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NESLife VI

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Lord_Iggy, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    That was my experience too. I think I'm just going to work with a very small-scale map, or keep on making relatively crude maps.
     
  2. North King

    North King blech

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    300x180 is still a perfectly acceptable map size. :)
     
  3. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    My opinion: I really like the maps, but I think its cool to bring them out only, say, every mass extinction or so :) I think we can all go by a rough description of the world. If we know there are two oceans, or one or two main landmasses, I think that is enough.
     
  4. Patchy

    Patchy Emperor

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    Only bring out the maps when it is necessary, if you add a new ocean or continent for example.
     
  5. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    14 new evolutions. When are you cutting it off?
     
  6. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    I'll start writing the update in 10 hours.
     
  7. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    Arisian Ocean
    Organism: Free-floater
    Ancestor: Drifter
    Selective pressure: Crawling things can't fly guyz, also competition sucks.
    Mutation: Using special gas sacks the Free-floater forms dense living 'mats' that float just above the sea floor. This removes it from predators, whilst also giving it enough mass to ride out all but the strongest storms and currents. If that fails, the Free-floater can temporarily 'pop' its sacks and sink to the relative safety of the bottom. Freed from predators and 'above' the competition the Free-floater sits serene as the Vegetative King of the Arisian Free-Floating Ocean. In another departure from the norm, the Free-Floater produces only a small number of glass fibers it uses to 'tie' itself to its kin.
     
  8. The Farow

    The Farow NESer

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    Sejessian Ocean
    Organism: Slicer
    Ancestor: Curatol
    Selective pressure: Growing competition for the same type of food

    The Sejessian Ocean had a general lack of predators after the great extinction. As Curatol's competed for the same type of food some took to eating their own kind. The legs on each side of the body grew into large pinchers that can easily crush the armored Curatols. Given the lack of eyes to locate prey the Slicer instead relied on fine hair like protrusions along its body to detect movement and locate prey.

    OCC: Hopefully, I got this in on time.
     
  9. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Commencing Update. ETA is in eight hours, given how long past updates have taken.
     
  10. tuxedohamm

    tuxedohamm Disguised as crow.

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    Spoiler :
    Sejessian Ocean
    Organism: Hobo
    Description: A motile, predatory filament of cells with a sac-like gut, slimy skin, a ribbon-like tail for swimming and an olfactory organ.
    Niche: Olfactory swimming generalist.



    Organism: Holonus
    Ancestor: Hobo
    Selective Pressure: Limited predation combined with the opportunity to feast beyond the immediate needs of the organism.
    Mutation: The Holonus is lengthwise increased in size with a sizable amount of fat reserves along this length allowing the Holonus the chance to gorge itself when food is available, but then lazily travel without food for extended periods of time.
     
  11. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Go Hobo, go Hobo, go!
     
  12. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    I'm finished the writeup, and will now draw the organisms before posting the update.
     
  13. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Epoch VI: The Hobonian Epoch

    With the Graderian Mass Extinction fading away into the past, life on Lambda underwent an explosive diversification the likes of which had not been seen since the initial flourishing of complex life some 50 million years prior. Of all of the recovering lineages, none underwent such a dramatic explosion as the Hobo and its descendants, who give this Epoch its name. While Hobo-descendants become the dominant swimmers in both oceans, the gradual invasion of land continues, though it remains very closely tied to the shore. Some Mawie-derivatives have even taken to gliding, in order to predate upon the vast wealth of floating plants that remain just out of the reach of most other lifeforms. Overall, the Hobonian Epoch is a temporal oasis of ecological stability, serving to nurture the diversification and specialization of life.



    Sejessian Ocean

    Free-floaters have descended from Drifters, adapting a new method of avoiding predation. Instead of remaining vulnerable and attached to the seafloor, vast, interconnected networks of Free-floaters float in suspension in the open Ocean. By reducing the amount of glass fibres contained within them, they are also more energy efficient, allowing them to completely outcompete and replace their ancestors.



    The Farfilter has moved into a niche once occupied by its now-extinct cousin, the Luask. Using the same buoyancy modulations developed by its Sinker ancestors, the Farfilter lazily jets its enlongated body around, giving itself access to just enough additional food to justify the energy cost of such motion.



    Tramps, descended from the common Hobo, lacks its ancestor’s characteristic slime, and makes use of primitive photosensitivity to find various floating photosynthesizers and filters upon which to feed. While its relatively expensive adaptation renders it an ineffective competitor against Hobos which graze upon Growers on the ocean floor, they are much better adapted to pursue and feed on Farfilters and Sinkers, which has allowed them to survive, although not in the same numbers as the still-thriving Hobos.

