Quilx’tch woke to a very peculiar grinding noise. He shook off the foggy webs of sleep and slipped out from under the ‘comforter’ that his particular human friend on his last posting had made him and walked to the edge of his bunk. He rotated his primary eyes to locate the source of the sound. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was coming from his current roommate. A young human with decidedly unhealthy sleep habits. Said human was currently sitting hunched in front of a projected display that appeared to be other humans in a large city of sorts. The grinding sound appeared to be coming from his mouth.
Quilx’tch felt his sensory hairs perk with interest.
“What are you eating Scotty?” Quilx’tch asked eagerly.
“Just some almonds,” Scotty replied absently holding out one hand, palm up to display several tapered ovaloids. “I wanted some protein to see me through this episode.”
“I have never seen this food source,” Quilx’tch said scurrying along the shelf that wrapped around their room so that he paused just over the proffered food.
“Sure you have,” Scotty said. “The cook puts them in the smoothies all the time. Great source of protein.”
Quilx’tch clicked in confirmation and carefully picked up the surprisingly heavy object. He clicked in surprise as he examined it.
“Pardon me Scotty,” Quilx’tch said. “But is this a dormant stage seed?”
“The almonds?” Scotty replied. “I guess so. I think they come from trees.”
“Trees,” Quilx’tch said a bit flatly. “You are eating unprocessed, dormant stage, tree seeds?”
Scotty looked at him curiously. “Yeah, so?”
Quilx’tch pondered how to phrase his question. “Exactly how much pressure are your jaws capable of producing?”
“Scratch if I know,” Scotty said.
Quilx’tch flexed his gripping appendages over the hard mass of biomatter, calculating how much power it must take to grind the seed into the requisite paste humans preferred to digest. A tiny shiver ran over his carapace at that thought of that destructive power. It was probably a good thing their mouth opening were so small. Still there was a wealth of knowledge to be gained here. Such destructive force must leave tell-tale signs on the human’s bodies. He might even be able to use those signs to determine a method for figuring out human diet just from observing these patterns.