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Yes, I know I've created two different questions that resulted in a Plop or Chomper predator, respectively. However, given that Plops and Chompers are among the most common monsters in Alendyias, it makes sense that there'd be some sort of predator-prey relationship, but I can't determine what that relationship would be.

Plops and Chompers-Shared Traits:

  • Both can grow by consuming matter
  • Both can eat practically anything
  • Both have a large evolutionary stage

Chomper Advantages:

  • Toughness: Due to enamel shell, Chompers can take harder hits and can actually bite and chew things, while Plop can only engulf

  • Legs: Chompers have legs, which enables them to run and jump, while Plop can only glide over substrate. Also, these same legs end in suction cup feet, which enable them to climb up smooth surfaces. Plop can't go up smooth surfaces.

  • Spewage: Due to their close-ended digestive system, Chompers excrete waste from their mouth. Often, they do this as an attack called 'spewage.' This may poison and disorient a Plop.

  • Color vision: Like birds and some reptiles, Chompers are tetrachromats-while Plops see like slugs, Chompers have excellent color vision, can focus in on interesting sights, and can see about as far as a raven.

  • Avian intelligence: Like ravens, Chompers are capable of social behavior, even forming social hierarchies, and they can use tools (they've been observed picking up sticks with their flexible tongue and probing for fellow monsters, such as Plop), problem-solve, and plan for future events. Basically, they're a raven inside of a walking, chomping egg-monster.

Plop Advantages:

  • Flexibility: As a mass of slimy, amorphous rubber, Plop are pretty hard to chew, smash, or slash. Hitting them with a hammer, for example, does nothing. As a result, very few creatures prey on them. They are also capable of altering their solidity, enough to slip under a doorway or flow into a glass bottle.

  • Speed: Plop can keep up with a jogging or speedwalking human, which is pretty fast for a slime or pseudo-slug. This is compared to a Chomper's max speed of 10 mph, which I'm sure is remarkably slow by comparison.

  • Climbing: Plop can't do slick surfaces like ice, glass or glazed pottery, but they can glide or climb up trees, bricks, textured stucco, weathered stone, and so forth, which Chompers cannot do as their feet do not adhere properly to rough surfaces.

  • Engulfing: Plop cannot bite or chew, but they can use their flexibility to engulf a creature, then excrete acid from their interior to dissolve the unfortunate victim.

  • Manipulation: Plop have a long, red, fleshy and flexible tongue they can use to manipulate objects, as well as four orb-tipped feelers they can use to whack enemies. Getting hit by one feels about the same as being hit by a tennis ball.

  • Cephalopod Intelligence: If Chompers are like ravens, Plop are like octopi. Solitary yet intelligent, with complex problem-solving capability, Plop swarm merely to take advantage of a large food source, not cooperating so much as seeking the same thing (ie. food).

For more information on Plops and Chompers, please check here and here.

With that all done, my question is simple: What Would The Predator/Prey Relationship Be Between Plops and Chompers?

Specifications:

  1. The best answer will take into account both monster's Enchantments, namely Calcification and Rubberizing, as well as the advantages both monsters have over each other, to determine who would prey on who.

  2. The best answer should also take into account both monster's physiology. Given a Plop's speed and engulfing ability, for example, it should be possible for them to engulf and digest a Chomper's legs, which would leave them pretty much helpless. The best answer should also account for this scenario, as determining how well that would work for Plop will likely determine which one of these two monsters will be predator.

EDIT: Why would Plops and Chompers come into conflict?

Plops and Chompers both eat refuse, but they prefer meat. They both seek out and congregate in places where carrion, garbage, or discarded food can be found, so they often encounter each other and compete for food. And, due to monsters being infused with Chaos Magic, like attracts like, so Plops and Chompers tend to prioritize monsters as a meat source, especially their oh-so-common rivals.

