The Polyp Wort Kingdom

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Several phyla in this kingdom are macroscopic, or build macroscopic colonies.

The Polyp-Worts

The phylum from which the kingdom gets its name are those plants that secrete a limestone skeleton. The vine-like forms are often planted to bind loose stone walls together. Others may produce stalagmite-like towers nearly 100' high. They may live underwater and are the main reef-builders in Kassidor's seas. Even so, they build most of their reefs on land. They have plant and animal forms in air and water, and many which are some of both. They are the most important source of calcium in the biosphere.

Not all members of this phylum secret limestone and not all are sessile. One class has the form of tiny sea anemones, whether they live in the water or on land. On land that class is found in the litter of the forest floor where they feed on microscopic dtairoids. On the tundra, photosynthetic members of that class may be a good part of the ground cover. Note that in many polar regions of Kassidor the air is so thick that there is never any frost, even if there is a nearly a month of darkness in mid-winter. Conversely, the temperature may not get to 50F (10C) even in the month-long light of summer.

The Slime-Rots

Wherever dead organic matter sits in still water, there will be slime-rot. The slime-rots are more organized as a multicellular organism than a slime mold of Earth's evolution. Its cells are nearly as unspecialized however and may also be thought of as a very large herd of well organized ameobas. In most cases there is nothing visible but the slime.

There are many classes of slime-rots that live on land, or at least on damp ground. Many species used to be threats to crops and domestic animals but they have all been exterminated for thousands of years. There are still some that can infect some wild plants and animals, and even a type that can infect human mucous membranes.

There are members in this phylum that are active enough to chase down prey and some are large enough to pose a threat to humans in some of the abandoned levels of Yondure, Hbanan, Borlunth and Hb'Nah. No one can explain why several science fiction movies starring several of these species of killer slime-rots were released on Earth in the 1950's, just about the time there were several flare ups on Kassidor. There was no interstellar radio at the time and no known way those news reports of the time (54,20,11 in Yondure, 54,20,24 in Hb'Nah and 54,20,52 when a huge glob of breathing-wort took several people at once on a streetcar in a deep tunnel in Hbanan) could have reached Earth.

The Glow-Worts

In spite of the name, not all members of this phylum glow. Not all members of this phylum are macroscopic. The bioluminescent lighting in use in Kassidorian society since Europe's dark ages uses microscopic members of this phylum. This is the phylum that can digest anything, and most that do glow, do so to attract wee-ksarids to their sticky surface where they will be captured and digested. Some are sticky enough that one has to pull to get off it and the digestive juice is strong enough to cause painful burns.

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