Clawed vipers are the most menacing of reptiles in the Hammered Plateau. They are an apex predator, and are one of the largest species in the area.
Clawed vipers are large, reptilian serpentine creatures. They have a yellow-greyish coloured set of scales, with darker orange stripes down their body and across their wings. Their large head has a box shaped snout, with two large nostrils. They possess two large fangs protruding from their upper jaw; these are so large that when the jaws are closed they stick out of the mouth. Their eyes are positioned on the top of their head and out to the sides, giving them a very wide view of their surroundings. Their slender body is used to navigate the rough terrain of the hammered plateau, and their large clawed wings are used to get a grip on the sides of the cliffs.
Genetics and Reproduction
Clawed vipers nest in large holes on the sides of the many cliffs in the hammered plateaus. These cliffs are called viperboxes, as the cube shape of the nest resembles a large box. Females lay 5-6 eggs once a year during Ata'o and early Mekwe'ri. These eggs are a light grey, with yellow stripes down the middle and small orange specks round the top and bottom.
Growth Rate & Stages
Babies are known as clawlings, and they spend most of their days waiting for food or climbing along the cliffs. To get used to being an apex predator, clawlings are taught to catch their prey, which as a baby are small mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and the occasional sandworm. When clawlings are 7 weeks old they are thrown out (literally) of their nest by the female, and are made to look after themselves. This is when they are declared sexually mature and an adult, and will make their own nest ready for their first breeding season.
Ecology and Habitats
Clawed vipers grow up and live in harsh climates; all creatures do on Talerin. They live in the barren landscape of the hammered plateau, in and around large cliff faces, which means they often practice climbing and gliding, things that make this predator one of the best.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Being apex predators, clawed vipers are strictly carnivorous. They can eat anything that their large jaws can handle, which includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and sandworms. Most of the time, the creature will swallow their prey whole and live, but rarely will they actually kill a creature before eating them. This only happens with mammoth whales.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Clawed vipers have a very good sense of smell. Despite their large nostrils, the clawed viper uses their tongues to sense their surroundings. A special organ on the roof of its mouth called the Jacobson's organ is used for hteir sense of smell. Their tongues are used to grab chemicals from the environment, and their organ processes them.