Modular Gelatus

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Modular Gelatus
(Familiagelatorum enucleo)
Creator Clarke Other
Familiagelatorum enucleo
Epoch/Generation 2/149
Habitat Mason Tundra, Mason Polar Beach, Mason Polar Coast
Size 2 m Wide
Support Unknown
Diet Filter-Feeder (Symbiotic Gildring)
Respiration Unknown
Thermoregulation Unknown
Reproduction Sexual, Three Genders(Alpha, Beta, and Gamma), Budding
Descendant of Ancestor of
Tundra Gelatus

Replacing its ancestor, the tundra gelatus, the modular gelatus's newfound success has sprung from how it cooperates with both its symbiotes and others of its species. A single gamma member surrounds itself with numerous Beta members. Each connects with the gelati next to it, sharing pores which serve as conduits for nutrients. Many clusters often grow in the same area, forming great mats of gelati which can stretch for hundreds of meters. But these mats only show the exterior of the organism; below them, provuci-maintained tunnels create a giant sponge-like structure which stores air, water, and nutrients, linked up with other mats all over the island via network stiltbulb roots. Their root rings now extend far down, helping maintain structural stability, linked to others in the mats but full of holes like Swiss cheese where tunnels intersect them. A member will rely on the water supplied by the network, producing nutrients, injecting a scarce few of these back into the network, and opening all of its pores when it rains to absorb as much water as possible. On the beaches and the coasts, this automatic, chemical-response driven behavior translates into constantly gulping down sea water and pushing it into the network, using nutrients from said network to finance the energy-heavy activity. This benefits the network as a whole greatly, and translates into more nutrients for the gelatus pumping. The shallow water of the near-land coast is now covered in glittering fields of gelatus, constantly moving a common resource into a region where it is scarce.

Oftentimes, genetic variation leads to a gelatus not contributing to any of its symbiotes, simply living off of the nutrients supplied to it. These groups, much like a cancer, spread rapidly in an area, starving and out-competing the very stiltbulbs which provide the necessary flow of sugars and water. With their pipelines shriveled up and inoperable, these parasites die off rapidly.

Alpha members grow separately, but are usually found on the outskirts of these mats. Provuci will gather the genetic material from the alpha members, passing it onto the beta members as before. The reproductive cells of alpha and beta members combine inside of the beta individual, and are passed into the gamma via their shared pores, where they will gestate as usual. The new buds are then carried to the edge of the mat by provuci, which insure that the sapling takes root. The hard shells of the buds are now carried into their adult form, giving the larger organisms support and protection against large herbivores and the environment.