I am so sorry I haven’t responded to this or the previous aquatic one!
But here, ANOVA WORLDBUILDING for your patience
Chalkurite wereforms are geared towards what is -required- of course, specialization takes several years to be reached. Take note, chalkurites keep their ylem/radiation forms strictly separated from their biological designs
The word used for special shifts is exaptation, or in chalkurite glossary a ‘redesign’. The word chalkurite is in fact rarely if ever used amongst chalkurites, instead referring to each other by respective ranks. The word ‘Architect’ is a preferred term especially by non-chalkurites. can best describe it using the mascot chalkurite to exemplify (and not spoil things)
This is usually employed with inexperienced chalkurite that have fairly easy shapes such as Pint and Hector for example. Their level of practice with their wereform isn’t as advanced as senior chalkurites who have complex designs such as Floyd for example
For a break down, this is how complexity works
Take Pint. He’s practically one of the easiest, frankly his only complexity is his head which is an excruciatingly stupid design because when he bites anything he’s risking getting his eyes gouged. His brain cavity is really odd too. Not particularly useful but remarkable for other chalkurites in terms of how well he’s able to keep together the semblance of a cute face with 2 meters of teeth behind him. He learns how to shift his design further as he ages, and in fact! He uses big big dunkleosteus teeth as he’s able to sample more ancient genetic traits.
He’s a weird one, but he’s had plenty practice. His design is much more special and the silhouette in comparison to Pint is significantly more inhuman. In combat it’s probably one of the weirdest things you’ll ever see in action, bringing into the fray devastating kicks, radula chainsaw teeth and viper-quick strikes with his secondary scythe arms. Of course, you can’t really tell he’s got all of this when hunched over like a big jerboa straight out from satan’s hole
Complexity usually but not always dictates the proficiency of a chalkurite. Pint learns how to exaggerate his design and touch on more subjects for his bauplan, such as multiple limbs, placoderm features, etc. He’s siege-oriented however, and gears his strength to simple but brutally efficient quadruped gorilla tank designs, rarely coming out of his comfort zone.
Within the circle of chalkurites, a complex and working design brags of architect rights. Such is the case with brood mothers, all grand architects that morph themselves to suit the occasion rather than the fight
Take Lalatre, one of the main brood mothers (empresses within Frontier)
and this is simply her being cocky and not bothering to turn around from her task to talk to those who manage auditions with her. These forms can be used for combat but do so in a way that displays authority, status and grace by going all out extravagant with their shifts. Stomach mouths, intestine weapons, an insane amount of limbs, hip-bones restructured to look like thrones—she does this all, and if someone disagrees with her there’s always the front. Amongst the brood mothers Lalatre is infamously known for being best spoken to while she’s giving you her back, -actually- facing her otherwise means instant death
Primarily flight/water/cavern oriented, etc chalkurites are all redesigns as no chalkurite can ever access an extremophile or hyper-specialized design for their wereform from the start.
Redesigns are adaptations, exempt from the main silhouettes of chalkurites though they are accounted for the skill of the shapeshifter in question. I have a big post of them from a while back you can browse under the wereform tag, but here—anyhow, examples
You could say they almost look the same save for certain features such as sleekness, wings, gills etc though these don’t interrupt with the base form that much. The same can be said for more complex designs, though brood mothers are usually made an exceptions since their range of shifting is incredibly vast. I hope this helps answer those questions!