|Environment||Great Savannah, Zeeon|
|Locomotion||Slithering like a serpent, with short legs tucked against the body|
|Personality||Can be vicious when it feels threatened|
Slizzards (pronounced \slɪ.zɑːrd\) are a species of large leptophysids found in the savannah of Zeeon on the planet Vuunega. Ambush predators, they specialize in surprise attacks from the tall grass-like flora dominating the region.
- Nickname: Ringhoods
- Species Type: Cold-blooded Terrestrial Leptophysid
- Lifestyle: Stealthy Predator
- Hunt/Forage Success Rate: 100% Hunt (85% success rate) — however, they only need to feed sparingly.
- Armor: Slizzards possess strengthened scales. These scales are specifically designed to generate as little noise as possible when they are slithering along during hunts or attempts to escape.
- Defenses: Other than the strengthened scales, males alone are capable of using their ring-hoods to attempt to frighten away potential predators. If that doesn't work, they do possess a poisonous bite.
- Weapons: Slizzards possess poisonous, retractable fangs which inject a powerful neurotoxin into the foe's blood system to paralyze them. They are also powerful stalkers, able to make little sound in the savannah they are indigenous to.
- Tools: Slizzards do not possess arms as their limbs have directly evolved into feet. They can however scoot things somewhat awkwardly between their scuffling feet, and they can also use their mouths to manipulate objects, which is what they tend to prefer to do.
- Method of Eating: Strike suddenly at prey with fangs, injecting neurotoxins into their bloodstream to quickly subdue victim. Then, using snakelike body, slowly swallow prey whole and head first, forcing food through the esophagus and into the elongated stomach. Allow several weeks for slow digestion, during which time the Slizzard is typically ungainly and sluggish. After food is processed, it descends into the intestine, where the nutrients are partially digested by the body. Wasted remnants are either excreted out of the anus on the opposite end, or regurgitated near the beginning of the cycle, depending on what object is.
- Reproductive Rate: Sexual maturity is reached after 5 years. Can reproduce only during the hot summer months of their homeworld, Vuunega, when they're the most active.
- Gestation: 4 months then lay eggs — eggs are laid in a pile, where they are pseudo-incubated by their mother, who coils around the egg clutch until all eggs have hatched or rotted if duds. Being a cold-blooded species, the Slizzard cannot truly regulate her own temperature, and so the female must "shiver" upon her clutch; thereby raising the temperature due to the small movements of her body.
- Offspring Incubation: 1 month until eggs hatch after being laid.
- Number of Offspring: 20-35 young per fully-successful clutch
- Offspring Survival Rate (before age of maturity): 20% — although most survive until hatching due to the mother's parental instincts, only a low number survive their first 5 years, during which time they are prey to many predators in the expanses of the savannah, including larger Slizzards. This means usually only 4-7 Slizzards are added to their numbers each generation per clutch. Once they've reached maturity, however, survival rate rapidly climbs to around 80% after 10 years of life.
- Singular/Plural/Possessive: Slizzard / Slizzards / Slizzardan
Species Notes Edit
- Males of the species possess a large neck hood, which is ring-like in shape, complete with a missing center. This ring serves a dual purpose: it not only works well in frightening potential predators away, but it also contains the specimen's sperm producing organ.
- During mating, the female Slizzard must slither through the ring hood of the male, to allow a coupling of the sex organs. This process is not a long one, and generally only takes a minute or so for copulation to occur.
- Both males and females possess separated esophagus and breathing tubes; this allows food to properly travel down one side of the male's ring hood, while still allowing them to breathe as the food is slowly pushed towards the stomach. This prevents both genders from asphyxiating through food traveling along their esophagus to slowly, and also prevents food from having the chance to get stuck in the lungs.
- Except when on the hunt, the body is positioned into a cobra-like "reared" style, with the front quarter of the body arced upwards. This style of sitting is stabilized by the four short legs that barely make contact with the ground.
- When hunting, the legs are pulled up and held against the body itself to aid in stealth. Then the Slizzard slithers along, much like a snake. This is where the Slizzard gets its name from, its name literally is a shortening of the phrase "slithering lizard", as opposed to "snake lizard", which is the more general belief.