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Digested Report on Possible Xenobiological Lifeforms

(as presented to Queen Mother Xy'zx'kazan of the Formian Nest by Junior Scientist Kyth'x'ta)

 

Most Magnificent Mother -

 

Through the exploration of nearby worlds, and through the examination of archeological finds within our own hives, we have determined that there ARE other intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy. Naturally, we do not believe the heretical conjecture of the former Head Scientist (may he find correction in the next hatching cycle) that some of these alien forms may be evolutionarily SUPERIOR to Formians, or indeed to Insect life in general. However, we have some speculations about what such alien forms may be like. To allow for better dissemination of knowledge, we will be presenting this information in sections.

 

 

Life Form Size

 

There has been some concern regarding the size of the lifeforms we should be expecting. By extrapolating from common creatures within our own hives and the fossil records of alien worlds, we have estimated the following sizes for creatures rated in catagories from Tiny to Gigantic.

 

Tiny - .2 to .4 Meters ( 8inches to 1 1/4feet)

Very Small - .4 to .7 Meters (1 1/4 to 2 1/4 Feet)

Small - .7 to 1.25 Meters (2 1/4 to 4 Feet)

Average - 1.25 to 2.5 Meters ( 4 to 8 Feet)

Large - 2.5 to 5.0 Meters ( 8 to 16 Feet)

Huge - 5.0 to 10.0 Meters (16 to 32 Feet)

Gigantic - 10.0 to 20.0 Meters (32 to 64 Feet)

 

These dimensions reflect the general size of the creature, not including elongated tentacle, tails, wings or other appendages, which can double the length in some cases.

 

Based on our research, it has been determined that these are the limits within which a sentient specied may evolve. Creatures smaller than the "Tiny" category obviously exist, but lack size for enough brain capacity to evolve sentience, even in a close hivemind. Larger creatures, like the mythological 100 meter long being called a "cat", are not possible. Without support tissue stronger than the most advance building materials, such creatures would collapse under thier own weight. Furthermore, normal neurological models could not support such a creature, unless it evolved some kind of electronic, superconducting, or fiber optic nervous system.

 

While it has been speculated that these dimensions might vary greatly depending on gravity, this has not been found to be the case. Species evolving on higher gravity worlds develop higher density connective and support tissue to compensate for the greater weight. leaving them within the size ranges specified.

 

 

Size, Digestion and Population Density

 

Based on our own dimensions and the population density of our hives, as well as that of numerous other specied we have studied, we have also estimated the numbers of aliens we can expect to find within thier primative nests.

 

For Omnivourous or Herbivorous Species, we estimate the following population densities:

 

Size / Individuals Per Population(in Thousands)

 

Tiny / 80

Very Small / 40

Small / 20

Average / 10

Large / 5

Huge / 2

Gigantic / 1

 

For Carnivorous Species, halve these numbers due to the need for added space for food production and natural tendancy for carnivores to require larger individual "territory". For Photosynthetic Species, DOUBLE these numbers.

 

Based on these numbers we can see that for a species just reaching interplanetary colonization, with an estimated 600,000 Population "units", an Average Sized, Omnivorous Species would be comprised of about 6 Billion Individuals. A Tiny, Photosynthetic Species may have as many as 100 Billion, while a Gigantic Carnivorous Species would have a total population of only 200-300 Million.

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This is a fascinating insight, and you have way to much spare time on your hands.

 

Obviously once your turns are in there is suddenly a gap in our free time, what does everyone else do?

 

I usually spend 10 minutes trying to create an image of my latest ship designs before i remember I can't draw for toffee. I then start playing Warcraft III, or EVE.

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Digested Report on Possible Xenobiological Lifeforms

(as presented to Queen Mother Xy'zx'kazan of the Formian Nest by Junior Scientist Kyth'x'ta)

 

Most Magnificent Mother -

 

Through the exploration of nearby worlds, and through the examination of archeological finds within our own hives, we have determined that there ARE other intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy. Naturally, we do not believe the heretical conjecture of the former Head Scientist (may he find correction in the next hatching cycle) that some of these alien forms may be evolutionarily SUPERIOR to Formians, or indeed to Insect life in general. However, we have some speculations about what such alien forms may be like. To allow for better dissemination of knowledge, we will be presenting this information in sections.

 

 

Life Form Size

 

There has been some concern regarding the size of the lifeforms we should be expecting. By extrapolating from common creatures within our own hives and the fossil records of alien worlds, we have estimated the following sizes for creatures rated in catagories from Tiny to Gigantic.

 

Tiny - .2 to .4 Meters ( 8inches to 1 1/4feet)

Very Small - .4 to .7 Meters (1 1/4 to 2 1/4 Feet)

Small - .7 to 1.25 Meters (2 1/4 to 4 Feet)

Average - 1.25 to 2.5 Meters ( 4 to 8 Feet)

Large - 2.5 to 5.0 Meters ( 8 to 16 Feet)

Huge - 5.0 to 10.0 Meters (16 to 32 Feet)

Gigantic - 10.0 to 20.0 Meters (32 to 64 Feet)

 

These dimensions reflect the general size of the creature, not including elongated tentacle, tails, wings or other appendages, which can double the length in some cases.

