Palus interfectorem "Clickers"
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Palus interfectorem "Clickers"

Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Anthropoda
Order Mantodea
Group Mantidae
Family Toxoderidae
Genus Palus
Species interfectorem

Discovery

Discovered and contacted by multiple members of the Alpha Drop.
A dissection was conducted by Nadia De Vries and Jael Strauss

Origin of Name

While the Clickers have been given the latin name "Palus interfectorem" meaning "Marsh Killer" these creatures make an audible clicking noise when they are at rest. This noise often alerts to their presence, even if they can't be seen. Hence the layman's name, "Clickers".

Traits

Clickers have the appearance of large arachnids1 along with some resemblances to the preying mantis of earth with its two blade-like raptoral legs which it uses as weapons. Any injury caused by these raptoral legs will infect the victim with the Clicker Retrovirus

Unlike the preying mantis, they do not appear to grasp and hold onto their prey after attacking.2

Clickers are known to take multiple shots from UAE issue weapons and keep charging. The black chitinous armor does afford Clickers some protection3. Analysis reveals the creature has a redundant circulatory system, this may account at least in part for the resilience Clickers have shown while under heavy fire from UEA forces.

As stated, a clicking noise is generated by the movement of small chitin plates on the foremost joints of the raptoral legs.

The blood is clear and viscus. It is easily absorbed into the skin if handled without protection, such exposure will infect the individual with the Clicker Retrovirus.

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Behaviors

The position of a Clicker's raptoral legs is a significant indicator of its disposition.

  • Tucked under and stucking up behind the prothorax indicates the Clicker is relatively calm.
  • Held out in the manner that most resembles a praying mantise indicates the Clicker is on its guard or possibly curious.
  • If the raptoral legs are held up in a "Y" position as the Clicker raises up on its rear legs, it is making a "threat display" indicating aggression.4

If showing a threat display, the Clicker may attack or it may back down. At this time, there is no way to predict what it will do from that point until it acts.

They appear to be territorial, they were first encountered in a bog covered in very tall grass. If observed carefully, Clickers can be seen to be moving and peeking over the tall grass. Very rarely will they be seen to venture very far from the grass. Occasionally a Clicker will become completely focused on one target and peruse that target until driven back.5

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Dissection Results/Anatomy

Brain: The brain is strangely proportioned, with most of it devoted to connections to the nasal ports and eyes. This animal possesses cunning and sophisticated behavior. It is at least as intelligent as a large cat, but is not sentient.

Carapace: This creature is not a 'true' insect because it does not have only an exoskeleton. The exoskeleton has become simply armor, while the interior is filled with fibrous bones of the same material, grown inward from the exoskeletal plates. This is how they managed to become so large, and are an evolutionary tangent unseen on Earth.

Heart and Blood - Clickers have redundant circulatory organs, each heart is two-chambered and simpler than a human heart. The blood is clear and viscous.6

Lung - The creature is oxygen-breathing, and seems to both breathe, which bugs on Earth do not do, and use a vestigial form of osmosis breathing, which is common among bugs on Earth. This indicates it may have evolved from a typical insect into this pseudo-insectoid animal.

Pheromone Gland - This large gland is pungent and has many complex chambers and nodules. It seems to be dedicated to pheromone production. If so, coupled with the amount of the brain devoted to connections with the nasal ports, these creatures have very complex scent signaling for each other.

Stomach - an analysis of the stomach contents reveals that it is a omnivore but mainly eats animals and carrion.

The Clicker Retrovirus is part of the clicker anatomy. Possibly it weakens prey that escapes so it can be taken down at a later time or simply becomes carrion.

++Language
The near constant clicking noise may simply be a way for individuals to keep track of others through echolocation.

Efforts at peaceful communication yielded interesting results7 and an aggressive response from the Clickers present.

Michael Huang has been studying audio and video recording of the Clickers, performing a statistical semantic analysis of their sounds. He found a small number of repeated phrases (i.e. patterns of clicks), which seemed to indicate that the clickers do communicate, but lack a true language. Rather, the clicks seem to be similar to the barks and growls of dogs - each one communicates a single idea, without recombinable words or syntax. Based on this, Huang hypothesizes that the Clickers are pack hunters. However, the sample size is small. More recordings need to be made, in situations other than a wary/hostile encounter with humans, to draw a definite conclusion.

Huang has identified three "Clicker Phrases".

  • "Go away" - Made when humans are present.
  • "I am going in."/"I got this." - Made when a clicker in a pair or group is advancing on a threat.
  • "I will stay back."/acknowledgement - Made in response to the sequence by another clicker indicating it is advancing
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