Talyxian Leeches (タリクシアンのヒル類) are a species which belongs to the Talyxian organism group. They are one of the most feared predatorial wildlife on Tal, found in various regions specific to the Talyxian biome realm except for dry areas.
While they possess a wide variety in bodily formats and many subspecies, in terms of the common features found in the baseline structure of the species, their long bodies with the lack of limbs are composed almost entirely of red muscular structures, covered by thick, elastic and tough skin, and possessing tentacles that extend and protrude from the surface of the body. They possess pointy bone mandibles which function as their "beak", and numerous sets of eyes spread out across their head.
Even though they are often misunderstood as Sand Worms or desert creatures on the internet, this is not the case, as mentioned earlier, they exist purely outside of dry area and/or deserts, as they are not indigenous to such areas nor can they survive or flourish outright in these type of areas and habitats. This is why they are not identical to the stereotypical “Sand Worms”
Their muscular bodies are capable of flexibly undulating around akin to snakes and leeches in order to ambulate around and about. However, they are also capable of performing a leap, which is incredibly and also deceptively fast due to the body mass ratio that they possess and the slow and methodical way with which they slither and crawl around so slowly.
Their flexibility allows them to climb a tree while dexterously wrapping around a tree trunk, hang themselves from high places, and even can hide and lurk themselves underground after burrowing. Due to this, they can adapt themselves to almost any terrain. For example, some of their subspecies found in the Nev Mountains are characterized by more slender bodies akin to arboreal snakes, and agile movement.
They are completely carnivorous and a lot of their species have venomous needles and sticky body fluids, and while they usually hunt other Talyxian creatures such as Dondokos as their prey, they also react to Eltus people's actions and respond with aggression. These are some of the reasons as to why they are considered as nasty, dangerous and hostile animals.
The venomous needles are spewed out akin to blow darts while being powered by the Leech's internal hydraulic structure, which involves the use of oily bodily fluids for propulsion, which in turn, shoot the needles out through the grooves of their beak which serve as needle canals. The venomous needles fly toward their prey, and if successfully prick/penetrate it, will slowly but surely subdue it via paralysis － In actuality, as the microscopic particles physically invade the nerves and make the prey immobile, the 'venomous' nature can work on both Talyxian and Eltus organisms.
They eat their paralyzed prey whole and preferably alive, opening their beak wide, descending upon them and extruding their sticky, muscular stomach turned over inside-out, drawing and wrapping the prey directly in for digestion.
Their numerous sets of eyes spread out across their head give them ample vision, as well as a keen sense of the tentacles and furs that grow from the body surface and beak which grant them a recognition of the surroundings even in the thickest fogs and liquids that can potentially block their visions.
Talyxian Leech drawing in a breath and firing venomous needles towards a Sergal.
Although they have very low intelligence, they still have primitive social communication skills and can act together in small numbers, forming a flock of two or three leeches to hunt down prey.
Talyxian Leeches are hermaphrodites, like a slug, they produce numerous eggs when they find themselves in a rich and healthy state of fertility. After they finish mating, they burrow into the ground and transform into a form of a sessile organism.
And once they transform into the sessile form, the parent leech ends their life underground while gradually converting all of their body tissue into nutrients for their eggs. When their offspring hatch, the parent leech only leaves their beak behind as remains.
The larva has the same body shape as their parent while their size is roughly equal to about the size of a shoe. They grow by a process of repeated molting, the rate at which they reach adulthood varies from 1 to 10 years, depending on the amount of food they receive.
Leeches in the sessile form are still hungry, while the main body underground does not move almost at all. Akin to carnivorous plants, their sticky tentacles extend out from the surface of the ground and can react when other creatures touch the tentacles. The tentacles catch the prey with their sticky surface and draw them underground, in order to digest the prey into more nutrition for their eggs. As long as their digestive system still remains, they continue this style of hunting. In this case, most of the prey are small Talyxian creatures such as small Dondokos and bugs. The tentacles will still react to Eltus people also, however, because they exhaust a lot of energy in order to convert salt content in Eltus prey into Hizomi-Nonbon, they spit out Eltus prey in most of the case, as well as in any given case or moment that they sense salt on their prey.
The form of incubation of Talyxian Leeches, as known as their "Sessile" form also.
Relation with People
Their solid beak can last for a long time without withering, even after the main body has decayed or been destroyed. People can sometimes find a set of several beaks when digging up the ground in leeches' habitats. The beaks have value as materials or collectible items, they are processed to make equipment and decorations as their main purpose of usage, as well as being a target of a collection in a very wide range of people to eccentric individuals from children. Especially the large-sized ones, in a state with no scratches, even can have value as game trophy items that prove a high level of hunting skills for hunters.
Also, because leeches cover a very wide variety in their size, form, biology, even including subspecies that start as a sessile type creature from the beginning to end of their life, people call or define them with different names or categories depending on areas; Some people may call them "leech" while others may call them "snake" depending on their species type, size, shape, and ecology.
The creatures which are generally called as "Leech", mainly Mountain leeches which can grow into the super large size and swamp leeches which are considered to be close to Black Talyxians, they have bad taste and not appropriate as food for people as same as House Peckers which have an indiscriminate and unlimited diet. However, skins and visceral skins of the large-sized leeches still can be useful for materials, and their hydraulics dart needles give a hint to develop Salt Tranquilizer Gun.
The nature of leeches greatly differs depending on their habitation. Leeches living in less toxic areas such as Lyvank Mountains, Astna, and underground aqueducts and wetlands located in suburb areas of Gold Ring are composed of small to middle-sized ones and they have narrow and small variety unlike leeches living in more toxic areas. Also, as most of these leeches are less venomous, they are considered as long-bodied slugs rather than "leeches" among Eltus folks. And these less-harmful leeches are edible and eaten as jerky or roasted food.
Eyes of large-sized leeches are believed to have medicinal effects, they are traded among apothecaries in Gold Ring.
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