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Basket Horns

These creatures, twice the size of large moose, live in the subpolar region and subsist primarily off of foliage in the Sandibari Forests under the snow and types of algae, bacteria, and other substrates that can be found in inland seas similar to the Ice Flats. They migrate south for the winter, and the Stenza follow them, hunting them strictly for food based on a cultural separation of "food" and "trophy" categories of prey.

Basic Information

Anatomy

The Stenza aren't vertebrates the same way we are vertebrates, but the Basket Horns isn't a vertebrate at all.
  Basket Horns are six-legged, wooly beasts with large, heavy sets of antlers. They range in color from brown (especially in summer months) to light blue or white (in winter months), but the thick undercoat is almost always dark blue or black. Compared to other horned and antlered life farther south, individuals of both sexes sport antlers as they serve a self-defense function outside of their uses for competing over mates, food, and territory. (These antlers have a texture the Stenza call "grain", and can fracture along this grain if damaged severely enough.)   Basket Horns do not have bones in the sense that another, similar organism would have bones. For one thing, they are invertebrates and have evolved out of the lineage which also produced the Sandibari. The exoskeleton is believed to have been "swallowed" by layers of insulation as ancestor species adapted to colder and colder weather, to maintain body temperature and supply energy in fallow times (especially in the case of fat). Over this process the segments have modified to support the body from the inside, to the point of forming thick, flat bones that serve as a ribcage, or otherwise becoming analogous to vertebrate bones.
Average Height
6.9ft
Average Weight
1500lbs
Average Length
10ft
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Comments

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16 Jan, 2021 16:20

I am alarmed by the fact that they are technically invertebrates. D: They sound really cool, though! :D

16 Jan, 2021 21:27

I'm in the middle of a book that argues that no life on an alien planet is technically vertebrate/invertebrate (or whatever else we use to categorize life) because it didn't evolve on Earth. Which I guess makes sense, but I thought "why not be a bit literal about it, too, and consider the logical consequences of bugs evolving into a ton of different things?"