A creature unique to the pre-Leto II era of the planet Arrakis.
Attempts to establish the worm in other areas of the galaxy
have met with only limited success. The completed life cycle has
not been observed in any of the off-planet experiments. Larger
male specimens reach lengths exceeding 400 meters, and are close
to 100 meters at the widest point. The smaller female measure
approximately 100 by 20 meters. The throat of the male worm has
been measured at 80 meters in diameter in the largest specimens.
A set of 1,000 or more organic carbo-silica crystal teeth surround
the mouth in a circular pattern.
The adult worm is made up of 100-400 segments. Each segment possesses
its own primitive nervous system. Respiration is accomplished through
pores in the tough silvery-grey outer skin. There is no circulatory
system as such, since most of the nutrients are in the form of gasses.
Each segment has a series of membrane "baffles" to absorb nutrients.
Consequently, the sandworm is extremely difficult to kill. The only
thing - short of atomics - that might stop a sandworm is the
simultaneous application of massive amounts of electricity to each
of its segments, stunning it temporarily.
The Fremen use sandworms for transportation, riding them great
distances. Sandworms travel at an average speeds between 10 and 30
miles per hour. When ridden by Fremen, they are goaded into travelling
at speeds upwards of 50 mph by continuous beating on the worm's tail
segments. A large male sandworm, goaded by Fremen, has a range of
approximately 450 miles before he stops due to exhaustion. Consequently,
distances on Arrakis are often measured in "thumpers" - the number of
sandworms that need to be captured in order to make the journey. A
"three thumper trip" would be approximately 1300 miles.
Shai-hulud's two attacks consist in his `bite' and his 'trample.'
A sandworm is attracted by any rhythmic noise and will usually rise
from below the source of the sound and swallow it.
Type: Giant Worm
Vibration: Sandworms hunt by detetcing rythmic patterns on the
sand around them. they cand etects these sounds from far away.
They have no other convetional 'senses' as far as anyone knows.
Size: 2.6-5.8 meters tall, 6.6-9 meters long
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