Mucus Quataetar

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The mucus quataetar is the result of thousands generations of predation, shifting geographies, and changing prey. They have changed little externally, though they do appear larger than their ancestors. They real changes are internal. They have developed a more advanced, albeit still primitive, circulatory and nervous system. They have two "lung-hearts" connected directly to their gills, which pump a thin nutrient rich fluid that acts as blood. Though still primitive, they have begun to develop specialized cells containing chlorocruorin and hemoglobin as oxygen carriers, giving the blood, though mostly translucent, a brownish hue. These organs as they pump pull water back and forth against the gills, oxygenating them. These are controlled by a large mesh of non-centralized ganglia that send signals all throughout the body. Though they do not require much oxygen, they require more than the quataetar did.

Distribution of nerve clusters.
Image by MNIDJM

They have focused their diets primarily on the various corcraonach species that live in their environments. They live in small clusters climbing along surfaces with their cilia-lined pseudopods. They live in shallow waters, but are able to, for a limited time, leave the water as they graze. If they are out of the water for too long, they will attempt to dig into the sand and curl into as small of a ball as they can manage to decrease surface area and moisture loss. They will then secrete mucus, which will allow them to survive a few hours in the sun, before eventually they desiccate. They still have the same respiratory issues their ancestors had, and must feed in short bursts.

A Mucus Quataetar's pulmocirculatory system.
Image by MNIDJM

As they are a common prey item in the ocean, they have begun to develop this thick mucus primarily as defense, as it contains a bitter, sodium stearate-based substance. They also, when preparing for breeding seasons, will seek out blooms of toxiwhexia to eat, which they use to further increase the potency of the mucus. They breed twice a year, and release thousands of spores each, focusing on sheer numbers to ensure success.