Gilliver

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With the development of larger aquatic plant communities comes the development of adaptive small filter feeders and consumers. A descendant of the Gillstar, the Gilliver has increased in size and became more specialized for active life. It has developed holochroal compound eyes composed of chitin, which provide better vision than the simple inverted cup eye its ancestor had. It primarily lives in Violetweed and Violetfringe meadows and has acquired a purple coloration to camouflage with the fronds they inhabit. Its middle anal tentacle has developed into a flattened tail paddle for more controlled and sustained swimming. It retains the other two tentacles for both holding onto plants as they sway in the currents, and for mating.

Internal Developments

The cloaca has moved slightly forward so rather than holding hands, mating now appears as two fingers and a tail semi intertwined with the cloaca's in contact. Gametes are developed in specific organs along the intestine which release into the intestine and males transfer their gametes into females via direct cloaca contact. Females develop the young inside the intestine in a region which does not digest food and release them far earlier than their ancestors. They have developed eggs for their young, allowing the mother to spend much less energy to produce the same number of young. The eggs are released a few days after mating to drift in the sea, eventually hatching into their radial stage with a significant yolk sac to give the hatchling an energy base to develop into the adult form over time and not require it to feed the moment it hatches.

The two separate mouth and waste cavities of the Gillstar have developed into a through gut in the Gilliver, allowing for more efficient digestion.The body cavity has also developed a distinct wall of tissue that provides an attachment point for its simple muscles. A primitive circulatory system has also developed, utilizing hemoglobin for oxygen transfer. This has developed from tissue from the gills and helps to power Gillivers' more active lifestyle. A simple nervous system has also developed with a notochord extending from behind the eyes to the tip of the tail, with the start of a brain developing just behind the eyes.

External Developments

Its Gills have grown and developed added branches, increasing the oxygen they can absorb. These gills also retain their food absorption abilities and serve to help the Gilliver feed on plankton sized food and nutrients when large food isn't available. These gills are motile to a degree, with each branch being able to move and curl, aiding in overall motion and gathering larger food particles and bringing them to the mouth.
The mouth has developed from the inversion function of its ancestor to create a grabbing structure much like a tongue, which will launch forward and envelope prey species before retracting back into the mouth to be swallowed. The inside of the structure is covered in small rigid denticles made of chitin. Though only extending 2 mm from the closed mouth, this action happens quickly so prey is stunned as it is caught and the denticles help to hold the prey firmly and to grind up the prey for digestion The launching mechanism is a system of muscles that can be held under tension and then released to send the tongue outward. Its diet consists of fauna no larger than 4 mm in size, soft floral matter through direct consumption, and microorganisms through filter feeding.

Feeding Behavior

Gilliver feed in a variety of ways depending on the availability of food in the area. In areas when microorganism concentrations are high they will filter feed with their gill arms, holding onto Violetfringe fronds with their tail and tail tentacles to access areas with higher currents and greater concentrations. Where substrate is accessible they will use their belly gill to disturb the substrate and flush out small fauna such as Detritustars. When those sources are not otherwise plentiful they will feed on the Violetfringe and other soft flora by chewing through the fronds at their edges.