 

Based on our research, it has been determined that these are the limits within which a sentient specied may evolve. Creatures smaller than the "Tiny" category obviously exist, but lack size for enough brain capacity to evolve sentience, even in a close hivemind. Larger creatures, like the mythological 100 meter long being called a "cat", are not possible. Without support tissue stronger than the most advance building materials, such creatures would collapse under thier own weight. Furthermore, normal neurological models could not support such a creature, unless it evolved some kind of electronic, superconducting, or fiber optic nervous system.

 

While it has been speculated that these dimensions might vary greatly depending on gravity, this has not been found to be the case. Species evolving on higher gravity worlds develop higher density connective and support tissue to compensate for the greater weight. leaving them within the size ranges specified.

 

 

Size, Digestion and Population Density

 

Based on our own dimensions and the population density of our hives, as well as that of numerous other specied we have studied, we have also estimated the numbers of aliens we can expect to find within thier primative nests.

 

For Omnivourous or Herbivorous Species, we estimate the following population densities:

 

Size /                  Individuals Per Population(in Thousands)

 

Tiny /                      80

Very Small  /            40

Small  /                    20

Average  /                10

Large  /                      5

Huge  /                      2

Gigantic  /                  1

 

For Carnivorous Species, halve these numbers due to the need for added space for food production and natural tendancy for carnivores to require larger individual "territory". For Photosynthetic Species, DOUBLE these numbers.

 

Based on these numbers we can see that for a species just reaching interplanetary colonization, with an estimated 600,000 Population "units", an Average Sized, Omnivorous Species would be comprised of about 6 Billion Individuals. A Tiny, Photosynthetic Species may have as many as 100 Billion, while a Gigantic Carnivorous Species would have a total population of only 200-300 Million.

 

 

I notice that you did not address the issue of intelligence. I think you will find that some races only appear intelligent. :)

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But are telepathic races even capable of having more than one thought? If they can, are they truly telepathic?

 

Of course. As Fal'yr'kat, spiritual advisor drone in the 112th hatching cycle of the Great Queen Mother Vry'fet'dalthrak wrote :

 

There is only one true thought, that of the Great Queen Mother herself. In grand communion with the thoughts of each of the Nest Queens she sends her one true thought to all her children. The thoughts of drones, workers and warriors are only small portions of her great thought, tiny reflections as in crystals in our walls of ice. Impure or incorrect thoughts, those which do not properly mirror the thoughts of the Great Queen Mother, must be purified so as not to distort the reflections of all.

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But are telepathic races even capable of having more than one thought? If they can, are they truly telepathic?

 

Of course. As Fal'yr'kat, spiritual advisor drone in the 112th hatching cycle of the Great Queen Mother Vry'fet'dalthrak wrote :

 

There is only one true thought, that of the Great Queen Mother herself. In grand communion with the thoughts of each of the Nest Queens she sends her one true thought to all her children. The thoughts of drones, workers and warriors are only small portions of her great thought, tiny reflections as in crystals in our walls of ice. Impure or incorrect thoughts, those which do not properly mirror the thoughts of the Great Queen Mother, must be purified so as not to distort the reflections of all.

 

So then the individuals of your race do not possess TRUE intelligence, only your Great Queen Mother does. We will keep that in mind should we meet your race.

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Continuing our discourse on Xenobiological Lifeforms, in determining the level of threat they pose in military actions, one must take into account their raw strength, which becomes a factor of size and mass.

 

Size and Strength

 

 

Based on the Size research presented earlier, we can roughly estimate the MASS of xeno-forms, based on similar lifeforms. Naturally the WEIGHT of such beings would depend on local gravity. However, as previously described, these creatures tend to have stronger connective and support tissue, so the strength calculations remain constant.

 

Size/Mass

 

Tiny/.5-2 Kg

Very Small/2-8 Kg

Small/8-35 Kg

Average/ 35-200 Kg

Large/ 200-3200 Kg

Huge/ 3200-25,000 Kg

Gigantic/ 25,000-150,000 Kg

 

Obviously, there is great range within some of these divisions, particularly at the upper ends of the scale. This is due to the fact that mass will usually increase as the CUBE of the "size". Hence, a creature twice as tall, twice as wide and twice as thick will have EIGHT times the mass.

 

To estimate Strength, we use the following chart, breaking strength into 7 categories:

 

Strength/ Lifting Capacity(Body Mass Multiplier)

 

Decrepit/ .1

Weak/ .25

Average/ 1

Brawny/ 2

Robust/ 4

Mighty/ 8

Titanic/ 16

 

Lifting capacity is calculated as the average body mass of the species, times the body mass multiplier.

 

From this, we can see that a median Average Sized Species (of about 75Kg), with Average Strength (Multiplier of 1), would be able to lift approximately 75Kg, or about 165 pounds under 1 average planetary gravity.

