Last chapter recap: Lin gets some photosynthetic cells for its own use and finds some organisms that die after spraying out some substances.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, and WanderingGummiOfDoom.
Chapter Thirty Change
Lin liked using warheads for exploring. Right now, there were three types of warheads, the basic kind, the land kind, and the deep sea kind. The basic kind had a water spout and two flat tentacles to swim as well as an air sac inside to float in order to return to the Leviathan.
Unlike the mothership which could store cells inside its body, Leviathan would deconstruct the units that returned to it, and turn them into nutrients to store for next time. This way, the units would not take up space, and would not increase the waste of food because of the large number of units. It was a perfect plan.
Lin threw a warhead into the opening. It swam around and observed the surrounding environment.
This was a completely oval-shaped cavern, large enough to fit ten Leviathans. Organic debris floated everywhere, and there were the shells of many organisms at the bottom of the cavern. It felt strange.
This was … …
Lin noticed the walls were actually made out of a kind of chitin substance even though they appeared like rock. Also, other than a coating against corrosion, the sides were extremely smooth. An organism like the trilobite that could only climb and couldn’t swim would not be able to get back out if it dropped in.
So this was a trap? It would appear that this was a large organism. Lin had never seen an organism larger than the Leviathan before. They buried their enormous bodies into the sand, and then exposed the trap opening. When other organisms entered, they would close the opening, and then spray out dissolving fluid to digest the organisms that had fallen in.
While it didn’t have anything to lure other organisms into here, there was no other place on this beach other than these openings to hide. Therefore, they didn’t need bait to lure in organisms looking to hide from predators.
They might not be interested in the warhead because it was too small. Or maybe they would wait for the organisms to reach a certain number before they tried to dissolve the organisms.
So interesting. Lin wanted to see how the inside of this organism was constructed. It would call them “Giant Trap Worm”.
Lin could only see the trap part of the Giant Trap Worm. If Lin wanted to see the entire organism, it most likely had to dig the other organism up out of the sand.
But could Lin dig out such an enormous organism?
It didn’t feel it was reasonable.
Since this was the case, Lin had to use other methods. Lin just had to force it to come out.
As Lin thought, Lin created a new cell type. It was a spherical cell with a water spout and was covered in tentacles with stinger cells. Lin called it the “herder.”
Lin created hundreds of herders to float above the Giant Trap Worm’s trap and used them to drive off all organisms that closed.
At the same time, Lin released some flying saws to help the herders.
This way, the giant trap worm would have to come out when there was no food for a long time.
The Leviathan just had to wait at the side. While Lin rarely had the Leviathan stop, when it encountered unknown organisms, Lin thought there was a need to study, especially this organisms being so large.
During the waiting time, Lin thought it could do some other things, such as … … research.
The cells of the flat fish which had killed itself had underwent some changes … …
At the beginning, they had been spherical cells but they slowly changed. This kind of cell started to secret a thin membrane and then started to divide under the membrane, forming organisms, spines and other structures to finally become a small flat fish.
The small flat fish would squeeze out of the membrane and then … … there was nothing more.
They should grow up to become the large flat fish but what was the meaning? To create these small flat fish, those large ones had to die?
Lin couldn’t understand it.
Why would these organisms do such weird things?
Maybe it was like this? Lin suddenly thought of a reason … … it should be to create more flat fish. The flat fish had released a great number of cells. They should have used up all of the nutrients in their bodies to create these cells.
However, was there a need to make themselves die? And why would they use such a method. Couldn’t they just create a new smaller one inside their bodies?
Also, Lin found the flat fish had two types with different organs inside their bodies. One kind of organ was sac-like and could produce round cells. The other was tubular, smaller, and could produce cells with tentacles.
When those two kind of cells merged together, they would form into small flat fish!
… … Why would they do this? Create two different of the same species and then have them combine cells together?
Lin could not understand … …Lin found that it was growing more different than other organisms.
What was correct? What was incorrect?
Of course, victory was correct! Lin would ignore other organisms and advance along its path of victory.
Lin found the small flat fish couldn’t automatically grow. It guessed the nutrients had been used up so it had to get food from outside.
Lin gave some food to these flat fish. It felt watching them grow was pretty interesting.
Now it was boring.
The “herder” kept all the organisms coming near the giant trap worm away so it couldn’t obtain food. But Lin didn’t know how long it would take to force the giant trap worm to come out. Maybe it couldn’t move and would just die there.
