|Origin||No Man's Sky|
|Lifespan||Rarely live longer than 12-15 years|
|Reproduction||Sexual; lays eggs|
|Prey||Opportunistic; known to feed on Icy Rockslug (when desperate)|
|Distinctive Features||Spiny tail, shale-armored back, far bulkier anterior section than posterior|
|Fellow Species||Ibbochr Tailshrike, Terelimb Tailshrike|
|Related Species||Ibbochr Shalewolf|
|Last Sighting||Great Thaw|
Shalespine Tailshrikes are distantly related to the Lambency Wolves, a small species which they often must compete with for food. Tailshrikes tend to fill the ecological niche of bears. Because of the harsh environment of their homeworld, they have evolved to store fat in their tails, while the rough terrain has led to evolving hooves to better traverse the mountainous terrain.
Interestingly, despite being closely related to other tailshrikes as well as the shalewolves, no Shalespine was recorded as having developed the lambency infection.
Because of the species' aggressive lifestyle, they have evolved shale-like plates along their back to protect them from fatal bites from their own would-be predators and larger Tailshrikes, as well as an arsenal of dangerous thagomizers on their fattened tails to protect their fat stores.
Shalespines are notable for the unique horns in comparison to other tailshrikes. In Shalespines, they have developed a pair of thick, blunt, Y-shaped horns that protruded and extend out of the brow ridge. Although not social animals, they are used to compete with other Shalespines in territorial combat and can also be used to flip over young Icy Rockslugs to keep them from escaping in times of desperate hunger, which was common during the glacial period.
Because of the overall heaviness of their horns, their neck muscles attach not only to their spine but also to their shale plates as well. The chest is barrel-like and the forelimbs are huge, used to propel themselves forward for use of their horns. In stark contrast, their hind legs have diminished greatly.
Because of the overall harshness of the glacial period of Zukabergo-Nama Gusuk, all tailshrikes were aggressive towards other species, including sapient travels who could provide them with an easy meal.
Shalespines are nearly exclusively loners, and the only groups normally seen are a mother with her calves. Despite this, their territorial nature subsides during the coldest of nights, and they will tolerate other Shalespines in their caverns when shelter is a requirement for survival, though they are not otherwise amendable towards one another. Like their cousins, the Ibbochr Tailshrike, they build their nests in the plutonium/emeril caverns below the surface, as this is the only relatively safe haven from other creatures. They do their breeding right before the heavier winter months, and spend this time in pseudo-hibernation beneath in their caves. Due to the necessity of these facilities to all species at one time or another.
Tailshrikes will attack and kill Shalewolves on sight. It is not uncommon to see the remains of a Shalewolf or would-be explorer hanging gruesomely from the Tailshrike's tail, impaled upon its downwards-facing thagomizers.
In times of ravenous duress, a Shalespine may attempt to feed upon Icy Rockslugs. Although these large gastropods are not aggressive by nature, they are difficult to feed on due to a protective latticework of oxide elements forming a sort of armor just below the skin.
The Great ThawEdit
During the Great Thaw, the Shalespine along with 90% of the known species population mysteriously disappeared. Although it was initially thought that the species had gone completely extinct, boiled corpses have not been found in large numbers. Some Gek scientists have begun to theorize that the known extensive cave systems may lead to a sort of "Hollow Zukabergo" where the many species of the glacial period migrate to during the irradiated period. At this point, however, this is only speculation.