I'll probably come back and play with this one more at some point, but for now I'm finally happy with it!
This is the much delayed result of the creature-by-committee poll I did a while back, where I asked people to vote for three things to splice together into one critter. The winners were Squirrel, electric toaster, and elephant. I'll admit it was a stumper for a bit, but I eventually figured out a good design- and then promptly got too busy to actually finish it until tonight.
The cintertooth is one of the stranger creatures found on the tundra of post-thermohaline Europe. Decended from squirrels, they have moved from living in trees, to eating them. In these massive herbivores, a rodent's powerful bite has been augmented by a bizarre adaptation: their upper and lower incisors grow in a continuous spiral with a large metal deposit running through them. In addition to reinforcing their teeth, allowing even hardwood to be easily chewed away, each of these naturally produced heating coils is connected to a powerful electical organ. This allows a cindertooth to briefly heat its tusks to several hundred degrees. They primarily use this to burn deadwood into more digestable (for a cindertooth) charcoal, but they also make for a painful lesson to any young predator mistaking a lone cindertooth for an easy target. Most large predators in cindertooth country feature at least one striped brand as a reminder. Fortunately, cindertooth mating season takes place during the snowy winter, as dueling males have a tendancy to accidentally set fire to the local foliage.