The skipyip is an unusual semi-aquatic mammal native to The Everswamp in Dorsal A and adjacent cube layers. Skipyips are best known for their echolocation ability and are believed to be distant relatives of aquatic mammals like dolphins and whales.
The skipyip is a fur-bearing quadruped not dissimilar in overall appearance to a thick, oversized weasel. The feet of the skipyip are webbed and its limbs comparatively short, allowing it to slip through the water and quickly navigate submerged obstacles in its search for small fish to eat. The skull of a skipyip features a high dorsal ridge that supports a cartilagenous resonance chamber; this structure enhances the creature's echolocation (see Perception) and gives the creature a head profile similar to that of a beluga whale. Nictitating membranes in both the eyes and protective flaps in the ears protect these sensitive organs while moving through the water.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Skipyips are primarily carnivores and eat insects, fish, rodents, birds, lizards, and eggs. Effective generalist hunters due to their unusual echolocation ability (see Perception), skipyips would prove to be exceptionally dangerous invasive species if not for the fact that the unusual geometries of the Manifold Sky and the relative paucity of their preferred hunting grounds in adjacent, reachable cube layers constrain their growth. Entities such as the Petalcap Vale Customs Authority are ever-perceptive to the risk of skipyips finding themselves transported to, for example, the Blue Silk River which would be vulnerable to infestation.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
The skipyip has very sensitive hearing and can use echolocation to track prospective prey (see Dietary Needs & Habits) both above and below the water. The bony ridge beneath the surface of the animal's forehead (see Anatomy & Morphology) serves to separate the enlarged, cartilagenous sinuses into two tracts which connect to the creature's ear canals. This means that, in addition to having sharp binocular vision, the skipyip also has precise binaural hearing.