What the FUCK is that?!Mercer Manning, eminent Xenobiologist
Spikepillars are large insectoid creatures that scuttle on the ground, possessing no wings to fly but numerous legs to facilitate easy movement on uneven grounds of sandy environments, and to climb up and over vegetation. The largest spikers can grow up to 40cm in length, though more commonly they are 5cm-10cm. On its back are four longer appendages with chitinous spikes - upon climbing onto or over vegetation, it unfurls the spikes and stabs the plant with them. A small tube down the centre, with similar functionality to xylem cells in Earth plantlife, sucks out water and food.
When folded up onto the spikepillar's back, its feeding spikes serve as a deterrent to predators, though cleverer and more adapted ones can separate the spikes from the rest of the insect before eating it, or merely possess tough enough digestive tracts to digest them anyway. Spikepillars have adapted to living off of minimal nutrition, and are able to linger around cactus-like organisms by absorbing enough to live, but without killing its food source.
Sloshers possess six legs with feet adapted to scoop sand backwards as it moves, granting it reasonable land speed in desert environments. They are omnivores, but eat almost exclusively what vegetation they can find, only resorting to eating meat in dire circumstances, or from predators they have banded together and slain. They can be anywhere between 1m and 2m tall, and are typically 1.5m to 3m in length. Some possess skin ridges along their backs. Male Sloshers have a large fan of coloured skin at the end of their tails, presumably for attracting mates.
The Slosher is called such due to the loose skin on the front of the mammal that holds a large bladder-like sac which fills with water as the Slosher drinks it. As it can live for long periods of time off the water stored within this internal reservoir, and it necessarily needs to carry it around, the water inside is agitated as it moves - hence, "slosher". Though at first glance this seems like an undesirable genetic trait that Aurora's hostile desert predators would eliminate, a litter of Slosher young from a single pregnancy is incredibly numerous, and a large herd of Sloshers sounds intimidating to many predators.
Aeromaunders are uncommon snake-like creatures anywhere from 5m to 40m in length, that can fly around at various altitudes. The mechanism for this is not entirely understood, but it is postulated that the various bubble-like membranes on the skin of the creature are filled with a lighter-than-air gas filtered either from the atmosphere directly or through chemical decomposition of eaten food. With means to control and release the pressure within these membranes, it can change its altitude. A rhythmic motion of its fins, typically spanning 4m to 10m, gives it airborne propulsion.
Omnivorous in nature, the Aeromaunder eats ground and airborne creatures as well as hanger plants, its main source of nutrition when in its native environment of tall mountain regions. It creates egg nests along long, rocky ridge outcrops, often amongst or near large concentrations of edible vegetation, and obtains moisture by filtering it out of the atmosphere and occasionally drinking mountain rivers. They are not particularly violent creatures and do not need to eat often, but are almost silent and can attack without warning. Aeromaunder mouths consist of four jaws that open and close like a flower, all of which are lined with a variety of teeth to process any food it eats.