Alien Sea Unit in Beyond Earth
Rippers can be found anywhere throughout the ocean, being the most common alien in it. They are typically found patrolling their nests in groups and swarming any enemy that comes nearby. They can prove a nuisance to boats, but players can leash them to take control of them (a player can also sometimes gain a free Ripper unit via a Alien skeleton that is on a small island or in a coastal area). They are useful for exploring undiscovered ocean while the player's navy is occupied.
- Movement: 3
- Strength: 8
Sorted into the genus Thaumastochelopsis, but colloquially known as “rippers,” these somewhat aggressive crustacean-like creatures, though blind, have shown themselves to be one of the most observant creatures of this planet’s ocean. This is made possible by their long whisker-like protrusions known as barbels, capable of detecting both scents and vibrations in the water at a much greater distance than would be granted by vision.
Scientists dissecting these creatures have made a number of interesting finds hinting at the ripper’s evolutionary history. The vestigial eyes located at the base of its barbels indicate that the creature's ancestors were at one point capable of sight, and the muscular front fins would almost certainly have been used to move along the base of a riverbed. As a result, scientists believe these creatures may share a common ancestor with the Makara.
Rather than evolve to move on land, the Barbeli have evolved to find their ecological niche at the base of the seabed. Biologists have conducted behavioral studies indicating that the seemingly involuntary tail-whipping of these creatures may actually be a hunting technique: as one of the only completely sightless creatures of it’s size living in this ocean, they are also the only one still capable of sensing its surroundings without vision. By kicking up sediment from the ocean floor, the rippers disorient their prey, which are wary of murky water. By this method, the rippers, working in groups, can herd their catch towards the shore, rendering them helpless and leaving the ripper with an easy meal.