Creature Name: Skultera (skul tare ra)
Height: 0.7 m
Mass: 60 kg
Skultera is a large, armored, fish-like creature from Maridia. It is heavily armored, with thick glycoprotein plates making up the surface of its body. The Skultera's tail is too heavy to swing back and forth like many fishes do to propel themselves. Instead, one section of the plates has evolved into a propeller-like structure. By rotating this plate, the Skultera can propel itself along. The Skultera is still pretty slow, but its armor is thick enough that most predators cannot break through. Skulteras are filter feeders; they feed in microscopic plankton in the water. They can often be seen swimming back and forth through plankton-rich areas, often near small geothermal vents or vertical tunnels where nutrients are funneled as they fall from above.
During most of their life Skulteras are grey. However, if they live to a very old age they eventually turn a reddish-orange color. These Skulteras are the dominant members of the species and usually take over prime feeding grounds, driving away any other Skulteras. They are not significantly different in behavior or structure to other Skulteras, they are just more experienced.
Skulteras are asexual. Skulteras have sharp points at the tips of their tails. This is actually an ovipositor used to insert a single egg at a time into vegetation in the wall, floor, or ceiling of a cave. The baby Skulteras are quite different from their parents. They are long, and sort of millipede like, with 12 legs and very little armor. They spend the beginning of their lives in vegetation, burrowing through and feeding on plant. When they reach maturity, their legs fall off and grow their armor coat. Only when their armor is hardened do they become filter feeders.