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Traveller

Up to date as of February 05, 2010

From Traveller Wiki - Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far future

(Platapedalis Arborus)

Tree Lions (also called drop spiders or shovel spiders) are trap building carnivores native to Jesedipere in the Aramis subsector. Scattered to a number of worlds early in the human colonization of the region, Tree Lions can be found in subtropical forest regions on several worlds in the Aramis and Rhylanor subsectors.

A typical Tree Lion specimen appears as a small (1 kg), bilaterally symmetrical, 10 legged arachnid-like creature with a tough, leathery hide covered with bristle-like hairs. The foremost pair of legs have developed into two chitinous, shovel-like apparatus. The remaining legs are equipped with grippers adapted for hanging and climbing. All Tree Lions lead an arboreal existence, descending from their home trees only to build and maintain their unusual traps. A single home tree may support two to three Tree Lion nests, depending on the size of the tree. A typical nest will contain a male/female pair and several young, which are hatched from egg-sacs.

A Tree Lion will build its trap in the soil directly beneath its nest, utilizing its specially adapted forelegs to scoop out a shallow, conical pit about a meter in diameter. It will then spend several hours spinning a fine network of thick silken strands cross the interior of the pit. Each strand is coated with an adhesive substance which exudes an odor of decaying meat. Small animals investigating the smell become trapped, and as they struggle, alert the Tree Lion via two "shroud lines" leading from the edge of the pit to the nest. Once alerted, the Tree Lion descends and administers a paralyzing bite. Prey is then wrapped in silk and carried to the nest.

Tree Lions do not normally pose a hazard to travellers, as their venom is relatively mild, but they can prove irritating and distracting. The creature's venom can cause temporary muscle paralysis in the affected limb (roll 2D for 8 + ) and can cause allergic reactions in some individuals (for bite subsequent to the first time a person is bitten by a Tree Lion, roll 12 exactly on 2D for allergic affect). The allergic reaction will reduce a victim's strength to zero for 1 D days or until medical care is available. In areas of dense Tree Lion population, movement can be hindered by the presence of large numbers of pit traps.

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises and by permission of the author.
JTAS18
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This article uses material from the "Tree Lion" article on the Traveller wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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