Ammofylaki From the greek words Ammos meaning Sand and Fylaki meaning Prison
At a length of 25 metres, Ammofylakies are the largest terrestrial carnivores on Planet Eve. They lie buried in the deepest sand dunes at the center of the main continents scattered over great areas. These animals are essentially super sized versions of the larvae stage of Earth's Ant Lions. They do not chase after prey but wait for them to tumble down into a wide sand funnel that they maintain thanks to the two pedipalps on their chin. Anything that slides down will be caught in the animal's massive crunching jaws. Any creature that tries to escape will have sand thrown at it to make it fall once more.
Despite spending practically their entire lives motionless, these giants have two large limbs that have just enough strength to push the animal forward. They are only used when these animals need to emerge from their tombs in order to mate. From there, they crawl to the nearest mate which they can detect thanks to a powerful sense of smell. They also move about by crawling on their stomachs like giant pythons. Ammofylaki is viviparous, and the young emerge directly into the sand from their mother's womb. They quickly dig their way to a proper nesting site as the mother slowly die from exhaustion.
Young Ammofylaki are a meter long and create a funnel of about the same diameter. Until they grow larger, they will only be able to eat small crustaceans or other baby animals. They themselves however are vulnerable to other predators. To protect themselves from animals who would try to dig them out, the Ammofylaki young "spit" their feces into the eyes of the attacking, deceiving them from attacking. Adults also do this, but solely to fire their wastes far enough to prevent soiling their nests and risking infections. The results is a repulsive spray of several meters high, compared to how a whale blows at the surface of the ocean.
Having a low metabolism, these animals can go on months without food, seeing as their hunting tactic depends entirely on luck. If an environment becomes too hostile for a young due to flooding or lack of food, they can also emerge from the burrow and find another nesting spot. The drill on their tail enables them to bury themselves again. Of course, this is a big risk as the smaller animals have more predators to fear.
As the animal ages and grows, it doesn't need as much protection from predators and its exoskeleton weakens and the joints become more visible. This grants the animal more flexibility and makes it easier to emerge and rebury itself before and after pregnancy. It takes time for the young to fully develop and the young would be extremely vulnerable if they were born on the surface, as a mother could not fend off predators.
"When I was young, SimAnt was one of my favourite games, and the easiest Sim game to play. At the time, the millipede was one of my favourite animals after watching James and the Giant Peach. I often mistook the Ant Lion from SimAnt as a millipede due to its segmentated appearance. Even after my realisation, the Ant Lion remained a very interesting animal to me and this creature is an obvious homage to it. Another inspiration came from Mario Kart Double Dash's Dry Dry Desert."
Fun facts: Ammofylaki are blind, and 90% of their heads consists of their jaws.
Bung, bung, bung, bung, bung Bung, bung, bung, bung, bung Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream (Bung, bung, bung, bung) Make him the cutest that I've ever seen -The Chordettes