Species Profile: Shiffle

Whoa, hey, I’m back! Like, really back. And almost late. Usually I like to write these early in the week, but right now it’s Friday night with less than two hours left to midnight. I mean, yeah, I still have a day left, except, no, I don’t, because I work most of Saturday. It wasn’t so bad until we got BUSY.

Anyway, today’s species is the shiffle, the last “normal” species to appear in Slubes. Fun fact, shiffles used to be split into two different species, but one was unnamed and I figured I could combine them into one with a little SEXUAL DIMORPHISM! Quoted from the species appendix in Slubes:

Shiffles are pinkish-tan creatures with an acute sexual dimorphism wherein the males are completely covered in hair and the females have no hair at all, making the females the only ones to have visible features. Their pupils are in the shape of an arch, and their heads are shaped like a large strawberry. They have no legs; instead their torsos end with a flat bottom. They come from a far south continent close to the southern pole of Mintop. Their average lifespan is about 70 years.

Physical Characteristics

The outward appearance of the shiffle, as quoted from my personal encyclopedia: “Shiffles are about two-thirds the height of a slube and feature an acute sexual dimorphism. Female shiffles are pinkish-tan in color and have a distinct wide strawberry-shaped head with no chin. Their pupils are shaped like an arch and have slightly small arms, thin and half as long as their torso, which is about 1.5 times as big as their head. Their body begins thin at the top where the bottom of the head makes the neck, and gradually increases in width until at the bottom it’s the same width as their head; they lack legs, but instead the torso just ends. Male shiffles, on the other hand, are covered in a thick coat of hair, sometimes making them look like a bale of hay. This makes almost all the features of a male shiffle hidden from view, but the bottom is still uncovered. The bottom of shiffles is mostly flat, but has muscles which allow them to walk.”

Wow, that was long. Male shiffles generally get a full coat of hair by the age of 5, and variances in the consistency and color can help determine from what region the shiffle is from.

History and Culture

Shiffles come from a continent in the far south of Mintop, a land with a cooler climate which likely encouraged the growth of thick hair, although this leaves the question of why females have no hair. It did come with a use, however—as the hair of male shiffles could be used to identify their region, female shiffles found it easier in olden times to travel among different regions, being harder to identify what their home region was. Due to this, female shiffles were often the ones to explore and engage in trade and economics, leaving the male shiffles to remain behind, farming, working in the community, or looking after the kids.

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