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Ambulls are subterranean xenos creatures native to the desert death world of Luther McIntyre IX[1], in the Segmentum Solar, but which have since been spread to multiple worlds.[6]

Biology and Behavior

Ambulls are four-limbed insectoid creatures with thick carapaces.[6] They have huge barrel-chested bodies and an ape-like stance, their arms reaching almost to the ground, while their legs are crooked and short. The Ambull's most characteristic feature are their huge expandable jaws. Their eyes are able to sense heat.[1] Their hunched stance disguises their true size, but an upright Ambull with its arms stretched overhead would reach four meters in height.[6]

An Ambull's limbs end in iron-hard claws used for digging through the soft stone of their homeworld. Ambulls will excavate tunnels in which to live, spending most of their time underground. These burrows can often form extensive underground complexes.[1] Their tunnelling abilities have also defied attempts on many Imperial worlds to domesticate or corral them.[2a]

Due to the intense heat of Luther McIntyre's sun, the Ambull's subterranean lifestyle is shared with many of the death world's inhabitants, including the Ambull's favorite food, the Crawler. Ambulls will pursue prey through soft rock by tunneling at considerable speed.[1] Ambulls hunt primarily by pursuing creatures that becomes lost in their tunnel systems and by seeking out prey on the surface during the night.[6]

Ambulls are social creatures, and live in family groups consisting of several adults and four to seven young. Adults will retrieve kills from the surface and take them to the communal dens for the young to feed upon.[6] Ambull larvae are called Borewyrms. They are carnivorous and in a swarm are no less dangerous than adult Ambulls.[3]

Ambulls can easily survive extremely hot temperatures, which has led to attempts at domestication on several hot desert planets. As a consequence, Ambulls can be found on desert planets throughout the Imperium.[1] Ambull transport is subject to Delta-level bans, but the creatures are often smuggled to Imperial worlds by opportunistic individuals seeking to use them as attack or guard animals. Ambulls are difficult to contain and often escape, and readily adapt to most environments due to most planets being far more hospitable and prey-rich than their arid and barren homeworld. As a result, imported Ambull populations tend to rapidly explode in numbers.[6]

Ambulls are notable for showing no sign of genetic drift or physical variance outside of the norm of their ancestral populations. Even the most far-flung and isolated colonies or the ones inhabiting harsh and polluted environments display the same traits as all others. Some Magi Biologi consider this evidence that Ambulls were engineered to withstand Chaos mutation, although the most common position is that this is simply an adaptation to their hostile native environment.[6]

Known sightings

Ambulls were sighted on the Ice World Simia Orichalcae while the Valhallan 597th were protecting a valuable promethium refinery. It was later speculated that they had arrived through a warp portal opened from some unknown desert world by a Necron scouting force that deployed to Simia Orichalcae. These rogue ambulls killed several promethium miners in the lower tunnels, while Commissar Ciaphas Cain and a Valhallan scouting party slew a great number of the beasts in the tunnels. It was noted that they could tunnel through ice as easily as sand or rock, and were remarkably survivable away from their normal desert environment.[2b]

After the Simia Orichalcae campaign, Cain dined with Inquisitor Amberley Vail at an upscale hotel, which offered ambull steak on its room-service menu.[2c] Logash, a Tech Priest, had earlier told Cain's aide Ferik Jurgen that ambull meat tasted much like grox.[2a]

Ambulls are hunted as a way to test new Ultramarines recruits of the fortress where Captain Keorn Asata was stationed. The recruits are known to take casualties during these hunts. Asata was himself made to go on an Ambull hunt straight after recovering from his initiatory battle against the Tyranids.[5]


See also