NESLife VIII: The Next Generation

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Daftpanzer, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    And so the tale of another world begins.



    Fanatica is immediately recognisable as an earth-like planet, though considerably larger and with many times the surface area; relatively-small continents dot its vast blue oceans, ringed by vast expanses of archipelagos and volcanic island chains. The atmosphere is also relatively thick, taking on different coloured hues as clouds of aerial microbes bloom and disperse, mirrored by blooms of microbes in the warm, shallow waters beneath. The setting or rising of the orange-yellow sun can cast a dazzling array of colours over this world, as does the planet’s relatively-gigantic moon - more like a twin planet - which is large enough to have a thick smoggy atmosphere of its own, covered in an ever-changing swirl of grey-blue cloud; the moon easily eclipses the planet’s sun on a regular basis, and drags high tides across the surface, with many islands being completely swamped by the tides every day.

    The average surface temperature on Fanatica in this epoch is tropical, with even the poles maintaining a constant temperature above zero. Lightning constantly flickers over some part of the planet, and rain reaches every part of the land, save for the rain-shadows of the highest mountain plateaus. Ice and snow are rarely seen. The thick atmosphere is lazy, rarely moved to extremes of weather at surface level. Still, on sunny days there is more than enough light to drive photosynthesis. It is truly the makings of a garden world, one several times the size of the distant Earth.

    For now, though, the land remains devoid of visible life, save for smudges of slime here or there. Much of the land surface has a beach-like appearance, being bare gravel and sand, dotted with large boulders, ponds and streams. Meanwhile the shallow sea floors are covered in what seems like a thick, rippled carpet, made up of microbial mats that have been growing peacefully for what seems like an eternity. In fact, humble microbes like these have slowly transformed the planet, filling the seas and atmosphere with free oxygen, casting off the shackles of anoxic biota that once ruled these oceans, and exiling them to dark and deep niches away from the sunlight.

    Now the stage is set for another breakthrough - multicellular life. Already an amazing golf-ball sized creation can be seen floating through the shallow sea...

    Era 0
    Era 1
    Era 2
    Era 3
    Era 4
    Era 5

    Species List / Stats
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  2. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Update 0: The Beginning


    Blobster: 1x Filter Feeding, 1x Buoyancy

    The Blobster, a miracle of evolution - perhaps, for all we know, even the very pinnacle. Thousands or millions of cells working together; an outer layer of cells to provide insulation and structure, with an inner fibrous layer to trap and digest food particles, while other specialist cells operate a ‘mouth’ that can periodically open to expel waste and allow fresh plankton to enter. Still other cells maintain a fluid-filled middle layer, and change its density to allow the whole organism to sink or rise in the water in response to a few basic stimuli. Periodically, somewhat randomly, entirely new Blobsters begin to bud from the outer skin, eventually breaking free to begin life on their own. These magnificent creatures stand as godlike leviathans amidst a world of microbial life.



    Dribbler: 1x External Digestion, 1x Crawling

    Meanwhile, a close relative of the blobster, somewhat more humble and less spectacular, is the Dribbler. This creature has no mouth, but uses its entire underside to feed; sticking close to the sea floor, using digestive fluids to dissolve the algae mats, slowly eating away at it and leaving bare patches of sea floor exposed in its wake. This may in turn provide real estate for later species. Dribblers are not opposed to cannibalism and may smother and digest their own newly-budded offspring if they get in the way.



    Algaetron: 1x Photosynthesis, 1x Buoyancy

    Finally, the Algaetron, independently evolved from single-celled sun-loving microbes. These small floating rings and spirals come in various colours, and are essentially masses of photosynthesising cells surrounding a structural core of specialist ‘connector’ cells. A third cell type forms small gas bubbles that can be adjusted to control buoyancy. Algatetron can in fact be colonised by, and end up hosting, several different types of photosynthesising microbes, often coexisting quite happily, with some quite complex biochemistry going on. Together as one mass, they are too large to be eaten by a Blobster and float free of the Dribbler menace. However, as these life-forms require an abundance of free-floating nutrients to survive, they live a precarious life, only able to grow and duplicate in a relatively small portion of the oceans, where they occasionally bloom in vast numbers.

