The Finned Snapper is a swift, agile, predatory bipedalien from around the Pocket Forests of Darwin IV. Barlowe had a tragic encounter with a crippled individual that occurred on a stretch of dried riverbed near Lacus Hedin in Planitia Borealis on an evening early in his explorations, in 2358, during the First Darwinian Expedition.

This delicate predator, with its elegant airfoil body and streamlined legs, snaps up its main prey, the jetdarter, with amazing ease. Finned snappers live around the edges of Darwin IV's pocket forests, where jetdarter hives are to be readily found. They are cooperative predators, often hunting in pods of six or eight individuals.

The finned snapper is capable of impaling up to half a dozen flyers on its single, jointed hunting arm. This arm, which extends to about two meters, is so quick that it virtually disappears when it is striking. It is also rather dexterous; a snapper can spend about 10 minutes working a fallen 'darter out of a seemingly inaccessible crevice.


Air is drawn in through the finned snapper's grille-like frontal intake and forced out under high pressure through vents under the trailing edge of its fins and tail.

The grill-like frontal region of the finned snapper's head serves to channel air (as well as scent) into the finned portions of the animal's torso; it is then forced through small escape holes on the trailing edges of the fins, enabling the creature to skim so lightly when it runs that, at times, it is wondered if its feet actually touch the ground.

"The arm is so quick that it virtually disappears when striking."