The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Descended from one of the sloth species that climbed out of the desert millions of years ago, the aardsloth is a strange creature even for Hypnale. At first glance, they more resemble giraffes than anything else, with a long neck and long legs. Their claws had long since vanished and gave way for a hoof-like structure. Only samples of the animal’s DNA proved it relationship with the precursor sloth and the numerous species that had evolved from it.

It gets its name from its tongue. Like an aardvark, or a chameleon, the aardsloth has a long and powerful tongue. Unlike the Terran animals mentioned, the aardsloth is an herbivore. It uses its powerful tongue to evade the spine palm’s phosphorous spines. Its prehensile tip can grasp palms and sheer them from their branches. Just why such an adaptation evolved is still a mystery, as the aardsloth is the only animal that can tolerate the spines if tagged.

The species is by far the tallest to live on Attenborough. It is one of the fastest as well, able to outrun most predators out in the open. The aardsloth is surprisingly well at concealing itself despite its height. When lying down, the purple hide of the animal blends in with the purple and ultraviolet plants of the scrubland forests. Their eggs are similar to many desert species in that they mimic rocks. The aardsloth lays their eggs among the clonal communities of spine palms, offering superior protection against predation than camouflage alone.

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