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 Post subject: From the Age Zoologist
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:54 am 
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I'm not a member of the D'ni Zoological Society, and was rather sad to see they haven't been active for years. I went by their offices, and the dust was thick on the windows. At least I have access to their published notes.

One of my ambitions is to take and show usual KI pictures of the wildlife in the various ages. I'm just starting, but I'll add to this collection when I can, and encourage others to post their own.

I'm starting out in Negilahn, as that's the easiest pod to get out of. The crack in the top is just wide enough to squeeze through, if you aren't wearing a jacket and skipped lunch. The other pods were more difficult -- I had to remove porthole windows, a time-consuming and sweaty job.

Negilahn is humid, but not particularly hot. The Stilt Trees are reasonably easy to climb with the right equipment. However, I had to use a telephoto lens for the Panuhdoy. They are as skittish as you might imagine.

First up, a REALLY good look at a Panuhdoy, aka the Two Tailed Monkey.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Next, his companion, the Urwin. This bird-like critter uses baleen-like mouth plates to filter insects from the air. It's my favorite Pod Age animal because of the coloration. I wouldn't want to be stepped on by it, though.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

According to Zoological Society, the Urwin eats glowing insects called Kiri, which meander about in small clouds.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

And that just about covers Negilahn. I didn't venture far from the pod -- I read the account of Mr. Sharper's experience here, and don't want to encounter rogue Bahro if they are still about. I saw no traces of the other animals that are supposed to be here.


Last edited by larryf58 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Dereno
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:06 am 
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Here's a collection from Dereno. I was using a rebreather attached to a full helmet and dry suit to minimize bubbles that might have disturbed the fish. As it was, my time in the water was very limited because of the freezing cold. The dry suit couldn't hold out the chill for long.

First up, a shot of all of the fish in the area around the pod. There are three main types of bony fish.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

The fish are:

The Striped Rockfish.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

The Ruddy Angelfish.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

The Fantailed Icefish. This one seems camera shy - I had a lot of trouble getting a good picture.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Finally, there's the big daddy of the area - The Dereno Kamkenta. This is a ray-like animal and the "eye" wraps around the entire front of its head. I didn't see a mouth of any sort, so I have no idea what or how it eats.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

It occurs to me that I'm being remiss in not mentioning the other animals in my photos. The giant branched and the flat greenish structures are the secretions of two species of Arctic Coral. Seeing coral growing in an arctic environment is something that would have a zoologist on Earth rubbing his eyes in disbelief -- Earthly corals are strictly warm water animals. Strangely, the D'ni Zoological Society publications do not mention names for either species, only that they exist.

The last animal in my photos is the Globe Sponge. Sponges usually trap food that is swept through the cavities in their bodies by sea currents, but in this part of the Sea of Dereno, the currents are too slow to do the job efficiently. To make up for this, the Globe Sponge produces gasses that are released up the central cavity, and the gasses in turn draw water from the base of the sponge up the cavity, bringing food particles with it.


Last edited by larryf58 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Payiferen
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:00 am 
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In Payiferen, there's only one animal worth seeing. The Sandscrit is a relative of the Urwin of Negilahn. I took these pictures just before full nightfall, and it was already getting cold. The wind and grit just about cut through me. According to the Zoological Society, the Sandscrit eats small critters that live in the sand, scooping up mouthfuls and filtering the edible bits out with baleen-like mouth plates. When it walks, the ground shakes and you can hear its footsteps booming down to your bones.

Here's a shot of it eating.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

It's in full call. A rather frightening sound, even though I know it doesn't regard me as edible.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

A full body shot, and what a body.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

I won't cover Tetsunot. I went to the pod. Judging by the groaning of the supports and the darkness outside the portholes, I'd say it's deep enough underwater that the pressure is ferocious. Tampering with it would likely result in one amateur zoologist being a red smear on the opposite side of the pod from whatever porthole I messed with. I'm not fearless, so I'm leaving well enough alone!


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 Post subject: Teledahn
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:00 pm 
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Next stop is Teledahn. I went there with climbing equipment and a one-man inflatable dinghy from a ship's emergency kit. Climbing, especially when it involves ropes, always reminds me that I really need to get back in shape, but at 53, I'm too set in my ways to do anything about it. So I huff and puff, and get there eventually as long as I don't set my goal too high.

