The latest two updates complete my current list of order Eumaia of the vehoprolians. I may add more to the list at some future point, but for the time being I can put the lid on this clade.
I didn't realize this when I first put together the species lineup for the ballerina forest biome, but these updates share a strong maternal instinct. While that made this post easy to title it also meant that I had to put some extra work into making sure these two species had traits that set themselves apart.
The basket carm is a pachyfronsid, and since I've already featured two of those it only compounded my goals for a conceptually unique nereid. When I run into this problem I usually consider the niche I'm trying to fill and look at creatures from Earth that have similar ecological roles. While the colossus carm was inspired by mastodons and the emperor carm emulates savanna herd beasts, the basket carm is a temperate forest browser, much like deer and elk, so I drew upon them for inspiration. I also thought that, unlike the other carms who only have one or two offspring at a time, basket carms should have large litters. That led to thoughts about where all those weak-legged young could be carried and voila! A new and different nereid!
The other species, the tempered chuck, is an idea I'd had for some time. It's a common assertion in circles that aspire to plausible xenobiology that aliens with mammaries can't exist; all those apparent mammals we see in Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar, and almost all other sci-fi just couldn't happen. Given the endless evolutionary possibilities on alien worlds I can accept this assertion, but I feel that most who make it leave out a very important qualifier: it may be true that an alien with obvious mammalian features isn't likely, but an alien who gives birth to live young which it then suckles through convergent means, to me at least, doesn't seem like it's outside the realm of possibility. The tempered chuck is my attempt to explore this convergence; I'll leave it up to you, the reader, to determine my success.