The World Of Khoras - Fauna and Flora - Fauna - Swamp

Allithrax

Other Names Terror Toads, Ripjaws
Climate/Terrain Swamp, Jungle, Rainforest
Frequency Uncommon
Organization Group
Activity Cycle Diurnal
Diet Carnivore

Physical Description

The allithrax is a small, semi-aquatic carnivorous amphibian with a stout body, a scaled hide, elongated jaws, strong legs and a short wide tail. It is most usually described as a “tailed frog with an alligator head”. The scaled hide on the back and sides is dark mottled green while the belly is smoother skin and pale green. Their mottled green coloration and horny scales allow them to blend into their environment quite well. Nostrils on top of their snout allow them to wait mostly submerged and concealed. A typical allithrax is about one meter long from the tip of its snout to the end of its tail and weighs about 15 kg. However, it often assumes a frog-like sitting posture while sitting on its tail, which makes it appear smaller.  Allithrax have clawed and webbed feet. Because of their webbed feet and strong paddle like tails, they are excellent swimmers.

Combat

Allithrax (the term is both singular and plural) most often sit on their muscular tail and lay in wait for prey. When a suitable target approaches, they violently extend their tails outward giving them an explosive propulsion and allowing them to leap up to 15 meters.  Combined with their camouflage, this tactic allows them to surprise prey. This tail propelled jump is used underwater to catch fish and can also be used to leap high into the air and snatch birds in mid-flight. Allithrax hunt smaller prey alone, but will often also attack in groups to take down larger prey. A single allithrax can kill a small child. A half dozen can kill a full grown man. A dozen or more might be able to take down a mounted knight and his steed. The strong jaws and sharp teeth of the allithrax can deliver a nasty bite wound and they will often go for the throat or other unarmored flesh.

Behavior

Allithrax are curious creatures and will often be attracted by unusual sounds, sights or smells. It is not uncommon for several allithrax to independently approach a campsite to investigate a crackling fire and cooking meat. Oft times a single allithrax will leap in to attack and others, hearing the commotion, will join in to the fray.
Allithrax emit a throaty reptilian “bark” sometimes and these vocalizations are more frequent and excited during an attack. A group of allithrax attacking is a cacophony of excited growls, roars and barks.

Allithrax do not like fire or bright lights and will retreat if threatened with either. An individual allithrax will also flee if badly wounded, often seeking to submerge into water and swim rapidly away.

It is not known if allithrax communicate between each other or to what extent they coordinate group attacks.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat

Allithrax have a wide distribution and can be found in swamps, jungles and rainforests throughout the world. They can also be found in forests near rivers, ponds and lakes. Because they are cold-blooded, they tend to stick to temperate and tropical regions. They will never be found in cold regions.

Ecology

Allithrax are ambush predators. Their primary food source is fish. However, they will also prey on crustaceans, molluscs, birds, mammals and even other reptiles and amphibians. Despite their small size, the allithrax views all other animals as food. Their exact diet depends on their chosen environment.

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