From Sagan 4 Beta Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

At first, the Nektolixo’s path to pelagic dominion seemed clear, but when more effective jawed predators began to prove to be harsh competition, there was nowhere else to go but the close proximity of those deepwater apexes. The Tagalixo has completely foregone its benthic roots, now spending its entire life in the water column. Its dorsal fins have moved further back and closer together, and its hindmost pectoral fins have fused into a proper anal fin. Its tail fin has also become semi-lunate and its fleshy tentacle bumps have become more numerous and more prominent, but perhaps the strangest improvements happened within. Rather than develop a notochord and a heart separately, it managed to pull off something bizarre: A crude, tube-like heart that also serves as a suitable attachment point for its muscles, derived from the organ responsible for producing blood cells. Its simple pinhole eyes have also become more akin to that of a Terran nautilus, though its senses are only marginally keener than those of its ancestor. They have also developed a more proper nocturnality, with adults performing a vertical migration every nightfall into shallower waters. The Tagalixo’s hunting tactics are very much the same as its ancestor, but it’s the juveniles that have changed the most: Rather than filter-feed, they instead prey upon smaller fauna and even hang near larger predators, like Bulljaws, in hopes of snagging a free meal from their scraps. This behavior, similar to Terran pilot fish, is very risky, but it is nonetheless a means of both avoiding predation and acquiring easy meals. Once they grow large enough, they abandon their tag-along lifestyle and become proper pelagic predators. When it comes to reproduction, they aren’t all too different from their ancestor. Males have brighter photophores than females, said photophores can be turned on or off, and they mate multiple times over several weeks, with the female laying around 3000 eggs every few days. While Nektolixos lay their eggs closer to the sea floor, Tagalixos tend to disperse them via open water.