Flappers eat the spores by jumping into the air, by means of a violent contraction of the radial muscles that ring their bodies. As they jump, the contraction automatically opens their mouths, which are located on their upper middle. After a jump, they relax the muscles, and their bodies open and act like a parachute, dropping them back to the water in a controlled fall. Here's a shot of a flapper taken from the dinghy.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

A Flapper in mid-jump. Note how wide the mouth opens.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Buggaro are difficult to photograph. They are fast enough in the air so that when I'd pushed the shutter, they'd just about be out of frame by the time it triggered. I had to guess how much in advance to press the shutter button to get the shot. It's taken from a tower I climbed up, and this is about as close as I could get. You can make out the patterning of the wings. If pressed, I'd call them sort of like a cross between a beetle and a moth, although they have a rudder-like tail that's more bird-ish.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

The most famous resident of Teledahn is Shroomie, a descendent of the whale-like creature made famous by Douglas Sharper's journals. She eats edible mushrooms and flappers. I took my dinghy out on the water, and had an assistant pump spores in the air to stir up the flappers, which catches her attention. I was posted in the path she has to take to get to the channel, and luckily she was curious about the dinghy, since it was something new and strange in her environment. I might have been able to get closer, but ran out of time. It took me most of a day to get this close.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]


Last edited by larryf58 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Eder Gira & Eder Kemo
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:46 pm 
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I linked into Eder Gira first -- sort of tradition or habit, I guess. The pools in the two garden ages are shallow, so all I needed was climbing gear, a swimsuit, and a snorkel. Unlike Dereno, the water here is only cool, not frigid, so no special protective gear is required, thank goodness.

There's a bird called the Forest Hawk in Eder Gira, but my time schedule only allowed me to link in around sunset, and they are diurnal. Thus, I didn't get a chance to see one. This was made up for because the lower light level allows one to see the bio-luminescent coloring of the Gira Ray without it being washed out by the strong sunlight the days here bring. You can't see it in this photo, which is about the best of a series I took, but they have a single eye on the top of their bodies, near the front of the head.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

After snorkeling with the rays for awhile, I moved on to Eder Kemo. It isn't common knowledge, but the garden is named after a species of fish that can be found in the pool near the Eder Gira linking book. The Kemo is a very strikingly colored animal, and would look great over someone's mantel. However, I'm sorry, but I'll have to disappoint you rabid fishing types. Since currently only three are known to exist, they are very firmly on the Endangered Species list. So kindly keep your hands and hooks to yourself!
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

An animal that startles many explorers on first sight is the Keanulint. It resembles nothing so much as a very large and fat scorpion, although it only has four limbs. It's harmless, though. It's a strict vegetarian, eating blue lichen that grows on the canyon walls. They seem to be territorial, since there are plenty of them, but they never seem to get very close to each other except during mating. The tail has what was probably a stinger in an ancestral species, but now it's adapted as a grappling hook. They hang over the canyon wall using the tail stinger as an anchor.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Of course, no recounting of the animals of Eder Kemo would be complete without mentioning the friends of every explorer who answers Yeesha's call to follow the Path of the Hand. The Kemo Fireflies are curious insects that glow brightly and continuously, unlike the fireflies of Earth. They seem like they should be related to the Kiri of Negilahn, and may well have been imported from there.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

When I next had some time, I linked back to Eder Gira and climbed up into the mountains, a journey of two Earth days. Got there in the evening again and camped out until morning -- not a great imposition, since the day cycle here is pretty short -- and got a chance to shoot a picture of the Forest Hawk as it circled, hunting for prey. I'll let the picture speak for me.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Note the stone buildings in the background. I didn't see any sign of movement or smoke from cooking fires around them, so they either mark a ceremonial site that is seldom visited, or the area or age is abandoned. I have no idea which may be close to the truth.

And that concludes my stay in the twin garden ages.

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b'tagamem mot seKem ril ge'Dan Kenen reKElen faex b'sEnem ge'Dan -- lårE leDA
Until next time! -- Larry LeDeay
3 # 11308
The Lost Library of D'ni


Last edited by larryf58 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:02 am 
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Hello, all.

Dropping out of character for a moment: I should have made it clear from the beginning - this is not a closed topic. I encourage others to post their own URU/ Myst series wildlife pictures and to make comments on mine. I can see that people are reading, and would love feedback and additions.

I only have one request. I'm trying to make this more entertaining than just "Bam. Here are the pictures", so if you would like to reply to the topic or add to it, please do so in character as a fellow adventurer. Let's make this a little game itself.

I'm also open to requests if you want to see an animal I've missed so far.

And that's the last time I'm going to post in this topic out of character. Hope you enjoy it!

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b'tagamem mot seKem ril ge'Dan Kenen reKElen faex b'sEnem ge'Dan -- lårE leDA
Until next time! -- Larry LeDeay
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The Lost Library of D'ni


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:02 pm 
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I love the Kamkenta. some back story, it was originally going to be a flying creature for the multiplayer age "Kahlo." Later, when Cyan decided not to release it, they repurposed the Kamkenta for Dereno.

Cool indeed, except I would have rather them release Kahlo. It sounded very cool.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:12 pm 
I love all of your shots of the various animals that can be found in the various Ages. Very good work.

