The world eater (Also known as the feronax, devourer, or Jorohn crawler) is an animal native to Zeconis , living in the deserts and plains of the Joroh continent. Primitive cultures did not consider it to be one of the seven major threats, instead believing it to be an otherworldly creature that would only briefly enter the world to prey on those who were foolish or unlucky enough to get caught, and then return to their realm.
Adult world eaters are between ten and fifteen meters in length, and around four meters in width. Males and females are typically close to ten and twelve meters in length, respectively, while simales are usually closer to fifteen. They resemble large worms, and in the visible spectrum, their skin is a faint blue tint. They have a large mouth that encompasses nearly the entire diameter of their body, and a rear waste opening approximately a meter in diameter. Their bodies have powerful undulating muscles ringing them, and dozens of sensory antennae between ten centimeters and two meters in length. The five largest antennae are arranged around their mouth.
Feronaxes are solitary creatures, and spend the majority of their time hiding underground, tunneling through the earth. They mainly venture to the surface when they are hunting or need air.
Crawlers tunnel through the earth by opening their massive mouths to create an opening, and push themselves forward with their muscular bodies. The majority of material is passed through locomotive organs, which simply propel the dirt behind the animal in order to clear out space in front of it. It is shot out of their rear end at high velocity to provide further momentum. A portion is sent into its digestive system and filtered for trace nutrients and liquids, then ejected into the locomotive organs for disposal.
They breed by having males and females stumble upon each others trails and leaving mixed genetic material, which is eventually picked up by a simale that produces offspring.
World eaters are omnivorous. They crawl through miles of earth every day, eating thousands of cubic meters of dirt, absorbing the minimal quantities of alcohol and edible matter contained within to survive. While this allows it to meet its liquid needs, it can only subsist for so long.
To obtain vital nutrients, it will use its sensing antennae to feel for movement on the ground. When it detects prey, it will surface all at once, consuming its victim whole, along with the dirt and sand surrounding it.
Unlike most life on Zeconis, devourers show signs of aging, as the more they age and absorb metals, the more their skin begins to take on a darker blue-silver hue. They are also unusual in that they have long lifespans and could theoretically live forever if fed through artificial means.
The common cause of death for a feronax is a result of heavy metal contamination. While their scrubbing organs are capable of extremely efficient filtration of indigestible materials, there is always trace amounts of metallic residue that remains behind. After decades of consuming dirt and sand, the iron, bronze, and other metals it has been unable to filter out will accumulate in its scrubbing organs, blocking them completely and preventing any more material to pass through. Unable to eat, the feronax will starve to death. This is a slow process, during which it is in extreme pain. While it is unable to pass anything through its digestive system, it is still capable of eating and passing dirt through its locomotive organs. When this happens, it enters a state of perpetual madness and rage, where it surfaces and thrashes around in desperation, attempting to eat whatever it can.
The world eater was given its name due to its ability to appear quickly and cause large amounts of destruction, killing and eating many unsuspecting inhabitants of the desert. It is theorized that this is why the prehistoric kuhn became arboreal, as the dense Iaddora forests provided shelter from the beasts, and allowed the species to flourish.
It is also theorized that they contributed to the kuhn never developing mature metallurgical infrastructures and sciences, due to the metal-rich deserts and plains being incredibly dangerous to developing species. When kuhn went to other continents, this tendency to stay in the forests while only moving rarely and quickly through plains and deserts may have been a bred-in survival mechanism.