“The Terrortooth is one of the most vicious and terrifying animals known in this universe...”
- - Encyclopedia Emenata on the Terrortooth
The Terrortooth (plural: Terrorteeth) is a dangerous predatory dolosid of the planet Kaventro. They are vicious pack hunters that attack any and all visitors to the Epsilon Forest, their home domain. It is believed they are one of the most dangerous animals known in the known multiverse.
All the information located in this article has been obtained and collected from autopsy on a dead specimen and observations from the Salsenes and the Atrenids, as this creature is far too vicious to approach. Any travellers to Kaventro, be they explorers, tourists, or surveyors, are strongly encouraged to avoid the range of the Terrortooth unless bringing proper protection (namely strict vehicular transport under several inches of strong metal). Avoid them whatever the consequences.
The name "Terrortooth" was derived from the first observations of this creature. The vicious behavior and fearsome appearance of the Terrortooth were large factors in inspiring the name itself.
AppearanceEditTerrorteeth have four legs, a long tail, and wings. They have an appearance similar to that of a Gehennian or Sii, or perhaps the inhabitants of Dragovia, but there is no relation to any of these species (although a group of dolosids did travel through a Dimensional Rift to Aristotle, later evolving into the Geckas, the Terrortooth was not one of these).
The head bears a blue keratinous horn on the nose, and a blue crest of flat spines runs along the upper back. The mouth is equipped with around 48 teeth, which are each a few inches long (including the root) and very sharp.
On the jaw, there are several projections of the bone, covered in keratin. Blood can be flushed into them, allowing for an additional display of colors.Terrorteeth also have two large wings. They attach to the scapula as do the arms. The webbing between the wing fingers is colored blood red. A few Terrorteeth have intricate patterns on the wings, which appear to be rough forms of geometrical shapes such as stars. It is unknown if this is caused by disease, genetics, or just a regular color morph of the species. Whatever the reason, it is an intriguing feature unique to the Terrortooth.
Each foot has only three fingers; the fourth "fingers" on the back feet are really cartilaginous spurs (see below). The fingers are tipped with sharp claws. These claws have been known to rip through various metals, but it is not known if they can penetrate more powerful substances such as blackmetal.
Terrorteeth are equipped with a long tail, which is used for balance and hunting. The tail tip bears a sharp barb containing venom.
Terrorteeth will grow to a length of around 3 or 4 meters, but around half of this length is made up of the tail.
ColorEditThe Terrortooth's main body color is light green, but this can change because its skin contains reflective chromatophore-like cells. Terrorteeth have well-developed color vision, and so color change is used as a method of communication. However, they will change color for a number of reasons:
- Most commonly a Terrortooth changes color as a signal to others of its kind.
- Other times they will change color to camoflauge themselves, usually when ambushing prey.
- Occasionally color change will be used to frighten any threats.
- In the breeding season Terrorteeth will display very vibrant colors.
These color changes can happen slowly or quickly, depending on how the animal wishes to change.
The colors that Terrorteeth have displayed range from yellow to blue to orange to purple, and many more in between. In the breeding season, they will usually display shades of red, orange, scarlet, and crimson somewhere on their body.
Often, a Terrortooth will create its own unique pattern to identify itself in a pack.
The Terrortooth is not the only dolosid to change color---in fact, all of them do to some degree---but this animal is the only one that has been heavily studied this way.
Males and females are quite similar in size and appearance, but in males the nose horn is usually larger. Males also have large pores located in the cloacal area.
AnatomyEditThe Terrortooth has a very intriguing anatomy both internally and externally.
Terrorteeth have hollow bones, which makes the animal much lighter when flying and gliding. The skull is very strong. The exact bite force quotient has not been calculated, but it is expected to be very high as Terrorteeth have been seen to crush bones with ease.
The muscles of a Terrortooth must be well-developed to withstand such an active and agile lifestyle. For a while it was a total mystery how it could move so fast. But dissections show spiracle-like structures on the skin connecting to a system of tracheal tubes, which provide oxygen directly to the muscles. These structures aid the lungs.
Circulatory SystemEditTerrorteeth have a powerful, four-chambered heart to allow a more efficient circulatory system. The heart's pericardium is sturdy, lessening the effect of any blows that might occcur.
