SC.2023.35. Black Maskfish


"Dratted, we're in here for a while, it seems."

"Yeah, we're overflying... Oh, look!"

"What am I looking at?"

"That pod of maskfish, with two young..."

Basic Information



A long, sleek, muscular cetacean reaching up to 7m to 9 in length and up to 7 tons in mass, it is the ocean's apex predator.

Forming packs capable of hunting to destruction almost anything, up to ships, these leave devastation in their wake, when they are hungry or otherwise aggressive.

The main difference, other than size and bulk, between a silver maskfish and a black maskfish, is the colour, the darker shade perfectly adapted to the nocturnal habits of the black maskfish.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Capable of hunting anything in the water it sets its mind to, it's known to favour large aquatic mammals, such as Hornblower Seal, Tusked Seals and .Giant Sea Otters.



Considered Sapient by most experts, the adults engage in play with their young, and will use tools, not unlike their cousins, the silver maskfish.

Capable of communication using frequencies as low as 10 hertz, and as high as 100kHz, they display rare mastery of sound, especially under water, although they can breathe air, and can come out for short periods, provided it's not long enough for their skin to become too dry.

One behaviour that's of particular note to researchers: they've been known to make jokes, and sometimes will pass gas to punctuate jokes. While experts are not convinced, a few psychologists believe they do so to mark 'dad' jokes, or 'puns' or otherwise low-brow humor.

Additional Information

Perception and Sensory Capabilities


One of the sharpest echolocators on Arnd, this huge predator uses infrasound and ultrasound to echolocate prey, the lower frequences at longer ranges to detect the general direction of prey, and to communicate amongst themselves, and the higher frequencies at close range, giving the prey little chance to escape.

Scientific Name
Procyon Orca


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Jul 26, 2023 19:36 by Marjorie Ariel

I think you have a typo: "can come out for short periods, provided it's not long enough for their sky to become too dry" should be "long enough for their skin to become too dry"?

Jul 26, 2023 22:31

Thank you, I've corrected that, indeed their sky is always too dry, and they probably pray to their deities for that to change :) but that wasn't what the author had in mind.

Aug 12, 2023 15:13 by Marjorie Ariel

Hi, I'm back for realsies!   I love the idea of a very non-human animal having humor. And of *course* they would pass gas to punctuate low-brow humor. Of course, all of this begs the question, what is maskfish humor like? I wonder what kind of jokes they tell, though I don't know if they would translate. Do silver maskfish have a different sense of humor from black maskfish, or are their cultures similar enough? This was a lot of fun to read and speculate about, but I don't want to do the research. They sound a little dangerous!

Aug 12, 2023 18:40

Well, Black Maskfish are more cruel and sadistic than Silver Maskfish, although, neither of them are above taking advantage of a prey item's position of weakness, Black Maskfish are a bit like aquatic big cats however, liking to play with their food, only smarter, being smarter than the smartest of their preys, the Great Giant Purple Cuttlefish.   Silver Maskfish are cruel to those not of their in-group, but will band together(including against black maskfish) to defend young or isolated members of their band.   You're however right that both are dangerous, although Silver Maskfish have been known to extend membership of their bands to their human trainers, they're still wild animals, while the only thing keeping Black Maskfish from eating humans regularly is that they feel we're neither tasty nor nutritious enough, compared to their regular fare.   I hope this answered your questions, and thank you for interacting, I hope to create more content like this that attracts readers' attention and curiosity.

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