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The Butcherraptor


above: the butcherraptor (Necintussuntus excogitatoris , "inside-out-killing thinker") is a small but ruthlessly efficient, social predator. Despite its size, about that of a chicken, it is one of the island's major predators, with a regular diet of animals that can be more than one hundred times its own weight.

The butcherraptor is an almost entirely flightless shrike-finch of the Kyran islands of Serina 40 million years PE, its wings now too small to carry it more than a few flaps. It no longer needs to fly, specializing in subduing large and also flightless prey species, and it now runs on the ground like a roadrunner. Groups travel in the open, unafraid, knowing their numbers protect them from even other predators - and more importantly well-aware that the snuffalo cannot outrun them. The entire pack, save for a few individuals that remain at a communal nest site to guard the nestlings during the breeding season, join in a hunt together. The snuffalos, exposed with nowhere to hide, know when they are around and become alert. Though the grass is tall and the raptors can easily hide themselves, it can smell their revolting flesh-eating breath and hear keenly the click of their talons on the pebbled ground and the swishing of the grass stalks as they approach in their ghastly hordes. The prey take defensive posture, pushing together until they are smashed up together like stuffed animals in a claw machine, all with their heads held low and pushed down beneath the plumage of their neighbors, and they sit their rumps on the ground. They do this to protect their eyes, nostrils, and cloacas - any sensitive tissue exposed, the butcherraptors will attack. The snuffalo must rely on their own cooperation to survive, each using the thick feathers and insulating back fat of the others to protect their sensitive regions as the raptors close in. The predators meanwhile are calm and attentive throughout, watching the chaos as the prey struggle each toward the middle of the herd for safety. They leap onto the backs of the snuffalopes and stride over the herd like a crowdsurfer at a rock concert, looking for the easiest target. They chatter constantly to themselves, communicating to coordinate their behavior. One will never act without the others' approval. They prefer to take the young, but will go after any individual that exposes itself to their advances.

If no weak links stand out, the predators will antagonize the entire herd. They gang up and begin to bite at the individuals at the perimeter until one turns to face its attackers in rage, aiming to pulverize one with a vicious bite of its heavy bill. Nimbler than the snuffalo, the butcherraptor almost always avoids the clamping jaws at the last second; this was what it was wanting. Instantly the others of the pack leap at the face of the angered snuffalo and begin to gouge at the eyes and the sensitive skin of the bill with their sharp beaks. This will hopefully have the effect of inducing panic; if the whole herd separates, the butcherraptors will have a chance to catch one of the younger chicks that is sheltered deep in the middle of the group, which will be a much easier kill. If this occurs then the raptors drop off their first target and mob the easier option. Some individuals stave off the parents, which will try to protect their young, while others work to quickly kill and disable the victim. It does not always work. If the other snuffalos in the herd choose fight over flight and come to the defense of the attacked individual, the pack will often call off the hunt as they cannot risk being trampled or crushed in the jaws of the others while trying to subdue just one individual. Killing healthy adults is not unknown, but it is difficult; primarily it is the very old and unwell snuffalo, shunned from the herd, which they manage. It is a grisly end for such individuals, as the raptors - their beaks too weak to cut through the thick skin, target them through their most sensitive orifices, eating them from the inside out.

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GermanoMan101's avatar

The best murderous canary if Serina ever.

hans-sniekers-art's avatar

A phenomenal and gorgeous animal specimen! Loving the markings it has and the way it hunts is awe-inspiring!

Orphydian's avatar

ancestors of todays birds of prey?

Sheather888's avatar

No it's a speculative evolution species that does not exist

Orphydian's avatar

but its speculative in that sense ? as a supposedly ancestor of later birds of prey?

Anyway, pls consider doing some real nowadays birds of prey. This style of your is perfect for illustration. I will feature those in my group ArsRapax DeviantArt Gallery

Sheather888's avatar

No, as in "it lives 40 million years in the future on a moon in another solar system where space entities released canaries to see how they would evolve without other animal competitors."

RandomZookster's avatar

Is it just me or is my eye itchy?

And my nostrils. And my mouth. And my...

Jeepers! What a terrible way to die!

Are these the ancestors of the lanks and bonebeaks?
Sheather888's avatar

No, the ancestors of lanks and bonebeaks is a stork-like bird descended from the stiltskin, which was like a shorebird.

KyuremBlack646's avatar

Terror birds:The redo.

Do shrike finches and falconaries both descended from shriekers? Also, Why can’t the butcherraptors get bigger?

Sheather888's avatar

They do, and they can get bigger, but they haven't yet, they changed their behavior quickly instead.

ElSqiubbonator's avatar

Is this based on how old dinosaur books and documentaries thought dromaeosaurs hunted?

PersephoneEosopoulou's avatar

I thought it was still accepted the Dromaeosaurs used their claws for kills just not as the vicious slashing claws they are often though of?

ElSqiubbonator's avatar

It's not the claws. It's the idea that they hunted in large packs to bring down prey hundreds of times their own size. The closest thing we have to evidence of pack-hunting dromaeosaurs is that one fossil of Deinonychus and Tenontosaurus, and even that could have been a result of the predators attacking in a disorganized mob, the way crocodiles sometimes do.

PersephoneEosopoulou's avatar

Ah sorry for not picking that up, wasn't really sure at the time.

Sheather888's avatar

definitely influenced by it

Old dinosaur depiction coming to fruition by...............dinosaurs on another world

gytalf2000's avatar

That is really cool!

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