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Post  DrakoWulf on Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:15 am

Description: One of the most common native denizens to Desertia. Sandcrab's are four-legged parasitic organisms with an almost round main body, with a wide open 'mouth' covering the entire bottom half of their body. Although no eyes or other optical parts have been discovered on their body, they seem to have an above average perception to the world around them. Some theorize they are able to feel vibrations through their immediate area, have a sonar like system similar to earth's 'bats' that is projected upon vocalizations, or merely have a strong sense of apparent hearing. Whatever the case, they react to the presences of living organisms in even the darkest of locations.

Sandcrab's feed off the bodies of other living organisms, but do so in a way that is deemed more 'parasitic' then carnivorous. They will tend to hide in dark places, or burrow tunnels under the sands of Desertia, all in the hopes of surprising their prey. They seem to prefer digging burrows in the sands to initiate an ambush, hence their civilian dubbed name of a 'Sandcrab'. Instinctively, they will tend to latch onto the head of their prey and 'consume' it into the 'mouth' on their lower body. From here, they will begin the first stage of their parasitic takeover, working to burrow their legs into their host in different locations depending on the organism. A prominent front row of teeth will then burrow into the host's upper torso region and through an act similar to vampirism, begin to suck out the fluids and moisture from their hosts to nurture themselves. Through a second row of teeth deep inside their bodies, it is possible for the Sandcrab to choose to burrow these into the hosts brain, directly into the frontal lobe in the case of humans, to wire their functions together to bluntly take control of their prey's movements. When this is done to humans, creating Necrolyte's; a Sandcrab will create a makeshift mouth in the hosts torso to directly feed the stomach to produce more fluids. For a Formian host, Sandcrab's are less likely to attack so long as they are in an underground location where they are free to absorb the moisture from the air through the Formian's skin glands for nutrients. In terms of how they urinate the waste of the fluids they have consumed, the process is usually done through two small holes located on the back of the Sandcrab's body, between their two back legs. In a process that occurs when they have fed enough, they will begin to expel excess fluids through these holes for a considerable time. Depending on how much they have fed, it could go for a straight five minutes. The scent of Sandcrab urine is strongly distinct, and far from pleasant. This makes tracking Sandcrab's, and sniffing out largely populated nests very easy to do.

The reproduction nature of the Sandcrab's in asexual at best. During periodic seasons on Desertia, Sandcrab's will begin the creation cycle for their young. Although some may do so alone, most chose to group together into large nests to create their eggs. Although the exact process of how Sandcrab's develop their eggs isn't fully understood, it is believed to be formed inside their bodies similarly to an Earth Chicken. Sandcrab's across Desertia will become docile in their nests to slowly formulate eggs that will be fully produced after a three day period. Able to last up to two months without attaching to a host for nutrients, the common Sandcrab will continue to lay eggs for a whole month before leaving their nests to continue their lives. After a period of one week, in which the Sandcrab's will finally return to their eggs; they will hatch. Young Sandcrab's will develop to their full size in a two day period, when they will finally be able to venture out on their own or in packs. Do note that it is strictly illegal by X.E.M. law to kill Sandcrab's during this period of time, as well as to poach their eggs. Sandcrab Eggs regularly eaten for a traditional Desertian breakfast are produced through debeaked and nurtured Sandcrab's in egg farms where they are genetically bred and pushed to go through this reproduction course much more frequently.

Sandcrab's are also common pets on Desertia. If raised from birth properly, a Sandcrab can grow acustom to accepting the nutrient fed to it by humans, and grow to not be hostile towards them. Although X.E.M. law regulations dictate that all personally owned Sandcrab's must be debeaked by a local medical specialist (Note that the debeaking is not expected to be done until the Sandcrab is fully grown, as doing so on a younger one could cause permanent damage to it). This process is the removal of the Sandcrab's two rows of teeth, rendering it toothless and unable to assume control over a human being or other creature. Most domestic Sandcrab's are friendly and outgoing to humans if raised correctly, while very few are moody and will only show affection to a small number of close people or a single individual, becoming fiercely protective of them. Although their teeth will most likely be removed, they are still capable of using their legs for lethal means. A common food to give domestic Sandcrab's could be a watermelon (a common fruit imported to Xenon), or a Sandcrab egg. The proper way to feed a Sandcrab in it's infant stage would be to puncture a hole through the watermelon or egg so that the Sandcrab can mount the food and begin to use it's lower mouth to suck the fluids of it in a leech fashion. If shown how to puncture each time it is fed while young, the Sandcrab will commonly learn to puncture it's own holes in its food with its legs. Do note that Sandcrab eggs should be used primarily for younger Sandcrab's so that they can derive the proper nutrition it gives. More fully grown Sandcrab's are often to big for an egg, so a watermelon will commonly suffice. When it comes to a Sandcrab's urination of excess fluid on the other hand, it can become quickly disgusting to see your beloved domestic pet leaving two distinct trails of urine across your house. Therefore, it is common for traders (Including the DETS organization) to sell specialized Sandcrab diapers that fit around their two back legs and are able to absorb a large amount of excrement without leakage.

