Hello friends! Sorry to keep you waiting on the main adventure, but after getting back from a trip this weekend, I realized there was no way for me to finish a comic in time. So I’m doing the Question Session now, and comics on Wednesday and Friday.

Today I’m going to address something that was left out of the salamandrian encyclopedia entry: their growth and development! Basically it’s an excuse for me to draw baby Goldgills AND make it educational! (If only Skärva could get ahold of the following pictures, he’d have some great blackmail material.)

Salamandrian eggs are about the size of a large orange. They are moist and relatively soft, and need to be immersed in saltwater. In the early days of the species’ evolution, the eggs were laid in the sea and fiercely guarded, but as salamandrians developed culturally, eggs were lain in protected pools on land. These days, most expecting parents keep a large tank in their home in which to house their egg(s).

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The fetus grows in the egg over about a month, until it becomes too big- then the egg bursts and the baby awakens to swim around. The baby is quite small, but grows to roughly the size of a human newborn in a matter of weeks, at which point its growth slows down. Biologically, this was an adaptation in ancient times to protect the babies from certain predatory fish, although concerned parents still needed to keep them in shallow waters, away from big scary sharks. (Real sharks. Skärva does not eat babies.)

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A baby salamandrian develops both its gills and lungs while in the egg. Although it can’t move around the ground on its own just yet, this means that once the child hatches, the proud parents can pick it up and carry it around with them on land.

After about a year, the baby’s arms have grown enough so that it can experiment with crawling. It’s also at about this time that the baby starts to develop its spot coloration. Females start to get spots and stripes, and males gain a single spot (usually on the back) which grows and spreads throughout the body. This process continues throughout the lifetime, and very old salamandrians become almost entirely their spot color.

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By the second year, the baby has developed legs strong enough to walk on. However, it takes a while for the legs to catch up to the more thoroughly developed arms. This is often referred to as the Lurkin stage. “My son’s still outgrowing his Lurkin legs!”

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Salamandrians are considered close enough to nature that – like flish – it’s perfectly acceptable for them to go about without clothes on. However, many of them choose to wear clothes as a means of expression – and some choose not to for the same reason! Therefore, salamandrian parents typically do not clothe their babies (except sometimes in diapers while out of water). Children are given clothes when they express a personal interest in wearing them. Those children who habitually want to wear only one favorite article of clothing or accessory, which changes with their whims, are colloquially called “demon children” or “little demons” in reference to the ritual of single demon males.

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As a Salamandrian grows, he or she becomes more tall and slender. Salamandrians are some of the largest sentient beings in Idenau, and are taller than humans on average.

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