    ---

    Many more habitats await colonisation: the deep dark depths, where abundant volcanic vents provide warmth and food in the form of extremophile bacteria; vast interconnected stretches of freshwater lakes and rivers, for now out of reach to salt-loving creatures; polar seas that are somewhat colder and lacking in sunlight - and thus microbes and food - for half of the year; gigantic flooded cave systems with their own darkness-loving microbial fauna; and of course, the vast coastlines and tidal flats of this archipelago world, where food and nourishment can be found in the form of detritus washed up by the ocean - if there is a way to survive out of water for any period of time, or the steady battering of waves and tides.

    Still many more habitats await beyond the breaking waves; gigantic young mountain chains, volcanic geyser lakes full of unusual bacteria, tectonic plateaus that rise high and dry above above the clouds, swampy plains, rolling hills, and vast ranges where old mountains have been eroded into dramatic rock forms, with exposed columns of ultra-dense volcanic rock, often partly flooded by the sea and forming a watery maze of towering islands.

    Even the dense atmosphere of this world - fertilised by dust storms and volcanic eruptions, watered by rain clouds, laden with occasional colourful blooms of airborne microbes - forms another biome that may someday be conquered by complex life...
     
  3. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    RULES

    One species evolution, per player, per turn. One or more NPC evolutions may also happen during a turn to round things out.

    ‘Species’ is a mis-used term, though a handy one to use for the purposes of this game. It can be thought of here as a genus or whole family of species, so that it can contain a bit of variety within itself. Each ‘Species’ will have a certain number of details including shared ‘Genes’ and a description.

    For the first new turns you can create a new branch of life with two starter 'genes'. Otherwise, you will be evolving from an existing species - in which case, each new species must evolve from one that was already existing and not extinct at the last update. That is to say: no necromancy, and no evolving from other player’s evolution that was posted two seconds ago in the thread.

    NOTE: all species must have some way of gaining energy, IE some genes devoted to digestion, photosynthesis, or some kind of parasitism / symbiosis etc.

    Certain player bonuses will come into play later - awarded for services in filling out a diverse and interesting biosphere, rather than chaining their evolutions in the same direction for 10 updates straight - but the essentials are:

    1: Pick an existing species to evolve (or start a new branch of life).

    2: Name your new species -
    a unique name will help readability in the updates and stats, so please no 'species v1' 'species v2' etc.

    3: Add up to 2 new ‘genes’
    (described below).

    4: Remove up to 2 old ‘genes’ - entirely optional, but since every gene can be assumed to have a cost in energy and growth rates, this can help to optimise your build.

    5: Write a brief description of your species - please keep it brief,
    as all will be kept in a big google doc, and we don’t want it becoming impossible to browse! The description is important though, as the ‘genes’ will only be part of the story. It’s here you can note particular body plan or hunting/survival strategies that your species has, or certain tweaks or specialisations for your ‘genes’.

    ---

    ‘Genes’ are a gross simplification, but a handy gameplay mechanic, and in some sense can be though of as stats or abilities from an RPG game. Genes can be added multiple times over - such as ‘swimming x4’ for a fast-swimming creature, with gradually decreasing returns for higher and higher levels - IE the difference between levels x1 and x3 can be considered to be much greater than the difference between x5 and x7, at which point it’s only really useful to gain an edge on a close competitor.

    There is no strict list of what is or isn’t a ‘gene’, and players are free to come up with new abilities, organs, senses etc that they want to evolve, but I will try to curate things so that there is a common ‘language’ used where possible - IE I might rename a gene to something already in use, rather than have two competing terms, as this helps comparison between species.

    Some ideas for the early game are:

    Spoiler :
    Cold Resistance - ability to survive in cooler climates. Currently these are limited to the polar regions, and only require one or two levels to survive comfortably.

    Freshwater Tolerance - ability to survive in water with lower salt content than the ocean. A few levels of this will allow a life-form to surive permanently with just access to fresh water or rain.

    Pressure Resistance
    - adaptations to survive the high-pressure environment of the dark depths of the ocean floor, where plankton is few and far between but more scavenging may be possible. Up to 4x levels will be useful to exploit the deepest depths of the ocean. To survive near volcanic vents, where extremophile bacteria may be exploited as a food source, some level of Heat Resistance will also be needed.

    Water Retention - adaptations to prevent loss of moisture when out of water. The first level allows exploration of the shoreline. A few levels of this - combined with Freshwater Tolerance - will allow continued survival out of water, at least in rainy climates.

