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[edit] Surf

Surf is a habitable planet with a 80% water content on the surface, including ice. It is the fourth planet from it's central star, Briggax (Classification F5V, Luminosity 1.9).

Other than an extensive ring system, Turf is the only natural satellite to this water world. Turf orbits around Surf every 31.5 days and contributes to significant wave and tidal actions, causing volcanism on this world.

Distance from Central Star: 239.565.913 km

Radius: 6,153 km

Gravity: 1.35G

Rotation: 30 hours

Orbital Period: 672.82 days

Mean Temperature: 278K/5C/42F

Atmosphere: He 26%, O2 22%, N2 14%, CO2: 6%

Water/Ice Index: 80%

Mostly Harmless.

Surf and turf.png

[edit] Surface Map

Surf and turf surface map.png Surf and turf surface map terrain.png

Surf Combines an overall temp of 278K/5C/42F with a high helium concentration and high gravity along with 80% of it's surface being covered in water, most of it deep seas, resulting in several unusual environments.

[edit] Flora

Land based Flora: With the exception of along the coasts, most land based Flora on surf consists of lichens and small shrubs, adapted to absorb the orange hues caused by the high concentration of helium in the atmosphere. Most are comparatively low to the ground, as there are few mountains on the land and winds caused by weather patterns and tidal action continually scour along the surface. The majority of them are hardy and give little fruit, instead letting the wind carry their seeds for germination. There are a few notable exceptions however:

Ice-Biter Moss: This particular moss has a soft blue hue to it, and when rubbed against releases an oil that causes numbness if the oil contacts open pores or mucus membranes: Studies are currently underway to analyze future refinement of this oil into a pain-suppression drug.

Glass Trees: Located along the coast, these unusual plants appear at first glance to be hardwood trees; however, the unique environment of Surf has resulted in them having unusual characteristics. Firstly, their outer bark is semi-translucent, allowing for the light to shine through into a layer of photosensetive cells which enhance it's photosynthetic effeciency. This results in the tree appearing to be covered in a smoky layer of glass-like bark, with the photosynthetic cells underneath a bright purple. The leaves are also partially covered in a layer of transparent keratin, making them resistant to being removed by the wind as well as making them appear to be encased in clear crystal. This results in the tree's continually making a soft sonic rhythem, like a wind chime, whenever the wind blows through them.

Water Based Flora: Due to most of it's surface being covered in water over deep oceanic trenches, shallow water Flora on Surf is not as developed nor as prevalent as Deep Water Flora which floats both on the surface and submerged. A great deal of the planets ecology is based on free-floating plants in the seas. Large sections of the planets oceans, sometimes as much as 10-12%, on any given day may appear yellow-orange or green from algeal blooms occuring on the surface as the ocean currents bring together floating 'islands' made up of microscopic plant and animal life, analgous to 'krill'. As the planet has only recently begun to be mapped, much is not currently known of it's Floral Aquaculture. There are some notable forms of plant life native to it's seas, however:

Glomp Grass: One of the few native plants which has evolved solely to live in shallow water, this large organism is in fact an aquatic predator. Glomp grass grows from spores which it's parent releases into the water, then anchors itself on rocks in water 2-8 meters deep. Once anchored, it extends tendrils, similar in appearance to kelp fronds, as it grows, supporting it's growth cycle via predation on microscopic plants or small fish that fall prey to it's tendrils. Each tendril is covered in tiny adhesive suckers, similar to an earth gecko, which grasp anything organic they contact and then slowly move it toward the base of the plant. Once it reaches the base of the plant, a mouth formed from plant matter covers it over and dissolves it using digestive enzymes, the nutrients of the prey feeding the plant. Once the digestion is complete, the mouth opens, releasing any bones or undigested body parts into the water. Though normally only a nuisance, large specimens up to 2 meters wide and 7 meters long have been observed, indicating that glomp grass could be hypothesised to feed on large fish or even bipeds, if one were unable to escape.

