Gobblers are false fish with eight backbones and two skulls that form the jaws of a mouth between them. They are the same upside-up or upside-down and very fast. They swoop in unexpectedly and grab smaller animals in their long teeth, often plucking them off the sides of weeds or sea scoops.
In the diagram of the gobbler, we see a rather typical false fish body plan. It has eight backbones and six skulls, each containing brains of varying sizes. Muscles and blood vessels have been removed for clarity.
A) The two foremost skulls form between them the jaws of the only mouth. Each has two eyes.
B) This is the sonic stomach. The bones around it vibrate to aid in cleaning flesh off the bones of prey. The bones can then be spit out while the flesh is passed to the main stomach.
C) This is the main stomach.
D) This organ acts as both pancreas and liver.
E) This is the intestine.
F) These pores (modified mouths) draw in water and send it to the internal gill.
G) Spent water from the internal gill and kidneys exits through this pore.
H) This is the heart. Animals of Ectora have cells that are sensitive to changes in blood pressure. To maintain constant pressure, blood is divided into three or more (in this case five) parallel tubes that beat out of step with one another before being recombined at the other end.
I) This is the hemobarostat. It stores excess blood and helps to maintain blood pressure. Gobblers have three of them.
J) This is the hemoacidostat. It maintains blood PH.
K) These are the gonads. Another set exists at the top of the organism. During mating, gobblers interface their gonopores and the male will inject 6-celled gametes into the female. Days after fertilization, the free-swimming larvae will exit.
Ramul is the creator of Red Earth, a planet about halfway between Earth and Mars in all its characteristics. It is home to a staggering number of octopod species, but my favorites are the worm grasses (plant-like animals), siltribbons (worms with long mouths that suck up muck), monolingulates (filter-feeding squid-things), and the era worms, which are known to hatch all at once and secrete a poison that kills everything around them.
Biofauna25 is the creator of not one, but two worlds, Epimethius and Odin. Either project has the potential to be a great book.
Epimethius is a larger, stormier version of Earth. There are at least four lineages of plants, including the ridge-leaves, the maze-roots, the feather plants, and the peeling plants. There are an incredible variety of radially-symmetrical animals, some resembling insects, crustaceans, mollusks, amphibians, and mammals. Variations on the theme include laterally flattened shrimp-like forms (making them bilaterally symmetrical) with their eyes on the back end. There are even more bilaterally-symmetrical animals. They have dual ribcages. The ventral ribs house the digestive organs and the dorsal ribs house the heart and respiratory organs. Many resemble fish and snakes. Others resemble deer or crocodiles. Some make silk, some retract their heads into hoods, and others have their simple mouths in the chest. My favorites are probably the frog-like potes.
Odin is a small, relatively dry planet largely covered by inedible sheddings of red plants floating in the air. Different species of floating plants receive energy from sunlight, lightning, or wind motion. They form wide nets to safely diffuse electrical discharges. There are three main groups of animals. The first has a four-stage life cycle, the second has a five-stage life cycle including a sessile phase that feeds the young with nectar, and the third has a five-stage life cycle like the others, but in reverse. I don’t know exactly how he organizes them into groups, but I estimate there must be at least twenty-seven orders.
Some animals on Ectora are able to fit where predators cannot follow. Tall, narrow false fish called fitters can slip through the slits in a certain family of puzzle sponges to hide inside. No predator wants to tear apart these puzzle sponges for such a small meal because they are poisonous to the touch and release a highly caustic fluid when broken. Only the fitters are partially immune.
Juniorwoodchuck is the creator of Aurora, planet with long days and animals which spend one life stage as a plant. He also speculates about future Earth life, my favorite examples of which are the turtles that swim with their necks and the squid-moles.
Salpfish1 is the creator of several worlds, including Tregama, home of swimming creatures with siphon-legs and the charybdis fish, which uses suction to create whirlpools and feed on anything on the water’s surface. He also creates a variety of future Earth animals, such as land anomalocarids, fish-like mollusks that eat anemones and then spit stinging cells at predators, and pigs that hunt like frogs. Another favorite of mine is the blind, flying, cave shrimp.
Normally, when reef inhabitants sense a predator coming, they hide in the nearest crevice until it leaves. Unfortunately, this does not stop the finder. Finders are false fish with three backbones and three skulls. The upper two skulls form the jaws of a mouth between them, but the lowest skull draws in water to pass over the primary gills. The lowest skull also has two curled appendages for reaching inside of crevices to grasp prey and let it go in open water where it can be outswum and caught in the true mouth. These appendages are also very sensitive to electrical current and can find even the best-hidden creature at a distance of more than ten centimeters.
Captail worms are partially segmented worms whose tails end in ornately designed cocoon-like structures. The males wave these structures around high above the seafloor in the hopes of catching the attention of females, which lack the structure. A receptive female will take a cocoon and deposit her eggs in it as the male fertilizes them. The male will then close the cocoon and bury it where the young can develop in safety.
Snaiad is an exobiology project created by C. M. Koseman. The planet Snaiad is inhabited by many creatures, of which the vertebrate phyla are described on the website. These animals have hydrocarbon bones, hydraulic muscles, endocrine-based cognition (as opposed to neural), and two heads. The lower heads are mostly boneless and used for eating. The upper heads are actually heavily modified genitals used for defense and covered in sensory organs. There has been talk of turning it all into a book. I really hope this happens, but only if the invertebrates, plants, and microbes are also described.
Planet Epona is a dying world with only periodic volcanism. It is during these short bursts of ten million years or less that life flourishes and diversifies. Otherwise, it survives only in the seas where it can barely scrounge up enough carbon to grow. There are several lineages of plant and animal life, including bubbleweed, tiered seaweeds, pentapods, bivalve ambush predators, and colonial flying insectoids. The pentapods and tiered land plants make use of bone-muscles that expand rather than contract. They have variable metabolisms based on interesting biochemistry. While the project seems to have stalled, it can always be revived and in any case is worth the read.