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  • $\begingroup$ The links to the plop and chomper pages don't work. $\endgroup$
    – Globin347
    Oct 12 '21 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Globin347: sorry about that, do they work now? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 12 '21 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ the links work now. $\endgroup$
    – Globin347
    Oct 12 '21 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see why they need to be in a predator-prey relationship. Since "Both can eat practically anything", there's no need for either of them to predate on the other, they have multiple choices for a diet that keeps them out of danger. Neither should be a shortage of "practically anything" to push them in using the other as a food source by necessity. This is to say: there aren't enough details in your question to determine their behavior. (RW example: cheetah and lions don't predate on each other) $\endgroup$ Oct 12 '21 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ @AdrianColomitchi: that's a good point, thanks for expanding my perspective! My reasoning is that since Plops and Chompers both congregate where the food is, they'll often come across each other, which should lead to conflict. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 13 '21 at 15:06
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It depends on who's bigger

In nature, predatory relationships don't always go just one way. Often, creature A will eat juvenile creature B, but adult creature B will eat creature A.

Among predatory fish, for example, who you can eat isn't determined by a list of species you can prey upon; rather, it depends on who can fit in your mouth. A bluegill would probably be more than happy to eat a bass fry, but an adult bass will devour bluegills. (In fact, most fish species will eat their own young as well; this is why fish fry generally either live in shallow water, or disperse quickly as plankton.)

For the plops and the chompers, I imagine it would go something like this:

Since plops are faster, it might be difficult for chompers to prey on plops unless they can ambush them. Plops, however, can alter their solidity, so it might be physically difficult to ingest one even if you can catch it. That said, I imagine chompers would be more than happy to grab a plop if they manage to ambush one.

Plops, on the other hand, can outrun chompers. If the plop is smaller than the chomper, the plop can simply run away. If the plop is bigger, the plop can try to engulf the chomper.

If the plop and the chomper are the same size, a fight could go a number of ways. The plop could attempt to suffocate the chomper, or the chomper might be able to take a solid bite out of the plop, incapacitating it. more likely, however, both creatures might decide the fight isn't worth the effort, and leave each other alone. Real life predators don't usually pick fights that aren't heavily in their favor; even a small injury might mean death.

That said, you might have not given enough attention to the chomper's biggest advantage: Social behavior. If Chompers live in groups, than a pack of chompers could potentially gang up on a larger plop. Crows and Ravens will mob their predators when in groups, so it makes sense that the chompers might do something similar. If there is a large plop and several smaller chompers, the chompers might work together to fight off the plop, biting and tearing at the plop. After all, the plop can only engulf one target at a time.

To summarize:

When a plop spots a chomper (or vice versa), the fist order of business is to determine who is bigger. If the plop is bigger (and it is the one that spotted the other), it will chase down the chomper and engulf it. (If it was the chomper that spotted the larger plop, it will flee and hide.)

If the chomper is bigger (and it is the one that spotted the other), it might try to ambush the plop if a convenient spot is available. If there is no place to launch an ambush, the chomper might simply ignore the plop. (Meanwhile, a plop, on spotting a larger chomper, might simply flee.)

If the two are similar in size, they are likely to ignore one another, as a fight could prove very risky to both parties.

If there are many small chompers and one large plop, the chompers may attempt to mob the plop and drive it away or tear it apart. This would encourage plops not to attack groups of chompers, and it would encourage chompers, especially smaller ones, to stay in groups.

Plops attacking smaller chompers probably have a higher success rate than chompers attacking smaller plops.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful analysis, this is just what I needed! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 15 '21 at 17:34
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Plops eat Chompers.

As regards calcification and rubberization, being rubbery does not help Chompers, which count on their hard shells. Calcification does help Plops which remain rubbery but are even harder to cut.

Plops have a maneuver that works well against Chompers - when the Chomper takes a bite, the Chomper has the Plop but the Plop also has the Chomper. As the Chomper tries to bite off what it has grabbed the rest of the Plop flows around the Chomper. The Plop sometimes turns inside out in the process which is fine. The Chomper finds itself enveloped by the Plop. Even small Plops can do this trick, enveloping the Chomper in a thin film of Plop. Unable to get a purchase with its legs or open its mouth to get another bite, the enveloped Chomper is doomed.

Unless other Chompers in its tribe come to its aid. The only way Chompers can beat a Plop is to team up on it.

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