The blood delivers an unusually large amount of oxygen to the body with each heartbeat. Aided by an extremely efficient respiratory system, this means Terrorteeth are very quick and agile.
Terrorteeth are endothermic, and so can be active in the nights and cold temperatures. Even so, they prefer warmer temperatures.
The Terrortooth's digestive system is set up to digest large amounts of food rapidly, to avoid flesh weighing down the creature when flying. It has no true liver or pancreas, instead those organs' functions are performed by a single organ.
Respiratory SystemEditTerroreeth have two large lungs, which can take in a large amount of oxygen. They also employ buccal pumping as a complement to their normal breathing. As mentioned above, there are spiracle structures on the skin connecting to branching tracheal tubes. This provides a boost of air to the muscles. Clearly this system works well; Terrorteeth have been measured at speeds of 80mph in a straight run. However, they cannot hold this speed for more than a few minutes. At slower speeds, though, they have extreme endurance and can fly for around 120 miles before stopping.
The immune system is very efficient. Any malignant bacteria and viruses are quickly eliminated by the cells. It is quite rare for a Terrortooth to die from a disease. Usually, the diseases that do kill are introduced from other areas. But soon the immune system "learns", and it adapts accordingly.
It has been suggested that when a Terrortooth becomes infected by a disease, it releases a pheromone that directs other individuals' immune systems to become more resistant and prepared to impending infections that may occur.
Venoms and the Venom SystemEditTerrorteeth are equipped with a veritable smorgasbord of venoms and toxins, enough to merit a whole body system to itself.
The venoms were named by the Atrenids, in their old language. These are the known types:
- The first type, which has been tenatively named "Cicutarex," is contained in glands below the eye and is delivered from the fangs. It consists of various neurotoxins that are fatal if not treated within 24 hours. This is the most common type the Terrortooth uses, usually when hunting. Thankfully, it is also the most survivable (but as mentioned above, only if treated).
- The cartilaginous spurs on the back feet also contain venom, "Incendia." It has not been studied heavily, but it is often used by the Terrorteeth in fights for dominance, and only occasionally if it is used for hunting or self-defense. When used against others of the species its only effect is sharp, temporary pain, but to other species the venom gradually liquifies organs.
- The final type of venom has been named "Messorpunctum." It is contained in a sharp barb at the tip of the tail. Naturally, it is not dangerous at all (in fact, it is used as a sort of "sweetener" applied to food), but a virus has colonized and thrived in the substance. A sting will introduce the virus into the body, where it attacks the thalamus of the brain, which will slowly kill an animal by preventing it from sleeping. This process is not quick; on average, when an animal is stung but not killed by the Terrortooth, it takes about 18 months for the victim to die.
Classification and EvolutionEditTerrorteeth are believed to be an advanced form of dolosid. It is thought that a predatory species of the group evolved wings and then grew in size.
Baccapulmons also are intelligent, collect minerals, and change color, so it is thought the two species are particularly closely related.
When the first Salsene probes landed on Kaventro, one of them was quickly destroyed by Terrorteeth, who perceived the machine to be a threat (or at least an annoyance). The vicious predators continued to menace the Salsenes and the Atrenids after they made planetfall.
Since the expedition, Terrorteeth have continued to be observed by scientists. Occasionally, poachers have managed to escape off the planet undetected with eggs or young specimens in tow, which are usually sold for a large profit.
HabitatEditThe Terrortooth is native to the Epsilon Forest, which is on the western side of the "double-continent" of Nikreli. They prefer forests, but they are adaptable and expanding their range to plains, mountains, and jungles.
They choose these habitats mainly because prey is abundant and there are plenty of ambush opportunities.
DietEditVenado and the Dilepis. This is because these animals are common and easy to catch in the predator's habitat.
Many times the Terrorteeth will sting the animal with its tail, which introduces a substance that acts as a "sweetener" (although it is inadvertenly a viral venom as well, see above).
The Korodus is the only animal it avoids. The Korodus eats decaying material of the nexsero plant, which contains a poison, called succurrodenique, that is dangerous to the Terrorteeth. Consequently the peculiar detrivore is as well.
As these creatures live in groups, they will hunt together in packs, preferring to ambush their prey.
