Switchfang

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Switchfang
(Mobidenrattus miraculum)
Main image of Switchfang
Species is extant.
Information
CreatorDisgustedorite Other
Week/Generation26/165
HabitatDrake Plains, Drake Chaparral, Drake Temperate Woodland, Drake Boreal, Drake Rocky, Drake High Grassland, Drake Alpine, Mae Volcanic
Size30 cm long
Primary MobilityUnknown
SupportEndoskeleton (Jointed Wood)
DietOmnivore (Vermees, Minikruggs, Silkruggs, Teacup Sauceback larvae, Marbleflora, Pioneeroots, Tepoflora, Mikuks, Aphluks, Feluks, Hair Nimbuses, Cryobowls, Glaalgaes, Larands, Larachoy, Chitjorns, Sunstalks, Supershrooms, Fuzzweed, Botryrophis, Communal Janit, Wub, juvenile Infilt Pewpa, juvenile Greater Lahn, Suncatcher Plyent saplings, Umbrella Plyent saplings, Lurcup seeds, Eastward Luroot seeds, Brickbark Ferine berries, Wafflebark Ferine berries, Bangsticks seeds, Arid Ferine berries, Fuzzpile berries, Lurtress seeds, Lurspire seeds, Lurcreeper seeds, Syrup Ferine berries, Sleeve Ferine berries), steals cooked food from taserflames
RespirationActive (Lungs)
ThermoregulationEndotherm (Shivering, Fat)
ReproductionSexual (Male and Female, Live Birth)
Taxonomy
Domain
Superkingdom
Kingdom
Subkingdom
Phylum
Class
Subclass
Order
Family
Genus
Species
Eukaryota
Viridisagania
Mancerxa
Phytozoa (info)
Chloropodia (info)
Phyllauria (info)
Xylodonta (info)
Boatitheriformes
Mobidentirattidae
Mobidenrattus
Mobidenrattus miraculum
Ancestor:Descendants:

The switchfang split from its ancestor. A member of an ancient lineage of nodent which is only found in drake, it has returned to its generalist roots and become an omnivore. Its most notable feature, and its namesake, is its mobile upper incisor. Rather than clipping flora like ancient nice and modern neonodents, the switchfang uses its upper incisor like a toothpick or a tiny shovel to scrape and dig at food. This is more effective than what its more distant ancestors did, given that wooden teeth, especially in a creature so small, cannot cut and slice as easily as keratinous or enamel teeth do. The tooth can be rotated back down to its original position as well, allowing it to be used like a normal incisor. It has prominent cheeks which prevent food from falling out of its mouth as it mashes it up with its woody molars, and it can carry food in "cheek pouches", the entrances to which are hidden by its jowls.

The switchfang is an endotherm. Its naked skin loses heat easily; however, it compensates for this by sleeping in burrows at night and hibernating over winter. On a cool day, it warms up by shivering and holds in some heat using a layer of fat, but it prefers to just stay in its burrow and eat stored food. It may also take advantage of fires built by taserflames for warmth, but taserflames generally chase them away, as switchfangs often steal food from them.

The switchfang is a burrower. It digs deep tunnels which insulate it from harsh conditions. It gathers more food than it can eat in a day and stores it in a chamber deep underground, allowing it to consume it later when it's too cold or there isn't as much food available outside. Multiple switchfangs and their offspring may share a burrow, as it is a social creature. In addition to squeaking, it can communicate by scent, and it will wave its fang to waft air over its tongue to smell pheromones and food.

The switchfang, like other plents, mates and gives birth through its mouth. It is placental, breeds several times per year, and can have 6-8 babies at a time. Gestation lasts for 3 1/2 weeks and the babies are born small but developed; unlike real rats, they do not produce milk, so juveniles must be more developed than a baby rat would be in order to eat. Juveniles follow their mother in a line, each gripping the tail of the one in front of them; their tail tip is light as to be easier for them to see, much like the white tail tip of Terran foxes. They generally eat fresh food that is easier to digest, such as berries, shoots, and tender meat. They reach maturity in only 5 weeks.

The switchfang retains many ancestral characteristics. When frightened, it bows and inhales deeply to inflate its rump. Two or three pairs of white rings on its back mimic the eyes of predators, so this gesture can scare away potential attackers. It can produce squeaks and hisses from its butt nostril, though these have a metallic sound to them compared to those of other living nodents. Its innermost digits on its forefeet are opposable, allowing it to grasp food to eat it like it's a sandwich. It has a longer tail than its ancestor, more similar to that of more basal nice, helping it keep its balance as it runs and hops through its environment. However, the most important ancestral characteristics it retains are that it can feel happiness and that it is capable of being ticklish.