|Personality||Incredibly aggressive, but intelligent predators, fairly social around others of their kind|
Llups (pronounced /l'lʌp/) are a species of apex predator which predate upon the Graceful Dashers of their homeworld. They are considered to be one of the galaxy's most dangerous species, alongside other non-sapient creatures such as the Biloid, Chiser, Grute and Vrott.
"Despite their ridiculous look, the Llup are extremely dangerous creatures. One should avoid their kind at all costs, even if it means tripping your children."
- Under construction
Llup have multiple facets of their being, which has led to scientists all over the galaxy (and on extremely rare cases, scientists from outside the galaxy, as well) to study them, often using planetary bioscans and cloaked drones. These scientists have noted several aspects of the Llup physiology, which are discussed below.
It is thought that the Llup's poor eyesight and lack of any other real powerful sense to run off of instead instigates, at least to some extent, their incredible violent nature. These eyes - a single pair located on the underside of their jaw, which is lifted upwards and thereby allowing the eyes to peer forward - are small and beady, with only the pupil being exposed to the outside world. Despite this large pupil area to be exposed, they are surprisingly diurnal creatures. To shade their eyes should it get too bright, they simply lower their jaw a little in a manner reminiscent of a baseball cap.
To manipulate objects, Llups have developed a pair of spongy hands. These hands utilize a row of pads covered in sharp, microscopic barbs that give it an effect similar to how a cat's sandpapery tongue can get stuck to naked flesh when licking it if licking slowly enough. Four hand-tusks allow the Llup to attempt to hold something onto these pads, and act thereby as very primitive fingers or other phalanges.
Llup are also capable of jumping, although this is the skill they possess that they are the most clumsy at. Their muscles in their legs are not built for jumping against the gravity and it is only used in order to move from flat ground onto rocks or similar local terrain. They don't often fall over in the process, but that's because they're cautious about their jumps. Their jumps are also occasionally used to catch some of their quicker prey that still provides very good protein and flesh to consume...since the Llup are not fast enough to catch these Graceful Dashers, they must instead use more clever means to catch these prey creatures.
This clever tactic involves hopping onto the shortest portion of a rocky cliff, which exist in several areas within their biomes due to previous cataclysms (specifically, powerful earthquakes as their ecosystem lies between two coalescing continents) that have caused upheavals over the land. They will then move up onto the cliff edge hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet above the surrounding area. From here their weak eyes are still able to detect these Graceful Dashers due to their large herd numbers making their blurs relatively obvious. When ready to initiate their attack, they will use their pathetic jumping ability to leap away from the cliff, then spread their wings to carry them aloft over the distance. While they have powered flight, they mostly glide and use their powered flight to adjust when necessary. These wings will carry them the distance they need to drop onto one of the thousands of Graceful Dashers that live together in the herds, crushing its bones under foot and crippling it to make the kill very easy.
The hind legs of a Llup are clawed and look deadly but they are actually built for sneaking. They possess soft yet durable pads that muffle the sound of their footsteps. When sneaking, much of the body's weight is shifted back to these two limbs so as to lower the sound that the front limb might make otherwise. The pads on the back feet work so well that they can make almost no sound at all when sneaking.
The Llup are also incredible runners, although they are still incapable of catching Graceful Dashers due to their agility and an actually swifter speed. Speed is regulated to the front leg, which has grown large claws to dig into the ground and a powerful muscle to launch the Llup forward while the hind legs instead push off the ground. Wings and arms are tucked in against the body unless needed for stabilization when turning or otherwise adjusting their current condition.
While Llups live in groups known as annihilations, each individual must go off and find their own food (sans young who are too small to properly hunt for themselves); any individual who does not do this will starve to death, as food sharing is not practiced in any manner — in fact, an individual attempting to steal another's food is most often killed.
