Paralixo

From Sagan 4 Beta Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A population of Carpotesta devoratori moved to shallower waters to avoid competition and began to focus more on their existing scavenging habit. The paralixo’s tentacles are modified with shovel-like “clubs” at the end, which they use to brush and dig around for dead organisms which have been buried by the sediment. Melter detritis obtained during its filter-feeding young stage inhabit its stomach and allow it to more efficiently consume the remains of worms and crystal flora; it also consumes more generic detritus when available. To protect itself from pathogens, it has developed an immune system where specialized cells in its blood attack and destroy foreign material.

Unlike its ancestor, which had its mouth and stomach as one and the same, the paralixo has a ring of muscle separating the mouth from the stomach. This allows it to consume more with no risk of whatever it ate previously falling out. This also allowed its stomach to dramatically increase in size, in turn allowing it to eat more at once; the maximum size for a single piece of food is 4 cm, but it can eat many objects of this size with no issue. Its intestines are also elongated to handle the much larger load of food. Like its ancestor, it will also eat younger members of its species. To help it locate food, its three front pairs of nostrils now serve primarily to pick up scent rather than being used for breathing. The others have increased in size to compensate, and it has gained an additional pair of openings at its rear so that the water it breathes passes through its lung-like gill in only one direction, thus requiring less energy spent breathing in and out.

As it spends a lot of time on the seafloor, paralixo’s pelvic fins have increased in size, and its ventral fins have become flatter. Its pectoral and pelvic fins are more muscular, which lets it “walk” on the seafloor, though it still has no internal skeletal structure and most of the weight is held by the water that surrounds it. Still, its skin is toughened to protect it from sharp crystals and such with which it shares its environment. At the sight of danger, seen with its more advanced pinhole eyes, it will use its rounded fins better fit for tight turns and short bursts of speed to hide in the shadows of crystal flora. It can switch its bioluminescent patches on and off, which helps it hide while not hurting its ability to signal other members of its species.

Like its ancestor, paralixos mate multiple times over several weeks and the females lay up to 5000 eggs every few days during that time. Most of their offspring are consumed by older paralixos, and they spend much of their life only filter-feeding until their mouths fully develop. In a complete reversal of its ancestor, males now have brighter spots instead of females, as females need to spend more energy on baby-making.