Creature Study © Alex Ries 2009
The tall trees of the open forests demand a long reach to feed on their leaves. Instead of evolving a long neck to do so, this creature has radically extended its arms and modified the hands into gripping and tearing devices. With the arms fully extended, the animal towers 8 meters [26 feet] tall. The head is down near the center of the body, without a long vulnerable neck for predators to attack.
The stalked eyes half way up the neck give good all around vision, as well as being able to focus together when dealing with a particularly tricky plant.
When attacked by predators, each of its walking legs can strike out with a sharp claw near the ankle, though the creatures massive size protects against most enemies.
The head is so far off the ground that to drink the creature either scoops up water in its feeding hands, or immerses itself in a deep lake or river and combines drinking with a refreshing bath.