As an aside, doesn't the name of the Kamkenta mean 'What is it?'


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:53 pm 
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Yep, sure does. To the best of my memory it was coined by an Explorer named Linkin Imp, who was doing a lot of research on it back in the early days of UU.

Larry, thanks so much for this thread! These are some fantastic photos, very nice job on the field work. Back in the heyday of the Cavern, the DZS was quite actively pursuing this kind of research. Unfortunately, after the cavern was closed the last time and we (temporarily) lost access to the Ages, many of us have drifted on to other projects. For myself, a new wife demanded much of my attention, and with a house and kid now, time just doesn't allow for the exploration I was once able to do. I'll admit it's been awhile even since I checked in over at the Society. We should probably add an entry to the animal wiki for the sandwich I left in the fridge, I'm sure it's grown fur and legs by now. :)

I think it was Tayrtahn who managed the wiki over at the DZS. If we can dig him up, would you be adverse to sharing your images with us? The DRC put certain, shall we say, "restrictions" on us that limited our ability to get up close and personal with the animals. Recent freedoms make it much easier to accomplish this, particularly in the Pod Ages. I know your contributions are highly valuable!

(OOC - see what I did there? yeeeaaah.... :lol: )

Thanks again, looking forward to more of your work!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:55 am 
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Maybe I should introduce myself briefly. I'm a 53 year old with more time than sense, or so it seems. I'm strictly an amateur at zoology, and make no bones about that. I started as a normal cavern explorer, and did all the usual things one does down here. Then I started noticing the diverse wildlife of the ages I was traveling through, and decided they might make a nice photo essay -- especially if I could bring in some equipment and get to places normally inaccessible to the average Joe.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

With that in mind, I sat down in my office and planned out the first few trips.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

My first few photos were of the animals I'd collected in my Relto:

The Relto birds are an offshoot of Corvus, related to crows and ravens. It took time to get them to come down to a height were I could get a good shot; I lured them over time by tossing scraps of raw meat into the air. Even so, I had to climb up to the top of a tree. I can only assume that there's places under the perpetual cloud cover where they normally hunt.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

The butterflies fluttering about are called Crimson Kadish, as they are native to Tolesa, the age Guildmaster Kadish created to house his elaborate maze of a treasury.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

The fireflies in my Relto are ones I brought with me from Eder Kemo. That particular species are called Chirte'e'tahm, and are probably related to the Kiri of Negilahn. There is a third known species of firefly that are seen occasionally in Ae'Gura, but they tend to be more solitary, and are attracted to light like moths.

I went hunting for fireflies in Ae'Gura, but was unable to locate any. There are also supposed to be several species of fish in the harbor there. Again, my search came up empty.

While searching for fireflies, I climbed up on the portico over the entrance to the Library to get a bird's eye view. While there, I happened on a Bahro that suddenly linked in. He or she cooperated enough for me to get a quick snapshot, and then made an announcement to the cavern. To me, it sounded like a deafening screech, but I'm sure it was both profound and enlightening to other Bahro. On the other hand, it may just be the Bahro equivalent of "Nine o'clock and all's well!"
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Ears ringing, I decided to call it a day and headed for the surface to recover my hearing.

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b'tagamem mot seKem ril ge'Dan Kenen reKElen faex b'sEnem ge'Dan -- lårE leDA
Until next time! -- Larry LeDeay
3 # 11308
The Lost Library of D'ni


Last edited by larryf58 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:05 am 
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Rils wrote:
I think it was Tayrtahn who managed the wiki over at the DZS. If we can dig him up, would you be adverse to sharing your images with us? The DRC put certain, shall we say, "restrictions" on us that limited our ability to get up close and personal with the animals. Recent freedoms make it much easier to accomplish this, particularly in the Pod Ages. I know your contributions are highly valuable!


Of course. I'm always willing to cooperate with the real scientists.

Quote:
Thanks again, looking forward to more of your work!


You're very welcome.

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b'tagamem mot seKem ril ge'Dan Kenen reKElen faex b'sEnem ge'Dan -- lårE leDA
Until next time! -- Larry LeDeay
3 # 11308
The Lost Library of D'ni


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 Post subject: D'ni Tiwah and Direbo
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Today, I traveled to D'ni Tiwah, and down into the Great Shaft to link to Direbo. Direbo is a garden age, if you like your gardens dim and swampy. It is quiet and soothing, but with the light levels as they are, I wouldn't try reading my favorite book there.

Tiwah is the D'ni name for the volcano on the Zandi property in New Mexico. Jeff Zandi wasn't around, so I went straight to the volcano and crossed the barbed wire fence by laying my coat on top of it to keep from getting ripped up by the barbs. Trudging my way up to the crater rim, I set a piton as an anchor point and tied a rope to it, since the inside walls of the crater are very steep. It was then rappelling time, which I accomplished in my usual painfully slow and cautious fashion.