    Heat Resistance - this will be useful to survive equatorial regions of the planet's land surface, or the heat of volcanic vents on the ocean floor - in which case up to 4x levels will be useful.

    Eggs - to help your species reproduce more efficiently, and implies some form of sexual reproduction and sharing of DNA.

    Aquatic Spores - useful for a simple life-form to spread its offspring over a wide area, also implies some form of DNA exchange.

    Swimming - useful for either avoiding danger or finding food, being able to move against the current.

    Gills - implying a circulatory system, and allowing an organism to grow larger and be more active.

    Lungs - more complicated than gills, but may be useful either on land, or to exploit the niche of stagnant swampy waters where gills won’t work well.

    Skeleton - IE, an internal skeleton - useful as a support to allow a larger size, an anchorage for muscles to work more efficiently, and some protection against attack.

    Exoskeleton - provides more protection than an internal skeleton, great anchorage for muscles, and has the side benefit of making an organism more resistant to drying out when taken out of water. But comes with the difficulties of regular moulting / vulnerable periods, and having a rigid exterior makes it difficult for complex organs like lungs to work.

    Shell - a solid protective shield that grows continually till maximum size is reached. Whether partial or complete, shells provide the best protection, but are heavy and inflexible. Can also retain moisture to help survival out of water. Can be used together with other forms of skeleton / defence on other parts of the body...

    Scales - flexible lightweight armour that can be easily grown, and also provides some protection against the elements. Weaker than comparative shells and exoskeletons but has none of the drawbacks.

    Tentacles - useful to capture prey at a short distance, and doubles as an aid to navigating the seafloor.

    Claws - useful for attack and defence, to cut up food, and even break through defences such as bones and shells.

    Jaws - implying some form of mouth - similar to claws, while less flexible, but more efficient for feeding as fewer scraps will escape the digestive tract. Also doesn’t require bulky limbs to operate.

    Strength - raw muscular strength, considered a bonus to movement as well as attack and defence, provided the creature has any form of weapon or grappling. May also be useful for hauling out of water, climbing, and other strenuous tasks.

    Roots - something immoble life-forms can use to attach themselves to the seafloor. At some point, they may be useful for absorbing nutrients as well.

    Stalk - a simple structural tube of some kind, useful to elevate a life-form away from the floor and towards sunlight, for example.

    Poison - can be used as a deterrent against being eaten.

    Poison Resistance - as implied, the ability to survive contact with a roughly-equivalent level of poison.

    Spines - a simple and effective defence against attack, though cumbersome.

    Barbs - pointy bits positioned along the body. More flexible than long spines, may be used more effectively as an offensive weapon than defence.

    Vision - eyesight opens up many possibilities, at least in daylight.

    Scent Detection - being able to detect food, friends, or danger, over long range.

    Vibration Sense
    - to detect sounds and/or movement nearby.

    Electroreception - ability to detect the electricity given off by other life forms, especially when they are moving, and especially if they are more complex creatures. Becomes vastly less effective out of water (which acts as a conductor).

    Flesh Eating - digestive specialisation for the flesh of what may be considered an animal, providing more energy from this diet.

    Scavenging - a specialisation for eating flesh that has been dead for a while, and is riddled with bacteria that would otherwise be dangerous.

    Plant Eating - likewise, a specialisation in digesting what may be considered a plant, gaining extra energy from this diet.

    Stomach - an interior stomach where food is pre-digested, gains a little more energy from any diet, can break down poison to some extent, and can even allow bones to be eaten.

    Live Birth - probably not a great advantage until a species is relatively complex, and slows down the parent and has extra energy costs. But then allows children to have a head start in life and avoid a vulnerable egg/larvae stage.

    Brain - implying a complex nervous system - the more this is developed, the more complex behaviours, learning, and adaptation that the species will be capable of. Some form of manipulative appendage will be needed to get the most out of a complex brain.

    Eusociality - the ability of a species to cooperate in numbers as a single organism, even if individuals lack any substiantial brain.


    Advanced / Extra info on Digestion and Movement here.

    This is by no means exhaustive, and you are free to suggest your own ‘genes’ in your evolution. I’ll post more suggestions for land and flying creatures as and when we get to that stage.


