The Fauna of Ooranye

[Introduction - the eopc - the fdalm - the mareks - the mavos - the rbexca - the umbna-jorraynt - the velng - the zicena]

The tenet "form follows function" does not always apply to Uranian forms of life.  Although many of the characteristics of Ooranye's fauna can be understood by reference to evolutionary processes and environmental needs, such analysis breaks down when one attempts to understand certain forms of crystallized nightmare such as the lathokna.  This is a major difference between Ooranye and Earth, and may be due, at least in part, to the fact that some so-called animals on Ooranye have actually degenerated from what had been intelligent species in previous Great Cycles.

Being thus harder to study and analyze, Uranian fauna are more unpredictable in human terms than are terrestrial fauna.  This tends to make them more dangerous.  Another factor which increases the danger they pose to wayfaring man, is their metabolic cycles.  It is a common attribute of Uranian predators, that they can freeze in stasis for tens of thousands of days in between meals, and therefore they are all the more ferocious when they wake. 

[It is possible that some of the items in the following list, especially the eopc and the velng, may belong in the category of Intelligent Life.  Conversely, it is possible that the zicena may not be alive at all.]

The eopc

This is a giant bird, with a wingspan of up to 70 yards; it is the largest known winged creature on Ooranye.  It does not eat or drink, and the mystery of whence it obtained its energy led the researchers of the Rin-Stazel to discover the dimension called Chelth.

The fdalm

This is a wedge-shaped burrowing creature, creating ice-caverns under the plains.  Its accordion-like plasticity enables it to insert itself into cracks in the ice and then split them further.

The mareks:

This strange animal has a purely accidental resemblance to a human head.  Its circle of thin legs support the head, which when the "cheeks" are puffed out, is ready to kill its prey with sound.

The mavos:

A much larger relative of the aerial micro-organisms the throom, the Mawos are aerial corpuscles about wardrobe-size and shape, if you can imagine a wardrobe somewhat fuzzy at the corners and light enough to drift on the wind.  (In the vegetable stage of its life-cycle it is called not a mawo but a vrayn.)  Mawos avoid the presence of man, but nevertheless pose a danger, in that if left alone they will eventually block off huge areas of sky, crowding out the throom on which other living things depend for their light. 

The rbexca

A large, semi-intelligent bird with a long beak and yellow teeth.

The umbna-jorraynt

The "jorraynt" end is a plant, the "umbna" end is an animal, and they are joined by a long organic cable.  Energy can flow along this cable in either direction, depending on which end is contributing the most - the root system of the jorraynt, or the umbna's devouring of prey.  Usually the jorraynt keeps both ends going during the ages of stasis; the umbna repays it during brief orgies of meat-eating.  But the umbna may eventually snap the cable and live thereafter as an independent creature. 

Umbnas are generally huge crab-like monsters the size of a military tank.  Their bodies are irregular in pattern, due perhaps to the plant influence, with the result that the arrangement of arms and pincers differs widely from animal to animal.

The velng (singular: vellg)

This is the ant-like race which builds artificial mountains and has been known, especially in the Vanadium Era, to hold humans captive. 

The zicena (singular: zice)

Possibly alive, though not organic.  Ooranye's lowest and hardest clouds, accreting crystals from the winds they summon, zicena float at speed exactly five yards above the ground, and pose a great danger to transport on the plains. 

 

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