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4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution - Volume 2 - Chapter 13

Published at 22nd of May 2018 07:34:15 AM

Chapter 13

Chapter Thirteen Prelude to the Storm


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Lin stayed on the sand and observed this strange scene .

First, the leaf worms sprayed out large volumes of their cells and then these cells combined together in a wondrous fashion . Then a group of round disk worms with long tentacles were lured over by the cells .

Lin was puzzled . Why did the leaf worms spray so many cells into the water? Wouldn’t they expend a great amount of energy doing this? And it had attracted so many strange organisms .

Lin did not want to provoke these strange disk-like beings and decided to first observe . Lin calculated roughly that these disk organisms should be easy to deal with . Their round bodies should be soft . Lin could see that their bodies would quickly expand and contract to swim . The organisms had many thin tentacles so their strength would not be great .

However, these organisms were here in great numbers . They swam through the clouds of cells that the leaf worms had sprayed out . Their tentacles stretched and curled as though they were going to pull their prey into their body .

“Jellyfish . ” 1

These round disks with tentacles seemed to be called by this new term that appeared in Lin’s mind . Lin didn’t feel satisfied with this name, but it couldn’t think of a new name .

Lin wondered if it should attempt an attack on the jellyfish . If they were easy to defeat, Lin would have a new food supply .

At this time, Lin found the surrounding light slowly dimming .

This was … … night? Was it about to arrive? Lin had almost forgotten the matter of night because after the oxygen danger, night had never occurred . However, this time, night seemed to come much slower than in the past . Why?

Entering darkness was not good . The small flashing exploding balls could not illuminate the entire mothership . Because Lin had not experienced night after creating the mothership, it hadn’t produced many flashing exploding balls .

Lin first had the nurturers that were rearing the green cells return into the mothership . Then Lin had the protector and the mothership lean together on the sand to prepare to face the night .


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As the light dimmed, the jellyfish gave off a blue glow as they floated . As the surroundings became darker, they illuminated this region of water .

Beautiful … … were they related to the luminescent microbes?

The term “beautiful” hadn’t appeared in Lin’s thoughts for a long time . It looked at the flashing jellyfish floating through the water . Suddenly, Lin saw a jellyfish float over and near where the mothership and the protector .

Should Lin attack?

The flashing jellyfish swam over the sand . Lin could easily attack it . Lin only worried that if it attacked, would the jellyfish swarm above attack together?

Just as Lin hesitated, the jellyfish suddenly changed direction . The jellyfish didn’t appear as though it was attacking . It slowly floated past Lin’s mothership, but then its tentacle lightly brushed past a small piece of the mothership’s skin .

So painful!

Lin felt a strong pain spread among the cells where the jellyfish had touched . The pain even started to spread into the blood vessels connecting the ectoderm!

Was this a virus? No, it didn’t seem the same? This should be a venom? Lin must immediately stop this!

Lin spread a strong thought for the cells surrounding the pain to die . The heart stopped beating . At the same time, the blood vessels in the area that had been invaded split apart and stopped the venom from going deeper .

Lin no longer felt pain . Its emergency actions had been good . Lin temporarily stoppered where the blood vessels had broken off . Its heart started beating again . Then Lin sent out the devourers to look at the wounded ectoderm .

These were … … stingers?


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The devourers found that a great number of cells were stuck to the dead ectoderm . The cells each had a hole and a thread coming out of the hole . On the other end of the thread was a stinger . These stingers were stuck on Lin’s ectoderm as though they were the ones to inject the venom .

The venom spread through the cells along the cell passages that distributed nutrients . However, when Lin had all the cells surrounding the venom stop all activity, the venom could not be transported .

Fortunately, only a small piece of ectoderm was damaged . This kind of minor wound was easy to heal . But even if the venom continued to spread, it would become diffuse as it spread, and in the end, reach a concentration where it could not damage cells . The venom was not a virus, it was unable to constantly grow .

However, Lin now decided to kill the jellyfish .

The jellyfish had not swam far away . Lin would let the protector try first . Lin wanted to see if this resurrected oval worm was useful . If it was attacked by the swarm, the protector’s hard shell would protect it .

As Lin thought about this, it had the protector climb over . When it climbed under the jellyfish, Lin realized a problem .

The protector was unable to hold onto the jellyfish floating in the water with its pincers for a simple reason . Its segmented limb could not bend .

Oh, never mind . It would just act .

Lin had the mothership charge towards the target, and then swung the hammer onto the jellyfish’s disk body .

The jellyfish was thrown out leaving a stream of bubbles . At the same time, it flew out and landed on the nearby sand .

Lin immediately had the protector charge and grab the jellyfish’s tentacle before it started swimming again . Then Lin pressed the jellyfish down and tore it apart .

This was very simple . Just like Lin thought, the surrounding jellyfish did not move . They didn’t seem to know that one of their own had been killed . This meant that they didn’t communicate between themselves .


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Lin released large number of devourers . Lin decided to see what the structure of the jellyfish was before eating it .

The devourers neared the jellyfish and observed carefully . Lin found that the tentacles were covered with holes . Each hole had a stinger cell . Lin felt some fear at the density of the holes . If a large number of tentacles touched Lin, