Clawlifter is olive green with purple stripes all over his body. He has a large, stocky build with muscular hind legs, and short fore legs with long talons. He has a frill on the back of his head, a short horn jutting from his muzzle, and a longer horn protruding from his chin. His tail is thick and paddle shaped at the end.
In the film, when Valka first encountered a dragon rider on a Night Fury, she sent Clawlifter to grab him from above. Clawlifter grabbed the young man off his dragon's back, sending the Night Fury plummeting into the icy sea below. Clawlifter then carried him into his mountain, right behind Valka. After landing, the boy attempted to train him but Valka stopped him right before the two of them could touch. It was soon revealed that the boy was none other than Hiccup— Valka's son.
It is the first Shovelhelm known by name, the second being Guslout.