Welcome to The Final Outpost!
Age: 6 months
During the day, the Etarakido is generally nowhere to be seen. Curling up on branches, shrubs, or patches of moss, this diminutive creature uses its stellar camouflage abilities to find safety and well-deserved rest before awaking at night to hunt. Once the sun goes down, Etarakidos emerge in full force, unfurling their disproportionately large wingspans and taking to the skies in flocks of one hundred or more in search of the insect swarms that make up their main diet. A flock of Etarakidos will first confuse prey by vigorously flapping their wings in unison, allowing their bright and iridescent underwing stripes to catch even the faintest sources of light. After their prey has been disoriented by this multisensory barrage, the flock will trap and catch their meals in midair. The Etarakido’s wing patterns also offer a handy form of self-defense against would-be predators, creating an optical illusion that allows individuals to blend into the larger flock as they retreat to safety. Although generally wary of humans, numerous Etarakido flocks have made their homes in the forest surrounding Outpost One, due to the convenient source of illumination provided by the outpost's exterior floodlights. Their dazzling markings make them quite easy to spot as they wheel across the night sky.
The creatures that dwell in this rather desolate world still display some diversity in appearance, eating habits, and social behavior. Whether they have fur or feathers, skin or scales, their unique genetic makeup allows for a variety of colors and markings within each species. Despite limitations in food sources, herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores are all present in the food chain, and each species requires specialized care within a laboratory. Although the artificial setting of housing units and breeding pods precludes most opportunities to study true interspecific behavior, the interactions within and between species has been studied extensively in the wilderness by scientists daring enough to venture beyond the outpost’s walls.