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The Alpha Peeper is the PDA's hypothesised most recent common ancestor of the Peeper, Eyeye, Reginald, Oculus and Red Eyeye. The data bank entry for this creature can be obtained by scanning a Peeper, a Reginald and an Eyeye.

Theory

It is theorized that the Alpha Peeper species was a small, common prey fish living in shallow waters. Over time the creature developed patches of photosensitive cells on the body, similar to the primitive eyes retained by some creatures today known as eyespots. Over the period of hundreds of thousands of years these eyespots developed into eyes and the creature diverged into several species, three of which survive today as the Reginald, Peeper and Eyeye, with the Peeper later evolving into the new species, Oculus. Though it is known that one of the two Eyeye types is a subspecies of the other, the PDA is unable to determine whether the Red Eyeye evolved from the common Eyeye, or the common Eyeye evolved from the Red Eyeye.

The Eyeye is unique amongst the descendants of the Alpha Peeper in that unlike the Reginald and Peeper which both have one large eye on either side of the body, it has a single, huge central eye making up almost 90% of the body. The Eyeye is also very primitive compared to its two relatives, with the Peeper being one of the most developed small fish species in behavioural complexity.

Data Bank Entry

With the acquired data it has been possible to construct a profile of the theoretical last common ancestor of the modern day peeper and other small fish.

The alpha peeper would have been a small herbivore prone to predation in the shallow waters where light was abundant. It likely developed photosensitive skin on each side, which over time became eyeballs, and allowed it to detect the presence of nearby threats more efficiently than other prey fish. As the species grew in number it expanded to new territories, developing into subspecies like the eyeye and the reginald.

Modern day features of the peeper such as its twin expulsion tubes and powerful fins are quite recent adaptations, supporting the theory that life on 4546B underwent a period of rapid evolution in recent millennia in response to an external threat.

Assessment: Extinct