Alustas can reach six metres long, and almost that much high. They are heavily built and can weigh up to two tonnes.
The head of an Alusta is perhaps its most marvellous feature, reaching up to two metres long. From the jaw extend many long, sharp teeth, though these are all forward-pointing. The Alusta therefore has to feed itself using some tentacles that have grown on the lower jaw.
The roof of the head is a solid bony plate, which can withstand strong impacts. Some coarse hairs have grown on the head. A sort of bony lump extends behind the head as well, adding to the overall length. This lump can also withstand strong impacts.
Beneath the bony plates, the Alusta has two pairs of eyes. The front pair is larger than the second, and the Alusta has excellent eyesight.
Body and LimbsEdit
The body of an Alusta is short and stocky. It is about as long as the head, and armoured fairly well. The skin is thick, but there is no armour like on the head, so it cannot withstand strong impacts. Some coarse hair has grown on the back as well.
The front limbs of an Alusta are longer than the back limbs. They are also extremely strong, as they must support the weight of the head. Because the front limbs are longer and the head weighs so much, they aren’t very fast runners, which is why they have developed thick skin and bony armour.
The feet of the Alusta are three-toed, and each one is tipped with a claw.
The tail makes up one-third of the total body length, and unlike the rest of the body is completely unarmoured. The skin is not very thick and there is no external armour. The tail is very thin, and can be used like a whip if necessary.
In an Alusta, the neck and forelimbs muscles are strongest, as they must support the massive weight of the head.
An Alusta’s skull is solid and extremely thick to withstand strong impacts when charging enemies. The rib and spine are also strong to withstand impacts, as they are commonly hunted by the Zware.
Alustas have adapted to the icy conditions on Lumi by being able to survive on snow and ice alone. They scrape it up with their teeth, and then use their tentacles to feed it to their mouth. This supplies them with food and liquid.
Alustas live alone. The only time they get together is to mate and raise their young. At this time, gatherings may consist of over ten males fighting over one or two females. The traditional way to do this is to butt heads until one male submits. The overall winner will then mate with the female. Mating takes place in spring, and the live young is born nine months later, in late winter. It is raised by both the mother and father. Until it grows, it is fed on the mother’s milk.
After about five years, it will reach full size. The mother and father will then drive it away, before separating themselves. They will remain solitary until mating season comes round again.
Alustas live on Lumi, and are hunted by Zwares. They have adapted to this by being able to use snow and ice as both food and drink, as well as adapting hard, bony plates and thick skin to survive a Zware attack.