There are three notable variants of Sandcrab's out in the Desertian sands, all of which with their own unique and distinguishing qualities.

Standard Sandcrab:

Noted to be the most common and plain of the Sandcrab species, the 'standard' Sandcrab's are an average everyday danger to humans. Although their size and slow shuffling movement speed makes many believe them to be a very minimal threat, they often underestimate the potential danger of the creatures. Like any other, they can leap good distances and only need to land on their victims head to seal their fate. Standard Sandcrab's qualities are nothing different from those stated above, further adding to their 'standardness'.

Albino Sandcrab

Known as the 'Albino Sandcrab' due to it's pale textured skin on top of it's main body, this variant of the Sandcrab is considered by most Desertian survivalists to be the most dangerous of the family. Albino Sandcrab's have several distinguishing features, the most notable being the fact that they are nocturnal in nature. The reason for this is not entirely known but some theorize that they are incredibly sensitive to light. This has been proven to only be partially true. Albino Sandcrab's and their Necrolyte's are only sensitive to the sight of incredibly bright lights, the sun and the sand of Desertia reflecting the light being perfect examples and explaining why they can only be found in dark underground areas in the day time. But at night, they have been shown to not react towards human means of light source such as house lighting, or flashlights. With no visible way to repel them other then the use of firearms, Albino Sandcrab's bring a true menace to venturing into the sands at night. Their most imposing feature however, is their movement speed. Albino Sandcrab's move at a surprisingly quick speed compared to their cousins, and can leap greater distances. Their also potentially more lethal as all four of their legs are potentially 'blade-like'. They notably lack the prominent front row of teeth that other Sandcrab's have to extract nutrition from their hosts, but still maintain the internal teeth used to control their victims functions. It's been examined that Albino Sandcrab's use their 'leg blades' as a nutrition extraction method, very small holes being featured on the tips. They're notably illegal to have as pets due to the danger their legs pose and the inability to amputate the blades due to them being utilized for eating. The further reason is an Albino Sandcrab's seemingly natural 'manic' mentality, possibly contributing to explain their fast movements, but certainly labeling them as potentially hostile to every human, including their owners.

Toxin Sandcrab

The third and final variant of Sandcrab's on Desertia. Although the slowest and less imposing of the lot, and the common citizen considers the Albino's to be the most dangerous of the Sandcrab family, veteran survivalists note Toxin's as the most lethal despite their almost lazy movements. They're certainly the most visibly shocking of the family, their skin texture an almost scaly black with interesting white rings around their leg joints, and large wiry hairs across their body. The two 'fangs' of their outter row of teeth are pronounced downwards to almost bring specific attention to their most fearsome fact: their venomous bite. Toxin Sandcrabs (living up to their name), boast a venomous and lethal neurotoxin that is transferred to a hosts body through their fangs, making even a 'nick' from one of these to be incredibly dangerous even without the threat of being turned into a Necrolyte. Their venom itself has lethal potential, first signs of infection being an immediate swelling of the bite areas and almost dark red tint to the swollen skin. Do note that infected bite marks are vulnerable to infection, so quickly cover and protect them to prevent the intake of sand or dust into the wounds. One should drop their mission or job straight away and seek medical attention as soon as possible, as the infection will spread at an alarming rate. First signs of the infection worsening can be noted by increased pain in the infected area, headaches, a high fever, and increased respiratory problems. If allowed to carry on, victims will begin to vomit all substances currently in their stomachs, worsening the state of their breathing issues and often causing many victims to begin hyperventilating. Some have died right in this very stage due to an inability to breath, but this is a rare occurrence. Those unfortunate enough to survive will begin to experience a case of 'rotting flesh', where the skin of the infected area will begin to rot and decay away, peeling off as time progresses. It will continue to spread throughout a hosts body, rotting off flesh and causing extreme damage to the nervous system in addition to slowly eroding any accessible organs until the victim has died. The bodies of the deceased will notably begin to bloat as the infection builds itself, inflating the corpse to disturbing proportions. Medical treatment for venom is not cheap, but is available to those who can obtain it. Toxin Sandcrabs have a distinct vocalization compared to other Sandcrabs however, emitting hissing sounds when in sight of a threat and always emitting a high pitched shriek before leaping towards them, giving a potential victim ample time to dodge their incoming leap and avoiding such a scenario. Due to their obviously lethal qualities, Toxin Sandcrab's are illegal as pets despite any 'defanging' that might take place.
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