    Parahs, close relatives of the Tramps, have specialized to predate upon the abundant Growers of the Sejessian. With sucker-like mouthparts and internal cartilaginous ridges for defense, these grazers are thriving on an abundant food source, with no threats beyond old age, overpopulation and predation by some of the more aggressive lineages of Hobos.

    The Holonus is another Hobo descendant, which makes use of large fat reserves to store energy, allowing it to go for long periods between feedings. This strategy has allowed it to maintain its ancestral role as a generalist, and additionally allows for the adoption of seasonal migratory patterns, where Holonus will migrate from feeding to site to feeding site, crossing lifeless voids to access isolated food sources.



    Devourers have descended from Sejessian Curatols, and feature a fearsome collection of mouthparts which can tear apart any plant, corpse, or other Curatol they come across. Their jaws have proven most useful at breaking the cuticles of their close relatives, and at crushing the unpleasant spicules of photosynthetic Drifters and their kin. The introduction of a predator on Curatols (who, while adapted for scavenging, are more than capable of grazing when) has done much to bring this benthic organism’s population under control.

    Placebols, having the same evolutionary origin as the Devourers, specialized on a different food source: the filter-feeding Svis. By developing an ability to compartmentalize and excrete the toxic nitrite generated by Svis, Placebols became able to live around, and ultimately feed upon these previously untouchable organisms.

    Slicers, another descendant of the Curatol, failed to achieve the success of the Devourers. Slicers possessed claws on their legs as offensive tools, rather than biting jaws. Additionally, they made use of vibration-sensitive hairs to hunt. However, above the ocean’s surface, this was relatively ineffective, and claw-legs rendered them slightly slower than their competitors. While the evolutionary battle between these two lineages was hard-fought, by the epoch’s end the Slicers were driven to extinction, and Devourers reigned as he apex predators of their habitats.


    Arisian Ocean

    Roototils have developed an elabourate root system, with an underground tuber for long-term energy storage. Coupled with larger light collection systems, which we’ll agree to call leaves, for simplicity’s sake, these photosynthesizers have thrived.

    Discs evolved from the same Shooteroids that spawned the Roototil lineage, but developed a single compact disc for photosynthetic activity. While this left them worse at photosynthesizing than the Roototils, who made up for slightly lesser efficiency with a much larger collecting area, their compact shape did make them more resistant to predation by Arigogues. However, the advent of Harvesters, with their effective herbivorous mandibles, ruined this one advantage that Discs held over their relatives, thus consigning them to a slow decline into extinction.



    Zebedis abound in the Arisian Ocean. With their digestive sacs retreated further back into their bodies, and a series of excretory lateral vents positioned along their outer surfaces, these organisms are capable of quickly extracting nutrients from their food. Additionally, their external spines have been adapted into an internal structure resembling a series of interlocking skeletal tetrahedra, allowing for slightly more effective muscle anchoring.

    Gangers have expanded upon the social tendencies of their ancestors, developing several morphological variations which vary in frequency according to various pressures. Reproducers were nearly identical to the ancestral Friendlies, although they were capable of releasing pheromonal signals promoting the development of larval Gangers into large and threatening guards, tentacle laborers, and sugar-accumulating storers, depending on their needs. While the Gangers are often outcompeted by Zebedis on an individual basis, their sociality allows them to maintain a niche of their own, and additionally has granted them an ability to thrive in more marginal environments that would discourage unspecialized Friendlies or lone Zebedis.



    Zeph have continued in the tradition of their Ith ancestors, specializing more and more to predate upon the Zeppus and Rangipus that hover over the Arisian Ocean. With little to their bodies but two propulsive wings, two eyes and two predatory spikes, these predators surge out of their homes in the coastal shallows, gliding briefly through the dense atmosphere with the hopes of taking down their vulnerable prey. When a floating plant is punctured, the whole Zeph tribe will take turns huddling around its remains, defending their capture from other species and rival tribes, as they complete the slow process of externally digesting and absorbing their prey.

    Swarmers enjoyed less success, adapting to a pack hunting strategy in the open ocean. With a body plan ill-suited to swimming, or any degree of predation on hard-bodied organisms, Swarmers were mercilessly outcompeted and wiped out by the various descendants of the Hobo.



    The Harvester descended from the Arigogue, and specialized in predation upon land plants. Though its digestive system was little more than a simple pharyngeal sac behind its mouth, it possessed a complex slicing and chewing jaws structure that allowed it to break down all extant land plants with ease. The Roototil in specific has become a mainstay of the Harvester’s diet.

