Silusia Alpha : Bilachi Nursery by DMFW ()
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The bilachai (pronounced Bill-a-kai) are a sentient species indigenous to Silusia Alpha. They are a marine amphibious species, who live primarily on land but retain strong connections with the ocean, where they bring up their young. The bilachi do not possess faster than light technology and are confined to their home world. The average upright bilachai is somewhat smaller than the average standing human. They look rather like a cross between a seal and a talking otter, two species in Earthly fauna which although they became extinct in the early stages of the Dislocations, left lingering stories in human culture. They have a thick tail which they use for balance and when swimming.
Bilachi pair bond for life. They are oviparous and lay their eggs in the ocean. Females will normally lay one or two eggs but larger clutches are sometimes seen. The eggs are guarded by the parents and hatch within two or three days of laying, after which the young are looked after by both parents, being fed milk from the mother and predigested regurgitated sea food from the father until such time as their jaws and teeth develop sufficiently to allow independent eating, a process which is generally complete in about twenty days.
Some biologists think that the trend of bilachi evolution may be leading towards live birth, since the functions of the egg state have apparently become less important in recent times as a result of hypothesised changes in social structure.
The undersea nursery sites where bilachi are hatched and spend their first weeks of life, vary from humble to grand affairs. They may be ornamented or plain but all are open structures built with great care and reverence to allow the ocean currents to circulate. The rights to use these sites are passed down from generation to generation. One such site is shown here.