However, Lin would wait and see for at least two day and nights.
As the Leviathan became bored, at the initial base, which was the main base, some special things occurred.
The main base was on an enormous flat rock. Lin had hollowed out this enormous rock, and shoved its organs into the rock. Only the hunting tentacles and the rearing umbrella for the green cells were left on the flat surface.
The food here was abundant and Lin did not have to worry. The base itself was strong enough. Adding on the mothership and the protector, Lin didn’t have to fear other hunters. However, Lin was concerned with one matter.
The changes in the surrounding environment.
At the start, Lin had used the mothership to smash a hole in the ice in order to get out. However, the ice had not melted and slowly grew. The surrounding water became even colder. As it started to turn cold, many organisms left this place.
Right now, the ice had spread close to the main base. It looked like an enormous and thick wall of ice. Other than the leaf worms and other stationary organisms, the surrounding organisms had left.
Should Lin move away the base?
Lin was hesitating on deciding this matter. But the base was already inside the rock. It would be troublesome to get them completely out … …
Crack … …
Suddenly, vibrations passed through the water and interrupted Lin’s thoughts.
The nearby ice wall grew enormous cracks under this vibration. The leaf worms on the sand twisted as though they wanted to leave.
Some relatively small leaf worms cut off their handle in the sand and floated away with the water current.
They might have absorbed the gases in the water in order to float up like that.
The leaf worms were secured in the sand using a root-like structure. Even when Lin had smashed them in the past, they did not move. Now they could cut themselves free and leave?
What was making them do this … …
The entire region of water continued to shake. However, only the region surrounding the main base shook. The abyss base nearest to the main base did not feel anything, but could see many organisms swimming over from the direction of the main base.
The ice had fragmented under the vibration. It appeared something was about to occur.
This place was still shaking. As it shook, the eyeball antennas on the base could see the light above growing bright. This felt as though … … the water surface was getting closer. Was the water surface lowering?
No, no, this place was rising! This patch of sand.
Lin immediately had the mothership which had been by the base charge out at full speed! It had to immediately leave this area!
As for the base, Lin had the “giant shield tentacles” growing at the perimeter of the base curve inwards. This way, they could protect the entire base. The tentacles had been specially designed. When all of the tentacles wrapped around the base, not even a virus could get out!
Editor’s comment: Lin’s confusion with the development of sexual reproduction and subsequent male and female reproductive organs is actually super funny to me. Because no one in the scientific community really understands the driving force for this in the real world either!
Basic evolutionary theory suggests there must be an advantage for each incremental change in a species development/evolution. Meaning every point in evolution generally leads to an advantage even if it is suboptimal outside that the circumstances the trait evolved in. Think sickle cell anemia, awful disease that leads to blood clotting and all sorts of other problems, BUT it counters malaria which would kill large proportions of people that contract it.
Back to the point though, the oocyte and the female sex takes on a large burden in reproduction; eggs are much larger resource investments than sperm. In live birthing species pregnancy becomes an impediment to movement and, in the long run, health and longevity. The advantages to maintaining sexual reproduction are largely in genetic diversity and specialization of the sexes but these traits logically must evolve at after different sexes evolve, so it is a bit of a mystery as to why sexual reproduction came about in the first place, but whatever the reason it must be really good which is why it is so wide spread. The main theory is that at some early evolutionary stage the “female” sex had some advantage to start with, and then got trapped in a evolutionary path they could no longer diverge from and if they did it lead to the death of their genetic line. In the same way male birds of paradise have flashy useless and largely disadvantageous secondary sexual characteristics; but are stuck in a cycle that forces them to further develop these traits as reduction in the traits would result in 0 reproduction. Other good examples of such suboptimal or maladaptive genetic competition between sexes are male cocks where males fake signs of health and strength by developing a vulnerability to parasites that produce a hypercolorization of their red combs, and liger/tigons in which parental lineage (male tiger vs male lion) leads to a large difference in phenotypic expression of species traits.
Zoology/genetics/ecology rant over. As you were.
Translator Ramblings: As always, the author skips over the science and now organisms have the magical ability to sexually reproduce.
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter Thirty Four “On the Ice River”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter Thirty Three “Under the Ice River”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter Thirty Two “Superorganism”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter Thirty One “Vibrations”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter Thirty “Change”