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Sea Monsters: Trapjaw - Fauna
Written By: Elizabeth Barrette (Writer), Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon (Editor), Ellen Million (Editor)
A ubiquitous medium-size inshore predator similar to an alligator with fins.

Ejuberf (aka Berf)

The trapjaw is a medium-size (30-40 ft) inshore predator. Widespread across multiple habitats, the population varies. The trapjaw resembles tylosaurus, an alligator-like dinosaur, but with a wider, flatter body, slightly more developed rear paddles, sharp claws on all four paddles, and a broad short tail. They are fast, agile swimmers. They eat fish, sea birds, and anything else they can fit into their mouths. They occasionally attack or are attacked by other sea monsters. They breathe air and are tolerable divers; they can reach 500-600 feet and hold their breath for 15-20 minutes, although most dives are shallower and shorter. They can live 40-50 years.

This sea monster is actually semi-aquatic and oviparous, and the female has to hump herself onto the beaches to lay eggs like a sea turtle does. Trapjaws are vulnerable at this time, if you stay out of reach and pummel them with huge rocks. If they get within reach of humans, however, they are still plenty dangerous on the sand. The large eggs are nutritious and tasty. Southerners have discovered some of their nesting grounds and hunt them vigorously there ... but the trapjaws have other nesting areas that are out of reach. They are less common near populated areas, but with the barriers down, they can migrate from cooler food-rich waters to warmer nesting grounds.

Trapjaws will ram small and sometimes medium-sized boats with great enthusiasm. They readily eat humans found in the water. They often cause problems when they come onto a beach, or when they tangle in fishing nets. The head is very dangerous, and the tail can deliver a devastating blow. However, the flanks and underbelly are not well protected, and are thus vulnerable to harpoons and other weapons.

Before Upheaval: There were six surviving species, widespread but their numbers were carefully managed due to their aggressive nature. Two were obligate migrants, the most numerous. Two were obligate residents, though these populations were smaller. Two were opportunists, not as numerous as the migrants but well dispersed.

Sundered Times: The obligate migrants died out when the time barriers severed their migration routes. The obligate residents who survived the Upheaval were too few to recover without human support. The two opportunistic species survived and thrived. The northern trapjaw lived in time shard #67. The southeastern trapjaw lived in time shard #14, #15, #54, #33, and #68. During this time, the southeastern trapjaw divided into two new subspecies, the southern trapjaw and the eastern trapjaw.

Modern Times: The northern trapjaw is navy blue rippled with lighter blue; its teeth are adapted for chewing ice, as it likes to hunt near air holes. It spread from shard #67 into shards #1, #61, and #63; then from #61 into #60 and eventually #3.

The southern trapjaw displays various shades of dark green-gray rippled with sandy yellows. The different populations that survived the sundered times spread quickly as the shard borders fell; the ones from #68 traveled north, east, and west, ending up in all of the southern ocean (roughly from the northern edges of shard #11 all the way to shard #30). The southern trapjaw in shards #14 and #15 spread throughout the interior sea and central gulf. Separate populations of the southern trapjaw merged on meeting.

The eastern trapjaw shows various shades of dark gray rippled with silver. Its first population spread from time shard #54 into #51 and #52; then into #50. Its second population spread from time shard #33 into #32, #31, and #34; then from #34 into #53 and #52. Separate populations of eastern trapjaw merged on meeting.

The southern trapjaw and the eastern trapjaw are prevented from crossbreeding because their ranges do not overlap, but they would breed with each other if their territories touched; this makes them subspecies. All three species have begun to wander again, now that the time barriers are falling. The southern trapjaw in particular, and the eastern trapjaw to a slightly lesser extent, are alert to human depredations and will move to different nesting grounds in response. They are increasingly cunning about finding out-of-the-way places to nest.

This article contains extra material for our contributors only!

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