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Janian Kingdom: Hyphafaozoa by TheSeaLemon Janian Kingdom: Hyphafaozoa by TheSeaLemon

Welcome to Janus! This is a world building/ speculative biology project I've been working on in my spare time. I will definitely be showing more of this world in the future, as I'm quite fond of it and it's curious inhabitants.

Janus is a tidally locked planet orbiting Portunes, a class M red dwarf star. Unlike most other inhospitable red dwarf planets, Janus was one of the fortunate few able to develop the stability required to host life. Janus weighs in at about 1.42 times Earth gravity, with a fairly typical radius of 1.6 Earth radii. It's atmosphere is about 85% of Earth's, and rich in CO2, H2O and O2.. This cloudy, thin atmosphere is the instrumental factor in maintaining Janus' tenuous habitability, distributing heat from the day side to the night side and making most of its surface at least somewhat hospitable.  

The dominant group of extant creatures on Janus' surface are the Hyphafaozoa, multicellular triploid organisms sharing both fungus and animal-like traits. Almost all hyphafaozoans are heterotrophs, and many exploit both aquatic and terrestrial lifestyles. Hyphafaozoans, unlike terrestrial animals, have PNA (peptide nucleic acids) rather than DNA. The robust structure of PNA, as well as their triploid heritage, is a relic of their star's turbulent past. Triploidy allowed early organisms to avoid harmful mutations, and PNA's sturdy nature provided a decreased likelihood of it being damaged. Modern hyphafaozoa are very resistant to cancer-like illness, though some have purposely increased rates of mutations in their gametes to increase their otherwise lacking genetic adaptability.

Certain hyphafaozoan clades present with increased amounts of hydrogen peroxide in their body fluids, which serves to help increase their range over Janus' surface. The increased hydrogen peroxide makes them more resistant to freezing in cold temperatures, while allowing them better water retention in the planet's hotter climes.

At their most basic, hyphafaozoans are multicellular heterotrophic organisms with two major cell types. Cells can either form a cilliated cover layer, or grow to produce hyphae like structures for food, water, and nutrient absorption. More derived clades also develop contractile, muscle-like layers. This differentiation allows hyphafaozoans to be grouped into three major clades: the atela, bitela, and triplotela.

Atelans encompass only one extant phyla, and have no truly defined tissue layers. Cells can migrate through the organism, and redefine themselves as different cell types based on the organism's need.

Bitelans have both a defined cover layer and hyphae producing layer. They may have vaguely defined organ-like structures, but tend to remain rather simple.

Triplotelans are comprised of a cover layer, a muscular contractile layer, and an internal hyphae producing layer. These differentiate further in more derived organisms, forming complex organ systems developed from one of these three initial tissue types.

These three main clades can be divided further to encompass Janus' main hyphafaozoan phyla.
You can see their cladogram here

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salpfish1 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I like the idea of animals using using PNA! Many excellent concepts.:D (Big Grin) 
Glacial23 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'd love to be able to flesh out the molecular biology of my creations the way you do, I just do not know enough on the subject...

But truly, your exobiology projects are inspirational. You think out every single detail - the biology, the cladistics, the evolutionary history. Probably the best spec evo projects out there.
And on top of that, you do really great art!

I hope you continue making awesome content into the future :).
miguelopazo Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
they are surrealistic
Feath3rFace Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015
Looks like watercolour, I'm a fan
TheSeaLemon Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is watercolor! Though the crisper lines are from pen ;)
Thank you! 
WorldBuildersInc Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I like the idea of mutation-resistant DNA, but wouldn't that slow the evolutionary process a great deal? :/
TheSeaLemon Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
By themselves, PNA and triploidy might slow down the evolutionary process. These factors were evolved early in their life's history as a mechanism to combat harsh radiation during their star's violent flaring period (red dwarfs sometimes to through these in their younger years). 

Later on, when the star calms down, Janian creatures evolve methods of gamete production that are prone to more variability. Organisms with increased mutation rates in their gametes are selected for their increased adaptability. 
WorldBuildersInc Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Wow! You've clearly thought this through well! :D I think I've found another worldbuilder to watch! ;)
TheSeaLemon Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww, thank you so much!
Thinking through things is almost a curse though :XD:
I'll want to work on a sentient creature's culture and technology, but then get bogged down because I feel like I need to flesh out climate and geology first, haha! 
WorldBuildersInc Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
No problem, it's my pleasure! :)
It is a blessing and a curse, I'm in the same boat. XD damned OCD
Malicious-Monkey Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is wonderful. Not many speccers address genetics and cell bio in such detail, but here it adds an extra layer of depth that makes organisms like these seem not only plausible, but probable.
TheSeaLemon Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh man, thank you so much! Your complement means a lot... your work is wonderful!
I've actually worked out how these "animals" differentiate tissue layers and go through gastrulation as well :) 
I'll probably put that up soon, even if it's a bit dry... It's hard to make that stuff not come across like a textbook! 
Ryan-Bowers Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Theese are so awesome 
Tarturus Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great designs and fascinating life forms. I quite like how they combine fungi-like and animal-like traits and how they have PNA instead of DNA.
Rodlox Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015
you're back.  welcome back!!

scariest one for me, is the lower right - compost, a black smoker, and needles all wrapped up in one.

the ones that I'm curious about, are the two blue ones, and the two green ones. (the black one in lower left it almost looks mineral - a fossil?)

fantastic art, all of them.

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Submitted on
March 3, 2015
Image Size
5.9 MB


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