The pack will usually wait high in the trees, and wait for a suitable meal to walk by. Then, when the prey least expects it, the predators glide down using their wings and dispatch it either by slashing straight into the body cavity or just ripping it to pieces. Unlike most carnivores, it does not satisfy Terrorteeth to just simply puncture the neck.
Usually the prey is killed outright, and then the Terrorteeth begin to feast.
Occasionally, Terrorteeth will merely wound the prey, and wait for it to die of either envenomization or blood loss.
BehaviorEditTerrorteeth are pack hunters, forming packs normally numbered at around a dozen. These packs are closely connected, with food shared between individuals. Each pack is led by an alpha pair.
Terrorteeth are also very vicious. They have no permanent territories (they will ocassionally move when food sources are depleted), but any rival packs sighted are quickly threatened and/or attacked. In fact, any creature they perceive to be a possible threat they quickly turn on and attack.
When a male Terrortooth ventures into another male's territory, the resident male flashes his throat fan. The intruder will often flash his own throat fan back. Generally the reddest throat fan signifies the dominant individual. If neither party retreats, a fight will ensue, which is often quite vicious. Smaller males are often killed in these fights.
Sometimes, female Terrorteeth of rival packs will fight. These conflicts are much less common but much more brutal.
Despite this viciousness, Terrorteeth are mostly calm and controlled with members of their own packs. They will even bring food to injured individuals.
Terrorteeth will often spend many hours in the trees, even when not hunting. They have even been observed to sleep in the trees, clinging upside down with their claws.
In general, alpha males and females and their young are at the top of the organized pack hirearchy. There is no social structure within the rest of the pack; rather, they are usually all of an equal status.
DraconceEditStrangely, Terrorteeth seem to collect the mineral draconce and use it for a variety of purposes.
Reproduction and Life CycleEdit
The Terrortooth breeding season is in spring. At this time both sexes will start displaying vibrant shades of almost every color imaginable. Males will start displaying a red-orange throat fan to females, and catch prey for them. Some will even collect large amounts of draconce and display it. Females will usually choose to mate with the males that have the biggest and most colorful throat fans, bring the most food, and collect the most draconce.
Mating will last from 5 to 10 minutes, during which time the male inserts his hemipenes into the female's cloaca.Gestation lasts around 3 months, after which an average of a dozen eggs are laid in a well-built nest. Development lasts a further 9 months in the egg before the young hatch in the next spring. Sometimes females will breed again immediately after a clutch hatches.
A newly hatched Terrortooth is around 18 inches long, and weighs less than a pound. At this time, their crest is smaller than an adult's; otherwise hatchlings look like miniature adults. The egg tooth does not fall off, it hardens and becomes the nose horn. Hatchlings will be brought food by the parents for the first few months, but they quickly learn how to hunt.
Terrorteeth are sexually mature at an age of 5 years. Some individuals at this age will stay with the original pack, but some choose to set off and start their own packs.
Surprisingly, because the hatchlings are so well cared for, most of them will survive their childhood. However, when they leave the pack, the majority of individuals are killed by male Terrorteeth when the young animals intrude on their territory, and so the population is kept in balance.
Terrorteeth are highly intelligent. They have been seen to used makeshift tools on a number of occasions, such as poking a stick through a hole to drive out animals from their burrows.
Some individuals present extreme psychological pleasure when faced with blood, and will rip apart large prey items in a horrifying spectacle, just for their own amusement.
Computer models suggest that if a large population of Terrorteeth were to somehow end up on a populated planet such as Centro, all sapients would be extinguished within mere days.
It is feared by some that they may evolve sapience at some point in the near future, which would likely be catastrophic. This view is only held by a few individuals, and is generally disregarded by scientists.
Because of its infamous viciousness and ferocity, Terrorteeth are feared across the galaxies. The same attributes have led to attempts at weaponizing the species. So far, these attempts have all been unsuccessful.
Some Terrorteeth hatchlings are captured and experimented on, but this is usually to the detriment of the individual experimenting.
- Story: The Paradise Planet-- the Terrorteeth are continually menacing the sapients who make planetfall on Kaventro.
- Story: Pirate Hunters-- a Terrortooth individual has been held captive by a pirate spaceship. It escapes and is later killed by a Vrah.
- The Terrortooth was born on another wiki entirely, but its actual origins date back a few years (at this time it was simply a large lizard, but the wings and venom followed soon after).