The order undulocetacidea includes all marine Trimalans, more commonly known as Lanceheads and Starges. It is latin for undulating whale, and indeed the Undulocetans locomote under water by means of vertically undulating their bodies. Undulocetans are fully adapted to life underwater; firstly, the reservoir usually used to absorb oxygen into oxgen starved oxyfluid at the base of the oxyabsorbers is greatly increased in size and capacity, and can hold up to half an hour's worth of oxygen rich blood. Secondly, the nostrils, usually at the side of each jaw, are at the dorsal top of each jaw, meaning less effort is needed to breath. Thirdly, the body and limbs are much more well adapted to undulating locomotion: the mid-to-rear body is entirely packed with muscle for undulation, and the limbs are flattened and stiff to propel the animal through water. Lastly, Undulocetans are capable of electrosensitivity, which allows them to sense their surroundings and nearby life forms without any visibility; they do this through the single digits at the end of each limb, and also with their two upper jaws.
|Time and Timescale measurement in Animula|
1. Animula has 328.5 days a year, and 21.6 hours a day, equating to 7095.6 hours a year, as opposed to 8760 hours a year on earth.
2. However, for simplicity, we will measure time based on earth years. Timescale is measured by the amount of years it happened in after the impact of Sagittaan Cluster, with the abbreviation "yai" (for years after impact) used after the number. Contrastingly, "ybi" refers to years before impact.
3. For instance, oceans were mostly fully formed at around 800 myai (million years after impact).
Around the middle Mirumogene, the middle Neoanimalian, a queer creature appeared in the fossil record. It was a fossil of a Sicariutherid, usually freshwater ambush predators, but it was found around 500 metres off the coast of southern central Dividus, the supercontinent which occupied the equator and divided the oceans of Animula into two. What's more, a deformed but confirmed ocean opthalmian skeleton had been found in its body; this evidence suggests that this Sicariutherid was hunting in the ocean, something not seen in any modern or prehistoric species of Sicariutherid. This Sicariutherid was the ancestor to all the Undulocetacideans, ocean-adapted trimalans, to come, and it already had flattened rear limbs.
A few million years later, another unusual creature appeared in the fossil record. Aquantecessor, officially the first recognized Undulocetacidean, clearly had hard plates on its skin, a feature that remained from Armaturideans, but its limbs had stiffened and flattened, especially the hind limb; it was probably still able to crawl onto land, but it obviously felt most at home at sea. Aquantecessor was also most likely electrosensitive, a feature shared by all modern Undulocetacideans, as biologists believe that electrosensitivity evolved after flattened limbs.
Living underwater presents drastically different benefits and challenges to life on land. As such, Undulocetans look very different from land-living Trimalans, and resemble Opthalmians even more than Sicariutherids, their ancestors.
- Body and Limb Morphology: As an efficient method of locomotion through the water, the morphology of the body and limbs of Undulocetans are completely changed. The underspine of Undulocetans is very flexible but also strong, to withstand the immense pressure of constant vertical undulating motion. The limbs are horizontally flattened and stiffened for streamlinity and efficiency, and aid in stability and undulation while swimming.
- Higher nostrils: The nostrils of Undulocetans are located at the dorsal top of each jaw, as opposed to on the sides, as seen in terrestrial Trimalans. This allows Undulocetans to respire just by sticking the top of their jaws out of the water instead of having to stick the entire skull out.
- Oxygen Bladders: At the base of the oxyabsorbers in Undulocetans are huge bladders filled with oxygen rich oxyfluid, where there usually lies a much smaller membrane for oxyfluid to absorb oxygen. These bladders fill with oxygen rich oxyfluid when the Undulocetan respires, and is slowly used as extra oxyfluid while the Undulocetan dives. The oxyfluid in the oxybladders can last for up to an hour, a vital feature in any aquatic animal.
- Electrosensitivity: Parts of an Undulocetan's body, namely the digits and upper jaws, are densely packed with electroreceptive sensors, used in electrolocation and electrocommunication. Electrolocation can be used in two ways: active, in which the creature generates electric signals and detects distortions in this field, in a fashion similar to echolocation; and passive, in which the creature senses bioelectricity emitted by other life forms and uses this bioelectricity to locate the said life form. Electrocommunication occurs when a undulacetan emits electricity for the sake of communication; another undulocetan picks this signal up. Such messages can have simple to very complex meanings.
Lancaetidae (Lanceheads, Serpins) Edit
The Lancaetidae are a family of long predatory Undulocetans, and range in size from 3 metres long to up to 20 metres long. They are notable for their long, thin, serpentine shape, and a wedge-shaped skull. This family includes around fourteen species. Most Lancaetids live in closely knit hunting pods, composed of a dominant individual with mating rights with every other member in the pod; all other individuals can only mate with him, though other individuals do contest for this rank of alpha dominance. Young individuals often leave to find a new pod, or start their own with another young individual. Lancaetids are mostly formidable opthalmivores (they feed on opthalmians), harassing huge swarms of small opthalmians, or taking chunks out of larger ones.
Compared with the larger Lancaetids, the smaller (one to seven metres long), more recent Ternumocorpids have a relatively rigid body, and locomote by undulating their limbs in a wave-like fashion; maneuverable, but slower. Floatans are characterized by this feature, as well as by having a long snout. Floatans are very versatile, with most species opportunistic omnivores feeding on all sorts of parenid, opthalmian, motoplant, and duritian. Most species are also solitary, though many exhibit gregarious schooling behaviour in the presence of predators such as Lancaetids, defending and distracting the carnivore. Floatans are known to be intelligent and use tools such as rocks to break open Duritian skin, and moss to protect their snouts while foraging through the seabed.
|Information||Taxonomy • Exoanimal Biology • Parenid Biology • History of Life|
|Primizoic Era||• Cascuinania||• Primiduritizoa|
|Vitazoic Era||• Primiinframolezoa|
|Neoanimalian Era||• Draconemaria (Class)|