Alien Land Unit in Beyond Earth
A Raptor bug is an Alien enemy in Beyond Earth
- Moves: 3
- Strength: 16
A fast moving alien unit, both tougher and capable of causing more damage than the Wolf Beetle.
Magna Volucris Esurianti
Averaging the size of a standard terran horse (142 to 163 cm high, weighing around 400 kg), “raptor bugs” are obligate carnivores, equally deadly to indigenous and offworld animal life. With forward-facing eyes and auditory organs, chitinous mandibles for disarticulating prey, short digestive system, energy-efficient musculature and outer shell, Volucris Esurianti is the dominant carnivore in a wide range of climes and terrains. Raptor bugs tend to cluster around the hives of wolf beetles, their primary prey, but have also been observed free-ranging.
Primarily pack animals, until recently planetary ethologists considered raptor bugs to have only rudimentary intelligence, with no abstract thinking ability and only situational cognitive abilities. However, studies in recent years indicate that these animals have mental skills including rudimentary categorization, concept learning, habituation, knowledge retention and operant conditioning, indicating the potential for domestication by human colonists. Until more studies have been conducted on their temperament, domestication remains theoretical only.
In the “wild,” Volucris Esurianti hunts in family packs akin to those of Earth Canidae. Like wolves and feral dogs, raptor bugs locate and track prey, sometimes over lengthy distances, but utilizing sight and sound rather than scent. They will attempt to conceal themselves using vegetation and topology until close enough to rush the prey; this minimizes reaction time by the hunted, as well as maximizing effectiveness of Raptor Bug mandibles and claws. The primary method of killing is to tear off large chucks of the soft perineum and duodenum. If the prey flees, raptor bugs are capable of chases ranging as much as 10 km. When prey is abundant, Volucris Esurianti may engage in “surplus killing,” leaving the carcasses for scavengers.
A unique aspect of the raptor bug is its rest patterns. Unlike most animals, Volucris Escuranti does not “sleep” in unbroken periods of time. Rather, able to sleep both upright and reclining, it naps for short spans ranging from as little as 15 Earth minutes up to five hours in a planetary cycle. It can enter light sleep while upright using a “stay apparatus” mechanism in their legs which locks the joints; raptor bugs are thus able to react nigh instantly to any threat or opportunity.