Creature Name: Alcoon (al coon)
Height: 1.9 m
Mass: 230 kg
Inhabiting the lower depths of the planet are the Alcoons. Closely related to Dragoons, Alcoons are a somewhat intelligent species, one of the smarter life forms on Zebes.
The Alcoon is a subterranean animal, preferring to bide its day underground. Using ambush tactics on prey, it will leap out of the ground, catching its prey off guard. Its two legs are very strong, able to support its massive weight. Their large brain allows them to make complex decisions and carry out intricate plans. They have evolved a system of multifaceted eyes, with different facets sensitive to different electromagnetic frequencies, which enable them to see through heat intense areas as well as through some igneous rock. This combined with very sensitive hearing allow them to locate prey while still underground. This multifaceted also has a silica crystal coating, protecting the eye from severe burning from the hot air, which can reach temperatures of over 1300°C.
They have evolved warty, tough hides, further shielding them from heat. The real importance of this hide acts as a moisture barrier keeping in much needed body fluids. They have weak, but nevertheless present fins in the place of arms. These fins serve no obvious purpose and are probably evolutionary leftovers from the Alcoon/Dragon common ancestor. Their snouts are long and protruding, beginning with large cheek pouches and ending in a very flexible snout. The cheek pouches extract hydrogen gas from hydrocarbons produced by the cells in the pouches. This gas is then superheated and ionized using a bioelectrical arc and focused using a magnetic field. Electrifying metal fragments in the pouches and snout creates the magnetic field. The resulting plasma is accelerated out the snout by other electromagnets. This creates a plasma shot that is extremely effective at killing an Alcoon's prey. The Alcoon then inserts its snout into its prey through the hole created by the exploding plasma and injects digestive juices. Once the prey has been liquefied the Alcoon sucks it up. The Alcoon must keep its snout in the prey during this process or the prey's tissues will evaporate through the hole, making the Alcoon quite vulnerable when feeding. Alcoons tend to drag their prey into their burrows for safety when feeding, both from predators and from other Alcoons who might try to steal the food.
Most Alcoons live in Norfair. However, besides the normal red variety from Norfair there is a rare green variety of Alcoon that exists in some volcanoes in Crateria. The reason for the green coloration is unknown, but some theorize that long ago Crateria might have been a lush and fertile area much like Brinstar is now. Over the centuries, however, the surface environments changed and all the plants died. The green Alcoons, as well as the green Scisers, might be the last remnants of this age. To this day no evidence has been found of such a period, so the debate still rages on the subject.Alcoons reproduce sexually. They do not mate for life, instead being promiscuous, with all members of one gender mating with all member of another gender. There is strong competition between both males and females for mates. They ram their crested heads into each other, but injuries are rare. The stronger will usually force the weaker away without any damage. Eggs are laid in the deep in the ground near the females' burrows.