Xenobiology is the study of non-Terragen life. This field includes the study of exotic and extremely non-terragen biospheres such as those that gave rise to the Muuh or the Soft Ones, and completely inorganic naturally evolved forms such as the Rheolithoids, as well as the descendants of xenobiological forms known to be partially or entirely of artificial origin, such as the life forms produced by the Halogenics, or the various Cybyotan worlds. Even the evolved mechosphere at Stanislaw has received attention from xenobiologists. Though only a few worlds rival the wealth of life forms present on Old Earth before the Great Dying, a single biosphere is still an entire field in itself from the point of view of ordinary sophonts, though comparative xenobiology is a rich field as well.
Alkaliphile - Text by M. Alan Kazlev An organism with optimal growth at pH values above 10. A type of extremophile.
Animal - Text by Stephen Inniss Strictly speaking, any member of a major group of related Old Earth organisms that are multicellular, eukaryotic, motile at some or all stages of life, and digest their food internally. More broadly, any similar biological organism, Terragen or otherwise, and natural or otherwise.
Astrobiology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev The science of origin, distribution, and evolution of nonterragen life.
Barkbat - Text by Todd Drashner A large predator, the barkbat clings to the trunks of the skywracks and uses its wings in a gliding flight to hunt other creatures that live in the canopy.
Chlorine Worlds - Text by Stephen Inniss Chlorine worlds are like typical Eugaian worlds, with one important difference: the planet has an unusually high proportion of chlorine, and the process of photosynthesis releases free chlorine in significant quantities.
Exobiology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Also Xenobiology, Astrobiology. During the Atomic, Information and Interplanetary periods this was the speculative study of biology, biochemistry, and life forms on worlds other than Earth (at that time no non-Terragen life was known through direct contact). The termed was coined by atomic age scientist Carl Sagan. It is now very rarely used.
Exotic Biochemistry, Alien - Text by Anders Sandberg Although Non-Terragen biochemistries are rarer than terrestrial ecologies, they are not uncommon. Cold ammonia or methane ecologies are rarer, while chlorine, neutron star, free space or plasma ecologies are very rare.
Extremophile - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A rather chauvinistic term for any biological organism, whether terragen or xenobiont, natural or tweaked, that requires extreme (non-Earthlike) environments for growth or metabolism.
Gregor's Mat - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Terrestrial colonial mat-like organisms, made of trillions of amoeba-like cells, indigenous to Euripedes Mey.
Halophile - Text by M. Alan Kazlev An organism requiring high concentrations of salt for growth or optimal metabolism. A type of extremophile.
Hellswarm - Text by Todd Drashner A creature that combines all the less pleasant traits or aspects of terragen Africanized 'killer' bees, army ants, and locusts. On its homeworld, a hellswarm can strip a region of life as effectively as a major forest fire. The only defense is to either run away or burrow deep underground. Fortunately, the swarm is a short lived phenomenon, living only long enough to swarm, feed, breed, lay eggs in the soil, and die. The entire life cycle of the creature is only about 3 Terran days. The eggs may lie dormant in the ground for many years until environmental conditions (usually a warm, wet summer) triggers a mass hatching and a new hellswarm.
Jovibiota - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Generic term for large aerial xenobiota (sometimes called "gasbags") that have evolved on a number of Jovian Class worlds. Although vaguely similar in form, genetic and biochemical analysis reveals that nearly all evolved independently, hence the Jovibiotic set of morphotypes is an attractor that has appeared a number of times on different worlds.
Khowagong - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Large aquatic animals not unlike a Terragen sea slug crossed with a dugong, native to the Pelagic planet Tamarinde (Phoebus Prefecture, Solar Dominion).
Psychrophile - Text by M. Alan Kazlev An organism that requires or prefers cold for growth and metabolism. A type of extremophile. Common on some Europan planets and moons; in rare instances even evolve an intelligent star-faring civilization (the Muuh being the only known current example).
Puffer Patch - Text by Todd Drashner A small predator native to Ridgewell, that spends most of its life in a sessile state, but is capable of using metamorphosis to change to a mobile form when environmental conditions require it.
Radial Symmetry - Text by Stephen Inniss Symmetry around a central axis; organisms with radial symmetry have a dorsal and ventral surface but are roughly similar on every side, though they may show fourfold, fivefold, sixfold, or eightfold symmetry.
Rollerox - Text by Todd Drashner Plains dwelling, herbivorous creature indigenous to Nui Spiridonia. of their world, using their sonar to navigate.
Ruach Singers - Text by Anders Sandberg Tube-like predators from Ruach, able to swim like sea snakes in gas giant atmospheres. They get their name for their extremely powerful sound, which they use for navigation, internal signaling, mating displays and as a sonic weapon. Mirrored Owl hosts.
Ruach Toroids - Text by Anders Sandberg Natural inhabitants of Ruach. Symbiotic autotrophs-heterotrophs shaped like translucent toroids, covered with brightly colored photosynthetic symbionts. They filter nutrients through the central hole, which they can also use as a jet to move away from danger and steer. Mirrored Owl hosts.
Space Amoeba, Giant - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Cosmoamoeba gigas lagoonensis One of the curious phenomena discovered in the Lagoon Nebula (and later in the Trifid Nebula) are a population of amorphous blobs that vary in size from 500 meters when contracted to several tens of kilometers when extended.
Stiltwalker - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Large tetrapodal terrestrial herbivore indigenous to the savannas of the northern continent of Calinder's World (Lacustric Subtype - Cygexba middle region, near the Zoeific Biopolity border - Eden Institute Scientific Reserve).
Xenobiochemistry - Text by Stephen Inniss Xenobiochemistry is the study of the comparative biochemistry of Terragen, neogen, and xenobiont organisms. This includes alternatives to water as a solvent, alternative photosynthetic processes (xenophotosynthesis), and many other topics.
Xenobiologist - Text by M. Alan Kazlev One who studies non-terragen lifeforms. Most survey and research vessels have at least one Xenobiologist (or equivalent turing- or superturingrade ai or expert system) on board. While some xenobiologists have a generic knowledge that is applied to xenobiota and xenecologies in general, most tend to specialize in an individual world, specific environment or world type, or even a single alien taxon or species.
Xenobiont - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Generic term for alien (non-terragen) lifeform. May be animal-like, plant-like, protistan, exotic chemistry, or any other possibility. Does not have to be sophont. In fact just as on Earth, very few alien species ever evolve any measure of cognitive intelligence.
Xenobiota - Text by M. Alan Kazlev The totality of non-terragen life on a specific planet or non-terragen ecosystem.