80 Earth years
The carrier Echydna plays the most important role in the Echydna species. Whilst not operating as a queen or a leader, its protection and survival are paramount. There are many carriers, not only one. As the primary focus of the Echydna is the preservation and propagation of their own species by any means necessary, up to and including the elimination of other lifeforms that may pose a threat to their existence, they must ensure the survival of all carriers due to the fact they are the only ones in their species who can lay eggs.
Carrier Echydna, like normal male and female Echydna, are bipedal in form, though, they do have the ability to hunch down and utilise their strong legs for sprinting, jumping and climbing. They have a skeletal, rubber-like appearance and are usually a shade of dark blue. Their teeth are prominent and a whole lot sharper than normal Echydna.
Carriers have smooth heads and are a lot more nimble in movement despite being taller and stronger. Normal Echydna have slightly elongated skulls with eyes prominent on the face. Males and females are differentiated by the colour of their eyes, however, carriers have no differential between each other and instead have small piercing orange eyes.
Genetics & Reproduction
The Echydna have both male and female, but they also have the carrier Echydna, Both males and females can release essence inside a carrier Echydna. The carriers sole purpose and role within the species is to birth new Echydna.
When a male releases essence into the carrier, it will produce a male egg. The opposite is true should a female release essence. This luxury allows them to keep control of the male and female populations. Carrier Echydna can produce around 1,000 eggs per Earth year, sharing a little essence of their own during each eggs formation. ( see Echydna for more. )
Habitats & Ecology
Carrier Echydna require warmth relative to their average body temperature. They also require lots more food. Like ordinary Echydna, they lack the capability to swim in water let alone breathe in it. Carrier Echydna are native to Sanvi and cannot be found anywhere else on Anarkand.
Growth rate & stages
The creation of a Carrier Echydna requires the sacrifice of a male and female Echydna. Both Echydna must lock head spikes releasing all essence they have between them. This forms a small parasitoid that utilises the body of both as hosts and eats them from the inside out before emerging as an infant carrier.
The Echydna life cycle is a complex process comprising several distinct stages. It begins as an egg, laid by a carrier Echydna, which hatches a parasitic larval-like form. It will remain in this form for around 6-12 Earth hours before shedding its skin as it grows. Until it does, the Echydna is extremely vulnerable to attacks.
Echydna feed, warm, protect, and ensure the needs of a carrier Echydna are taken care of. This is because only a carrier can lay eggs. Echydna usually operate in large groups. This allows them to survive and thrive in the regions they occupy. They are often viewed as a scourge on Sanvi and are actively hunted and targeted by the Kiros who live in the area.
Geographic origin & distribution
Carriers are only found in Sanvi.