Gummiland Fauna

Darter: Darters are fish-shaped water dwellers from gummland. Lacking bones, they nevertheless evolved into powerful, streamlined swimmers. They breathe by sucking water into an intake vent near the understide of the head, passing it over their gills, and squirting the water out a rear-facing siphon. They usually swim using their fins, but can expell a jet of water from their siphon for an instant burst of speed. Darters have radiated to fill similar niches that fish did on Earth, from shark-like apex predators to plankton-eaters to grazers. Any elongated, eel-like varieties are commonly called wigglers.

Looper: Loopers are a group of small to medium sized animals that fill herbivore and omnivore niches, similar to rodents, rabbits, and antelope on Earth. They are an important part of the food chain, serving as prey for many larger animals.

Loopers are monopods. At slow speeds, they push their body forward with their leg, rest their weight on a front appendage under their "chin", then bring their leg forward again to repeat the cycle. At high speed, they hop in long bounds.

These animals are alert and wary, quick to flee at the slightest disturbance. Their high speed allows them to escape most predators if they have warning. Small loopers may retreat to burrows for shelter, larger species may take cover in brush or simply live in large herds and keep a sharp eye out in flat, open areas.

Mantheim Fauna

Jewel Dug: A burrowing predator and scavenger that has been domesticated by Mants as a sentry, companion, and working animal. They are particularly valued for pest control, including devouring large numbers of sunflower worms. Jewel dugs are known for their iridescent colors, rapid digging speed, and the powerful grasping and tearing claws at the end of their front walking limbs that double as shovels. When hunting, they grasp prey with their claws while stabbing with the raptorial appendages normally stowed folded under their thorax.

Jewel dugs have gone feral on most worlds in the Verge. They have significant established wild breeding populations on Gateway, Žemyna, New Carolina, San Agustín, and Garcia's World.

Murderbug: An aggressive predator, attracted to Mant settlements to prey on pests that feed on Mant garbage and crops. They have adapted to tolerate Mants, and the Mants find them useful enough that they take the murderbugs with them when they colonize new worlds. However, people other than Mants are not safe from their predatory tendencies.

Murderbugs are excellent runners and jumpers, chasing down their prey or leaping on it from surprise then stabbing it with bladed raptorial appendages. They often hunt in packs numbering from two to twenty.

Shield-Footed Landolin: Landolins are herbivores, domesticated by Mants for meat. They form herds with a matriarchal hierarchy led by the oldest female. Males battle each other for the right to accompany the herd and mate with the females; they vigorously defend their herd from other males and dangerous intruders. The males have colorful enlarged front walking limbs that are used for display. When display fails, they also use them for bludgeoning each other or anything else they don't like.

Escaped herds of landolins are not uncommon on worlds that have significant Mant populations.

Steamroller: The steamroller is a large Mant domesticate, used for meat and, in the past, traction. It is a herbivore with a cranky disposition. Heavily armored with thick chitinous plates, when frightened it will curl up into a ball for protection and squirt out clouds of an irritating aerosol that acts like tear gas. It is also capable of rolling over hard, level ground like a wheel by curling most of the way up but letting its legs stick out, then kicking with its legs for propulsion. Its normal gait at low speeds or in rough terrain is simply walking on its eight legs.

Steamrollers gather in loose herds. The bulls fight for dominance and mating rights by curling up and slamming into each other as hard as they can. Steamrollers come to know and trust their usual herders and caretakers. However, they can be quite belligerent towards strangers, attempting to crush them by rolling over them or slamming into them. Fortunately, when curled up steamrollers cannot see where they are going so their targets can often jump out of the way.

Sunflower Worm: A common pest of Mant hive houses, particularly when they infest the fungus gardens. Sunflower worms are omnivorous, mature rapidly, lay hundreds of eggs, and pack a painful defensive bite with a mild venom. When threatened, they rear back and open their lip-tentacles, revealing the vivid yellow of their mouth's interior as a warning. Large individuals can reach 2 meters resting length, but most are sexually mature at 40 cm long. They are attracted to areas with food, cover, and water, particularly food storage areas and garbage. They are now a common pest of Human and Gummi houses as well as those of Mants.

Jefferson Fauna

Eel-worm: Vast anadromous runs of eel-worms sustain some of Jefferson's most productive fisheries. Many different species of eel-worms exist, some of the larger can pose a threat to humans when they attack boaters, swimmers, or people venturing too close to the water's edge.

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