(Next) (Four Nucleotide Evolution) (Six Nucleotide Evolution) (Back to contents) (Stories)
The members of this kingdom all have the genetic capacity for photosynthesis, though it is latent in some. They have the simplest cells of any multicellular life known. This kingdom had multicellular animals as much as a billion years before the Tentacloid.
Kranjan, Hkyiitn, Quibarta, Tumuf, many classes of insect-sized forms often called 'bristle bugs' but are not true dtairs.
In almost all the Kranjanoids the capacity for photosynthesis is latent and most are motile animals. A few derive some energy from sunlight, but many are carnivores, and the kranjan is the largest land carnivore and land animal on the planet. The five to eight ton kranjan is native to the Zhlindu basin, there are three to four hundred remaining. The olontz of the east Bordzvek basin is similar in size but more common. The much smaller hkyiitn has shorter legs and eyes on the top of it's head.
These are characterized by having only a limited number of inert structural spines in their skeletons with no joints other than ligaments, muscle and hydraulic pressure. They have six tufts of four bristles on each side. Using this they form the largest land animals, those with the most endurance and some with the most limited brainpower ever found in a large animal.
In the stickleg class that includes the Quibarta and Gruul, only one bristle in each tuft develops, and it grows out from the body to form stiff stick-like legs without joints. They grow longer if broken off, and are always wearing and often cracked on the ends. Their bodies are globular blobs of fat, muscle and organs. Some are carnivores, some are vegetarians and tall species like the gruul specialize in browsing higher leaves in open woodlands.
Chileeth, Wee-Ksarids, Ksarids.
These animals are built around large structural spines and scales, but they are hinged together into a complete skeleton. Ksar translates literally to 'flutters' while 'id' is literally 'edible' or 'tasty'. The name 'chileeth' is a proper name that pre-dates the current Kassidorian language.
There are actually four classes of fish in the phylum, and one class, the common chileeth, are indistinguishable from Earth fish from a distance. One of the classes can live for long periods of time out of the water, some species up to forty hours, but must return to the water to breath. Most in that class can fly and most are as small as insects are on Earth. Plarons are in that class. Some members of another class look like flat fish but live in damp soil or under rotting leaves.
There are thousands of species in every size from microscopic to tons, every shape and ecological niche from having photosynthetic symbionts to top predator, to parasite, even in humans. They are the only phylum of life on the planet with no hermaphroditic members. For most of them, each fin is a single scale. There are dozens of species in three separate families that can live for extended periods of time out of the water, up to many hours, and most of these can fly
The ksarids have developed lungs and do not live in water. Most species of ksarids can fly, many are strong migratory fliers and some may migrate two hundred miles to air at three times the pressure for the dark. The largest have wing scales up to eighteen inches long. Most have translucent or iridescent wings and many are extremely colorful. Many appear to be clad in shimmering crystal. All have two pairs of wings, like the dactyls, but dactyl wings are dark membranes, not iridescent crystals.
The Wee-Ksarids also breath air but absorb it thru damp membranes under the scales. Some are crop pests but many members of one class have beautiful large wings, and are often nocturnal with glowing patterns on their wings. This class is translated as 'butterflys' in most texts. The other classes may have long tails with many pairs of wings fluttering to propel them.
This is the most varied phylum of life, and some classify the sub phyla as completely separate phylums. These are true plants with no nervous system at all. They cannot build cellulose, but can build protein skeletons. They range from the tiny clumps of grey-purple leaves with the slightly peppery taste, to trees large enough to produce lumber down in the forests below Trastrab.
The Weektree sub phylum is known for the trees that loose their leaves every dark, but the leaves are just wisps when they fall. The lumber is not cellulose but a protein-based material filled with salts that is almost as strong and heavy as stone, and highly resistant to weathering. It's commonly called rockwood. The class that cannot collect minerals and have only a protein and lipid skeleton are called 'leatherwoods'. Also in this sub phylum are most deciduous and quite a few evergreen shrubs, and some evergreen trees. Genetically, these trees are no more related to shaftwoods or archwoods than they are to oaks or pines.
Most classes in the Yearflower sub-phylum also survive the diurnal extremes by encapsulating their energy in an insulating pod and jettisoning the leaf superstructure to the elements during dark. They do flower and their flowers and seeds may be their most complex organs. One species, the 'greater groundberry,' produces a fruit and seeds that weighs as much as the whole plant, the size of a giant pumpkin, and it does that in less than sixty Earth days on polar tundra.
The sumoids also include the week leaves. They share the same biochemical machinery as the other Sumoid plants, but they are the most primitive of the higher plants with one layer of cells around a single central vesicle. It may be highly branched and in frost free areas, some can get to a few feet in height if they are not damaged. Some cells may be specialized but all touch the one capillary surface of water they contain. The week leaves are most successful in areas that are subject to frost but dry enough that dew is the only source of moisture. A droplet of dew and a spore is all that is needed for one to grow. They can grow and disintegrate into a cloud of spores in as little as eight hours.
These mainly aquatic plants and animals have developed many unique and powerful adaptations for living on the water's surface. Bnaths bridge the gap between plant and animal by having photosynthetic floats and stinging tentacles that can draw in prey of all sizes. There are even members of this phylum that do not float, such as the spiker bushes. Most classes are photosynthetic, but members of this phylum do have a nervous system, albeit a very rudimentary one equivalent to the hydras and sea anemones of Earth.
The word 'lon' is used to name one of the most important crops on the planet. It grows with high yields in shallow water in most societies on the globe. Its current form has been so heavily bioengineered that finding traces of the original stock is difficult. It can use a barely detectable current to steer itself into sunlight. Also in that class is enthora and the land dwelling rinko. It has also been altered far from its natural state to make it more flavorful and generate lots more vitamins favorable to humans. The rinkos 'float' their leaves on the soil and have the ability to pull themselves along a few inches per year on their root systems. There is also a class of vines that climb into trees. Other members of the phylum are grown as boat hulls and phone cases. The wildhull has the ability to use its roots as paddles and control its migration in the ocean.
The Bnaths and Spiker Bushes are more animal than plant. Bnath's have the ability to swim and catch small fish with tentacle-like roots. The bnath's float is a leaf and they can go for long periods on photosynthesis and mineral adsorption alone. The Spiker bushes are rooted, but most of their roots are stinging tentacles, only a few hold them fast to the bottom. That sub-class uses no photosynthesis at all, there is no leaf system at all, the entire plant is made up of roots.
There are three important classes in the lonoids, collectively called 'balloonleaves' that have developed the ability to have not just air bladders, but hydrogen bladders and float in the air. The ylotzen can float free of a root system. Most members of that class are nearly microscopic but some called 'floaters' can grow to a hundred feet in length and find commercial use as aerial transportation. The aeroleaves are large trees with leaves that float, tethered by rope-like vines to trunk-like stems. They can deflate and retract their leaves for the dark. The levaleaves do not have the elaborate adaptations for furling their leaves and just let them flop to the prairie when deflated by the cold of dark.
This phylum of microscopic life is important in that it has a few species which have found ways to live in the human gut. They are a third the size of Earth or six-nucleotide bacteria. None are known to cause any symptoms in humans nor show signs of upsetting the ecological balance in the human gut. The Kassikan is trying to prevent Brancetrabble from wiping them out.
(Continue) (Four Nucleotide Evolution) (Six Nucleotide Evolution) (Back to contents) (Stories)