Name: Yard (yard)
Height: 0.7 m
Mass: 20 kg
The Yard is an unusual creature. Despite its appearance, the Yard is actually a very fast creature. It uses its speed to hunt down the small creatures it feeds on. It uses the large claws in the front of its body to inject it prey with powerful venom, then scoot away and wait for the prey to die. They then come back and feed. They feed by extending their stomach out of their bodies, digesting the prey on the spot, then sucking it back in. Yards move by rhythmically contracting their bellies in a wave-like manner. Small spines there grip the ground and push the Yard along. By also wiggling the spines, the Yard can achieve a reasonably
high speed. The spines can also be used to strongly grip the ground as they move without sacrificing speed, allowing the Yards to zoom along walls and ceilings as easily as the ground. The spines used to attack prey are actually modified movement spines.
The Yard's shell is made up of an alloy/protein laminar composite. The armor is extremely strong, protecting Yards from attacks through the shell. Yards can rapidly pull themselves into their shell when attacked. They pull a composite trap door over the opening to the shell, sealing themselves inside. The only way for predators to get inside is to pry the trap door open, and only the toughest predators are capable of that.
Yards reproduce sexually. A male and female breeding pair will lock their shells together with specially designed suction cup-like organs. After breeding is completed, the pair separates. The female lays the eggs in the mud if she can find some, or alternatively in pods along the ceiling. The babies hatch and begin hunting for small creatures immediately. Their armor does not develop until adulthood, so the young are very vulnerable. Consequently, a female Yard lays clutches of dozens of eggs frequently, guaranteeing a reasonable number live to reproduce.