    Preventing Harvesters from completely defoliating the Arisian coastline, however, are their close relatives the Hunters. Lurking in the coastal zones near zones of herbivory, Hunters leap upon and bite through the carapaces of Harvesters returning to the ocean, using jaws very similar to those of their herbivorous cousins.

    Notras evolved to withstand critical losses of food supplies by entering into extended periods of hibernation. However, the epoch’s climate proved to be extraordinarily stable, especially in comparison to the upheavals of the Graderian. Thus Notras, who lacked the feeding adaptations of the Harvesters and Hunters, were outcompeted by specialists better adapted to thrive in times of plenty.



    Notes: Daftpanzer, you gave the Zebedis an excretory system, circulatory system, skeleton and gills all at once. This felt like too much of a leap. Thus, I simply went with the more complex digestive system, and a skeletal system based on the pre-existing spikes. At this body size, you’re approaching the upper limits of what diffusion can do, so a proper circulatory system or some method of complex gas exchange might be good traits to pursue in the future. Also, propelling yourself backwards doesn’t make a ton of sense when you have a bit, ribbon-like tail that’ll get in the way. :p

    Spoiler Extant Organisms :
    Primary Producers

    Organism: Freefloater
    Description: An interlinked mass of photosynthetic cells with isolated silicate crystals for defense, gaseous sacs for buoyancy, radial extensions for greater light capture, and budding reproduction.
    Niche: Floating primary producer.

    Organism: Grower
    Description: A flat mass of photosynthetic cells with highly-specialized tissues for mass-reproduction and energy storage tissues.
    Niche: Mass-reproducing primary producer.

    Organism: Manipu
    Description: A gaseous sac with a photosynthetic skin and budding young.
    Niche: Hovering primary producer.

    Organism: Polypu
    Description: A gaseous sac with a photosynthetic skin and specialized reproductive cells.
    Niche: Hovering primary producer.

    Organism: Rangipu
    Description: A gaseous sac with a photosynthetic skin, dessication resistance and floating young.
    Niche: High-hovering primary producer.

    Organism: Roototil
    Description: A photosynthetic mass with specialized reproductive cells, tuberous roots, leaves, floating young and limited desiccation resistance.
    Niche: Coastal primary producer.

    Organism: Tonu
    Description: A mass of photosynthetic cells with specialized reproductive cells, buoyed by a gaseous external sac.
    Niche: Floating primary producer.

    Organism: Zeppu
    Description: A photosynthetic mass with specialized reproductive cells, buoyed into the splash zone by a gaseous external sac.
    Niche: Hovering primary producer.


    Filter Feeders

    Organism: Farfilter
    Description: A filter feeder with jet propulsion.
    Niche: Floating filter feeder in open oceans.

    Organism: Galasvi
    Description: A noxious filter feeder with hollow internal structures composed of spongy cells which circulate ammonia with undulating microstructures.
    Niche: Toxic, stationary filter feeder.

    Organism: Sinker
    Description: A cluster of spongy cells which modulate their buoyancy with gaseous internal sacs.
    Niche: Floating filter feeder in medium to deep oceans.

    Organism: Svi
    Description: A noxious, unspecialized cluster of spongy cells which circulates ammonia with undulating microstructures.
    Niche: Toxic, stationary filter feeder.


    Hobos

    Organism: Friendly
    Description: A motile, olfactory social predator with a sac-like gut, slimy skin, gripping spikes, and a ribbon-like tail for swimming.
    Niche: Olfactory swimming generalist.

    Organism: Ganger
    Description: A motile, olfactory eusocial predator with castes, pheromonal communication, a sac-like gut, slimy skin, gripping spikes, and a ribbon-like tail for swimming.
    Niche: Olfactory swimming generalist.

    Organism: Holonus
    Description: A motile, predatory filament of cells with a sac-like gut, slimy skin, fat storage, a ribbon-like tail for swimming and an olfactory organ.
    Niche: Olfactory swimming generalist.

    Organism: Parah
    Description: A motile herbivore with a sac-like gut, slimy skin, primitive cartilage skeleton and a ribbon-like tail for swimming and an olfactory organ.
    Niche: Olfactory swimming herbivore.

    Organism: Tramp
    Description: A motile herbivore with a sac-like gut, a ribbon-like tail for swimming, primitive eyes and an olfactory organ.
    Niche: Olfactory swimming generalist.