    Example:

    Tubester
    Evolved From: Blobster
    Genes Added: 1x Skeleton, 1x Roots
    Genes Removed: none
    Description:
    a radical series of mutations has led to the Tubester, which in its adult form, lives a static life on the seafloor. It has a primitive skeleton of spiky mineral crystals with no fixed shape - most often growing in a series of branching tubes with multiple openings, relying on currents to deliver a steady flow of plankton. Offspring resembling Blobsters occasionally bud off from the body, which eventually drift away before maturing and sinking to the seafloor. If the location is good, here they will grow into a new Tubester.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  4. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    9,068
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Crawlzord
    Evolved From: NEW BEASTIE
    Genes Added: 1x Tentacles, 1x Filterfeeding
    Genes Removed: none
    The Crawlzord blindly moves across the ocean floor, 14 questing tentacles used to navigate blindly, and, by touch, bring to it's powerful jaws all manners of edible - and not edible - things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
    Daftpanzer likes this.
  5. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Thanks thomas! I forgot to list suggestions for environmental survival - heat, cold, pressure, freshwater tolerance and water retention, which I've added to the list.
     
    thomas.berubeg likes this.
  6. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,912
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    Bigster
    Evolved from Blobster
    Genes Added: 2x Filter Feeding
    Genes Removed: none

    A much bigger blobster, forming into a disclike shape. It's simply bigger; covering more space, filtering more food. Its shape makes it sway with small currents in the water, additionally allowing it more filtering. The shape also means it can cover a larger area without rising too much in volume.
     
    Daftpanzer likes this.
  7. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    13,646
    Location:
    Workwork Workshop
    Dribbler: 1x External Digestion, 1x Crawling

    Gribbler
    Evolved from Dribbler
    Genes Added: 1x Aquatic Spores, 1x Larval Stage (Buoyancy)
    Genes Removed: none

    The Gribblers develop a larval stage that drastically expands the range of the Dribbler threat. By spawning masses of bouyant spores, Gribbler young float across the ocean, protected until they float onto unsuspecting hosts, such as Blobsters or Algaetrons. Then, they emerge and begin feeding using their enzymes to eat from inside out, budding as they go. Once their host is dead and they detect they have descended to the ocean floor, they'll begin gathering energy to reproduce and spawn a new generation of larval/spore Gribblers.


    Other Notes: Although some Gribblers might be parasitic or even carnivorous, I can see others forming symbiotic relationships, helping clean up dead cells or waste before bacteria get to it or even targeting spores of more harmful gribblers. Some might do no harm or benefit, just living on the surface. Also, not sure how strict their “ocean floor” for spawning requirement is/should be. Any extreme change of status quo should switch them from budding to spawning behavior. As a family of organisms I’m sure there’s lot of variation so I kept my description basic. I went back and edited some word choices as wel.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  8. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,578
    Location:
    Yukon
    Xerotron
    Evolved from Algaetron
    Genes Added: Mucous Production, Cryptobiosis
    Genes Removed: None

    The Xerotron is a descendant of the Algaetron. The long photosynthetic coils of cells produce a coating of mucous, which provides two benefits for the organism. First, it is mildly discouraging to predators, second, it provides a modicum of protection from exposure to dry conditions. Additionally, Xerotrons have the distinctive capability of going into a state of cryptobiosis, where upon drying up they shut down all cell functions and become totally inert. However, when good conditions return, these desiccated cysts rapidly reabsorb water and begin to photosynthesize once more. With these traits, Xerotrons are the first lifeforms to establish anything more than an accidental foothold on dry land.
     
  9. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Thank you guys! Important announcement: I want to allow new branches of multicellular life to appear for the first few turns at least, so I've removed the restriction to have to evolve from an existing species. You can start a new branch of life with 2 genes of your choosing, if you wish. Feel free to change your posts if you prefer.
     
  10. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    9,068
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    I did so :) Introducing the CRAWLZORD.
     
  11. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    @Thomas, small problem with this - there's no genes for feeding. I should have mentioned, it needs some source of energy, like filter feeding or flesh eating etc. I think it could work swapping out either jaws or tentacles.
     
