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Delaphis

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Knowledge

Pronunciation:

dell-ah-fis

Current status:

Living

Intelligence grade:

5

Lifespan:

90 Earth years

Origin:

South Turrican Ocean

Population:

Dense

Distribution:

Regional

Conservation:

None

Enemies:

Various predators

Allies:

None

First discovered:

4th era

About

Delaphis are close relatives to the now extinct land-dwelling animal known as Delacabra. These primitive ocean dwellers where first discovered by Marakai explorers in the 4th era. Delaphis are friendly and non-hostile, however they are hunted as a food source for many of the oceans predators and those on land. They are considered a delicacy in the east of Anarkand, and are highly sought after.

Biology

Delaphis are fully aquatic nowadays, although it is believed that they once may have been semi-aquatic due to the appearance of small legs and strong frontal flippers, as well as the fact that they are close relatives to the now extinct Delacabra land animal. The presence of sharp asymmetrical teeth makes them appear more ferocious than they actually are. They hunt only when hungry and are mostly passive.

Major anatomical details noted by scientists since, include, a hearing set-up that channels vibrations from the jaw to the earbone, a streamlining of the body and the growth of a tough, rubber-like skin, nasal openings to the front of the face, and soft forelimbs which sit behind two powerful flippers.

Delaphis can grow up to 15 feet long, and can live anywhere between 70 and 90 Earth years.

Genetics & Reproduction

There are various feeding methods among and within species. Small animals and larger eggs are the main diet of the Delaphis, but they do feed on other marine animals if an opportunity presents itself, that is likely not to result in injury.

Delaphis have the ability to sleep with only one brain hemisphere in slow-wave sleep at a time. This allows them the luxury of recharging their batteries whilst ensuring enough consciousness is present to watch for possible predators and other threats.

Delaphis copulation happens via the small trailing legs interlocking with another Delaphis. Essence is transferred from one Delaphis to the other via a process called "Kalazar". The purpose of Kalazar and just how it works is yet unknown, but somewhere in the interlocking of legs, signals are transferred between both Delaphis. The stronger of the two animals will receive essence from the other and begin the gestation period shortly.

Habitats & Ecology

Cooler waters. Delpahis remain in the region of South Turrican Ocean and very rarely stray.

Growth rate & stages

These creatures are born alongside a brother or sister and will stick with them in the group for the whole of their lives. Delaphis will grow up to around 15 feet.

Social structure

Delaphis are highly social animals, often living in groups of up to a three-dozen individuals, though group sizes and structures vary greatly. In places with a high abundance of food, groups can and will merge temporarily. They establish strong social bonds, and will stay with injured or ill members, helping them to feed, navigate the ocean, and stay close to the group.

Delaphis communicate using a variety of leg touching gestures and other nonverbal posturing. Their culture is fairly unique amongst the marine life of Anarkand. The older Delaphis will teach their young how to find food, detect predators, use tools, and communicate safely. This knowledge is mostly transferred by mothers to sons.

They are also known to engage in acts of aggression towards each other, especially if another member of the group is killing without purpose of food, or is engaging in acts that could or will endanger the lives of the rest of the group.

Geographic origin & distribution

Delaphis are not widespread. Most prefer the species prefer the cooler waters of the south central zone, away from land predators.

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