 

A very Tiny (.5Kg) race with Decrepit Strength (.1 multiplier) would only be able to lift .05 Kg (about 2 ounces), while a truly Gigantic (150,000 Kg) species with Titanic Strength (multiplier of 16) would theoretically be capable of lifting 2,400,000 Kg, or about 2500 TONS, the weight of a small stellar exploration vessel.

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A very Tiny (.5Kg) race with Decrepit Strength (.1 multiplier) would only be able to lift .05 Kg (about 2 ounces), while a truly Gigantic (150,000 Kg) species with Titanic Strength (multiplier of 16) would theoretically be capable of lifting 2,400,000 Kg, or about 2500 TONS, the weight of a small stellar exploration vessel.

 

They got into space by throwing ships into orbit. :D

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A very Tiny (.5Kg) race with Decrepit Strength (.1 multiplier) would only be able to lift .05 Kg (about 2 ounces), while a truly Gigantic (150,000 Kg) species with Titanic Strength (multiplier of 16) would theoretically be capable of lifting 2,400,000 Kg, or about 2500 TONS, the weight of a small stellar exploration vessel.

 

They got into space by throwing ships into orbit. :D

 

Interesting idea. Will need to consider this as we get closer to our species engineering research completion. Could also help with our favorite sporting event, competitive, team dwarf throwing.

 

Octus Imperium

 

(And somebody has WAY too much time on their appendages. Very entertaining discourse for someone limited by a hive mind and eight appendages.) :woohoo:

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Well, generally speaking, unless the planet is VERY low gravity, you couldnt achieve escape velocity by TOSSING ships :D I WOULD, however, be alot more careful about landing on the homeworld of a Gigantic sized, Titanic strength species. Behemoth children playing catch with your exploration vehicles can be really annoying.

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Well, generally speaking, unless the planet is VERY low gravity, you couldnt achieve escape velocity by TOSSING ships :D I WOULD, however, be alot more careful about landing on the homeworld of a Gigantic sized, Titanic strength species. Behemoth children playing catch with your exploration vehicles can be really annoying.

 

Well said. And one would really hate to be the object used for a game of fetch with their 'Fido' analogue.

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Well, generally speaking, unless the planet is VERY low gravity, you couldnt achieve escape velocity by TOSSING ships :D I WOULD, however, be alot more careful about landing on the homeworld of a Gigantic sized, Titanic strength species. Behemoth children playing catch with your exploration vehicles can be really annoying.

 

Well said. And one would really hate to be the object used for a game of fetch with their 'Fido' analogue.

 

Or their Rugby ball?

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Size and Spacecraft

 

 

One interesting sidenote is that our scientists have theorized that the size and mass of interplanetary and interstellar spacecraft will NOT be directly influenced by the size of the dominant species. While this may be completely counterintuitive, there are practical reasons behind this concept.

 

Obviously, in spaceflight, mass is a critical factor. The more massive a ship is, the more fuel it uses, the more armor is required, etc. So, practically speaking, it is prudent to build the SMALLEST ships required to carry out the neccesary task. On the counterpoint, there are also practical limits on how small things like nuclear reactors, shielding, electronics, etc., CAN be built, so there is also a minimum practical size. The intersection of these two needs determines the optimal size for a space vehicle, and is independant of the size of the species piloting it.

 

Equally obvious is the fact that the mass of the species WILL affect the crew compliment. Given the current state of technology, and any projected advances, the smallest practical space vehicle is approximately 1000 tons, or about 1million Kg.

 

Using the mass chart above, we can see that the MAXIMUM logical crew compliment of GIGANTIC beings for such a vehicle would be ONE, since the crew would allready mass around 10% the total weight of the vessel. This ratio continues to be appropriate as we postulate larger ships, with 1 gigantic being for every 1000 tons of ship.

 

We find that the optimal number of crewmembers is a ratio similar to that of general population, so that the same ship will have a crew compliment of 10 Average sized beings, or 80 Tiny beings per 1000 tons. As the size of the crewmembers decreases, not only would more fit per ton of vessel, but more will be REQUIRED to handle the often large and heavy equiptment. Based on sheer mass,one 100,000 Kg Gigantic being is the equivalent of 50thousand Tiny 2Kg beings. However, smaller beings have much faster metabolic rates, meaning far more space is required for atmosphere recycling, food preperation, waste disposal, etc. Based on this logic, it is also estimated that berthings for Colonists or military Troops will be of similar size and mass regardless of the size of the beings themselves.

 

Finally, these calculations also promote speculations on the types of Fighter and Interceptor craft these species will use. With the optimal size and mass of such a vehicle being 100 tons, we can see that a "Fighter" for a Gigantic race will most likely be little more than a heavily armed, armored, and manuverable space suit for a single being, while a Tiny races fighters will simply be smaller versions of thier capital ships, housing several dozen beings each.

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Finally, these calculations also promote speculations on the types of Fighter and Interceptor craft these species will use. With the optimal size and mass of such a vehicle being 100 tons, we can see that a "Fighter" for a Gigantic race will most likely be little more than a heavily armed, armored, and manuverable space suit for a single being, while a Tiny races fighters will simply be smaller versions of thier capital ships, housing several dozen beings each.

 

Interesting image! Never thought of it like that before.

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