm waters with plenty of food.

Life cycle:
Year 0: Eggs take a year to hatch and fertilize, being protected by a thick circular membrane that is mostly toxic to predators.
Year 1: Eggs hatch into Kelpies, these resemble a shrimp like creature with no hind legs and long cylindrical tail, it does however have its two clawed fore leg and its sail. It remains in this state for a minimum of 7 years
Year 8: Kelpies are almost fully matured and undergo a migration to open spaces near the surface to cocoon and mature, this process is the shortest of its life time, but does not ensure sexual maturity. the Cocoon is known as a Blood Pod as it resembles a Blood Oil sphere.
year 8.5: once emerged from their cocoon, the new Lurker begins to migrant to warm environments to begin its life. it takes around 10-15 years to reach sexual maturity, but a minimum of 5 years is required from this young adult to full adult.
year 14/18/24: With the Lurker completing its maturation to full adult, it will begin to compete or be the prize in mating.
Average life span: 38 years.
Forms: Egg -> Kelpie -> Blood Pod -> immature Lurker -> Mature Lurker, and if it lives long enough, -> Elder Lurker.
Notes: it doesn't happen often, but Lurkers have an unknown maximum age, and could be theoretically Biologically Immortal, though like with the Terran Lobster, this creature experiences the effects of being hunted by larger predators, and can starve if food supply becomes too low. This creature may not be able to die of old age, but finding an Elder Lurker or at least its carapace could hold insight into its behavior and life span.

(image soon to come, hopefully. I need to find my colored pencils and finish the bioluminescent markings)


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