Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Weird Wendsday - Space Bovine -Tardigrade

No. Enc.: 1d6
Alignment: Neutral
Move: 120'
Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: 36
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Morale: 12
Possibly one of the most passive life forms come out of the vats of the Clone masters is the so called Space Bovine. This huge asteroid mining insect like life form was  engineered from the common microscopic water bear Created over 500 billion successive generations to the largest size reaching almost some transport ships. The Space Bovine is one of the most valuable animals ever spliced.
Tardigrades are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of −273 °C (−459 °F), close to absolute zero, temperatures as high as 151 °C (304 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than other animals, and almost a decade without water.These Tardigrades secret a strong acid which allows it to move through rock as easily as we move through air. These creatures are placed on asteroids where they dissolve much of the waste mass & sweat the most valuable metals. These creatures can tunnel out asteroids for transport ships, colonies, & many other valuable services.
The brain includes multiple lobes, and is attached to a large ganglion below the oesophagus, from which a double ventral nerve cord runs the length of the body. The cord possesses one ganglion per segment, each of which produces lateral nerve fibres that run into the limbs. Many species possess a pair of rhabdomeric pigment-cup eyes, and there are numerous sensory bristles on the head and body. The creature excels at telepathic contact & is able to work in a symbolic relationship with their handlers. Logical & passive these creatures are the backbone of  the economy of many parts of the universe. Their skins & shells are used in many space ship parts & heat shields. The animals are so valuable that there is quite a trade in Space Bovine rustling. Many life forms use, trade, & breed these animals.
Tardigrades have been known to withstand the following extremes while in this state:
  • Temperature – tardigrades can survive being heated for a few minutes to 151 °C (424 K),[citation needed] or being chilled for days at -200 °C (73 K),[citation needed] or for a few minutes at -272 °C (~1 degree above absolute zero).[8]
  • Pressure – they can withstand the extremely low pressure of a vacuum and also very high pressures, more than 1,200 times atmospheric pressure. It has recently been demonstrated that tardigrades can survive the vacuum of open space and solar radiation combined for at least 10 days.[8] Recent research has revealed that they can also withstand pressure of 6,000 atmospheres, which is nearly six times the pressure of water in the deepest ocean trench.[9]
  • Dehydration – tardigrades have been shown to survive nearly 10 years in a dry state.[16] When encountered by extremely low temperatures, their body composition goes from 85% water to only 3%. As water expands upon freezing, dehydration ensures the tardigrades do not get ripped apart by the freezing ice (as waterless tissues cannot freeze).[17]
  • Radiation – tardigrades can withstand median lethal doses of 5,000 Gy (of gamma-rays) and 6,200 Gy (of heavy ions) in hydrated animals (5 to 10 Gy could be fatal to a human).[18] The only explanation thus far for this ability is that their lowered water state provides fewer reactants for the ionizing radiation.[citation needed] In September 2007, a space launch (Foton-M3) showed that tardigrades can survive the extreme environment of outer space for 10 days. After being rehydrated back on Earth, over 68% of the subjects protected from high-energy UV radiation survived and many of these produced viable embryos, and a handful survived full exposure to solar radiation.[8]
  • Environmental toxins – tardigrades can undergo chemobiosis—a cryptobiotic response to high levels of environmental toxins. However, these laboratory results have yet to be verified 
Hypsibius dujardini has a compact genome and a generation time of about two weeks, and it can be cultured indefinitely and cryopreserved.
There is one predator engineered life form that is quite surly & will attack with its claws for 1d8 points of acidic damage. This life form is rare at present but may become a problem given time.
More information here


  1. Clever! Of course, the existence of space cows praises the possibility of space cowboys...

  2. Thanks Trey! I'm trying to do some actual "animals" that might survive the extremes of space without being the traditional monster scene. We've got aliens, we've got interesting stuff but what else is there?

  3. Nice! We've been looking at these critters as a source for a good monster ourselves--and we really like what you've done with them. The predatory-version sounds nasty. So does the idea of a tardigrade-headed space-minotaur...

  4. And I'm going to add this one to that PDF, too!


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