The Majestic Hypolimpathers Edit
Exobiologists are learning more about the environment and life forms discovered on a watery world circling a distant star. My studies are focused on a creature called the Hypolimpather. This majestic, fascinating, shark-like creature can grow up to 30 feet long! It has short fur that blends in with the underwater ice-caps. When their semi-translucent fur catches the light of the volcanoes, it has a glittering rainbow effect. This is how the males compete for mates. The Hypolimathers have two frontal fins and two legs in the back. The fins are used for swimming when the legs are tucked flat against the beast’s large abdomen. When the fins are tucked away, the legs are used for gliding across the enormous underwater ice caps, grabbing plants, or catching prey. The Hypolimpather also has a thin, sharp tail that is used to spear prey out of cracks in the ice. This creature also has a narrow head for the same purpose. One feature on their heads is razor-sharp teeth that are sharper than a tiger’s. These teeth are used for shredding tough plants and ripping through the rubbery skin and fat of prey. Hypolimpathers have large eyes with 3-D vision that can see excellently in lowly lit caves or crevices. The Hypolimpather has two holes above its mouth that serve as nostrils. Each nostril has hair-like nerves that can smell prey from a mile away, and even detect changes in pH.
Behaviors of a Hypolimpather Edit
Some of the behaviors of the Hypolimpather are similar to that of sharks and whales. Firstly, Hypolimpathers are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They tend to eat a wide-range of food based on what is available. When there is a shortage of prey, which occurs often because of overpopulation, they eat plants until they can migrate to a place where more abundant sources of meat. Great distance migration is a behavior of some species of whales in our world. Hypolimpathers tend to surprise and attack their prey, like sharks. When hunting, they also tend to stick their firm, sharp tails in cracks between the ice to catch any prey that may be hiding. Like most creatures on this planet, Hypolimpathers mature slowly, so they stay in groups to protect their young. They reach reproductive age anywhere from 30 to 45 years old. Their average lifespan, 60 years, is low compared to other creatures on this planet.
The creatures only give birth to one or two pups at a time, take long to develop, and have many predators. All of these combined factors explain why their population is declining rapidly. Since pups take so long to develop, they are very vulnerable for 10 years until they are mature enough to fend for themselves. Because of this, the Hypolimathers reproduce on the icecaps, where it is easy for them to use camouflage to stay out of site from predators. They also stay in groups to protect the younglings. Although, they live in groups, each Hypolimpather is responsible for itself and hunting to sustain life is usually done independently. A Hypolimpather is considered mature when it grows fully-fledged sets of teeth and is able to feed and hunt on its own. The Hypolimpathers are very gentle and playful, especially as pup.
The Environment Edit
The environment of this far away world is different from anything we’ve seen. This planet is completely submerged in water! The climate and temperature of this underwater world is very cold. Temperatures can drop to as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit. One type of landform that can be found on the planet is enormous ice-covered rock formations; the smallest one is three times as large as Mount Everest! There are also many dangerous active volcanoes dotting the landscape. The Hypolimpathers reside in the ice caps where their young are safe from the Seven larger predators that lurk in the water.
Adaptations to this Unique Environment Edit
In order to survive, the creatures living on the planet had to find ways to adapt to the harsh and unique environment. For example, the Hypolimpather developed short yet thick fur for both speed and warmth. Furthermore, since it lives in a cold marine environment, it adapted fat layers that retain body heat and store energy. Additionally, the creature has gills for breathing. These gills developed a filtration system that filters out ash and harmful toxins produced by the volcanoes so that no damage will be caused to the body. Also, because of the constant volcano eruptions, many Hypolimpathers developed a resistance to harm from acidic pH levels. This is because pH level drops when a volcano erupts. They also developed a keen sense of smell and can detect when a volcano is about to erupt. This helps them avoid the dangerous natural disasters. Furthermore, the Hypolimpathers became omnivores, who consume both animals and plants. They developed this adaptation because there was an abundance of plants growing near the volcanoes. Also, when hunting, predator can quickly become the prey. Some unique plants grow beneath the ice. The Hypolimpathers developed sharped and more curved claws to get to this conclusion. Finally, the Hypolimpathers are a medium size so that they can eat the smaller animals, and not too big that it cannot get away from a volcano that is about to erupt. Furthermore, this creature has the ability to make its skin appear transparent, making it nearly impossible to spot one. Finally, the Hypolimpathers have a long tail that can also paralyze and scare away prey and predators.