Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Jaku's jaws evolved in a peculiar manner, unlike many Skathan creatures it not only has the split set of "jaws" but it also has a lower jaw. It's upper jaw however has become very reduced to accomodate the large set of split mandibles that take up a good portion of the head. The Jaku is bipedal, running on it's "front legs", which have evolved to become it's only legs. The mid set of legs has reduced to nothing more than colorful spurs on the sides of the body (not shown in picture). The back legs followed a similar route, though more of them is left over, two larger spurs are folded against the tail. 

The Jaku is a fierce predator that lives in the shadow of the canopy of Tolaa stalks (more information on these later), it's general body color is dark, allowing it to blend in easily with the dark stalks of the Tolaa and other organisms. The biolights along it's sides and jaws are used in camouflage as well as in mating displays.

Marine vertebrates

The seas of Skatha are home to an abundant amount of life, large and small, docile and dangerous. These are some drawings of a few species of larger vertebrates. We'll start with the hunters:

These are large cetacean like animals that are the predominantly open ocean hunters, with the  exception of a few of the smaller individuals who also hunt in shallow seas near land. They are all site based hunters and though they often patrol areas of deep waters they stay close to the sunlight where they can more easily see their prey. The larger animals (the largest grey and smaller dark grey one) will often prey on smaller "cousins" if they happen to share a similar range. 

The range of the hunters almost always overlaps with the wide range of the large filter feeders:
The filter feeders have a very large range and will often cross paths. However they rarely have competition as they generally feed on different food sources. These animals are larger than most the hunters pictured above, and don't need to worry about predation once they are adults, however there are other threats to them that come from other species (I will get into this later).

Another animal is a type of "gulp feeder," which swallows its prey whole in a, well, gulping fashion. It is a relative of the filter feeders seen above.