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The Chelicerate (pronounced "keh-li-ser-ate") is an aggressive leviathan class fauna species of Subnautica: Below Zero.

There are a total of four Chelicerates within Sector Zero on Planet 4546B and three Void Chelicerates within the edges of the sector.

Appearance

The top side of the body is red in color whilst the underside is beige. The head is quite large, accounting for around one third of the total body length including mandibles. The jaw section is formed by four long curved mandibles pointed forwards that mesh together towards the back to form an inescapable jaw. Between the mandibles is a small beak-like mouth lined with two rows of forwards-swept teeth. Low down on the head is a black eye with a white ring in the center and behind this a smaller, simpler eye lacking the white ring seen in the larger eye. Both pairs of eyes are ringed with purple.

The body section is divided into twelve plates, the first six plates featuring long spines growing from the top, providing the framework for a dorsal fin-like membrane stretching between them. The second plate has a pair of long and thin jointed pectoral fins, partially made up of a transparent membrane. The ventral side of the eighth and ninth plates features a transparent pelvic fin. The body ends with a small tail fluke.

A separate version of the Chelicerate exists in the Void. A Chelicerate found in this biome has a white body that turns grey towards the head and the tail, with pale orange and brown patches likely formed by encrusting organisms similar to barnacles. Its eyes are fiery orange with yellow towards the pupil. The membrane between the spines on its back and fins is more transparent and is a light blue, and the small tail is black as opposed to pink. The Void Chelicerate is also significantly larger than its standard counterpart. At 65 meters in length, it's also 5 meters longer than the Shadow Leviathan.


Spoiler alert: The following section contains story related material.


Marguerit Maida's Prawn Suit has a Chelicerate mandible attached to it, suggesting she has killed one.


Behavior

Chelicerates patrol a wide area, frequently attacking and consuming creatures such as Cryptosuchuses and Brute Sharks that stray too close. On spotting potential prey, it will open its beak and charge, emitting a loud screech as it does so. If it successfully attacks Robin, it will deal 75 damage, but if her health is less than 77%, the bite will be an instant kill with a cinematic showing Robin getting caught in the creature's jaws.

Ordinary Chelicerates will also attack the Seatruck and Prawn Suit by grasping the vehicle in their jaws for a short time, dealing damage. The Void Chelicerate however does not share this behavior. The standard Chelicerate will not respawn if killed unless a major update happens to the game.

Databank Entry

Chelicerate
Chelicerate Ency.png

An aggressive leviathan with an enormous beak, there is limited knowledge of this alien monstrosity at this time, and many on 4546B hope it stays that way.

Chelicerae: These large mandibles of the chelicerate are composed of a bony material that crushes and saws through bones and muscle with ease. The mandibles open up while the backward facing teeth dig into flesh and prevent easy escape. The prey is pulled towards the chelicerate's mouth and devoured.

Exoskeleton: The chelicerate’s body is made of a thick segmented exoskeleton. The exoskeleton grows in flexible overlapping plates. This provides protection from the atmospheric pressure while giving the chelicerate the maneuverability to easily pursue prey.

Behaviors: The chelicerate is a predatory animal that patrols the warmer waters found near thermal vents. It can be seen feeding upon other predators and fish.

As it attacks, the chelicerate emits a loud screech that disorients its prey. In smaller fish, it can temporarily stun them, which gives the chelicerate more time to attack.

Void Chelicerate: The Void Chelicerate is a rare mutation of the chelicerate that prefers to roam in dark, open waters at the edge of the sector.

Assessment: Avoid - aggressive and potentially lethal.

Source: Scan Chelicerates

Design

The name "Chelicerate" name is taken from the taxonomic classification "Chelicerata", a subphylum of arthropods including horseshoe crabs, arachnids, sea spiders, and the extinct eurypterids (sea scorpions). The latter group appears to have inspired the design of this Leviathan particularly. Real cheliceratas were invertebrates, though it is not confirmed if the Below Zero Chelicerate shares this quality.

The elements that make up the body resemble those of a Eurypterid, whilst the body's shape is shark-like. The creature's four claw-like jaws are based on the chelicerae that give the taxonomic group its name, and appear to be based on the jaws of solfugae ("camel spiders").

Sounds

File Type
Bite 1
Bite 2
Bite 3
Prawn Suit attack alarm
Prawn Suit attack start
Prawn Suit attack end
Prawn Suit attack metal loop
Prawn Suit attack water loop 1
Prawn Suit attack water loop 2
Prawn Suit attack water loop 3
Prawn Suit attack water loop 4
Prawn Suit attack water loop 5
Roar 1
Roar 2
Roar 3
Aggro roar
Roar start
Seatruck attack
Seatruck attack alarm
Seatruck attack start
Seatruck attack end
Seatruck attack joystick loop
Seatruck attack metal loop
Out-of-vehicle attack
Fast swim 1
Fast swim 2
Fast swim 3
Fast swim 4
Fast swim 5
Slow swim 1
Slow swim 2
Slow swim 3
Slow swim 4
Slow swim 5

Gallery

Trivia

  • In concept art the Chelicerate was originally envisioned as the size of a shark, but was later elevated to a Leviathan class creature.
  • The Chelicerate shares it's name with the real-world subphylum Chelicerata, which constitutes one of the major subdivisions of the phylum Arthropoda.
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