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Jaki

Habitat: Southern oceans of Centauri Prime

EcoNiche: Social Carnivore

Intelligence:  Associative thought

Centauri nautical folklore is filled with horror tales of the jaki. This cold-blooded social predator ranges along the southern coast of the main continent, though it is not unusual to find jaki in the northern seas. The average jaki measures three meters in length with a maximum recorded length of nineteen meters. While jaki are relatively slow swimmers, they can affect

 short bursts of speed. This is accomplished by extending and rapidly contracting the row of dorsal flaps, or reso, along the forepart of the jaki's back. These flaps also provide additional respiration.

 Jaki are social animals and travel in groups of five to twenty, commonly called jaknni. Each jaknni is dominated by a prime male. Disputes within the jaknni are settled through non-lethal combat -- an extraordinary thing considering each jaki's rows of dagger-size teeth. Young within the jaknni are raised by all within the group. The prime male acts as the main defender against genno swarms and behemoth bento. Should an attack occur, males confront the attackers while the females defend the young. Feeding the group is accomplished by all able members of the jaknni, though hunting parties usually leave the main body in groups of two or three. These hunting parties typically seek out the main food source of the jaki, the kanar leno, a massive armored invertebrate that inhabits the lower depths. One kanar leno can feed the entire jaknni for several days. While kanar leno are preferred, jaki will eat almost anything, including Centauri.

 For three weeks during Centauri Prime's mild season, the Mimus Archipelago is swarming with jaki. It is the spawning season, and all jaknni converge on several locations throughout the jaki's range. These locations have a large number of underwater caves which the jaki use to defend their breeding females from other males. The Mimus Archipelago is the most extreme case since it is also home to several commercial and House-owned resorts. Most ocean-craft are kept docked at this time as jaki are in a highly agitated state and have been known to overturn most small and medium-sized craft. They have also been known to perform riso-assisted jumps at passing hovercraft.

 Centauri culture has used the jaki as a symbol of ferocity for centuries. Jaki Squadron, one of the top fighter groups within the Centauri Navy, has a long history of doing the impossible. Based out of the battlecruiserFerono Des, Jaki Squadron takes on the most difficult assignments available and accomplishes them; although the average life expectancy of a Jaki Squadron member is quite low. The most intriguing use of the jaki is that of Camallo "Jaki," a pirate that harassed the shipping lanes of several powerful Houses in 553-555 C. E. After successfully attacking a major merchant fleet, an armada was raised from the affected Houses led by Grand Admiral Yendo Dromo. Carnallo fled to the southern islands and split up his small fleet. Each pirate ship was hunted down, and their crews slaughtered. Carnallo's vessel, the Jaki Vikno, was never captured. Rumors tell that Carnallo Jaki found an uncharted island dotted with caves, a mysterious 349th island of the Mimus Archapelago. Within one of those caves lies Carnallo's lifetime of raiding. To this day, Jaki's Treasure has not been found despite extensive scan sweeps and imaging technology.

IRL: Notes on the Entries

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