Protodevoratori

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Much like its ancestor, which it replaced in all of its current locations, Protodevoratori constantly roams the depths of the LadyM abyss, searching for prey items in its pitch-black environment. It has now grown to roughly 3x larger than its ancestor due to the increasing numbers of prey in its environment, and must constantly remain near the seafloor, swimming at all times and scooping prey items into its open maw. Its sensory tendrils have become more muscular, and are strong enough to grasp prey by holding it in between two of the tendrils, it may sometimes even attempt to consume loose fragments of Mega Binucluesdetritovorus colonies. As several of the organism’s prey items have developed spike-like protrusions in an attempt to defend against their primary predator, Protodevoratori has developed a chitin plated stomach. In doing so, it has sacrificed the ability to change the size of its stomach but has found a way to circumnavigate the severe and often fatal lacerations and tearing caused by common targets such as the Crystalsucker and Knightworm. The stomach now remains at roughly 5cm long, therefore filling 1/3rd of the creature's body. Additionally, its dorsal fins and relatively useless bottom fins have developed into spike-like protrusions protected by thin chitinous plates, allowing increased protection while still providing stabilisation. In conjunction with this, it has developed 2 thin chitinous ring-plates on its body, keeping its form rigid and making turning more difficult, but keeping juvenile members of the species safe against larger adults. The increased weight and rigidity of the creature's body have necessitated the evolution of a carangiform method of locomotion, as its rigid body cannot undulate, forcing the tail to work harder to gain speed. Its larger pectoral fins allow it even greater lateral mobility.

The scent organs of Protodevoratori have become more advanced, with it now being able to distinguish between nearby prey items and carcasses within 10 meters. As such, the organism now relies primarily on its sense of smell to find prey. Protodevoratori’s bioluminescent patches now shine in the UV light range, allowing it to approach prey such as the Crystalsucker without being seen as easily. Its eyes have also become slightly more advanced, having developed into pinhole eyes, and it now has light perception up to 5 meters away in the dark abyss, including perception of UV light. Its internal organs have remained mostly the same, at the exception of its respiratory cavity, the area that contains its set of large gills, which has become much larger and now fills up 1/3rd of its body much like its stomach. Large oblong openings derived from its ancestor's face openings are found underneath its forward ring-plate, where they are best protected from tearing as they take water to the gills. With the increase in gill size and efficiency, it is capable of more efficient breathing and as such has a more active lifestyle. Water is ejected from openings beneath the second ring-plate, increasing its speed slightly.

Protodevoratori Male UV Emissions

Despite its cerebral ganglion remaining mostly the same size, it has developed more complex psychological behaviors around how it communicates with its own species. Members can tell the gender of a fellow Protodevoratori through variations in emitted UV light; males have some UV patches on their ring-plates, whereas females do not. Due to their large size and appetite, members of the opposite sex will meet only briefly to mate, whereas members of the same gender will attempt to chase each other away by grappling with their tendrils and attempting to hit each other with their tails until one flees. They are somewhat territorial, remaining in an area for months and fighting over it, before moving on. Because their tentacles were strong enough to compress the soft bodies of their rivals to the point of suffocation, their chitinous rings developed as an effective defense. As such, almost all fights are now non-fatal.

Due to the infrequency in which members of the species meet, they have taken to using indirect sexual reproduction, with females simply releasing hardy, 3mm unfertilised eggs every few days, and males releasing gametes upon discovering eggs through scent. Eggs that are not fertilised within roughly a week will begin to develop into clones of their mother, therefore keeping species numbers up. In addition, members of opposite sexes that meet, usually through sighting the UV light patches, will also sexually reproduce. This broad range of mating strategies allows the species numbers to remain as high as possible, necessitated by the very high mortality rates of young Protodevoratori due to their position near the bottom of the food chain.