Southern Winds Weyr

In the Beginning => Weyr and Land Information => General Pern Information => Topic started by: Southern Records on January 31, 2014, 05:58:28 PM

Title: Beach & River Snakes
Post by: Southern Records on January 31, 2014, 05:58:28 PM
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Contained is all the known information of these aquatic terrors that feed on thread and snatch the unwary too close to the water.
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Commissioned art by cweinman of deviantart (http://cweinman.deviantart.com/) for use on SWW only

The Basics

These are the natural beasts found during the initial exploration of Pern. The water 'snakes' as they are called, named so for their comparative body structure to that of a tunnel snake, are far larger than the vermin they're named after.  The river snakes are long, anywhere from 10-25 meters, with 3 pairs of short, powerful legs that drive them out of the water in bursts of striking speed and a tail that flattens to the remnant of a fin to help them swim.  They have the same wedge-shaped heads like most of the reptiles on Pern, but with thick muscle to help them seize prey that was, up until the humans arrived, primarily hunters. They can both constrict with their long, muscular body, or roll like modern day crocodiles to tear chunks off their prey. Drowning is one of the many ways the river snakes kill their prey. The worst is their paralytic bite that seizes the nervous system. They're colored browns and greens to match the murky jungle waters, though shift to a tan and white color along the beaches. While they are different colors, and sometimes referred to as beach snakes, they're the same breed and sometimes mingle as such.

Social Organization
Any body of water that is murky could contain a river snake. They primarily favor the deeper waters where they congregate, but it's the bank of the river that is most dangerous. They're eager to snatch up unwary humans or hunters that stop for water. Along the shores of the ocean, they're more interested in fish. But large beach snakes won't hesitate to come after humans or smaller dragons.

The Beach and River snakes are social only in that they congregate in the same sort of areas. Where one snake can be found, many others could reside. But they do not actively cooperate or hunt together. Often times, more than one will go after the same target but it's with the single minded desire to consume.

Conversely, multiple snakes will try to constrict and drag their pray to the water if it is large enough. That, coupled with the paralytic bite, is how they take down creatures much larger than they are. Once in the water, they revert to the 'death roll' method of consumption.

The snakes nest in the murky shallows of the jungle rivers or bury their eggs in the sand of calm beaches. Each clutch has nearly 100 eggs, all of which are protected by the mating pair. Once hatched, the baby snakes are supervised until they arrive in the water, where they'll spend much of their time around their parents while they grow.

Interaction
River and Beach snakes are not meant for hunting over land and their bursts of speed are restricted only to their attempts at biting and pinning their prey in their coils. While they have a wide range at which they can lash out, given their size, a beach or river snake will never try to pursue their prey far from the safety of the water. It is on dry land they become slow and expose their long backs and tails to be preyed upon by Hunters. They do not have the capacity to go between nor are they in any way communicative to fire lizards, dragons, wher, or hunters. They communicate amongst themselves with very low pitched growls and rumbling tremors through their coils.

They are opportunistic hunters. But once their prey has escaped, they'll retreat back to the water for another attempted surprise. They're very active during spring, summer, and fall while going into a sluggish hibernation during the chillier months. During the cold, the only way to really find them is to disturb the depths in which they reside.