The Anatomy of Triangularians
Triangularians are one of the most prolific life forms on Shalimar. There are literally hundreds of species of them inhabiting a number of niches in the oceans and on land.
This one is seen from the side, with rigid green plates and flexible tan-colored hinge material between them.
Triangularians are made up of a series of triangular modules. The front and back end look alike. Each "face" has one end of an eating tube and above that one end of a breathing tube. Water flows through the breathing tube. The mouth is ringed with sharp plates that close around anything that the triangularian wants to eat.
Triangularians evolved from primitive worms. They are armored, and their soft bodies are enclosed in light, tough exoskeletons. The exoskeleton consists of units of three plates joined together by strong tendon-like bars of tissue. The individual plates can grow where they are joined to this tissue.
Triangularians are good examples of the strategy of repeating modular structures that characterize life forms on Shalimar. Each triangular module is the same, with the same interior structures.
Triangularians have circulating blood, but instead of hearts they have valves and small individual pumps. If triangularians are injured, the individual pumps shut off the blood flow to the injured part. If the injury is serious, the triangularian may let that module die and just divide into two triangularians. A new "face" can be produced in a few days.
This diagram shows the inside of a triangularian, with the digestive and breathing tubes, and the complex circulation pattern. Muscles and nerve tissue are protected inside the body.
Triangularians are survivors. They eat all the time, and will eat anything organic. If they are injured they heal up quickly: if one is cut in half, it simply becomes two creatures.
© Elizabeth Anne Viau, 1996. This material may be used freely for instructional purposes but not sold for a price beyond the cost of reproduction. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you use this material. I'd be interested to know how it works for you!