The Tentacloid Kingdom

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This is a separate kingdom from the sumoids because of their biochemistry. There is no photosynthetic pathway in the cells of this kingdom, expressed or not. Their cells still lack nuclei, but are much more complex in structure than those of the sumoids. This kingdom has more organized nervous systems than those in the Sumoid kingdom, even ganglia that could be called a brain. They can react to their environment in more than automatic ways and can't be 'driven' by hormones.

The Beaked Tentacloids

Leese, Lek, Korlup

These are characterized by a pair of tentacles and a beak. There are no bristles however and the Quibartas are not members of this phylum or even kingdom, in spite of having similar jaws. Besides the differences in their biochemistry, a quibarta might be as smart as a house fly, while a leese is almost as smart as a toad, and a lek is definitely as smart as a toad. Most members are smaller than the common korlup. The leese however, is a dangerous man-eater in some areas, the lek in others. The Trenglom, literally 'swamp swallower' is the largest animal on the planet. It was just another korlup chewing on the bottom of lon until the wildhull explosion. It was undoubtably engineered to try and stem the runaway, probably by the same lab as a cover-up attempt. It was given the ability to grow in size without limit. They graze the bottoms of the floating forests that cover the oceans now, and are a danger to shipping in those areas because they will swallow an entire ship, passengers, cargo, and all.

The beaks of carnivorous varieties are usually long, sharp, jagged, mandibles, while the beaks of vegetarian varieties are usually wide shears. This leads to the Tumuf being mistakenly classified as belonging to this kingdom when it is in fact a bristle bug that weighed less than one thousandth what it does today before human genetic intervention.

Korlups can be a serious pest in the lon fields if they are over-fished. If chileeth are allowed in sufficient numbers however, the korlup are defenseless against them. Usually when lon fails it is because the area is over-fished, not over-harvested.

The Dtairoids

These are insect-sized and smaller soft bodied creatures that are found thruout the globe and have now been found on many other planets. They evolve rapidly when exposed to more intense solar radiation and have become problems on Vorster and Lambeth. Many types will infest humans as ectoparasites if allowed. This phylum also produces some of the smallest motile multicellular organisms ever discovered, smaller than human sperm.

Superficially these are simply a few more classes in the Beaked Tentacloid phylum, since they differ mainly in size. They have the same psuedopod-like legs and same beaks. The telling characteristic is that the Dtairs reproduce only once and die in the reproductive process while the beaked tentacloids can reproduce thruout their lifetime. Dtairs strive to reach full size and reproduce in as short a time as possible, and many species are able to do so in a single light, most in a single year, though some may take much longer. No species survives the frost in the Highlands, but as many as a thousand larvae may chew their way out of the dead body by dawn.

The Millitentacloids

Klizhorn, Chuff, Foeth

Creatures in this phylum have tentacles on their tentacles. Most prey on dtair and ytith in the soil where the sub tentacles of many have evolved into claws. In most the sub-tentacles are strong and help form a net. Many live in the water and have long nets of sticky tentacles. One sub-phylum has eight tentacles and in one class of that, the eighth tentacle has evolved into a four-clawed leg. One of those, a small species in the chuff family called the klizhorn, has been domesticated to the extent that they are kept in human gardens and vacuum them for dtairs with rows of sub-tentacles. These are the most intelligent life evolved in the four Nucleotide evolution, about the same level as an Earth reptile.

The Megamillitentacloids have taken the bucket brigade a step further. Their tentacles are lined with claws instead of smaller tentacles. These puree the victim which is pumped up a vessel in the tentacle to the stomach. They have hundreds to thousands of tentacles, most are small and gelatinous and clear, so the victim's blood is clearly visible when it is pumped up them. Fortunately most are too small to seriously harm a human, but the foeth and its relatives can be dangerous man-eaters.

Another class are vegetarians but can wreck havoc in a garden, plaguing it like starfish on a coral reef. These are called 'garden stars' and in most basins they have been exterminated, but in the basins of the Tuida, they are still a serious problem and people trap them. In Borlunth they are the biggest land crop problem. They are inedible but are fed to livestock. They cannot stand the weekly frost of the Highlands or any of the other equatorial basins.

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