My alien is a little less humanoid than most. Mostly because, well, it’s an alien. It’s not going to necessarily be bipedal or interested in wearing clothing. It’s not from earth. Soooo, I decided I’d base my design off of the planet the creature comes from. This one happens to be from a very cold, arctic dessert environment, and has adapted accordingly.
#18: The Alien
This critter is a Shibasaa. They are sentient, intelligent predators who live on a frozen planet. The climate is something like Antarctica, only it frequently gets colder and there is no summer. The sky is almost always charcoal grey and the ice never melts.
Shibasaa have evolved to suit their environment by being stocky, low to the ground (to avoid bitter winds) and have a very thick layer of fat all over their bodies in addition to the hump of fat on their backs. They also grow extremely thick, shaggy, warm coats of fur over their entire body. One peculiar adaption that no-one has quite figured out yet is the thick outer membrane that these creatures wear like a force-field. It is a thick, flexible semi-gelatinous substance that completely surrounds the creatures from birth until death. It appears to begin as a thin delicate membrane at birth, quickly toughening into the membrane of a mature Shibasaa. Any Shibasaa who is born without a membrane will die almost immediately of exposure. If a mature Shibasaa’s membrane is punctured, they will suffer a similar fate, though with the inherent toughness of the membrane and it’s flexibility, it is rare for this to happen.
Shibasaa are hunters, but they are also scavengers. They will eat meat, eggs, and any other food source they come across. Their feet are made of the same clear, gelatinous material as their membrane, and do not contain nerve-endings. They simply relay sensory information about the layout of the ground and propel the Shibasaa across the icy terrain nimbly. Shibasaa also use their multiple compound eyes to get around smoothly. Two large compound eyes on the front/sides of the face and two eyes on the top of their head (something like tiny disco-balls). The two smaller eyes have a complete 360 view around the Shibasaa at all times, scanning for threats and food, but do not actually have vision like human eyes. They function more like a radar system. The two main eyes of the Shibasaa have very sharp multi-focal vision and they have absurdly good distance and close-up vision as a result.
They also have a series of olfactory receptors in the center of their face, received through several small slit nostrils. These receptors are shallow and separate from all the other portions of the body. They generally do not freeze, given their flat profile, small size, and high body-heat concentration, but can be easily cleared by a tentacle around the Shibasaa’s mouth if they do. Shibasaa have an excellent sense of smell and can track prey for miles
The Shibasaa feed mainly by goring or ambushing prey, though their flat front teeth can chew through shells, thick ice, and bones to reach food that has gone into hiding. Once prey is subdued, the membrane around the Shibasaa will thin enough to allow food to pass through, and the tentacle appendages around the Shibasaa’s mouth reach out and draw the food in. The membrane then thickens again and the Shibasaa will feed itself with the tentacles. These tentacles are extremely dextrous and capable of very fine movements and precision. They are not exceptionally strong, but are capable of tearing off pieces of large prey to create manageable morsels.
Shibasaa mate by sensing the presence of eligible fellow creatures in the area. The large flat-tipped antenae that come out of the top of the Shibasaa’s skull sense a pheromone secreted by the opposite sex. If the creature wants to mate, the pheromones will come across as a pleasant sensation, encouraging the Shibasaa to seek out their counterpart to mate. If it is hostile, the receiving creature will get a very unpleasant static-shock sensation, and frequently the two will fight. A smaller, less mature Shibasaa will frequently flee if it senses a larger, unwilling creature nearby. After mating, female Shibasaa carry the young inside their bodies, similar to mammals, for several months. Once the young are born, they will hunt for a few days with their parents, and then the parents will separate and the young Shibasaa are left to care for themselves. Shibasaa are born essentially as small adults with thin membranes and quickly become self-sufficient as they learn to hunt. Generally, the larger the Shibasaa is, the older it is.
On average, they live 50-60 years.
Cyclops is up next. No promises if she will be on time or not.