Main Information Edit
Bubblecaps are tripodal, gelatinous omnivores native to the Purple Forest of Gamila. They are extremely smart, and are usually viewed as the smartest animals of the planet. They are known for their intelligence, anatomy, and strange childbirth process. Bubblecaps' diets consist mainly of Sky Specks, but they are able to eat plant seeds. They are loosely related to the Uganian and act as the cousins of the semi-aquatic Skipper.
Bubblecaps are the only organisms on Gamila that are able to feel empathy for creatures outside of their species. Their main defense adaptation is built around this. They, under stress, release an extremely low hum that, for an unknown reason, seems to calm predators. Bubblecaps have been known to escort injured or hurt animals into their herds, protecting them and creating strong bonds. Bubblecaps also have some simple language, much like the grunts and chirps of the Nacatra, although, unlike the Nacatra, they can use the words of the phrases interchangeably to create new sentences. This cannot quite be called proper language, as they lack grammar, and are not known to ask questions. Bubblecaps are also able to solve simple math in some situations. Bubblecap babies and children are very playful, and play certain games that are common in the species.
Herd Behavior Edit
Bubblecap herds can vary from about 10 members to 50 members. There are usually 2 alphas, which lead the group. Some members are assigned tasks, such as finding shelter or liquid. Many stay in the herd, watching the babies. Large groups also contain lookouts or guards, which deter or warn of predators. Herds move across large areas, looking for places where food and moisture are plentiful. Some herds will accept other animals into their pack as a gesture of kindness.
The signature large bubbles that make up most of the animals' body mass are actually exterior stomachs, filled with clear acid. Bubblecaps feed off Sky Specks, absorbing them into their mass. The digestive juices break the material down, allowing it to be absorbed through feeding holes in the head. When a Bubblecap is unable to calm a predator, it can burst a hole in the bubble, releasing toxic juices. This hole can be healed quickly, but the Bubblecap must be able to reach liquid within about an hour or it will die. Bubblecaps also empty these stomachs slowly a few times a year, as they may become contaminated by the bacteria often living within the Sky Speck colonies. Bubblecaps are able to mix chemicals with Gamilian liquids to create artificial digestive acid. This cycle of filling and emptying is called the Draining Cycle, and is extremely important during childbirth.
Mating and Childbirth Behavior Edit
Bubblecap Hosts choose their mates beforehand, and stay with them for the rest of their life. When mating season comes near, a Host will go through a long process necessary for reproducing. A Bubblecap's body is not capable of giving birth, so they must grow their baby within their exterior stomach. The Host must completely empty their bubble, having their two mates to take care of them. The Deposit and Transport feed and nourish their mate with food and water. The Host's head begins to expand slowly, allowing the creation of a Nursery Membrane, a large separative flap which creates a safe area for a baby to survive. This membrane, along with a tube connecting to the head, take about a month to complete. During this, the Bubblecap may go into a light hibernation. The membrane is usually fully formed in time for the mating season. The Host will refill itself, now creating a second fluid for the nursery area of the bubble. Bubblecap mating can only proceed during rainfall, due to them being forced to create a hole in the stomach lining while mating. Bubblecaps can only mate with one mate at a time, so Deposits and Transports and Hosts and Transports must mate separately. They slowly rip a hole in the bubble atop their head, pressing the two bubbles together to share food. This often results in leaking of the acids, which can be harmful to the animals. Due to this, they must be careful while mating, as to not burn themselves. Often, as tearing a hole in the lining is extremely painful, a Bubblecap will release a chemical that calms and numbs their pain receptors. Usually litters contain about 2 to 7 babies. Bubblecaps are not born with legs, and stay attached to the Host after birth. Once they grow their legs, they detach from their parent.