Creature Name: Metaree (me ta ree)
Height: 1.5 m
Wingspan: 1.5 m
Mass: 16 kg
Planet's Found On: Zebes
The Metaree is the result of Space Pirate genetic experiments early on in their reign over Zebes. The purpose of these experiments was to improve the natural species of Zebes to make more effective soldiers and defensive units. In the end very few of these experiments proved to be successful. Most genetic changes were lethal or at the least detrimental, and most of the creatures that had beneficial changes did not have appreciably better components as compared to their natural counterparts. The Metaree was one of the exceptions, though.
Using genetic engineering and their ability to combine mechanical and biological components, the Space Pirates attempted to improve the Skree as a defensive unit. The normal Skree claws were replaced with hardened alloy spines, which served as both offensive weapons and shields to protect the Metaree from enemy attacks. The natural armor was strengthened, the weak joints were mostly eliminated, and metal plates were placed underneath the natural armor. The cognitive and memory centers of the brain were replaced with computers, and some muscles were augmented with piezoelectric polymer actuators. Living components were modified to automatically repair, or if necessary build, the mechanical components. The Metarees are programmed to attack any enemy target passing underneath, as well as "useless" indigenous species if food is needed.
Metarees, like all members of the order Maladens, give birth to full formed live young. These young burrow into the grown and hide until they are fully grown and their claws are hardened. Feeding on rocks, they extract metals needed to make the mechanical components.