  12. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    9,068
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Fixed
     
  13. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,227
    Blobster: 1x Filter Feeding, 1x Buoyancy

    Swimster

    Evolved from Blobster
    New Traits: Swimming, Vision
    Genes Removed: None

    The swimster genus consists of active aquadynamic predators of planktonic life which utilise the buoyancy derived from their blobster antecedents together with rudimentary eyes (vision) and powerful "tails" (swimming) to hunt their microbial prey directly, rather than relying solely on the whims of the currents. This hunting style maximises cost/energy efficiency and additionally their visionary abilities and unparalleled mobility enable them to deftly avoid almost all predators they may come across as they drift along the currents making their kind truly king in this early stage of lifes development.

    -

    Nota Bene: description assumes a categorization of related species, variations of the theme (side "fins" vs rear "tail", big swimsters and little swimsters for difference niches) presumably would emerge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  14. North King

    North King blech

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    18,159
    Grabber
    Evolved from Dribbler
    Genes Added: 1x Clinging, 1x Larval Stage (Buoyancy)
    Genes Removed: 1x Crawling

    A close relative of the Dribbler and Gribbler, the Grabber no longer crawls or hunts, but instead clings into the back of various crawling organisms, feeding on leftover food kicked up by the creature it is attached to.
     
  15. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,912
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    Anddd we already have parasites lmao

    ... Well it's only natural.

    EDIT: Wait, not real parasite... Symbiotic? Kind of? Going to be exciting.
     
  16. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,578
    Location:
    Yukon
    It's not a parasite, a parasite actively harms its host. This one is either commensal (neutral to the host) or outright symbiotic (helps its host).
     
    Angst likes this.
  17. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Update 1: The Xerotrius Epoch

    This epoch is named after the Xerotron, an evolved form of primitive plant-life that grew in great abundance in tidal mud-flats across the planet.

    Very few other fossils survive from this time period, as most species were primitive and soft-bodied. A few exceptional fossil beds allow us to piece together the fauna and flora of this era, showing that multi-cellular life was, though still largely-confined to the warm non-polar regions of the ocean, undergoing an explosive diversification.

    Early in this epoch, Blobsters were thriving unchallenged in the shallow seas. By the end of this era they had diversified into several new families of species, notable for being radically different from each other...

    Tubesters took on a settled existence on the sea floor, with a primitive internal skeleton - merely solid mineralised tubes around which other tissues grew - beginning to form primitive reef-like structures in the shallow tropical seas. Swimsters were the complete opposite, remaining as fully mobile animals and growing muscular tails to enable swimming against the current, and providing the additional benefit of being able to shake off the primitive parasites that appeared later in this era. Swimsters also show the first evidence of primitive eyes - merely a few light-sensitive spots, just able to see light and shadow. It is not clear what these eye spots were used for, but they may have enabled Swimsters to avoid other animals and perhaps were an aid to navigating through cluttered areas of the shallow sea and avoid becoming entangled. Finally the Bigster was a larger, flattened and disk-shaped version of the Blobster, exhibiting radial symmetry and having multiple feeding grooves in place of a central mouth, allowing it to passively filter a much larger volume of water for food and oxygen. Occasional swarms of these creatures would serenely float through the shallows whenever conditions were right. However, these same features made the Bigster especially vulnerable to the pseudo-parasites which evolved at this time, and took a toll on their population.

    It seems that all of these branches of the Blobster clade were able to co-exist quite happily, settling into different niches, alongside the original lineage of Blobsters which was still alive and well.

    Meanwhile from the humble bottom-dwelling Dribbler lineage, the Gribbler emerged, notable for evolving a method of reproduction using large numbers of tiny spores - microscopic traces of which have been found in the fossil record. It is likely these creatures had some kind of sexual reproduction. They were also what could be called the first true parasites, or at least scavengers, as their spores could sometimes lodge in the skin of other animals and slowly grow and eat their way into the victim, before maturing and releasing thousands more spores - though most likely, the victim would already be dead or dying, and have a compromised immune system. Gribbler spores would in turn often be food for plankton-eating species, though they allowed the species to continually spread itself all across the warm shallow ocean areas.

    Fossils of the closely-related Grabbler have been difficult to interpret, but due to the fact they are often found in contact with other animals such as Bigsters and Swimsters, it seems they were able to attach themselves to other animals. This creature seems to have evolved clinging tendrils on its ‘upper’ surface, leaving its ‘underside’ to catch food particles spilled by the host. However, it doesn’t seem to have been especially well adapted to capture and digest this food, which might explain the vanishingly small number of fossils that have been found.

