juniorWoodchuck on DeviantArthttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/https://www.deviantart.com/juniorwoodchuck/art/Sandflea-804620756juniorWoodchuck

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The virus was not the only thing brought to Earth in the ballast sand from Mars. Dumped into the sea near Cape Canaveral and in the Caspian Sea, it was meant to be devoured by the sea, it instead changed the coastlines and formed new land to be taken up by hotels and resorts. Dormant within the sand, spores of a bygone Martian ecosystem started taking to the winds, infecting the local flora until there was nothing left, turning the entirety of Florida into a near-lifeless desert. The spores were not the only thing that came back to life in the ancient topsoil however. Supercharged by the oxygen-rich atmosphere, tiny Martian organisms brought back to Earth began growing to unexpected sizes, now calling the fenced-off areas of the Caspian Sea and Florida their home. While the virus does not affect humans directly, some of the introduced fauna, such as the so-called «Sandfleas» for example, poses a threat to human lives. The largest of the Martian predators, Sandfleas reach about the height of a grown human’s knee. What they may lack in size, they make up in their hunting prowess.Roaming the dunescapes in groups of five or six, they mostly prey on larger Martian herbivores which they pursuit in high-speed chases. Should their preferred type of prey get rare however, they have been known to overpower the occasional dropout or vagrant still present in the area.

Quick little creature sketch inspired by J.G.Ballard’s fantastic short story «The Cage of Sand»
(there are no alien animals in it, so don’t go into it expecting any... still do read it though as it’s really amazing)

© by me
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