The World Of Khoras - Fauna and Flora - Fauna - Arctic

Polar Worm

Other Names Glacier Worm
Climate/Terrain Polar
Frequency Rare
Organization Solitary
Activity Cycle

Diurnal

Diet Omnivore

Physical Description

This huge beast is an armored worm. Its chitinous shell is white and segmented. The segments are built around small paddle-like structures which protrude at regular intervals through the armor. The large head is armored in a segmented fashion and is built symmetrically around the central mouth. A typical polar worm  is about 3 meters in diameter and 15 to 20 meters long (50 to 65 feet).

Combat

The creature attacks by surprising its opponents from underneath them, grabbing or swallowing whole an opponent, and then retreating back into the snow with an opponent in its mouth or pulling the opponent with it. Being in close proximity to the heated head may cause heat exhaustion and first degree burns. Being swallowed causes severe burns which usually kills the victim before being passed out through the rear exhaust vent. The crushing bite of a polar worm is enough to break bones and sever limbs.

Habitat

The polar worm is the terror of the north. These territorial beast hunt anything they discover within their region. The Borrellians and polar worms often hunt each other.

Ecology

The polar worm seems to be distantly related to the sand worm of the Baen desert. There are obvious similarities in the paddle like muscular protrusions of both species. The polar worm is much more adapted to its environment, however. The polar worm uses its environment to move. The exterior armor plates of the head heat up and melt snow and ice. Part of the snow or ice slides past the creature as a slush which the protrusions paddle against. In addition, snow or ice which enters the mouth passes through the creature along a special central channel. As it passes from chamber to chamber, the snow is melted and then superheated. It is vented out the back as steam. This propels the worm’s body forward at a good speed. The worm inevitably leaves a tunnel behind it, which may or may not collapse, depending upon the surrounding material. When traveling in the distant north, it is not uncommon to find smooth icy tunnels going right through glaciers.

This website was last updated September 20, 2014. Copyright 1990-2014 David M. Roomes.

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