Design Blog: Drillfoot Toad - Keep Digging Yourself Deeper

Name: Drillfoot Toad (Scaphiopus Fodiens)

Typical Height: 3 in. (7.62 cm)

Typical Length: 8 in. (20.32 cm)

Typical Weight: 2.8 lbs (1.27 kg)

Physical Description: With large bulbous eyes, a stocky rotund body, and a brownish coloration, the Drillfoot Toad looks much like a typical toad at a distance. However, a closer inspection reveals the creature’s namesake: a keratinous bone sticking out of the toad’s hindlegs. These bones were attached to the rest of the creature’s skeleton by a uniquely (most likely magically) crafted ball joint, allowing them to rotate 360 degrees. The bone took the shape of a sharp, spade like instrument, which, when spun at a fast enough speed, allowed the creature to dig deep into most surfaces and burrow around.

Diet: Unlike most creatures found on the dunes, the diet of the Drillfoot Toad actually varies as the creature ages. As a tadpole, they mostly eat electroplankton and other small protozoa. As they age, however, they slowly evolve to become carnivorous, eating oceanic invertebrates, and, when food is scarce, occasionally resort to cannibalism to survive. This cannibalism is known to actually mutate the creature if done repeatedly. Their “drills” become much sharper, able to dig through hard rock and asphalt, and their heads become larger, forming shovel-shaped beaks near the front of their heads. Scientists believe that this mutation is a result of latent magical energy not having a way out of the creature, after building up in the small amphibian’s body.

Behavior: The sight of a Drillfoot is a rare one indeed, as they are rarely found above ground. Mostly digging underneath the sands of the Dunes of Cape Cod, occasionally digging into more civilized areas, these creatures are known to build great networks of small tunnels. To mate, the creatures dig small pipe-like tunnels attached to sources of freshwater, where they may lay eggs. Pockets of this freshwater can be found underground wherever these frogs are located, with hundreds of eggs in each pocket.

Ecology: As burrowing creatures, the Drillfoot is able to evade most avian and terrestrial predators with ease. However, their size makes them vulnerable to larger creatures that also tend to dig into the ground, such as larger moles and squirrels.

Lifecycle: With a relatively short 6 year lifespan, the Drillfoot is a quick breeder, and an even quicker tunneler. Their lives consist of gathering food, finding a mate, and avoiding predators. Quite often, the creatures often run into one another’s tunnels, constantly building onto them, creating labyrinthine tunnels of dirt, allowing for almost a secret toad society underneath the Dunes to flourish.

Human Relations: While docile enough, the Drillfoot Toad does not take lightly to being captured by human efforts. However, time, experimentation, and trial and error has made it evident that their bone cannot penetrate most metals. Those who have captured a Drillfoot usually utilize their burrowing tendencies to assist with the digging of tunnels or the clearing of land. These efforts are usually in vain however, because once they get loose in the dirt, there is very little keeping the Drillfoots from simply burrowing away, extending their already massive tunnel network.

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