Sea Serpents - Rulers of the Oceans

Unrivaled Power

Sea Serpents hold dominion over the oceans through their unrivaled strength and intelligence. The males can measure up to forty feet in length, whilst females grow to lengths of fifty feet. They attack with teeth and claw causing hideous damage, and with their tail that can smash through the hull of a trading ship with a single hammer blow.   These creatures have attacked ships engaged in battle, looking to destroy or drive away those that dare to invade their domain. In these circumstances, the captains of the vessels form an unspoken and immediate truce as they turn their combined might towards these more powerful enemies. When attacking ships they use their tails for direct crushing hits and also the production of powerful waves to unbalance, flood or topple vessels.   The other biggest and strongest denizens of the oceans are simply no match for them. Giant Killer Whales, themselves measuring in at up to thirty feet, have been known to attack these beasts to defend their young but the incredibly hard scales of the serpents cannot be significantly breached by the whales' bite and tail attacks. In a straight battle, the whales are simply torn apart.   Fortunately for those that dwell in, or travel on, the sea, Sea Serpents are relatively few in number.  

Society & Reproduction

Sea Serpents are highly intelligent. They are lone creatures, for the most part, coming together for specific purposes only - to mate or to attack some major threat.   Once mated they remain loyal to that individual for life - in the event of the death of their mate, they will not seek another. A typical female serpent will mate only two or three times during their lives.   Whilst a welcomingly low statistic to other inhabitants of the sea, and indeed land, there is no definitively known reason why this number is so low. It is thought to be physiological, with females' bodies not able to survive more than a few births; for these serpents do not lay eggs, they produce live young. And these newborns are fully fifteen feet long and come ready equipped with hardened scales, claws, and horns.   The females are dominant over the males, displaying greater size and strength. This is believed to be related to the additional size required to birth young. They are not particularly territorial and any encounters between them are peaceful.   Communication between them must exist given their occasional coordination for battle. Persons who have survived an encounter recall hearing a screeching sound as the serpents breached the surface of the water. This thunderous sound is deafening and those hearing it have suffered partial and permanent loss of this sense. The sound has never been heard beneath the waves. Given its strength, it would certainly carry a long way and is the most commonly accepted method of communication.  

Hunting & Survival

Sea Serpents prey on anything they want to, but their favorite source of food is whale and shark. As largely solitary, they hunt alone. They prefer to stalk their prey, singling off individuals from a pack. Their efficiency as swimmers is astounding and they produce virtually no wake, giving their victims little warning of their presence.   Their obvious advantages do not require such a stealthy and deliberate approach - perhaps they are using this technique to keep their skills as sharp as their teeth, or for the sport, or to simply relieve boredom.   When young are produced, the male parent undertakes all hunting. At this time only, the male develops an ability to match his exact coloration to the waters around him - he becomes invisible. Coupled with the ability to produce little wake, these creatures become the most lethal ocean weapon ever to exist.

Basic Details

  Population: Unknown but probably low
Appearance: Dark green-black metallic looking scales; larger spinal scales that become horn-like at the base of the skull
Size: 40 to 50 feet in length
Speed: Up to 70 feet per second
Mode of attack: Bite; Claw; Tail (direct impact and power wave)
Life Expectancy: Over 400 years
Known Locations: Serpent Sea; The Secret Sea, in Estyria

Giant Dolphins

There is one sea creature that can significantly damage a Sea Serpent and that is the Giant Dolphin.
fantasy-4853146_1920 stefan keller at pixabay 3.jpg
  It is generally not aggressive, but when it does attack it does so by ramming its opponent with a snout made of super-dense bone.   Its immense speed, coupled with the alignment of the skull and spine behind the snout, result in an impact of such force that it can crush scale and bone beneath.  

History & Historic References

Sightings are very rare. This is undoubtedly due to their low population, but perhaps also as they only usually attack surface vessels that travel in larger numbers - seeing them as a threat to their domain, or if they have young nearby. Their involvement with a few naval battles seems to back up that reasoning.   Legend speaks of two ancient sea serpents that have lived for tens of thousands of years, or even longer. They are a mated pair from which all other sea serpents are descended and are twice the normal size. Astonishingly, sightings are regularly reported by those just travelled at sea. No sightings have been fully verified, however - this may have something to do with these tales originating in the taverns that litter the major seaports of the world.
Cover art by: David Foxx https://pixabay.com/users/davidfoxx-4748188/
Giant Dolphin art by: Stefan Keller https://pixabay.com/users/kellepics-4893063/

Comments

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8 Jul, 2020 06:23

Another sea apex predator! I like this article, it's very well tought and I like the fact that the giant dolphin can break the defenses of the creature. Dolphins are cute but scary dangerous when hunting or defending their own.

8 Jul, 2020 08:33

My main story has a significant ocean element to it, so I liked the idea of a sea predator. Dolphins have been known to defend people against sharks so that behaviour may well feature too.

8 Jul, 2020 07:46

I am really enjoying your world T and I always look forward to reading the next piece.

8 Jul, 2020 08:29

Thank you so much! I kept putting this one off but found that once I started it felt ok. Funny how sometimes the ones I'm not looking forward I enjoy, and vice versa!

8 Jul, 2020 09:08

That is the truth!

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 20:57

I enjoy the fact that giant dolphins are the only creature who can damage the sea serpent.   The female serpent must have a strong, um, birthing canal if the young come equipped with their claws and tough scales! I almost feel sorry for them.   But also, yikes. They are massive!

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
8 Jul, 2020 21:13

Hello! I, erm, did struggle to word that bit. I made it as a '..believed to be...' reason as in reality there is another, true reason. This is linked with The Key to Titans Gate - this has two Sea Serpents as part of its design and.....oops, nearly said too much. Thanks again, it is really fun having you and others read and comment on my stuff. I've never had that before and it makes the whole thing so worth it :)

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 21:28

Oooo intriguing! Looking forward to finding out more! :)   And you're welcome! I'm having very much the same feelings about sharing my work with others! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!