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Butcher Mites
Topic Started: Dec 6 2010, 07:41 PM (486 Views)
The Dodo
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Name: Butcher Mites
Time: Mid-Late Carboniferous
Size: 4-8cm
Diet: Carnivore
Habitat: Freshwater floors and banks

Descendant from the surviving Hunter Mite species, some species have evolved into ambush predators. Using their spear like mouth they can dig holes in the floor of freshwater bodies like lakes or rivers. They then wait for prey to come by before bursting out and using the spear like mouth to catch and kill the prey which they then drag back in. In the water they sense vibrations using movement sensitive cells near the front of their body similar to the lateral line in HE fish and other aquatic organisms. These cells poke out the top of the hole to detect the movement of prey which range from sigmatatora, young trilobites to small cephalostians. They have a worm like body with powerful muscles near the base of the tail to propel them out of their hole.

A few species have made it out onto land where they dig holes in the mud of freshwater banks. Here the same organ that senses vibrations in the water is used to sense vibrations in the mud of prey moving on land. They do this by placing the sensing organ on the mud near the top of their burrow. They use swim bladders to breathe which has become more evolved to allow it to stay out of the water, though they must keep themselves wet.

During breeding they exit their burrows to find mates, during this time they are vunerable to predation. They can use their mouth to defend themselves and they can move in short bursts of speed to evade predators. Terrestrial Butcher Mites return to the water to breed. They lay their eggs in small holes under the water, when the young hatch they swim around feeding on tiny organisms until they mature. During this time they are commonly preyed upon so to keep them safe the lateral line is used to sense approaching danger. When they mature they dig a burrow where they will lie in wait for prey. Terrestrial species develop a more complex swim bladder which will be used to breathe air for the rest of their life.
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I wonder when this is gonna get accepted...
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