The jiaolong is a large, horned reptile with a long, scaly body that ends in a thin tail. Compared to their terrestrial cousins, jiaolong are sleeker and more serpentine in form, though their four short legs are still fairly muscular. They have icy blue-green skin, and they completely lack wings, but have fins adorning most of their body and their tail. Their head is large compared to the rest of the body, adorned with two horns and their bearded face is dominated by a wide, flat nose with cat-like eyes, cattle ears, and a pair of whiskers.
Pressure Resistance: Jiaolong are adapted to cope with drastic pressure changes when diving. The flexible ribcage allows lung collapse, reducing nitrogen intake, and metabolism can decrease to conserve oxygen. Jiaolong can dive at great depths, as much as 2,250 metres (7,382 ft) to feed on deep sea life for roughly three hours. At those depths they can withstand 5850 pounds per square inch, roughly 8 times the pressure of the surface. Amphibious Skin: Jiaolong are able to respire through the top of their skin and satisfy about 25% of their oxygen requirements in this manner, which allows for prolonged dives. Water Breath: Jiaolong are able to shoot pressurized streams of water from their jaws at a target. The strength of the blast depends on how much water the tatsu has in their body. Icy Gut Flora: The GI tract of jiaolong contain strains of bacteria that can form ice crystals, sometimes at temperatures above the freezing point. They form a symbolic relationship, the microbes have a safe place to live and food in the gut, and the dragon gets help with digestion and use their mana to dramatically cool the temperature of their water breath properties. Healing Coma: When mortally wounded, Jiaolong will often go into a deep slumber until they recover the damage. Depending on the damage, they might store away in a safe place for weeks, months, or years to slumber or hibernate.
Genetics and Reproduction
Jiaolong mate in the wet season, laying eggs in a nest consisting of a mound of mud and vegetation. The female guards the nest and hatchlings from predators.
Ecology and Habitats
Jiaolong can live in marine environments, mainly in the open sea but also in tropical coral reefs. Despite their marine adaptations, some can also be shallow waters near land, around islands, and e. Some sea dragons inhabit mangrove swamps and similar brackishwater habitats, and may swim up rivers during heavy rains or storms.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Jiaolong are generally the apex carnivores of their regions, eating pretty much any form of sealife they can manage. Hatchlings are restricted to feeding on smaller animals, such as small fish, frogs, insects and small aquatic invertebrates. In addition to these prey, juveniles also take a variety of freshwater and saltwater fish, various amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, such as large gastropods and cephalopods, sea birds, aquatic mammals, and other reptiles, such as sea snakes or even young plesiosaurs. Large jiaolong, even the oldest males, do not ignore small species, especially those without developed escape abilities, when the opportunity arises. Jiaolong will also come on land during rainy and monsoon seasons where they will often hunt a similar range of creatures from rodents, flightless birds, lizards, to even small deer, dinosaurs, and ptersau.
As its alternate name "sea-going dragon" implies, this species travels between areas separated by sea, or simply relies on the relative ease of travelling through water in order to circumvent long distances on the same land mass. In a similar fashion to migratory birds using thermal columns, jiaolong use ocean currents to travel long distances. Generally very lethargic, a trait which helps it survive months at a time without food, jioalong will usually loiter in the water or bask in the sun during much of the day, preferring to hunt at night. Despite their relative lethargy, they are agile predators and display surprising agility and speed when necessary, usually during strikes at prey. They are capable of explosive bursts of speed when launching an attack from the water. They can also swim at 15 to 18 mph (24 to 29 km/h) in short bursts, around three times as fast as the fastest human swimmers, but when cruising, they usually go at 2 to 3 mph (3.2 to 4.8 km/h). At the water's edge, however, where they can combine propulsion from both feet and tail, their speed can be explosive. Adult males who are not breeding live solitary lives, whereas females and juvenile males live together in groups. The main driving force for the sexual segregation of jiaolong is scramble competition for seafood. Females and their young remain in groups, while mature males leave their "natal unit" somewhere between 4 and 21 years of age. Mature males sometimes form loose bachelor groups with other males of similar age and size. As males grow older, they typically live solitary lives.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Jiaolong are found in the seas near the Yaojing region and Zomia Tropics and will often come on land and rivers during the monsoon season.
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