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Danger Level: Safe
Likes: Grass, Minerals, Moisture, Sunlight
Attack Method: None
The morblod is easiest to be described as a bell shaped lump of neutral-toned flesh that moves by hopping about at a snail's pace. It does not visibly have any means of movement until what you are welcome to call a leg extends from the center of it's body. This prehensile hydraulic-piston-like tentacle-based appendage is also a mouth and the center of the cardiodigestive system. Microscopic mouths line every part of it's body so that it may eat even if it falls over, as this is a very common result of their locomotion.
The morblod's body size ranges from that of a locust at larval stages to that of a very large tortoise at venerable age. The average adult morblod will lay a vast amount of eggs in their lifetime and per clutch, and out of these clutches around one percent will mutate into the flighted subspecies. Despite their lifespan and mortality rate this can still quickly result in an invasive species problem on any planet with a colony of them.
While movement can be seemingly random a grouping of morblods in an area tends to coordinate their clumsy paths with swarm-like precision via scent. The exact pattern varies but distancing and movement speeds tend to directly correlate to the relation of population density and foliage density. Checking the path of an individual will reveal them having eaten away at the grass or shrubbery where they just were.
The morblod has no true personality outside of what the observer assigns. Most people who try to do so determine it to be a hardy and patient animal, or one too stubborn to let nature's evolutionary processes kill it off.
Despite the seemingly herd animal nature of the morblod they do not care for their young and barely react to a member of the group being attacked. The latter is likely a result of this fauna keeping a yard or two away from each other for grazing reasons.
Flighted: This form of the morblod is shaped like a red blood cell or disk-like shape rather than the typical squat bell shape of a morblod. As a subspecies they tend to be twice as large due to their less dense bodily makeup. Mostly found in upper atmospheres these morblods seem to float slowly and drift by the same mechanism they filter-feed micro-organisms, dust, and moisture from the air.
Navigators are advised to coordinate with beastmasters or carefully plan ahead to avoid the hazards present on worlds with flying morblod populations. Due to dietary needs the herds of morblods will gravitate towards cloud-layers and clusters. This and the flighted subspecies tendency to attract predators like their siblings presents an uncommon but unique threat to landing ships, as the event of passing through a herd of flying morblods is compared to landing through a hail storm. Additionally it's important for maintenance reasons to keep in mind that flighted morblods (and terrestrial to an extent) can latch onto passing ships and do damage to the ships' hull or cause power fluctuations.
• The slow movement of the morblod makes them a very useful little critter as bait for predators or other animals that are actually worth paying attention to.
• We're very disappointed in who saw a morblod and decided it might be edible let alone tasty. They are known for having a flavor with ranges from shellfish, catfood, and notes of kibble. While some will claim they are only worth keeping around as an emergency ration others make extremely fallible arguments of them being delicious enough to consider livestock propagation. Those who disagree may make a statement that the universe should "set phasers to extinction" and be rid of this fauna altogether. Both sides have very fair points.
• Morblods easily spread from planet to planet when they are able to stow away onto ships, and by the time this fauna was properly documented, they were already established on seventeen different planets in various sized colonies. No original world is able to be found at this time, but through genetic examination it's believed that the flighted variety was the original. Some rumors circulate that the universe owes the prevalence of this pest to an unknown crew that decided they would make good pets.
No art currently, maybe you can help.