Ancestor: Handlicker Dundi
Habitat: Darwin Plains, Darwin Chaparral, Darwin High Grassland, South Darwin Rocky
Size: 24 cm tall, 46 cm long
Diet: Carnivore (Xenobees, Dartirs, Cloudswarmers)
Reproduction: Sexual, 2 Genders, Live Birth
(The species is a reference to Junior the cat
, whose pose I used for the sitting dundi.)
(The sitting dundi does not replace its ancestor. WARNING: This post requires much scrolling.)
The sitting dundi is very much like a lazy Manx cat/bear hybrid, which sits in one spot all day and only moves from that spot to eat and excrete. This is untrue; as a plent, the sitting dundi "sweats" its wastes from its skin, and regurgitates whatever cannot be excreted. Thus, it never has to move to excrete.
This behavior is actually advantageous. Its "sweating" helps to keep it cool if its spot is in direct sunlight, and its regurgitated waste is used to defend itself. The indigestible materials in its diet, such as dartir horns and wing membranes, xenobees' spikes, and cloudswarmer cellulose are assembled in golf-ball-sized pellets and bound with a bodily fluid. A thin, varnish-like shell is applied around the pellet, making it almost totally spherical.
These "hornballs", to compare it to cats' hairballs, is launched at the assailant's mouth. If the assailant's mouth is open and the hornball lodges inside, the hornball may momentarily distract the assailant in the following ways: the strong, fermented or fecal flavor of the varnish may disgust the target, the difficulty of spitting out the sizable hornball causes the target to focus on removing it, rather than preying on the sitting dundi, or, if the hornball is in the throat, the target is too preoccupied trying to save itself from choking on the object.
The sitting dundi's gastrointestinal track is loop-shaped. It has two valves, one of which prevents a bolus (a ball of ingested food) from going up, and the other valve prevents a hornball from going down. Usually, a sitting dundi's intestine holds two hornballs as "ammunition", but the intestine can store three.
Their diet of organisms with a global distribution means they also have a wide range. Some populations even live on the Darwin coast and the lower parts of the South Darwin Rocky environment.Sitting dundi skull drawings. (The hole at the tip of the snout accommodates the small trunk, as the similar hole in an elephant's skull does.)
They feed much like their ancestor, but even more lazily. A sitting dundi will lick its claws and hold them out to catch flying insect-like organisms. It often sits on a rotting carcass, which both dartirs and xenobees are attracted to. It only licks its claws to catch prey, and never to clean them. Thus, the claws can become very stained with blood and even excrement.
Sitting dundi skull with flesh outline.
Its throat, originally wide to accommodate hornballs, also allows it to survive birthing offspring too large for its ancestor to manage. Despite its ability to birth larger offspring, its reproductive strategy relies on having fairly large litter sizes, rather than heavily investing in one offspring.