Physical Description of Loki's Sentients
Loki: Chapter 11
Body Shape and Size
The Creatures are roughly cylindrical in shape, possessing two prehensile ``tentacles'', each of which is about 1.25 meters long. They also have numerous smaller feeder tentacles around the mouth-opening, which is located at the anterior end.
Their bodies have an average diameter near 5 decimeters, an average length of about .75 meters, and an average mass of about 50 kilograms. They have a head region with sensory organs, a mouth, and an underlying skull plate. Their mouth orifice also serves as an intake for water to their gills, which line the inside of a cavity spanning the entire length of the creature. Also in this cavity are olfactory organs and excretion organs.
Food consumption is about 5% of the creatures' body mass per day They eat both plants and other creatures on the world. Their mouths are located just inside the main passageway that goes throughout their entire bodies (see diagram). They insert food into their mouths using one or more tentacles.
Because these creatures are cold blooded, they have a variable body temperature and metabolism. Their life span varies proportionally to the temperature at which they spend their lives. Their lifespan must be measured in ``average years,'' which are defined to be one Earth-year at the average temperature of the water at the depth where they live -about 10 C. Those who remain at high temperatures live about fifty years, while there are reports of oracles who hibernate at low temperatures living for hundreds of years. The average sentient who lives a cooler life will live for approximately one hundred and fifty years. On the average, average of 1/5 of life is spent in childhood and infertility occurs at about 4/5 of life, thus with an average lifespan of 50 average years, the creatures can reproduce from about 10 to 40 years of age.
The creatures are hermaphroditic, possessing both male and female sex organs. However, they are unable to fertilize themselves. Their male reproductive organs are fertile at all times, but their female reproductive system is fertile only after gorging on food. Ovulation occurs only after sufficient feeding.
Although different cultures apparently have different mating rituals, the physical act is the same: One creature must be upside-down in respect to the other, and fertilization is carried out by placing a specially-adapted tentacle in a receptacle on the other creature's side. One or both may be fertilized when mating.
Usually only one child is born. Twins are a extremely rare, about one in several million births.
Senses of the creature are an indistinct infra-red vision, a very accurate hearing and echo-location system, touch, and smell/taste. They have a large membrane above the mouth opening which can sense heat. Light is sensed by two large, flat-looking eye spots on the head region. The main organ for hearing seems to be a large membrane also located in the head region, but hearing seems to be aided by a line of sensitive skin along either side of the creature. Their hearing is amazingly sensitive, detecting from 10 - 50,000 Hz on average.
They use the same single membrane, located below the mouth opening for hearing and for sound production. This is used for speech, hearing, and is used in echo-location which is their primary means of navigation and data intake.
This membrane is capable of vibrating at an incredible range of frequencies from 10 to 50,000 Hertz, which appears to be only slightly smaller than the creatures' range of hearing. Because this membrane is not located within a cavity like the human mouth, the creatures are not capable of pronouncing consonants; possibly because of this fact, their language consists entirely of Taste/smell are controlled by sensory organs inside the creature's cavity.
Sat Feb 18 00:31:33 MST 1995