Name: The Hsol
Diameter: 1 meter
Averaging about 1 metre in diameter, the Hsol are disk-shaped, with a collection of gas bladders containing highly flammable lighter-than-air gases which they use to float above the burning hot sands of their home world. The Hsol usually float at least three metres above the ground. The gases within the bladders are expelled in controlled bursts in order to control their flight path; the bladders therefore inflate and deflate continuously. The bladders also serve as part of their respiratory system; if the gas bladders completely deflate, the Hsol will asphyxiate and die.
The gas bladders are vibrated by the Hsol to create ultrasonic sounds that they appear to be able to modulate, and thereby control the workings of their crystal-based technology which reacts to the sounds produced.
These sounds can be used as a means of defence, emitting stunning sounds in order to disorient and confuse predators.
The Hsol are tan in colour, with a spotted dark trim around the exoskeletal plates, which serves as rudimentary camouflage in their desert environment.
The Hsol are covered in a dome shaped exoskeleton consisting of two upper and lower plates that are suspended by a central nervous cord, which can be retracted to protect the bladders that hangs beneath the upper disk. Within the dome-shaped bony protuberance is located a six-lobed brain, which receives and processes sensory inputs from the eyes and the other senses, and three two-chambered hearts.
Two antennae on top of the upper exoskeleton are the source of the Hsol's synaptic communication. The antennae seem to be able to produce an interlinking telepathy among other Hsol, allowing them to share, broadcast and download memories, experiences, thoughts, dreams and feelings. This impressive ability allows them to function, coordinate and adapt as if every Hsol creature is merely a part of a single massive organism.
A thick, dextrous tentacle hangs beneath the lower dome, used for activities such as feeding, item manipulation and occasionally as an anchor in order to avoid being blown away in particuarily powerful sandstorms. Three pronged at the tip, the tentacle is covered in minute cilia that allow for incredibly dextrous manipulation.
As a herbivorous creature, fruit and other edible items are grabbed, and sucked up the tentacle via rhythmic contractions of small muscles that force the food upwards to be consumed via a small, sharp beak further up the tentacle.
Hsol use thousands of microscopic organisms within their stomach to digest the food they consume, producing lighter-than-air gases as a by-product which they utilise to float in their gas bladders. Indigestible materials are transported to broad, thin passages between the inner and outer layers of the plates comprising the external carapace, where they precipitate out and bond with the underside of the outermost part. This reinforces and repairs damage sustained to the exoskeleton.
The tentacle also forms the basis for a system of sign language that is similar to Human body language.
The Hsol do not biologically reproduce. Instead, they gather the needed or available materials in order to 'build' another Hsol. It is currently unknown what specific materials are used to produce a new Hsol. This new offspring is then filled with a precise mixture of lighter-than-air gasses. The initial buoyancy of the newly born Hsol is what it is named after. Examples of translated names include 'Far-too-light,' or 'Too-heavy.'
Up to three Hsol take part in this process, which consist of the entire Breeder caste, relaying all the information that they have learned to their "offspring". Given sufficient raw materials, a pair of Hsol can produce a unified replica of themselves in approximately 10 minutes. Understandably, it is advantageous to have as many Huragok contribute to this process as possible, raising the "intelligence" of the offspring by adding their own intelligence to the new-born. Consequently, each generation of Dictavit contains years and years of knowledge, and therefore with each generation, the intelligence of the Hsol is remarkably improved compared to past generations.
This peculiar method of reproduction has led to a debate as to whether the Dictavit really are a product of biological evolution after all.
Having been created, as opposed to being born, the Hsol do not have a conventional life cycle. They do not grow from infant to adult, instead beginning life as an adult, and ageing gradually from there. Hsol normally live for 70 - 100 years.
Teaching new Hsol is unnecessary. Due to the link shared by all members of the species, this allows a new Hsol to download the entirety of the species knowledge. This feat makes the species incredibly fast learners, and quick at adaptation.
Next update! Was wondering if anyone could inform me how to add a picture? I've drawn it in illustrator, and would like to add it to this post, but don't know how. Thanks in advance! Let me know if you have any questions.