Dart Roth

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The Dart Roth has adapted to become one of the fastest organisms of the Vailnoff ocean. They can measure up to 2.5 meters long, with 65% of their length being made up of their shell. They are able to reach a consistent speed of 4 meters per second, and can reach bursts of 6 meters per second for short periods. This speed is achieved with their four powerful siphons, which can be articulated to provide motion shell first and arm first. Their arms are much longer and thinner than their ancestors, with flukes at their ends. When traveling arms first these flukes help to form a cone to reduce drag. The interior of their arms are covered in small hooks modified from the baits of their ancestors. These hooks can measure up to 5 cm long and are composed of chitin.

Their eyes have developed a simple cornea and lens, with the eye's interior being completely enclosed. This lens has a limited ability to focus on objects, but is much improved on the prior eye with its development of color vision. They possess three distinct types of cones in their retinas, allowing them to distinguish red, blue and green. This development has allowed them to recognize prey mostly through sight, a sensory method not predominantly utilized in Vailnoff before this point. The eyes retain their calcite rings which surround the eyes and provide them greater protection and support, with the eyes slightly recessed.

Their diets consist of swarming and schooling species, with larger species of Swarming Roufos making up a large portion of their diets. Dart Roth will catch individuals in a school rather than capturing multiple at once as its relative, the Ophaniroth, does. These different hunting styles allow both species to live in the same regions without out-competing one another.

Detail of a Dart Roth hook.

Dart Roths will regularly hunt Rainbow Gills, as they are one of the only species able to out-speed them. The Gill schools are regularly composed of venomous and nonvenomous members, which can easily be identified by their coloration, so they are generally avoided. This bright coloration does lead to the entire school being easily found by the Dart Roths, as with their color vision the bright reds and oranges are very distinct against the blue of the water. Dart Roths will directly chase the Gills, hoping to separate non venomous individuals to attack. All gills have defensive bristles however so attacks like this can still leave the Dart Roth injured, with only 40% of hunts being successful.

Dart Roths will live solitary lives until breeding season which occurs yearly at ancestral seamounts spread throughout their ranges. These seamounts are also used by their direct ancestor, the Roths, resulting in the breeding season having thousands of Roths and Dart Roths around the same seamount. Reproduction and early development are the same for both species, with Dart Roth hatchlings measuring twice the size of the Roth hatchlings. They will grow at much the same rate as their Roth ancestors until they reach 1 meter and sexual maturity at 2 years old. The percentage of young that make it to that age is small, with only 1 in every 100 eggs reaching breeding age. Their growth after reaching breeding age will then slow as the major growth is in their shell, which will reach full length at 5 years old. At this size they have no natural predators and can live up to 30 years.