- Domain: Monocentralis (Single-Nucleus Complex Organisms)
- Kingdom: Neomalia "New Soul" (Neomalians -- Aurosian Eon's Fauna Life)
- Superphylum: Padellizoa "Paddle Life" (Organisms who produce paddled larvae)
- Phylum: Mollisia "Flexible" (Mollisians -- Flexible organisms utilizing a hydrostatic skeleton)
- Class: Cephalopoides "Like Cephalopod" (Cephalopoids)
- Subclass: Elasmomorpha "Elastic Shape" (Unarmored Cephalopoids)
- Superorder: Etapoda "Eight Foot" (Etapods -- Eight-armed Cephalopoids)
- Order: Bitentacleida (Two Tentacled Cephalopoids -- 2 of the 8 arms are tentacles)
- Family: Pteropteryx "Wing Fin" (Flying Squids)
- Subfamily: Placobrachius "Flat Arm" (Flat Armed Gliding Squids -- 2 arms are flattened)
- Genus: Neomwa (Neomwa and nearest relatives)
- Species: Regularis "Regular" (Catapult Tree Forest-dwelling Neomwa)
- Binominal Name: Neomwa regularis
- Species Type: Cold-blooded aerial cephalopoid
- Lifestyle: Social swarm predator
- Hunt/Forage Success Rate: 100% Hunt (20% success rate)
- Armor: Neomwa have nothing that could be considered armor; their skin is soft and weak, and easily penetrated -- much like a squid's. However, this is surpassed by the Neomwa's ability to breed quickly and in large numbers, allowing them to easily hunt in vicious swarms.
- Defenses: Neomwa lack any effective defenses, and they therefore rely on a much larger species, the Gargantua Wrays, to protect them with its intimidating appearance and camouflaged design. They have a symbiotic relationship with this species where both gain equal improvement from the other's existence.
- Weapons: Neomwa only possess one offensive weapon; however, it is so deadly that it can take down foes many times its own size. This is made up of a singular mandible system. Normally, this is protected by the gnathobranchia, but when in use, they are opened up, allowing the razor-sharp tips to be extended past the muscular limbs. These are dragged across the skin of opponents, causing small but successful wounds. They are jagged on a near-microscopic level, and are built to cause maximum bleeding from the wounds they cause. With so many frenzied Neomwa swarming around, they will eventually cause enough wounds to weaken their opponent until it collapses.
- Tools: Although Neomwa possess no less than four pairs of arms, one of these pairs has been turned into gnathobranchia, a type of "mouth arm", in order to make the body more streamlined, while another pair is squid-like capture tentacles. This leaves the Neomwa with two pairs of tentacle-arms, capable of simple manipulation of objects, or for wrapping around prey. Neither of these possess any adaptations to allow for further manipulation. The capture tentacles are used more for tasting the air and possible prey items with the feathery barbells along their tips, although they can still be used for catching prey. The gnathobranchia holds the rest of the tentacles inside of itself during flight, to minimize drag and thereby increase airspeed.
- Method of Eating: Unspecified
- Reproductive Rate: Sexual maturity is reached after 2.5 months. They reproduce only during the windy season of the Deep Mangrove.
- Gestation: 15 days then lays eggs -- eggs are attached to the dorsal side of the swarm's Gargantua Wray. During this time, the Gargantua Wray will not feed; however, the Neomwa will, as they have a fast metabolism and would starve to death before the eggs hatched without it.
- Offspring Incubation: 8 days until eggs hatch after being laid.
- Number of Offspring: 10-50 hatchlings per litter
- Offspring Survival Rate (before age of maturity): 20% -- Thanks to their small size and violent lifestyle, life is rough on young Neomwa, and it doesn't get much easier for them. The only known predator of their species, the Spinster, builds huge nets that span between trees, and are nearly invisible to the Neomwan eye. Many adults and young alike can get caught in these when they go off to hunt each day, and so many young will perish before finally reaching adulthood. However, they are protected most of the time by their hosts, and therefore this is really the only major opportunity for them to perish.
- Singular/Plural/Possessive: Neomwa/Neomwa/Neomwan
Neomwa are extremely specialized predators, built to hunt only a single prey item. Without this species, they would very quickly fall into extinction.
Neomwa are mysterious creatures, spending much of their time in the company of the Gargantua Wrays, and are not known to possess more than a solitary predator species, which exists along the shore of the Deep Mangrove.
Neomwa are also a very clever species given their brain size, and they have adopted a mutualistic, symbiotic relationship with another former denizen of the deep. Although neither species absolutely requires the other for survival, they are almost always found in tandem with one another.
