Ventback

Ventbacks are large leviathans found deep in the oceans of Ocearia. They disguise themselves on the seabeds as thermal vents, and when prey get too close, they jump up and eat them.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Ventbacks have a round body, with a hard shell made of volcanic rock. Several large thermal vents stick out of their backs which, when the animal is buried in the ground, looks like naturally occuring thermal vents. Ventbacks have 3 pairs of fins extending from their shelled bodies. Their necks are very long, and very flexible, which allow them to snap at prey that get close to them. They have sensory organs just below their shells, which can sense movement in the water close by. Ventbacks have large heads, with very long, wide snouts. 6 rows of sharp, serrated teeth line each jaw.
A special organ in their backs is able to superheat gases ready to erupt from the vents in their backs. These vents are what attracts prey to them.

Genetics and Reproduction

These leviathans mate during breeding season. They find a mate for life when they are 4 years old, yet mate for the first time when they reach sexual maturity at 5 years old. The gestation period of female ventbacks is roughly 450 days. The eggs of ventbacks are found in small cavities on their backs, which are warmed by the gases within the ventback's bodies. Ventback eggs are a bright yellow, with one or two orange rings around them. One orange ring indicates a male, while two orange rings indicate a female.   Domesticated ventbacks have their eggs taken as soon as they are hatched. They are sorted into male and female, as they are easy to tell which is which, and placed in incubation rooms that are heated to a comfortable temperature. Once hatched, the babies are able to meet their mothers but are generally kept away and with owners, so they can be trained from birth.

Growth Rate & Stages

Ventbacks are very slow growers. It takes ventbacks 5 years for them to find a mate, 9 years for them to reach sexual maturity, and 25 years for them to reach their adult size. Babies hatch about a foot long, and over this 25 year period they will grow to a whopping 80 metres long.

Ecology and Habitats

In the wild, ventbacks are found very, very deep in the ocean. While they aren't lying on the seabed disguising as thermal vents, they swim slowly along the seabed, their pair of glowing eyes illuminating the dark. Ventbacks dark colourations hide them from predators, and their exceptional hunting tactics have made them an impressively successful predator itself.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Ventbacks are a carnivorous species, preying on pretty much anything their mouths can grab and shake to death. Ventbacks lay motionless on the seabed, their shells looking like thermal vents that attract cold blooded animals. When creatures get close, ventbacks can sense movements in the water, and they reach out and grab the prey in their wide mouths.

Additional Information

Domestication

For thousands of years, ventbacks have been domesticated by the Malaui. Ventbacks are used to transport large items, particularly building materials. They are trained from birth to become completely docile and submissive, making ventbacks very easy to command. Not only are ventbacks used to move heavy materials, they are also used for the Malaui to get around the large, high tech city. Enormous ventback docks are where the leviathans park, letting people jump on their backs or get off.   Ventbacks have also long been used to cook Malaui food. The boiling hot gases produced by the creatures are pumped throughout the city, into houses to heat their homes, cook their food, and a whole host of other useful things.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Ventbacks are found worldwide, but are mostly found around thermal vent banks. Their population is estimated at about 15,000 individuals, 65% of which are found solely in and around the Equatorial Thermal Vent Bank.

History

Old documents note that the first ventback to be tamed was hatched under their ownership. According to these documents, a mother ventback was captured by the Malaui, and killed, their eggs taken to be incubated. These eggs hatched, and right away the Malaui attempted to train them to become pets. As these baby ventbacks grew up, their abilities were taken advantage of, such as their predatory skills and their thermal vents. The ventbacks were forced to catch prey for the Malaui and they would cook them on their backs. As they grew bigger, the ventbacks were used as transport. Many people saw this, and over time more and more ventbacks were domesticated.
Lifespan
130 years
Average Length
80 metres
Geographic Distribution

Comments

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13 Feb, 2022 16:28

I would like more information as to when their breeding season is; is it spring, summer, autumn, or winter??   These two sentences seem to contradict each other: They find a mate for life when they are 4 years old. Ventbacks are very slow growers. It takes ventbacks 5 years for them to find a mate, 9 years for them to reach sexual maturity, and 25 years for them to reach their adult size.

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13 Feb, 2022 17:52

Thank you for leaving a comment and liking the article! I can't say when breeding season is yet, as I haven't established if seasons on Ocearia are similar to ones on Earth. Ventbacks find a partner when they are 4, but only mate for the first time when they are 5. I'll try and explain that better in the article ^-^

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