During an attack against potential prey or just about any non-sessile organism that has strayed too close to a Llup (these unlucky creatures will often get eaten after they are killed anyway), the monster will start out by launching spines from its underbelly. This is most often done by turning sideways and lifting one's leg, similar to a male dog about to urinate. Each spine is launched at almost terminal velocity (240mph on their homeworld), and while they constantly plummet towards the ground as they travel forward, they are typically only fired when the target is bound to get hit by them, proving that the Llup possess some form of calculative skills. To aid them in their ability to cut through the atmosphere to arrive on target, each spine has several tiny, spiraling grooves along its length, which cause it to spiral in the air. Each spine has a powerful neurotoxin located in its tip. Upon impact with any object, the spine compacts due to its natural structuring, forcing the poison out into the object; the "shattering" of the spine also causes more damage and makes the object next to impossible to ever fully remove. Bacteria-equivalents that naturally inhabit the innards of a Llup also can be found within these spines, and so a single wound from a spine can, if the target escapes somehow, eventually lead to a deadly infection.
Should an opponent survive the initial poison attack, the Llup will charge into battle, bashing into their foe with an armored front leg and a thick, bony chin. While the weakest of a Llup's four attacks, it is still powerful enough to daze the unfortunate victim. This will almost always open the creature up for further, vastly more devastating attacks to follow.
A dazed victim will subsequently be bitten into. A large amount of muscles wrap around the jaws, allowing for a very powerful snapping shut action, somewhat similar to a crocodile. The clamping of the jaws and the sharp teeth are enough to kill many creatures; however, the teeth are specifically designed to hold an opponent in place, and do not sever limbs as has become a common thought amongst those who talk about the Llups — a rumor that is analogous to mankind's old belief that great white sharks were mindless killing machines (it should be noted, however, that Llups are technically "mindless killing machines"... if "mindless" can mean "clever and cruel"). Like a crocodile, the jaw can easily be held shut with a single digit, although one would still be in danger from their other attacks, and so this process is rarely ever taken advantage of by sapient and non-sapient victims alike. The peculiar way the head is generally held is intentional, as it is meant to aid with their final weapon...
Any victim that has survived the last three attacks will be in for a horrifying surprise — flanking the head on either side are biological bonesaws, and any victim still struggling or large enough to require their usage in order for the Llup to feed upon the meat of the creature will be lifted by the powerful neck muscles up into these bonesaws, specifically to slice through and shred the flesh and separate bones from one another in order to sever entire limbs. Less than a thousandth of a percentage of the attacks that make it to this attack will survive, and of those that do they almost exclusively perish mere minutes later from exsanguination.
Llups are surprisingly social creatures, but only amongst their own kind; all other creatures will be slain if they come too close to a Llup, and should they happen upon an annihilation of them, little will remain outside of a gooey mess with the consistency of goulash.
Vocal calls are heard often, although they are not as impressive as other social behavior under the Llup's proverbial belt. They mostly consist of grunts, "cackles" and roars. This is their main way of actually communicating amongst one another, and a cacophony of these calls will be heard in any size annihilation of Llup. In the field during hunts however, they are mostly quiet, as one may assume. Certain calls are utilized as part of their mating ritual, as well.
In groups, they maintain a complex social hierarchy. Scientists studying them have been shocked to witness elaborate, almost beautiful dancing between individuals, used both for mating rituals and for maintaining their rank in the social hierarchy. Dances are altered depending on whether it's for mating purposes as well as the relative ranks of both individuals - one of a higher rank does a dance differently if someone's a rank higher or if someone's a lower rank; however, the dances are also altered depending on how much higher or lower in rank the individual they are dancing for currently ranks in at. As such, each dance between two individuals in an annihilation is unique, and will change if one member progresses through the hierarchy either up or down.
One surprising thing Llup tend to do is "posing". Within their annihilations, this asserts one's position within the hierarchy; however, outside of the group during hunts, it has also been seen in use. A Llup poses in a manner that seems to hypnotize potential prey, causing them to stay in place and perhaps not know what to do next. This gives the Llup ample opportunity to close in on its prey to initiate its attack.
They are considered extremely interesting by certain groups of scientists, including the Vacotor Knowledge Symposium; a number of individuals even refer to their race as "extremely charming", as if they did not understand its tremendously violent nature. One insane scientist even attempted to begin to domesticate them to serve as galactic pets...their remains were found with the consistency of goulash mere minutes after they initiated the attempt.
- The Llup were created on the premise of creating (another) ultimate creature, something Somarinoa hasn't really done since the Creature Creator demo was originally released, where each and every part counted towards the max stat level (so 5 +1 strikes would equal level 5 strike).