The Neomwa were the earliest branch-off of the original protista strain. Originally known as the Neo-Protista, these creatures have evolved into speedy cephalopoids, which have succeeded in stirring chaos through the ranks of the Aurixan colonies for millennia. Eventually, the Neomwa evolved a thin fold between one of their pairs of tentacle-arms, which they used to glide for a very brief period of time above the waves, which set them on the path to follow the Aurix to shore. Since then, they have grew two long fins and their original gliding tentacles have receded into their mouth-like gnathobranchium, which is formed from an shortened, thickened, and flattened pair of tentacles. This gnathobranchium is used in the Neomwa species as a means to accomplish a more streamlined body to allow for faster flight speeds. The Neomwa have been entirely capable of eradicating the Aurix and their ancestors on more than one occasion, but chose to flee instead. Are the Neomwa smarter than previously thought? One can only make assumptions.
The Tidal Pool: Before the DiversificationEdit
The known history of the Neowma starts with a small protista known as Paramecium euvaris; however, it is a well-understood fact that this was not the original strain the species originated from, as it already possessed the necessary traits to have survived the great catastrophe of the Zommian Era -- this should mean there was at least two species to have been euvaris' ancestor.
Life for the euvaris and the rest of their species began and ended within a significantly large tidal pool, located nearly smack-dab in the middle of their continent, Zeeon. This location was a veritable hot-spot for life to emerge, and because of this it was rife with microscopic predators, ready, willing, and entirely capable of ending the lives of those who were not considered fit enough to survive.
While a menagerie of different species scooted, floated, paddled, or wriggled along in the warm, calm waters, several stuck out; these are listed below.
- Dessiles: The Dessiles were superficially similar to diatoms, due to the fact that they led similar lifestyles. Dessiles were at the bottom of the food chain, and were prey to most predatory species.
- Zocax: The Zocax and their kin would eventually lead to the Aurix and their kin.
- Amebozoans: Ameboid in nature, the amorphs were . While the Amebozoa are extinct, they have led to a few more prominent groups that exist in modern times.
- Vorms: A number of worm-like species called Vorms evolved during this time, with the most infamous ones being those who turned into the apex predators. The Vorms dominated the waters, and although only three groups are known to have survived into modern times, only two of these are known to be the ancestors of prominent groups.
The Tidal Pool: The NeouiiEdit
- [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]
The Neomxa: Appearance of the Gliding SquidsEdit
During this time, several predatory species evolved to feed on the bustling Neomwa population, taking chunks out of their numbers and making the surviving swarms less effective at hunting. Becoming a threatened species forced their genes to kick in, and they soon evolved a very useful escape tactic - they learned to glide.
Utilizing their water propulsion jet, they could shoot themselves out of the water when close to the surface, at which time they spread a pair of tentacle-arms that had adapted thin membranes to help keep them aloft. Early pteropteryx, alternatively known by their non-scientific name "gliding squids", could only stay aloft for a few feet, and used this ability as a way to escape predators' jaws a split second before they were bit down upon, and then would glide a few feet down to splash back into the water to continue their escape. However, the later and certainly far more advanced pteropteryx species adapted to glide up to a mile before falling back into the water, assuming wind was on their side.
The Neomxa clade were the most prominent of all pteropteryx, and when the Quadrix, their main food supply, escaped their tidal pools to travel onto the local beaches, the Neomxa tried to follow them. Having yet to evolve a system for breathing air not diffused within water and knowing nothing of the terrestrial world, they took to the air in chase, and soon rained down upon their prey. Few made their marks, and only one Quadrix was known to have perished in the process. While their kill was soon feasted upon, their victory was fleeting, and soon they realized they were asphyxiating, flopping about desperately and trying to crawl back to the water's relative safety before they perished, although few made it there, leaving most to dry out and lay lifeless on the sand, where they were soon devoured by local Featherheads.
Take To The Skies: The NeomwaEdit
The surviving Neomxa would bide their time, and quickly (and perhaps miraculously) began to adapt a pair of breathing lungs. At the same time, they started a symbiotic relationship with the descendants of a former predator of theirs, the Gargantua Wrays. These wrays were already equipped for life out of the sea, and were able to utilize full-powered flight. This ability instigated powered flight in the Neomxa to keep them capable of keeping up with their host-species, leading to the Neomwa. Within a relatively low number of generations in terms of evolution, both species took to the skies around Zeeon's beach, and became residents of the surrounding tropical forest.
One of the species major adaptations was the switch from using their gliding tentacles to two pairs of long fins that helped them achieve their powered flight. These were beat in a fashion similar to a dragonfly, giving them incredible maneuverability, although they did not often hover when hunting, as they required momentum to utilize their razor-sharp mandibles properly. Their most noticeable alteration however was their gnathobranchium, formed from a single pair of shortened, thickened, and flattened tentacle-arms. These gnathobranchia were used as a means to accomplish a more streamlined body to allow for faster flight speeds, by covering up the mandibles and the other tentacles to significantly reduce drag.
As a whole, the species are regularly found swarming around their host Gargantua Wrays as they rest curled around large branches of tropical trees. They continue to hunt the descendants of their ancient prey, the Aurix, and do so in a particularly malicious fashion, by using their host as a distraction while the entire swarm carves into the victim's flesh with their mandibles. With their prey dead, they will gorge themselves on its warm meat, before fleeing along with their host, although when full, they have difficulty flying and are noted for "looking like a drunken bee".