    Organism: Zebedi
    Description: A motile, olfactory predator with a digestive tract, nephridium, slimy skin, primitive tetrahedral skeleton, and a ribbon-like tail for swimming.
    Niche: Olfactory swimming generalist.


    Protlaepish

    Organism: Ith
    Description: A motile social predator with dense musculature and hooked fins for crawling, swimming and leaping, primitive eyes and a stinging tentacle.
    Niche: Stinging swimming floating island-based visual predator of Zeppus and Polypus.

    Organism: Protlaepish
    Description: A motile predator with dense musculature and hooked fins for crawling, swimming and leaping, primitive eyes and a stinging tentacle.
    Niche: Stinging swimming floating island-based visual predator of Zeppus and Polypus.

    Organism: Zeph
    Description: A motile social predator with dense musculature and gliding fins for leaping and gliding, sharpened spines for penetrating prey, primitive eyes and a stinging tentacle.
    Niche: Stinging swimming floating island-based visual predator of Zeppus and Polypus.


    Spinators

    Organism: Curatol
    Description: An armoured motile scavenging organism with 10 spines for locomotion and defense, 2 of which are adapted for olfaction.
    Niche: Olfactory armoured, benthic scavenger.

    Organism: Devourer
    Description: An armoured motile omnivore with 10 spines for locomotion and defense, 2 of which are adapted for olfaction, and a set of slicing and grinding jaws.
    Niche: Olfactory armoured, benthic scavenger.

    Organism: Harvester
    Description: An armoured amphibious grazer with 10 articulated legs for swift locomotion, jaws and two primitive stalked eyes.
    Niche: Visual armoured, amphibious omnivore.

    Organism: Hunter
    Description: An armoured amphibious predator with 10 articulated legs for swift locomotion, jaws and two primitive stalked eyes.
    Niche: Visual armoured, amphibious predator.

    Organism: Placebol
    Description: An armoured motile organism with 10 spines for locomotion and defense, 2 of which are adapted for olfaction, specialized to eat poisonous Svis.
    Niche: Olfactory armoured, benthic Svi-eater.
     
  14. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Arisian Ocean



    Sejessian Ocean

     
  15. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    This may be a cliché, but: great update :D The new Hobo family gives me a warm glow :)

    Alright, time to get back to basics. Think I'll go for a simple plant this time.
     
  16. filli_noctus

    filli_noctus Hmmn

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    Name: Burrower
    Ancestor: Arisian Curatol
    Selective pressure: Increasing predation and competition for food
    Mutation: The forelimbs of the Burrower have adapted to be suitable for digging in the seabed and tidal regions. They can venture away from the saes provided they remain buried in damp soils. Their main source of nutrition are the roots and holdfasts of seabed and coastal photosynthesisers, especially the tubers of the roototils.
     
  17. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    The cycle is repeating! Here I am thinking of how to get plant/filter feeder symbiosis going again. Here goes:

    Organism: Nestler
    Ancestor: Sinker (Sejessian)
    Selective Pressure: energy costs and predation associated with drifting in open seas
    Mutation: Sinkers would often encounter floating swarms of Freefloaters in the Sejessian of the Hobonian era. Many would become snagged in these floating masses. A few would be able to feed and reproduce while embedded in the tangled branches. Over time, certain traits came to the fore; chiefly, the ability to morph and squeeze into pockets of silicate cover within the Freefloating branches. Thus the Nestler was born.

    Hoping that Nestlers and Freefloaters can benefit from each other's waste products etc :)
     
  18. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Can we have a division of what's on land and not?
     
  19. tuxedohamm

    tuxedohamm Disguised as crow.

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    I know the descendants of the Arigogue (Hunter and Harvester) are amphibious and the Roototil is a coastal plant. The entire Protlaepish line (Protlaepish, Zeph, Ith) jump out of the water to get the hovering(?) plants with the Zeph being the family that gets the farthest out. But they don't really go on land from what I can tell.

    So your list would probably be:

    Primary Producer:
    Roototil

    Spinators:
    Harvester
    Hunter


    All coming from the Arisian Ocean.
     
  20. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Roototils, Hunters and Harvesters all live on coastlines, but Hunters and Harvesters can only briefly go on land, they have to regularly return to water. All three of these organisms live in the Arisian Ocean. Zeppus, Polypus and Manipus hover over the water, while Rangipus are able to, on rare occasions, get blown over land. Thus, Rangipus have been able to disperse between the Arisian and Sejessian. This dispersal has brought Growers with them, due to Rangipus picking up Grower spores when they refresh their ammonia stores.

    EDIT: And yes, all of the Protlaepish line can briefly jump out of the water.
     

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