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Read in 1980s (I think) as part of an anthology.

The protagonist must discover an immobile alien is psychic and controls what appears to be unintelligent small creatures as its sensors and tools. The alien "brains" live in caves (or similar) never venturing out, but their remote creatures are quite common and generally ignored by the human settlers.

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5

Sounds like the Grogs in "The Handicapped" by Larry Niven, first published 1967, found in the "Neutron Star" collection.

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