It was a dark and stormy night on a failed terraforming project. The clouds were attempting to cram themselves into every spot of sky they could find, and the worldwide ocean fueled massive hurricanes that lasted for months on end. This one was running out of power, though, shading its fuel source from the sun's heat. The winds of the planet had worn any land down to a dust bowl before the oceans even arrived,meaning the only thing that could stop these storms would be their own shadow. Klretukpokain had not once had a storm be interrupted by land. Until tonight.
A small section of the sea fumed and boiled, black with soot and toxic chemicals. It hissed with unfathomable heat, spewing out molten magma that hardened into rock. The very seabed cracked right down to its core, and entire plumes of lava smothered the seascape, turning seabed into the base for islands. The very crust of the planet was cracking in response to the unimaginable power of a freshly-ignited core.
Klretukpokain was alive.
Gargantuan machines were drilling through the solid rock and metal, right down to the core of the planet. Antimatter reactors flooded vast quantities of heat into the earth, melting it. Then they braced for the impact of another automated terraformer, and the planet heaved as enough rock to fill a continent was ejected into space, caught and dropped back down to the surface. The momentum of the impacts had been enough to shift nearly five septillion tons of rock into spinning once every 5 hours. The force had been unimaginable, far greater than any meteorite that had collided with the Earth. And, during the thousands of years when the rocks began to settle and merge with the crust, and when magma and water flooded the scar in the planet's surface, a couple of species of a organ Earthly organism were added to the oceans. A planktonic crustacean, two types of algae, some decomposing bacteria and a few species of vent bacteria.
The arms race of evolution had begun on Terra Copepoda.
Terra Copepoda: 10 MYLEditTerra Copepoda is the land of the copepods ten million years into its evolution. Although the continents are still bare, the oceans are stirring with life. The planktonic life forms have grown and changed. Although many are still planktonic, visible life is everywhere, in a period of time that could be equated to the Cambrian Explosion. In temperate waters, the copepods have grown to lengths of a meter. They have become predators, prey, sessile, powerful, soft-shelled, and scavengers. Things are going well for Klretukpokain and the creatures that inhabit it.
Geography of Klretukpokain (10 Million Years A.T.) Edit
Algae of Klretukpokain Edit
Algae on Klretukpokain, like on Earth, forms the base of most food chains. To fill as many as possible, they have diversified into many different forms. There are five main forms, along with multiple others. The first is Micromonas-type algae, which are simple single-celled organisms that swim around as plankton.
Secondly, there are sulking carpets. These are the simplest of the new types of algae. They are bacterial mats that cover areas where other types are yet to colonize or have trouble colonizing on. This is often bare rock. The cell's flagella, like in most advanced algae, have deteriorated into a simple form that can not really do much. However, single cells that are going to start a new colony are almost indistinguishable from their ancestors.
Thirdly, there are knitted floaters. These are pelagic algae which form a simple ball shape. To avoid sinking, the strands that form them aren't full connected, but can absorb things inside itself like a sponge. They are used for catching oxygen bubbles that are made as a byproduct. Some types have small amounts of hydrogen in them. They are evolving towards a bubble-shaped structure, and the outsides are denser and stronger than the insides.
Fourthly, there are fuzzcarpets. Fuzzcarpets are similar to the skulking carpets, but grow as a fuzzy coating on sand and other places. They form the base of most coastal food chains. In most other regards than the shape or niche, the are like skulking carpets.
Fifthly and finally, there are fuzztufts. These grow in places with little room for a whole carpet of algae, like between rocks. this type of algae is, as it's name suggests, a fuzzy tuft of algae. They are similar to carpet algae in most other ways.
Higher Copepods Edit
Crablice are the members of the Locustacorpora ("lobster bodies") genus. They dwell on the seafloor, feeding off of algae or corpses. They have 5 pair of legs and a long tail which is used to swim in emergencies. They have one eye, as do all the Copepods, along with long front antennae, shorter back antennae, two slicing maxillae, one set of jaws, and a manipulative pair of maxilipedes. Their bodies are generally cylindrical with a flat underside, they have a large tail-fan and they breathe with soft frilly tissue on their undersides.
The patch shells, or Clastoplia ("broken armour"), are a type of copepod with severely reduced shells. They solve this problem of shedding by having a thin film growth over their shells, which produces more shell, whilst the shell has shrank on the inside. This produces a growing effect. Species include:
- Trollheads: The trollheads are one of the most unique and fascinating patchshells. They are 12cms long. These creatures have developed large, crab-like legs, and their tails are used for swimming. Most of the time, though, this powerful tail is pulled back against the body to stop it dragging and to give the illusion of a bigger animal. They are solitary herbivores. They are the largest species of patchshells, although a couple species come close. Their name comes from from the shape of their heads, which are large and rounded with a centralized eye.
- Algae dragon: This predator reaches 10cm long, and it hides inside the clumps of algae. Its skin is very wrinkly, and much algae grows there. This gives it expert camouflage from other predators and its prey.
- Rogue patch shell: Rogue patchshells are a type of patchshell, around 7 centimeters long. It is carnivorous, feeding mainly on the larvae of other species. They live mainly on seamounts. This species is the type species for patchshell, and is featured as the basic patchshell drawing.
- Copepod mackerel: Copepod mackerel are small filter-feeding patchshells, about five centimeters long. They form large shoals, and are the base of tropical ocean food chains. They can keep up their active movement by having very wrinkly skin, which means they get lots of oxygen. The price they pay for this is less streamlining, and they have to feed constantly to get enough nutrients to their muscles.
- Strandfish: The strandfish is a small type of copepod, around 5 centimeters long, that lives in groups. They collect pieces of algae for a small nest, which they store their eggs in. There are no queens, though, and all of them breed.
- Antpods: Antpods are a very social copepod, as their name suggests. They are closely related to the Strandfish, and they have a similar body structure, with some differences. The Antpods live under the algae that grows from the sea onto the shore, creating a large food source/nest that keeps on growing. They, instead of queens, have about 10-15 males that act as the leaders of the nest. They have many predators, the most distinguished being the Algae Dragon, which would sit outside their nests and wait for a passing Antpod. They have a wide, flat tail used to scare away scoop away unwanted debrise inside the nest.
Sea Runners Edit
Sea runners are members of the genus Adipemotestans ("fat shells"). They are pelagic copepods that fill many niches. They use their first, third, and fourth limbs for swimming, along with the tail fluke. Their second limbs are pressed together to from an analogue to a dorsal fin, while the fifth limbs are used to glue their eggs onto. A large fold in the middle of their shells has water drawn into it, before it is expelled, like in a book lung. The majority of forms are predatory, although some filter-feeders exist. The largest forms can grow up to 3 meters long.
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