Name: Depth Striders (Profundum ambulans) Description: Long aquatic animals, that strongly resemble seahorses of Earth, although much leaner and longer, without the charasterical coiled tail of theirs. They have strong, hind legs that end with sharp claws, with a visible thick, hard membrane stretched across its entire length, that function like a fans - being able to fold and unfold at will. Depth Striders have fin-like air sacs on the back of their bodies, save for the torso and lower neck; the sacs can fill themselves with air, usually to manipulate the depth that the animal resides in. Said air can also be released in rapid succession, further accelerating the animal forward, which effectively makes it dash away from danger or any other threats. The colorization can vary from dark blue, through light green, up to bright red; the fins and the membranes are usually lighter than the rest of the body, with visible dark spots in various places. (Tamed, fully armored Depth Strider, with a Hylotl rider on its back.) Behavior: Depth Striders are pack animals, usually travelling in groups of two to three individuals. Despite their massive sizes, they tend to flee from any sorts of dangers, unless they have no means or escape, or are desperate to gather food. Depth Striders prefer living in open parts of the ocean, most commonly found in places where other types of living animals reside. They make their nests in closed, hidden caves in dark parts of the ocean, far away from potential predators or other dangers; the caves serve as a secure dwelling where they can reside, feast on bigger preys, or mate. Depth Striders mate for life, binding themselves to only one partner for their entire existence; they do not enter any other “relationships” after their partner dies. When properly tamed, whether as an adult or as a young, they bind closely to the person that tamed them, going as far as allowing them to be mounted. Tamability: Tamable. The adults are able to be tamed with a lot of patience and effort, since they are usually fleeing from bigger beings that approach them. One would have to spend days, if not weeks, properly feeding, caring for and taming a Depth Strider for it to trust said person. It’s much easier to do so when one manages to find and tame a young Depth Strider and raise it from birth, although they rarely leave their parents side. If properly tamed, they can serve a function of a mount. Where is it found?: Found in oceans; mostly in bathypelagic and abyssalpelagic zones, but it’s possible for them to swim up to the mesopelagic zone in order to find food. They can also be found on ocean planets, in a much bigger abundance. Rarity: Fairly rare. It’s like finding a horse in the wild. Diet/Method of gaining nutrients and energy: Omnivore; eat all variety of plants such as algae or seaweed, but is also fully capable of feeding on animals that are smaller than itself, such as shrimp or fish. In acts of desperation they are capable of attack bigger prey, such as humans, or even sharks Products?: Apart from large quantities of meat and eggs that can be gathered from dead specimen, one can harvest the air sacs in order to use them as small, fairly strong pouches or bags. Reproduction: Sexual reproduction. Just like seahorses, except the egg deposits vary from 800 to 900 eggs; over 90% of the eggs do not hatch, and the young rarely survive the first few years. Size: Total lenght from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail varies between 7-8 meters Weight: 400-450 kg Lifespan: 47 - 68 years Abilities: Incredibly fast when fully submerged and not damaged in any way, even with armor covering it’s body and a rider on it’s back The placement of the eyes allows it for a very wide field of view, reaching up to 160° degrees on both sides Capable of doing fast bursts of speed by releasing the air from the sacs on it’s back Flaws: Is not able to live outside of bodies of water The air sacs need twenty-thirty seconds to fill up again Is not able to see things that are directly in front of it, due to the placement of the eyes It’s speed drastically drops down if it’s air sacs or the membranes are damaged Other: They are oftenly seen around Hylotl settlements, as they tend to use them as battle mounts, or as a simple mean of transportation.