- This article is about the animal. You may be looking for Denebian slime devil (drink).
Slime devils varied in size from a few centimeters to three meters long and could weigh up to 215 kilograms. They had four limbs with very sharp claws which could easily shred an EV suit, and jaws strong enough to bite through most footwear.
Slime devils hunted using a form of natural radar, which was emitted from the array of appendages around their heads. They also sensed their prey from the olfactory opening in the center of their heads. (ST references: The Worlds of the Federation, The Starfleet Survival Guide)
Slime devils generally hunted fish and other aquatic lifeforms found in the oceans and swamps of Deneb IV. They could also attack land animals as large as an average humanoid, but typically only if the animal was near the waterline, as slime devils were somewhat ungainly on land. (ST references: The Worlds of the Federation, The Starfleet Survival Guide)
The slime devil's favored mode of attack was to spear their prey with the claws on their forearms and then drag it down underwater. There they would pin it down on the bottom, and tear the prey apart with their teeth. For smaller prey, they could attack directly with their teeth. (ST reference: The Starfleet Survival Guide)
Surviving slime devil attack
Slime devils were not found in large numbers, and the colony on Deneb IV only had a population of 17,000. However, the planet was a popular destination for shore leave, and slime devils would attack if they felt their territory had been invaded or their eggs are in danger. (ST references: The Worlds of the Federation, The Starfleet Survival Guide)
If attacked a victim must act quickly to survive, as they would not have long before they were shredded by the devil's teeth and claws. A victim's best chance of escape was not to allow themselves to get pinned down by kicking, stabbing or phasering the animal's abdomen or thorax. The head was a dangerous part of the animal to fight back against as slime devils had a powerful bite and their heads were extremely tough, able ricochet projectiles and reflect phaser fire back at the attacker. However the head also offered one of the slime devil's most vulerable body parts; if a victim could reach the olfactory opening and attack it, the animal would normally retreat rather than let its sensory organ be damaged.
Once pinned a victim would have limited opportunities for escape. In the few seconds before the slime devil strikes, they would need to prepare themselves in a posture to reflect the attack as best as possible. Then they must attack the olfactory sensor, and attempt to break off as many radar appendages as possible. If a victim succeeded in escaping they must get to the coast as fast as possible. (ST reference: The Starfleet Survival Guide)
In the 23rd century, the name was used as an insult. In 2267, Klingon officer Korax referred to Captain James T. Kirk as a slime devil, which angered Ensign Pavel Chekov. (TOS episode: "The Trouble with Tribbles")
In 2280, two crewmembers from a landing party from the USS Madrid became injured by a pack of slime devils on an unnamed planet. They were rescued by Cadet Dmitri Valtane who, armed with only a stick, managed to ward them off. (ST video game: Starship Creator)
- Although Denebian slime devils were first mentioned in TOS episode: "The Trouble with Tribbles" (set in 2267), the inhabitants of Deneb IV, the Bandi, were not contacted by the Federation until around 2364 (TNG episode: "Encounter at Farpoint"). According to TOS short story: "Where Everybody Knows Your Name", "Denebian slime devils" come from Denebia, although the reference may be to the drink of that name rather than the animal. The Deirr, natives of Deneb Kaitos IV, have seemingly slimy skin consistent with their having evolved in the same ecosystem as a creature called a "slime devil" (TOS novel: My Enemy, My Ally), suggesting that the animal might come from Deneb Kaitos IV rather than Deneb IV.
- The Worlds of the Federation claims Denebian slime devils only grow up to 1.2 meters and 26 kilos.