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Length: Up to 3.05 m
Width: Up to 1.07 m
Height: Up to 0.91 m
Weight: 181.44 kg
Speed: 12.87 km/h
Habitat: Swampy marshlands preferred. Also found on or near freshwater river systems.
Anatomical Features: Amphibian. Possesses dual breathing apparatus in (i) its gills, and (ii) its minimally developed lungs.
Feeding Habits: Active predator in both aquatic and land environments. Most active in daylight due to increased surface temperatures, but also known to hunt at night if necessity dictates.
The Sandswimmer is yet another of Anomaly’s dual-habitat animals that aid in honing one’s zest for life. It is almost unfair to call these water-land-water animals “amphibians” for they are far more adept than merely being able to traverse from one to the other. In most ways, they have fully conformed to surviving in both environments, chiefly as hunters.
From birth through the first year of life, the baby Sandswimmer is exclusively aquatic. They are akin to the piranha from our archives, travelling in schools and consuming prey far larger than any one of them could individually. The concurrent oxygen transport mechanisms below their skin does not develop until the second year, accompanied by the hardening upper “shell” of this water borne terror. The Sandswimmer can only leave the water for prolonged periods of time, estimated in weeks, when these development milestones have been taken place.
Sexual maturation is easily recognized by the Sandswimmer’s sudden use of “fins as legs”. While the eggs are ultimately deposited into riverbeds and streams, the actual mating rituals take place on land. How or why the animal takes to land in the first place remains a mystery, but the violent weather shifts and ecological regions of Anomaly call for equally flexible survival tactics. This ability to leave the water for extended periods may simply be an elegant way to address that need. Alternately, conditions could have depleted oxygen and/or food resources from the waterways. This situation would favor an evolutionary directive to leave the water and escape certain death. Whatever the reason, the voracious appetite and violent means of procuring its food makes this hulking mass a danger under any circumstance.
Their meat, particularly fried in oil (hence their nickname amongst us as “Frys”), is dense, yet flakey and flavorful. One might call the flesh delicate if trapped as “fish” rather than their land-roving adult form, which toughens the dark red, gamey meat. The former is also poses considerably less danger to catch as well. The bones and skin of the Sandswimmer provide a variety of uses from fine teeth made into needles to outer garments that are naturally waterproof.
By this time, it is plenty evident that one should steer as far away from anything big and fast with lots of teeth. However, Sandswimmers are seasonally hunted for its many uses. The People have a technique for trapping the younger Sandswimmers by depositing large amounts the Ikibi extract (mushroom) extract upriver to the fish. The chemicals in the plant, in high enough concentrations, prevent the proper functioning of the gills and suffocate the fish. The catch nets downstream then have but to collect the lifeless bodies. The Ikibi fungus’ toxicity is easily cooked out of the flesh with the addition of heat and is a simple, efficient hunting technique.
It should be noted this technique will only enrage any adults that might also be in the river when the Ikibi extract is added. Adult Sandswimmers will leap out of the water and lash out at anything near them until enough oxygen can be pulled from the air and into their system, so a line of skilled archers covering one’s back is always recommended.