I can not remember if it was a short story or a novel, but I am leaning towards it being a novel. There is a colony of humans and I can't remember if they crash-landed or not.
There is a creature that they come to discover after it has killed a few people. The creature has some kind of chemical in its body that is like a super-adrenaline. One part is I remember is one of these creatures getting very hot from using up its reserve of this chemical and it dived into a river or pond and it started to steam. Something like that.
It has to be at least 10 years since I read the story.