Greater Spectrestar

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In the abyss, life can make substantial changes to the extreme conditions found there. Size is the most notable factor, as an increased size opens the options for more food sources, along with being able to last longer between meals. The Greater Spectrestar has grown five times the size of its ancestor, maxing out at a length of 8 cm. Its gelatinous body required little adaptation to the increased pressure. To deal with the low oxygen environments of the abyss, it has adapted its gills into concave scales. These scales line its back and trap a layer of water inside their depressions. This trapped water is more oxygenated than the surrounding water and provides it with a small oxygen supply when it forays into the abyssal zone. These scales have the added benefit of reducing the surface area of its body and improving its efficiency in swimming by reducing drag.

Greater Spectrestar is as much a parasite as it is a scavenger. When present it will feed on other large organisms in its range much as its ancestor still does; rushing the prey, biting off a chunk of flesh and darting away. When living targets are not present it will scavenge carcasses. Its mouth has become adept at tearing off flesh, using its rings of teeth and lateral jaw spines to wrench off chunks from carcasses and prey. In scavenging it faces direct competition with Polentlings, which produce compounds to deter other species. The Greater Spectrestar has developed a high tolerance to the compounds the Polentlings produce, allowing them to consume much more of a carcass than other scavengers are able to when Polentlings are present.

Reproduction in the Greater Spectrestar is much the same as its ancestor with one exception: the young are born with a yolk sack. The young are born less developed, but the yolk provides them starting energy to develop into their adult body plans. This allows the mother to breed more often by shortening the time between conception and birth.