|Environment||Any cold land (Triaxus)|
Source: The Frozen Stars, pg(s). 88
Ursikkas are large, superficially mantis-like insects with a black exoskeleton and a coat of thick white fur that covers most of their bodies. Their four hind legs serve as walking limbs, while their front pair ends in powerful claws and serves as weapons. An ursikka's lower jaw is composed of three separate parts that open independently from one another. Their upper head is dominated by two large, bulbous green eyes.
An ursikka stands about 25 feet tall, most of which are taken up by their legs, and is 20 feet long. Females are larger than males.
Ursikkas are predators, and need to consume several tons of meat per week. They typically favor large, cold-blooded prey, but will pursue anything they encounter if sufficiently hungry. They produce large quantities of sticky saliva at subzero temperatures, which they use in subduing and digesting their prey. Ursikkas are known to coat their claws with this freezing saliva when grappling with opponents.
Ursikkas are typically solitary animals, as their high food requirements rarely allow more than one to share the same hunting grounds. However, areas where prey animals are especially abundant may allow ursikkas to live in pairs or, more rarely, trios, or groups of up to ten.
Ursikkas are particularly adapted to their homeworld's centuries-long winter seasons, and spend its equally long summers hibernating. At the onset of the summer, ursikkas seek out shelters such as caves or dens of their own making and weave a cocoon from their own saliva, which over the span of 24 hours hardens into a hard shell that will protect the hibernating ursikka from other predators and from the summer heat. Ursikkas only leave this state of torpor once temperatures begin to drop at the beginning of the next winter. Ursikkas are at their most aggressive while weaving their cocoons, and are also very dangerous if woken ahead of time from their hibernation.
Ursikkas have long lifespans, but rarely live through more than two Triaxian winters under ideal conditions. Older ursikkas typically die of old age during their last summer hibernation.
Ursikkas mate infrequently. Females seek out males once or twice per winter, and lay a single large egg after mating. These eggs gestate for a five-year period before hatching. Ursikkas do not care for their young, and are rumored to engage in cannibalism when they encounter younger members of their species.