The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Sunday, February 19, 2012


One of the more insidious species to make their home in the Galapagos Mountains is the aptly named Zombifier. At first glance, this medium sized creature, not much larger than a coyote, does not seem overly dangerous. Unlike many other species identified, the zombifier does not even try to mask itself against the violet flora. Many red and orange stripes run down the back of both male and female of the species, indicating coloration is more a warning display.

When moving, they walk on the tips of their toes, not quite hoof-like but on its way in evolutionary terms. They have long snouts, tipped with a hundred sharp teeth. Each of the teeth has groves running down them, connecting to a master venom gland. The venom does not kill its prey, but rather lives it in a quasi-comatose state. Its name is derived from a drug produced millennia ago in the Caribbean region, and the venom does leave its victims in a state of living death. The purpose of the venom is not to kill, but to render the prey inert. Once inert, the zombifier either drags its prey to a safe location to eat, or to lay its eggs inside of it. The prey will live long enough for the eggs to hatch and the hatchlings to eat their way out.

There is little danger to any human observer, as the teeth cannot penetrate environmental suits, and if one was foolish enough to not wear one, and then a zombifier attack will be the least of their concerns. The zombifier can be found all over Attenborough, though the largest concentrations are in the heavily vegetated areas of the mountains. The species is an excellent rock climber and has the balance of a mountain goat.

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