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Tundra-Plow

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Tundra plow

"It seemed a creature uncomfortable with its own method of movement."

The Tundra-Plow is a bizarre, black-colored, herbivorous bipedalien from the tundra around Glacier Cap North on Darwin IV with a strange method of feeding. They were discovered about an hour out from the crash sight of Drs. Ysud and Ysire the Yma in 2359 during the First Darwinian Expedition.

These creatures can be seen in groups of half a dozen slowly dragging themselves along the near-frozen ground. They leave behind long grooves that etch the tundra's surface for hundreds of yards. With these furrows, this is how the tundra-plows got their name. Two heavily-muscled arms terminated by flippers pull the three-meter-long body with deliberate strokes, leaving both the furrow and small piles of dirt in its wake. Every stroke brings forth from the creature's nostrils a tall plume of vapor that freezes on contact with the frigid air and rains down as snow upon its back. Its heavy, black tegument glistens with this moisture as it heaves its laborious way along. It seems a creature uncomfortable with its own method of movement, yet its very survival in the harsh tundra environment proves this notion wrong.

They travel very slowly. On occasion an individual will approach a clump of arctic cactus or polardots, and these will disappear from sight as if plucked from below. 10 meters apart and parallel to one another, the beasts travel only about 40 meters during an hour of feeding, squealing and belching vapor and turning the soil like harrows.

Tundra-Plow

Over one-third of the tundra-plow travels underground, where it finds both food and moisture. Its long, deep furrows are a common feature of the subarctic landscape. The forward toothed pod pulls plants under by their roots, so that they seem to disappear magically from the herbivore's path as it travels.

A significant portion of the tundra-plow's body remains unseen while the animal is alive. A large bony plow, triangular in shape, travels just below the surface, cutting and pushing the soil into six waiting mouth-grooves for moisture infiltration. Extending from an opening in the bottom of the plow is a hollow, rigid tongue, terminated by a vertically hinged ovoid structure. This extensible mouth-pod is unquestionably the organ responsible for plucking the small arctic plants from below.
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