Alien Species

Arrowtongues are one of Darwin IV's most ubiquitous apex predators. They are solitary hunters, roaming the plains in search of their next meal, usually a Thornback, Gyrosprinter, Littoralope, which they kill after an almost always fatal, short and furious pursuit. Most often, they can be spotted concealing themselves amongst beds of Electrophytes, where they take advantage of this colonial fauna's electrical discharges to discourage herds from getting too close to them. To aid in their camouflage, they have adapted an organic sonar system which emits ranging pings in concert with these discharges to obscure its point of origin from its intended prey; however, this sonar also has a use in attack, allowing them to terrify their intended targets to likely cloud their judgment and give the Arrowtongue the advantage.

Darwin IV- Arrowtongue3

Side-view of an arrowtongue.

They stand and walk about on a single pair of large, muscular, two-toed legs. They also have two muscular limbs coming out of their sides and facing backwards. These limbs can be pulled forward to make the Arrowtongue look bigger, whether to scare away a possible threat, or as a courtship display. It has a thin phallus in comparison with it's polar cousin, the Bolt-tongue.

For personal defense outside of hiding amongst Electrophyte colonies, they have developed a symbiotic relationship with some unspecified microscopic organism, allowing them to utilize bioluminescence. These bioluminescent patches are aligned on their backs, and are used when attempting to frighten away intruders.

Darwin IV- Arrowtongue and Thornback

An Arrowtongue hunting some Thornbacks

The Arrowtongue gets its name from a retractable appendage on its mouth that it uses to attack and subdue prey, which pierces the victim's skin and injects digestive juices into the body. As with other liquivorous species, the victim's insides liquefy, at which point the Arrowtongue uses its 8m (26ft) long appendage to suck out this for sustenance.


  • In Alien Planet, Arrowtongues are stated as being "roughly the size of a T. rex", but this is not accepted as fact.
  • The creator, Wayne Barlowe, had this to say about his creation of the Arrowtongues: "I really wanted this creature to be big and threatening, my version of what might have evolved along T. rex lines on another planet. The notion that what we were witnessing on Darwin IV was the evolutionary equivalent to the late Cretaceous era on our own planet was never far from my mind."