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Umbertoads (Gigabatrachus cafe) are a large poisonous frog species native to Rachantes.

History[]

Umbertoads appeared and evolved in the planet Rachantes. Besides their role in the ecosystem, they haven't participated in any historical events yet.

Biology[]

Description[]

Umbertoads are medium-sized creatures. They can measure up to 3 meters long, around 1 meter tall, and weight up to 100 kilograms.

Umbertoads are superficially frog-like, but with noticeable differences. Their body build, rather than short and wide like that of Earth's frogs and toads, is quite elongated; and instead of having a short tail, Umbertoads simply lack it. Also, both pairs of limbs are more or less equally long, and aren't splayed like those of ordinary frogs, making their body build rather similar to that of ungulates, quadrupedal dinosaurs and/or rauisuchians. These legs end in webbed frog-like feet, with the front ones being five-digited, but the back ones being three-digited. Their mouth superficially resembles that of a frog, but has teeth. They have large, googly eyes. Their body is covered in slimy brown skin, with many wart-like venom-gland-containing structures across their body and legs.

There is no known sexual dimorphism between Umbertoads, but females are usually larger than males. Like Earth's amphibians, Umbertoads young are known as tadpoles, and are highly different from their parents: they have a long tadpole tail, undeveloped limbs and warts, and no teeth. Tadpoles are usually quite small, never surpassing 5 centimeters in lenght.

Traits and abilities[]

Umbertoads are quite high muscular strenght, especially in their legs, making them fast and agile jumpers as well. They are, however, very fragile, as their slimy skin provides no protection against attacks.

Perhaps the Umbertoad's signature ability is its capability to spew venom out of its skin, which is generated in aforementioned venom glands. This poison can filtrate through the skin of most prey, entering their veins and eventually killing them. Their body plan allows them to run after prey at moderate speed, rather than just jumping after it: their muscular strenght, however, also allows them to perform enormous leaps with a height of almost three meters, and a lenght of nearly seven meters. Due to them usually feeding on medium sized to large animals, they have evolved molar teeth to chew their flesh, rather than just attempting to swallow small prey like Earth's frogs and toads. Unlike many other amphibians, however, Umbertoads are poor swimmers and move better in land than in water.

Habitat[]

Umbertoads usually live near the various ponds and lakes of Rachantes, where they can find prey and escape from predators by hiding in the water. They might, however, settle in the seashores of the ocean as well, where a fair amount of food is present as well; however, the beaches are also inhabited by Venophibians, which would regularily compete with the Umbertoads for prey.

Behavior[]

Umbertoads are rather solitary creatures, only forming pairs or small packs to reproduce or to hunt large prey lone individuals have less chances of taking down, such as Dukes and Elandies. They can tolerate the presence of other members of their species, except when one of them has a prey it wants to protect, but won't actively look for their company until the aforementioned situations. Umbertoads are fierce hunters, but they are quite docile when not hungry, trying to avoid fights with other creatures . When hunting, they usually won't attempt to sneak up on their prey, and will rather rely on their impressive running and jumping speed to catch them. They will attempt to jump and land on the victim, subduing it with its weight; then, they will excrete venom from their glands, fating the creature with death. Interestingly, there seem to be various options an Umbertoad will choose between after poisoning their victim, which vary depending on the individual: some Umbertoads will tend to keep their prey caught under their bodies until it dies from the venom, ensuring that no scavengers will steal the piece, but also consuming energy when trying to prevent the creature from escaping; while others will prefer to let go of the sentenced victim and follow it waiting for it to fall dead, saving energy but also risking to lose the meal to other carnivores. Umbertoads with a prey will be much more aggresive than usual, reacting violently with other creatures that get too close until they finish eating.

Umbertoad mating isn't fully understood by scientists yet: they have a set mating season, but the times at which they become sexually receptive don't seem to be completely random either. When two receptive Umbertoads meet, they will evaluate each other and, if they look apt to each other, they will mate. The couple will stay together for a short time, until the female lays the eggs and the two will take different paths once again, deserting their offspring. Females usually lay 10-14 eggs, and similarily to those of Earth's frogs, they lack a shell, being covered in layers of gelatinous material instead. Tadpoles take 1-3 months to hatch, 2-3 years to fully develop, and an extra year to become sexually mature.

Ecology[]

Umbertoads are in the middle of the food chain in the savannahs of Rachantes, above most herbivores and lesser predators such as Zakren, and below larger creatures such as Dukes and Brontoths. Their preferred prey seem to be Daurilli and Dypcoses, but they will sometimes target Zakren and even Elandies as well when their preferred meals are scarce. In coastal areas, their biggest rivals are Venophibians, since both predators tend to target medium to large-sized prey.

Umbertoads seem to be barely affected by the Androg populations on Rachantes, due to the small size of their "cities" and their lifestyle. The areas of the planet under control of the New Gods Empire, however, do pose a threat to them and other animals that live there, since the Fragan cities occupy a large amount of space that would otherwise belong to nature and pollute the environment around them; additionally, Umbertoads and other members of the local fauna are often abducted for the Fragan's genetic experiments. Documented cases of Umbertoads attacking Androg and Fragan are rare, but they are known to behave agressively against them when disturbed or harmed, and poisoned victims that don't receive inmediate medical treatment are very likely to die from the attack.

Taxonomy[]

Umbertoads are currently classified as frogs/toads in the family Leptodactylidae. It currently seems to have no close relatives.

Their binominal name is Gigabatrachus cafe. The genus name means giant frog in greek, and the epithet means brown in latin.

Notable individuals[]

There are no known important Umbertoads yet.

Story appearances[]

None for now

Quotes on them[]

None for now

Gallery[]

Downloadable PNG[]

Other Pictures[]

Trivia[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Umbertoads were originally concepted to emit a liquifying substance instead of regular venom, which would help them feed on the prey since they originally lacked teeth. After a similar ability was given to several other animals, such as the Kataro, Umbertoads were reimagined to inject regular venom and posess teeth in order to grind meat.

Other Trivia[]

TBA

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