Tentaichthys landfall gigantus
|Environment||Tropical intertidal zones|
|Locomotion||Land: Scooting clumsily along the ground|
Water: Swimming with little effort
|Personality||Very active foragers|
|Language(s)||Land: Body shifting to indicate intention|
Water: Use of lateral lines
|Subspecies||gigantus (insular species only)|
|“While the tentaichthys lineage were quite a popular bunch underneath the planet's waves, one species—known as "landfalls", made the effort to clamber onto land, opening up a multitude of new possibilities for their descendants.”|
|—Vacotor Database, Terran translation|
The Tentaichthys landfall are an extinct ancestor of the Vhalslask of the planet Dosganna, and the first to clamber onto land. Because of their uniquely amphibious nature, they were found only in the tropical intertidal habitats, rather than other amphibious species of the era which would hide under wet vegetation or in tide pools. They were active creatures, moving about constantly.
Having evolved to take advantage of the land, landfalls moved about using their pectoral fins, which had grown very large in comparison to the body to aid in traveling further faster, in a similar manner to evolving longer legs. While initially they had no competition on land for a million years or so, predators eventually adapted to find them in their havens. This led to the landfall species getting stronger muscles that would allow them to launch themselves a few feet into the air, generally in an arc and almost usually back towards the water in their struggle to escape.
To properly facilitate movement across substrate, their pectoral fins have two movable hinge joints. The first is located in the 'shoulder' area, which allows the cleithrum to meet the radials. The second joint is an intra-fin joint where the radials meet the rays. However, these joints were not as specialized as in later evolutions and only barely increased their abilities over land.
Tentaichthys landfall breathed in a cutaneous air breathing method, through three areas: their skin, the lining of their mouth and the throat. Similar to the amphibians found on Earth, landfall could only breathe while wet, forcing their kind to remain within humid habitats and preventing them from moving inland too far to avoid losing too much moisture and desiccating. Although landfall retained their gills, they were sealed while above water, keeping the gills moist and allowing them to function longer along the shoreline.
During the hot summer months, landfalls would dig burrows just above the low tide line where the soil was still muddy and soft. This allowed them to thermoregulate and prevent quick dehydration. During these times they would also stick to the shadows as best they could when foraging for the same reasons. When high tide rose, the burrows would be submerged and the landfalls would spend some time still hidden within the burrows to avoid predators and to protect their eggs. These burrows were unique, as they had a slight curvature to them and an embankment inside, allowing for a space at the end that would remain out of water at all times, like a miniature undersea cavern. This was generally where the eggs would be placed.
A subspecies of t. landfall could be found on a large, currently-unnamed island found within its range. This subspecies, tentaichthys landfall gigantus inhabited the same general biomes yet due to insular gigantism .