Author Topic: [NG] The Losk  (Read 3463 times)

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Offline Daxx

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[NG] The Losk
« on: April 11, 2008, 05:21:23 pm »
Not one of the galaxy's largest, most fearsome, or brightest creatures, the Losk nevertheless have made their way onto the galactic scene through quiet efficiency and dogged determinism.

Biology


A Losk spies a predator

The Losk are small, land-dwelling predators who developed on the scrublands of the planet Hestos in the Gretia-7 system. Their road to sapience was a long one which ultimately came about due to their general lack of other advantageous features. They feed mostly on the large larval stages of a common herbivorous arthropod, but also on the arthropods themselves and, in packs, hunt down huge lumbering grazers by worrying them to death from exhaustion, blood loss and nervous collapse caused by the Losk's poisonous mucous. They were primarily preyed upon by a fast hyena-like predator which ate most anything including the Losk against whose neurotoxins they were able to defend.

An average Losk is about a metre long, weighs little more than 30kg and is a dull orange-brown in colour. At each end of the body is a flexible neck-like appendage which terminates in a tiny head filled almost entirely by a large eye. The body itself contains the vital organs including the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems, protected by a scaly, keratin-like skin. Four flexible legs sprawl from the sides of the body and terminate in dextrous three-toed feet capable of fine motor control. A gaping toothed maw, reproductive organs and mucous glands are hidden under the softer underbelly.

The eyestalks are extremely motile, and are give the Losk significant awareness of its environment, either by looking in different directions to increase field of vision or by giving a form of binocular vision when they focus in the same direction. In the denser parts of the scrub it is common to see only the eyes of the Losk peeking above the vegetation as they keep one looking out for predators and the other looking for food. The Losk are not arboreal, but are capable of climbing and so often escape predators by running to the nearest tree.

The Losk are capable of vocalisations which are surprisingly deep and loud for their size; using the ground to amplify they communicate primarily to warn each other of predators and in order to attract a mate. The species has little sexual dimorphism - the two sexes differ only when the "female" is ready to mate, her skin colour turning a bright yellow. Mating is performed by each participant rearing up on the haunches of the hind legs and communicating genetic material through specially developed mucous glands. The female gives live birth after a gestation period of six months, the offspring ejected via the mouth.

Tribalism

Losk society leading up to sapience was still mostly one of mutual support against predators, though those groups who protected the young of the group as a whole started to become more prevalent. This led to a new behaviour amongst the Losk, that of carrying the young on the backs of the faster adults when escaping from predators. It was at this point that the Losk developed the ability to communicate more than just mating calls and warnings - a Losk could communicate to the rest of its group that it was hurt, that it had just found something interesting, that there was food available, or a number of other basic emotions and signals. This became especially useful as the Losk tribes began to work together to hunt larger prey, as well as in day to day life where a single or pair of members would be assigned to lookout duty, and the older Losk would be able to communicate what they had learned about things in the world to the young in a basic manner.

More to come.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 03:12:20 am by Daxx »



Offline Tesla

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2008, 05:24:18 pm »
It's depressing to look at. I love it.
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline Blarg

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 05:52:03 pm »
It hunts by WEARING DOWN the opponent to death?

That must take awhile, because most herbivores can survive a looooong time without stopping if they're scared. So what does it do, surround it and chase it around or something?


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Offline Daxx

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 06:10:31 pm »
So what does it do, surround it and chase it around or something?

Yes. Did I mention that it exudes poisonous mucous? It's a neurotoxin, quite useful when hunting. Of course, the large creatures aren't its primary prey until the Losk become more intelligent.

EDIT: Clarified.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2008, 06:17:06 pm by Daxx »

Offline Blarg

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 06:22:51 pm »
Now it makes sense. Good work on the creature, aside from stealing my new one's body type without intending to. :P


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Offline Huckbuck

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 03:50:22 am »
This is cool, I only have one question ATM; Having eyestalks make the eyes very sensitive, their eyes or eyestalks would easily be damaged. How is this prevented?
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Offline Flisch

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 05:02:05 am »
Nice, but you left the two most important questions of sapients open: How do they communicate and how do they manipulate their environment (make tools).
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Offline Daxx

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2008, 08:06:57 am »
This is cool, I only have one question ATM; Having eyestalks make the eyes very sensitive, their eyes or eyestalks would easily be damaged. How is this prevented?

It's not, really. I mean, those eyestalks are about as vulnerable as a person's neck. Yeah, they get damaged pretty easily so it's just a question of being smart enough not to get attacked. However, a Losk with one eye isn't completely done for because those eyes are reasonably sensitive.

Nice, but you left the two most important questions of sapients open: How do they communicate and how do they manipulate their environment (make tools).

I'm getting to this one, just finishing off the biology first.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 08:08:34 am by Daxx »

Offline BioCat

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2008, 01:06:23 pm »
Cool, its nice to see some realistically powerful creatures. To reach sapience you don’t have to be the biggest and strongest fellow on the planet.

Offline Neoskel

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2008, 10:31:08 pm »
I bet people can't wait for 'Losk in Space'.  ;D

Offline Huckbuck

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2008, 03:07:19 am »
Cool, its nice to see some realistically powerful creatures. To reach sapience you don’t have to be the biggest and strongest fellow on the planet.

Yea, it acctually makes more sense (most of the time) when the "weak" creatures become sapient. Like humans, we are pretty darn fragile.
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Offline Daxx

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Re: [NG] The Losk
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2008, 03:13:34 am »
Cheers for the feedback, guys. Here's a little taste of development towards tribalism.