While I was part way down the line, I took a moment to take a photo of the Zone-tailed Hawks that circle over this part of the desert. They were pretty far away, so I couldn't get a good shot -- I've seen a much better one in the Zoological Society publications. Still, since they are native Earth birds, I suppose it's not hard to find photos of them.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Down in the crater itself, there's a brackish pond, and a species of fly I couldn't find a Society record of congregates in clouds above it. Their coloration blends in with the background, so while I got a couple of close ups of them, they are very difficult to tell apart from the background scenery.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

There is also a species of butterfly here, which is also not mentioned in the Society publications. It seems to be the same as the butterflies in Direbo, but I cannot find a reference for them either. Perhaps a Society member will see this and can identify them.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

As one climbs down into the cave that leads to the top of the Great Shaft, one can hear and occasionally see bats.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

From the entry cave, I went to the antechamber and linked to Direbo. There are more fireflies in Direbo, but these are a different species than the Kiri or their relatives in Eder Kemo. They glow a homogeneous golden color. Like the Kiri, they fly about in clouds.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Direbo is home to a kind of butterfly that looks very much like the ones in the crater.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Direbo is also home to a bird known as the Nightjar, but it is strictly heard and not seen... At least, not by me.

In upcoming installments, I'll be moving on to some of the ages that are linked from Direbo.

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b'tagamem mot seKem ril ge'Dan Kenen reKElen faex b'sEnem ge'Dan -- lårE leDA
Until next time! -- Larry LeDeay
3 # 11308
The Lost Library of D'ni


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:50 pm 
I don't think the D'ni named the volcano, and 'tiwah' is 'shaft' in D'ni.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:37 pm 
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I'll freely admit that my knowledge of spoken D'ni can be written on the back of a matchbook, without even having to write very small. All I can say is that when I was in the crater, I looked at my KI and it told me I was in D'ni Tiwah.

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b'tagamem mot seKem ril ge'Dan Kenen reKElen faex b'sEnem ge'Dan -- lårE leDA
Until next time! -- Larry LeDeay
3 # 11308
The Lost Library of D'ni


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 Post subject: Noloben
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:20 am 
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From Direbo, it's an easy link by Bahro pedestal to Noloben. Noloben is suspected to be the homeworld of the Bahro, although if true, no one has seen any settlements belonging to them. The part of Noloben accessible to explorers is an island that was claimed as a refuge by Esher, a survivor of the collapse of the D'ni civilization in the Cavern.

This trip marks the use of a new toy - I picked up a remote controlled airplane with a camera mounted in it awhile back, but haven't used it in the field until now. It took considerable practice for me to get halfway proficient with it. The picture of the Bluff Pelican in flight is the first good photo I've gotten out of the effort. The camera transmits a copy of what it sees to a small monitor on my control rig, but keeps the high-quality images in a memory card inserted in the camera. I crashed the poor thing attempting to land it on the sand of the beach, but the damage is slight. I'm hoping to get more use out of it in the future.

Around Esher's island can be found a few animals that hint at a potentially diverse biosphere. First up is the Tunnel Snake, a shy creature that is banded in vivid greens and black. Note the outsized head in relation to the slender body - sure sign of poison glands in the head. This small creature is a source of great fear to the Bahro, because its venom can rob a Bahro of the ability to link. The mere drawing of the Bahro glyph for this snake will cause them to avoid an area. The poison is much less dangerous to a human, and the snakes would much rather avoid humans than bite them any day.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

On many rocks surrounding the island can be found rookeries of the Fan-Crested Gull, often accompanied by a few Bluff Pelicans. Like Earth gulls, they are fish eaters.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

In addition to the Bluff Pelicans resting among the Gulls, I caught one in flight. Bluff Pelicans spend much of their time cruising about high in the air, watching for schools of fish. When they sight a school, they act much like pelicans on Earth, diving down to scoop up mouthfuls of prey. Flocks of them can be seen above the island.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Something I've always wondered about is the Bahro ability to link to places, and to imbue that ability into other objects like the stones and pedestals. They have wings, so why would their ancestral species need such an ability? One rather fanciful idea that popped into my skull was that because no one has ever seen anything that looks like a mouth, was the ability evolved as a feeding mechanism? Do they link food directly into their digestive system?

It's a bizarre thought, but it would add another reason why they are afraid of Tunnel Snakes. A creature that can disable their ability to link would also sentence the affected individual to death by starvation.

I'm probably way off with that speculation, but it's fun to imagine scenarios like that.

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b'tagamem mot seKem ril ge'Dan Kenen reKElen faex b'sEnem ge'Dan -- lårE leDA
Until next time! -- Larry LeDeay
3 # 11308
The Lost Library of D'ni


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