neoXeno
 
Tchoupitoula
(Chop-e-too-luh)
 
 

 

Native to Artio, the tchoupitoula  is a massive mega mouth shark.  A full grown male can reach upwards to 20ft snout to tail and can weigh up to 2.5 tons, the females are only slightly smaller.  Unlike sharks on other worlds the tchoupitoula is a highly intelligent creature; an artful and stealthy predator known to follow fishing boats and steal fish already snared on a line.  Territorial pack animals, the tchoupitoula  move in groups of near 20 adults and babies.  With a mouth large enough to gobble a pair of Arthyerian males in a single bite, the tchoupitoula is a deadly hunter.  When agitated the beast will attack smaller vessels then the pack will slowly pick off the passengers as they hit the water.  Though the tchoupitoula will eat pretty much anything, their primary prey are large fish and marine mammals.  Once a food source is located, each pack member has to act quickly to eat before the meal is gone; though the babies will often snatch up smaller fish that can appease them while the pack seeks more substantial food.  An adult bull will aggressively protect his territory from other male tchoupitoulas or any other predator that may compete for his food supply.  He will however allow females and his own male offspring to remain in his territory up until those males become a threat to his superiority at which point he will stalk and attempt to kill the strongest of the ascendant males.  Once the first is attacked the others will flea to seek out their own territory and eventual mates.  If the alpha male fails to eliminate or scare off the ascendant bull the females will turn on the alpha male allowing the younger bull to assume the leadership role within the pack.  In an odd cannibalistic ritual, any younger males in the pack will eat the remains of the dead bull, be it a fallen alpha male or a dead or wounded ascendant bull.  Likewise baby tchoupitoulas will quickly turn and consume any injured member of the pack, they allow no room for weakness.  The adults refrain from such outright cannibalism.  Individual bulls who have no pack of their own are considered the most dangerous and aggressive tchoupitoula, as they tend to exist in a more desperate state of existence, without the pack in a constant hunt he must fend for himself with no protection from other predators such as Arthyerian hunters or smaller aggressive fish.

 
   
 

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