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Evolution in the Eighth is very similar to evolution on Earth. Animals have been known to evolve, although the Rooted Empire and possibly other groups have been able to both engineer life and speed up the evolution process. This evolution is important, as the animals need to adapt to be able to survive the floods and other threats that this world has to offer. Some learn how to fly or swim, while others learn to make their homes high in the mountains.
Below are the descriptions of the most commonly known animals in the Eighth:
These wasps, named for the way their nests look, appear to be the most interesting case of adaption on the Eighth. Before the rainy seasons hits, when the weather is hot and dry, these insects build nests high up in young trees, most of which have root systems that are undeveloped. These nests are made out of a sticky paper-like paste that the wasps excrete, and are coated with an unknown waterproof substance. When the weather turns to frezing conditions, the waterproof material breaks off. A few months later, when the rainy season finally hits, the water soaks into the paper-like material of the nest, which causes it to expand in size. The nest now floats to the top of the water, usually pulling the tree out the ground with it. The result is a large, roundish nest floating above the water with a pole sticking out of it, hence the name.
Gondola Wasps tend to have lifespans that suit their environment as well. A solitary queen wasp will always create a nest immediately and start laying eggs, which can give birth to thousands of wasps within a couple of weeks course. The wasps will then start to store food and build the nest up during the course of the dry season. As soon as the cold and rainy seasons start, the wasps remain in their nest, trying to survive on the rations that were saved. Ultimately, the population of the nest will start to die off as food supplies diminish. When that happens, the queen will lay a few special eggs that will eventually hatch into queens and allow the cycle to start over again.
Skriil are simple seal-like creatures that live in the northern part of the Eighth, dominating in the Smuggler's Maze region. Because of the hostility of the Smuggler's Maze, not a lot of citizens know of its existance or any specific details about the animal. While many people have given the creature a bad reputation it is, in fact, a friendly and generally harmless animal. The diet of a Skriil consists mostly of fish, and will not get into a fight unless it is for the benefit of its offspring. Instead, it would rather use its fast swimming abilities to remove itself from a potentially dangerous situation.
Where the bad reputation comes from is probably their behavious during mating season. To draw attention to each other, the Skriil make very loud noises which sound like a human scream of pain and terror. Needless to say, if a traveller was to pass through the maze and hear that, they would be turning around the other way.
If there was a way to make this animal seem intelligent, it would be a miracle. These animals live in the warmer regions of the Eighth, mostly Akandia. These animals are completly harmless to its predators, as when a hunter, larger fish, or even a smaller fish enters its area, it will enter into a catatonic state until the fish feels that the threat is over. This makes the fish an excellent food source for communities that haven't developed agricultural systems yet. If it wasn't for the fact that these fish breed extremely rapidly, then this species would be extinct.
See also: Fegundo | Waterskippers