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Neanean Caecilians

By 8bitAviation
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-Atretochoana diurno (colloq. 'frisky grainnfish' or just 'grainnfish')

The illustrated specimen belongs to a radiation of free-swimming, lungless, aquatic caecilians descended from the Brazilian Atretochoana eiselti that were originally introduced to Nea's southern hemisphere as freshwater river-dwellers. While their ancestors primarily fed in and inhabited the silt and clay sediments at the river bottoms, a few, the grainnfishes, found a living for themselves in the water column as predators of aquatic insects and quickly diversified. However due to their derived nocturnal habits, this diverse group have only recently been studied by Neanean scientists and most have not been named apart from 'Atretochoana sp.'. The frisky grainnfish (above), so called for the way it struggles when caught in a fishing net, lives in the southern hemisphere lakes of Nea, having migrated there from its ancestral river habitat. It is a generalist, feeding variously on aquatic plants, algae and insects. Unusual among grainnfishes, the frisky grainnfish is diurnal, and was thus the first discovered in the group; for years it was considered unique. Like other lake-dwelling grainnfishes, it has a large, flattened tail and laterally compressed body which it uses to propel itself through the water. Visible in the top-right is an adult's silhouette, not to scale with the main drawing.
Notes: it is unknown why Neanean caecilians became swimmers when the same did not happen on Earth. It has been suggested that the chemicals making up the river sediments on Nea were somehow inappropriate for caecilians to live in, though this has not been proven. 'Grainn' in 'grainnfish' derives not from Terrestrial english 'grain' but a dialectical Neanean pronunciation and spelling of english 'green', describing the animal's typically green colouration. 'Fishes' is universally accepted as the plural for 'fish' in Neanean english. Grainnfishes typically range from 20-60cm as adults, A. diurno being medium-sized among them. Although there are myths of gigantic grainnfishes inhabiting Nea, these can be safely dismissed due to lack of evidence.
     
For :iconhyrotrioskjan: 's Nea contest :) (Smile)
My oh my, this was great fun to do, the drawing and explanation both. Apologies, but the scan came out quite badly, as usual. Good luck to all the other contributors!
(Grainnfishes are not part of the Nea canon as realised by Hyrotrioskjan)
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