Clawface Siluro

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As the common siluro’s territory continued to expand higher into the water column, they found a mostly empty expanse of water devoid of suitable food. After scraping by on a diet of carpolantans, some specimens within the twilight zone became large enough to consume the coral cish. From there, they adapted further into the clawface siluro.

The clawface siluro’s most notable change is its tentacles. They are no longer weak tendrils only capable of limited amounts of manipulation. They are now thick, powerful, and lined with armored plates. The plates facing the mouth are tipped with spikes used to cut through their prey. These plates provide attachment points for the tentacle’s muscles. These muscles will cause the tentacle to rapidly curl up if contracted, resulting in a strong ‘bite’ and powerful grip. When capturing prey, the clawface siluro will rapidly furl its tentacles around the prey once it has come into range. This stabs and/or slices into the prey, causing a massive amount of bleeding. Once the prey is bled dry, the clawface siluro will swallow the organism whole if it is below four centimeters long, or rip apart the prey and consume the resulting chunks of the prey that is more than four centimeters long. The tentacles cannot be curled to the side, as the muscles that control the tentacles’ furling mechanism occupy most of the tentacle.

Aside from the jaw-like tentacles, the clawface siluro has gone under other, minor changes. It has developed large, closed lens eyes that make the most out of the small amount of light that penetrates into the twilight zone. Its first ventral spike has split into two pectoral fins. This increases the clawface siluro's maneuverability by giving it the ability to turn with relative ease. The clawface siluro has also developed lateral spikes that protrude from the cranial plate that covers its head. While these spikes are useless to adults, young clawface siluros use them to ward off predators to some effect.

The clawface siluro hosts a higher level of intelligence than its ancestor, with it being capable of problem-solving. This behavior arose from its need to make use of the limited amount of food found in the twilight zone. After killing and consuming part of a large prey item, the clawface siluro will pick up the remainder of the carcass and carry it into the water column, where it will be consumed later. However, this behavior attracted schools of coral cish and devilcish. This ultimately resulted in a change in behavior where the carcass was used as bait instead of food. Small baits will attract schools of pelagic cish. Once an individual comes too close to the clawface siluro, the clawface siluro will drop the carcass and attack the individual that got too close. When If the carcass is too unwieldy to carry, the clawface siluro will drop the carcass. Clawface siluros have been spotted circling over carcasses, as they have associated them with the prey that often consumes it. This behavior has led some older and more experienced individuals to circle their own discarded carcasses, as they have come to associate it with prey. If no prey shows up, the carcass will gradually be eaten away. Once the carcass has been picked clean, the clawface siluro will leave it behind in search of fresh prey.

Like the common siluro, the clawface siluro has a benthic larval stage that feeds on detritus, microorganisms, and the substrate itself. The larvae initially hatch at the small size of 5 mm long. They will then continue to feed on the substrate until they reach 6 cm in size. At this size, clawface siluros have developed their armor plating and claws, and look much like miniature versions of their adult form. The immature stage will primarily feed on carpolantans by grabbing them and pushing them into their mouths. Immature clawface siluros must consume countless carpolantans to grow further into their adult forms. This is due to the carpolantans' low nutrient count. However, carpolantans are also easy to digest, and as a result, immature clawface siluros will eat countless carpolantans through the course of their life stage. The clawface siluro will have matured upon reaching 18 cm in length.