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It's been awhile, but I'm back with a question I probably should have asked long before now, involving Chompers and terrain.

The trouble is, Chompers have suction cups for feet, using the muscular cup and the slime it produces to grip onto substrate, which makes their feet similar to a snail's foot or an octopus' suckers and which enables them to climb up on relatively smooth surfaces, like the side of a stone or wood house, a glass window, or across roof shingles, but not the rough bark of a tree.

Since the slime produced by a Chomper foot must almost certainly be adhesive to allow them to climb up smoother surfaces, this means that soil, leaves, sand, and so forth could stick to a Chomper's feet, which would of course be problematic. But, I'm not too familiar with how snail slime or octopi suckers would work on land; I know octopi can apparently go around on beaches for short periods perfectly fine, and I know snails don't seem to have a problem with stuff sticking to them, so I could be wrong and Chompers could only be limited by what their suction cup could adhere to (aka nothing too rough).

With this in mind, my question is simple: What can Chompers feasibly travel on?

Specifications:

  1. The question can be rephrased as "what kinds of substrates or materials can Chompers travel on without problems?" For example, would gravel be a problem? Or sand? This is important, as this would determine where Chompers can move and therefore where there range would be limited to.
  2. Building off of point 1, the best answer should explain what terrain Chompers would find traversable and untraversable, as well as what they could or couldn't feasibly climb on (trees, vines, giant mushrooms, fallen logs, rocks, a guard who's sleeping too hard, etc.).

Thank you for your time and effort, I appreciate it!

A Sidenote:

As both answerers have pointed out that Chompers would have a small attachment point, I would like to point out that a Chomper's suction-cup feet are like upside-down cones at the ends of their legs, proportionate to their size. In structure, these cup would be akin to a snail's foot, using their shape and musculature to create a vacuum seal against the object they're climbing, or if that is impossible, using slime and musculature to cling and climb up on surfaces. I hope this helps!

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  • $\begingroup$ Retractable suckers are no option? $\endgroup$
    – Joachim
    Feb 6, 2022 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Joachim: retractable suckers? I never thought of that! I have no idea how that could work, but feel free to use that idea! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 7, 2022 at 13:52

2 Answers 2

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Chompers prefer hard surfaces and detest soft terrain.

As you mentioned, Chompers can climb on virtually any surface so long as their suction-cup feet adhere. The weight of the Chompers is certainly a limiting factor however. Being sentient eggs they should be quite heavy and would get increasingly heavier as they grow. Eventually scaling a vertical surface would become impossible.

Because they only have one suction cup in each foot, their ability to climb is limited. Normally octopi have about 2000 suction cups which disperses the force applied on each individual sucker. This means Chompers aren't as good climbers as we previously thought. Most likely, the suction cups serve to grip on surface to avoid slipping (being egg-shaped they would be quite clumsy).

Terrains they could easily move on:

  • Canyons
  • Rivers
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Tundras

Terrains they could tolerate:

  • Forests

  • Open terrain

Terrains they would detest:

  • Deserts
  • Hills
  • Marches
  • Swamps
  • Mountain ranges
  • Oceans
  • Glaciers

In other words Chompers will be most common in rocky regions and forests/plains. I also recall them having at least two evolved forms in this question. The aforementioned rocky areas will likely lack abundant food sources, so I expect the Savages to most common there. Forests are more bountiful so Gluttons will be more common there.

Always a pleasure to answer. You're welcome!

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! Not only did you cover possible terrains, but also their evolved forms, nice work! Out of curiosity, do you think a Chomper could climb up on a person? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 7, 2022 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ I hadn't thought of that! Yes, I guess they could. Smaller Chompers would have no problem climbing on a person. The issue is that flesh is soft and they only have one sucker on each foot. Unlike a solid brick wall, flesh gets droopy when they cling to it. Not stable, but definitely possible. $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2022 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 8, 2022 at 14:30
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"I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. This is my dream; this is my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor, and surviving."

-- Walter Kurtz, noted tactician, religious leader, and 47th President of the United States.

enter image description here

The physics is too interesting for StackExchange to explain, but seeing is believing: snails can indeed crawl on things that you might think would be uncomfortable. To put it briefly, snails can use the wiggles of their muscular feet to move forward without the need to stick to a surface. But they can stick to a surface with their mucus. Or release the sticky bit and move forward with a bit of pressure. The mucus does stick to debris, but the answer to that is the mucus stays stuck where it is - the snail leaves the trail behind it. Now that trail is valuable - going rate is $2000 to $50000 a kilogram for the powder, more than gold if you start with the right snail. That is nonetheless not easy work, because the snails make that kilogram go a very long way. Imagine you dried your own mucus after a cold (please don't do this...) to have a sense of what might be left.

Just about anything can move across normal terrain; it's only a question of how fast. With the slime and sucker cups, these should be able to move upside down like snails, provided their weight per surface area is not excessive. Now your linked post says these things are egg-shaped and the size and shape of an elephant bird egg. That means hanging three pounds from a small attachment point. Given that atmospheric pressure is 15 pounds per square inch, your suction cups either have to have a genuine vacuum pump to work them, or else you have to have some really exceptional glue as your slime if you want them to roll across the ceiling.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good work, thanks for explaining more about how snails work, this is a great answer! As for their suction cups, I attached a sidenote to the OP if you want to check it out, I hope it helps! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 7, 2022 at 13:58

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