Eyemats: These colony organisms float on the surface of Surf's seas, and are in fact composed of several thousand to trillions of organisms less then a millimeter in size, which attach to one another and form free-floating masses. Specimens have been spotted via shuttlecraft as large as 30 meters across, with the possibility of larger specimens unable to be discounted. Two types have been observed; the first type is normally a soft blue in color, and derives it's food from photosynthesis by floating on the surface, deriving other nutrients from free floating particulates in the water. The second type is where the species derives it's name, and is a predatory filter feeder. This second type is normally a pinkish-orange, making it the same color as a Surf sunset, and tiny eyes are visible when observed from close range. This second type of eyemat partially derives nutrition from photosynthesis, but primairily hunts by floating and letting krill, small fish, or sometimes larger fish blunder into it. Contact with it releases a neurotoxin analgous in strength to an earth cobra, with each individual organism in the colony posessing a small stinger on the end of a muscular tentacle, the size of a sabosin hair. Once paralyzed, hooks built into the stingers hold it fast and let the organism slowly digest it alive. Despite this predatory behaviour, Eyemats are still considered plant-based due to their need for photosynthesis to survive.

[edit] Fauna

Most of Surf's land based fauna is unable to evolve at a rapid pace due to the lack of landmass; for this reason the most evolved organisms are usually located in the oceans, especially in the deep waters. Shallow Water Fauna is also uncommon, given how little of that habitat there is on the planet. Most land-based life is insect based, with a few amphibians and shellfish.

Land based Fauna: Most of the entirely land-based life-forms native to Surf are insects, with a few small amphibians reported. There are a few notable species however, including a rather aggressive predator, which have evolved.

Lobster Moose: by far the largest and most aggressive Amphibious/Aquatic Species yet seen on land, this organism has no known counterpart on another world. In appearance, the Lobster-Moose is analogous to a Lobster, if it were to have a bipedal torso attached to a normal lobsters body (a 'tauroid' configuration) and be equipped with proto-lungs enabling it to stand 1.8 meters tall at the torso-junction. A typical Lobster-Moose weighs in excess of 300 kilos and is the current land apex predator of Surf. It appears capable of speeds in excess of 50 km/h for short bursts. There is the possibility of farming the lobster moose in the future, as it's shell chitin is lightweight but equal in protective value to many modern combat armors without incorporating metals, and to quote one of the explorers who first landed on surf, it is "Delicious enough to be worth hauling along the butter."

Racketeers: This insect life-form is generally 3-4 centimeters long, possesses 8 legs, and a chitin shell which is uses to protect it's soft inner body as well as wings. It's coloration is notable, a mixture of red, blue, and white, with a bright red head, making it when flying appear to be a large red bulb with white and red surrounding it. Their name derives from the distinctive noise they make by rubbing their wings together, which allows them to communicate danger, hunt for mates, and other survival cues. They combine this with blowing air through small cavities in their legs, the movement of the legs changing the pitch to allow for subtle variation in their vocalizations. The first explorers on the planet noted this, describing the sound as somehow reminding them of an instrument called a 'calliope' and dubbing them 'racketeers' for all the noise.

Ocean Based Fauna: Oceanic life forms make up most of Surf's ecosystem, ranging in size from small invertebrates to large deep ocean dwelling fish dozens of meters in length. Due to the overall cooler temperatures in the water on Surf, most life-forms in the oceans have a relatively slow metabolic rate, and some specimens have adapted for high speed via efficient forms vs developing a faster metabolism. As the planet is only newly explored, it's biodiversity is only barely recorded. Additional studies will update the database as time goes on. Some notable Lifeforms are:

Gulper: Little more then a tube of muscle with eyes and a stomach, this large organism is known for attempting to eat anything and everything which gets within reach. Ranging in size from 1 to almost 20 meters, it's appearance is similar to a large flat-worm, with small eyes running along both sides, and a single gigantic maw in front. It seems to operate mostly on instinct, as when a shuttle craft flew by overhead, it breached the surface in an apparent attempt to attack the much larger shuttle, then proceeded to chase it for almost an hour before beaching itself in attempting to follow it onto land. The following autopsy revealed no central neural mass, but instead a diffuse nerve web, indicating the organism has no innate intelligence. It's flesh is inedible, having a high concentration of ammonia.

Crocosaur: A second large predator, this organism resembles a giant fish, but with a flattened, tooth filled maw similar to a crocodile. It generally inhabits deep ocean waters, 100-300 meters, and seems to hunt larger fish, generally in the 1-3 meter range. Only one specimen has been seen, so it's habits and behaviors are currently only hypothesized.

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