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If you're looking for more visual examples, Kate Fox has some interesting concepts.

Height: 4 to 8 feet, depending on age. Sirens never stop growing.
Lifespan: 35-40 years.
Hair: Usually thick and long, reminiscent of seaweed.
Eye color:
Skin color: Azure, with dorsal fin

An adult Siren can vary in length (height?) from 4 to 8 feet. Outwardly, they appear as humanoids with large dorsal fins slanted back, and their fingers are connected by a web of skin to allow fast mobility in the water, as well as being able to perform basic tasks using tools whereas their lower bodies have webbed toes. They have a total of six gill slits, three each at either side of the body where humans would have false ribs. They are considered full grown after three years, and have an average lifespan of 35-40 years, which is why rare individuals over 50 years are respected as advisers of the tribe. Their lungs (see below) allow them to breathe on the surface, though they begin to suffer from dehydration after six to eight hours.

Though appearing human at first examination, their bone structure is mostly cartilage, similar to that of most sharks. This similarity with sharks is further deepened by the fact that their skin contains numerical denticles pointing backward. These denticles make Siren skin thick and leathery, acting like a protective layer against wounding. In addition, while their skin would feel smooth running one's hand along the direction of the denticles, this same trait gives Siren skin sandpaper-like qualities stroking the other way.

Sirens are carnivorous, having a set of teeth that mostly consists of pointed, serrated teeth that are replaced every year on average. They live off of a diet of (raw) fish, though they have been known to attack other prey if the opportunity presents itself. They do however posses an intelligence of around human level, and will generally not attack another life form it perceives as intelligent. They have a tendency to be curious when encountering something new, so travelers are recommended to try and communicate with the Siren upon contact. Running away, panicking or emitting similar 'prey-like' behavior is strongly discouraged.

Sirens have a tongue, and communicate using speech and vocal cords, but due to a heavily descended larynx (situated in the lower respiratory tract) the frequency of their speech is at the lower stage of the audible spectrum. Though this makes them perfectly understandable under water, the lack of high tones gives their voice a natural low bass, which explains their preference of talking in sign language when making contact. This is likely what has led to the myth of Sirens having especially good singing voices. Though they have the ability to breathe air, under water the lungs are used to hold air mainly for the purposes of flotation (regulating buoyancy) and communication. Oxygen is taken from the water through the gills, taken into the bloodstream and from there on into (or out of) the lungs. Due to water pressure, this can only be done close to the surface, and at greater depths blood plasma is pushed into the lungs, protecting them from being crushed in an application of Stevin's Law of Communicating Vessels. Once the Siren swims closer to the surface again, the plasma is reabsorbed into the bloodstream. As a side effect, the lack of air in their lungs means they cannot speak at low depths, but those venturing below have mastered a sign language to cover the basics.

At the point where both bronchi reach the lungs, there is a small organ in place that regulates the bronchi. There is a connection to where water passes through the gill respiratory tract, and the organ ensures the bronchi are either filled with water or air, sealing off one passage or the other. This effectively prevents water from entering the lungs while not hindering communication. Even though there appears to be no negative side effect of water entering the lungs, it hampers their ability to provide buoyancy effectively, and is therefore seen as an inconvenience at best. A Siren's larynx is situated in the trachea, and is functional with both air and water passing through it.

Though Sirens have noses, these are commonly not used for respiration. Rather, their sensory organs are located there, and its main purpose is to pick up on changes (traces of blood, underwater vibrations etc.) in its environment. Hearing can be considered exceptionally keen, though protective dampeners are slid in place when surfacing to avoid damage to the eardrums. They have two eyelids, one a human one for use on the surface, the other called a 'tapetum lucidum' which increases visibility in the dark waters (and subsequently, nocturnal conditions on the surface) though a Siren would avoid using it as a flash of light in the eyes at that time may irreparably damage the retina, blinding them. They have hair, but it generally has the form and texture of seaweed for the purposes of camouflage. Both hair and skin are in azure tones, whereas eye color is generally light or black depending on the position of the tapetum lucidum.

With the females having two breasts, the impression is given that Sirens are mammals. This is however only partially true, as they are ovoviviparious: The female carries eggs which hatch while still inside her body, after which the young live off of egg yolk and oviduct fluids (and on occasion, each other, as the womb is only large enough to support two full grown young at most) until the moment of birth. Gestation period is considered twelve to fourteen months at this point. The newborn are breastfed until their first teeth start to break through one to three months later. After this, they start being taught how to hunt and eat, starting off with invertebrates before moving on to the bony fish that make up the majority of an adult's diet.

Growth chart:

::Common Misconceptions::




Sirens vs. anyone: Sirens are naturally curious about pretty much anything, though are reluctant to move too far away from a body of water. Contact is usually made difficult because of well-meaning Sirens dragging their newfound friend along to see their homes, leading to the person in question drowning. And if you are disliked, you are probably eaten, and your death ending up blamed on shark attacks. They are, in essence, responsible for the mythological Rusalka.