    Trace fossils of Crawlzord have not been linked to any other genus, and it seems this was the emergance of an entirely new branch of complex life. It appears to have been multiple filter-feeding tentacles, just barely able to move around the sea floor, and loosely bound togther as a single animal, and perhaps able to survive being split apart - this may in fact have been how the species reproduced. The tentacles would also have provided a means to cling to the sea floor, and fossils have been found alongside Tubesters which they may have used as a refuge.

    The aforementioned Xerotron was able to thrive in huge numbers due to a couple of simple adaptations - primitive mucus glands which provided protection against drying out when washed up at high-tide, and an ability to go into a kind of hibernation state if it ended up out of water for an extended period, or drifted into waters low in nutrients, or fresh water, or the cool polar waters - increasing the chance of survival, if tides and currents eventually returned it to more favourable conditions. As such Xerotron tended to bloom in shallow tidal regions which - given the large tides generated by the planet’s substantial moon - covered a fairly large part of the planet’s surface, and which no other complex life-form was yet able to survive. These same biomes also tended to produce fossils more frequently, but even taking this into account, it seems Xerotron was the most successful branch of complex life during this era. Facing little competition for the aquatic plant niches, it likely made up more than half of all mutli-cellular biomass that was alive at this time. Still, the Xerotron was not invulnerable, and even with primitive mucus protection, would sometimes be infested and eaten by Grabblers.

    Species List + Stats

    Notes:

    There is some selective pressure for some kind of armour or other protection against digestive juices of Gribblers, Dribblers and Grabblers.

    Swimsters and Xerotron are encountering fresh and brackish waters more often, and there is selective pressure for tolerance of fresh water - perhaps allowing the eventual colonisation of rivers and lakes.

    Though the microbial ‘slime’ in the warm shallow sea is on the decline, an abundance of nutrients remains locked up in the sea sediment.

    The climate is stable, warm, and wet over most of the planet. But untapped niches remain in the cooler polar territories (where there is abundant plankton), on land (where there is sunlight and washed-up scraps), and in the dark high-pressure depths of the ocean (where there are volcanic vents covered in clumps of heat-loving bacteria, as well as the remains of life-forms drifting down from above).
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  18. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    9,068
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Crawlzorg
    Evolved From: Crawlzord
    Genes Added: 1x Photosynthesis, 1x Aquatic Spores
    Genes Removed: none
    Description: The Crawlzorg might be a distinct species from the crawlzord, and it might not. It's a bit hard to say in the fossil record. At the very least, the creature that MIGHT be distinct from the the Crawlzord shows signs of distinct stages of life - The first is a photosynthetic spore, which has allowed the species to spread throughout the oceans, while the second stage is what some obscure biologist would recognize as the Crawlzord.
     
    Daftpanzer likes this.
  19. North King

    North King blech

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    18,159
    Clinger
    Evolved from Grabbler
    Genes Added: 1x Armor, 1x Feeding Tendrils
    A further adaptation of the Grabbler, Clingers appear to have evolved to avoid getting themselves and their hosts eaten by the many critters crawling and swimming through the ocean. Several of the grasping tendrils have lengthened into feeding tendrils to catch drifting food, while a primitive, chitinous armor on the "underside" protects both the tiny Clinger and their hosts from consumption by predators. Larger colonies of Clingers can overlap into biological scale armor that protects against virtually any predator of the era in question.
     
    Daftpanzer likes this.
  20. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,227
    Dissolver
    Evolved from Swimster
    Genes Added: Stomach, Flesh Eating
    ( 1x Buoyancy, 1x Swimming, 1x Vision retained)
    Genes Removed: Filter Feeding*
    The dissolver is the first true predator of its time, feeding upon the various benthic and pelagic animals of the period. Utilising its primitive eyes the dissolver detects its prey before closing in for the kill and enveloping it in its mouth. Here their victims are dissolved in its stomachs strong digestive acids be they filter feeding swimsters or the slowly crawling dribblers and gribblers of the seabed.

    -

    note*: young dissolvers naturally feed on prey proportionate to their size. If this necessitates filter feeding as a trait then feel free to keep it in, but the principle of consumption is unchanged through the lifecycle hence why I noted its removal.
     
    Daftpanzer likes this.

Share This Page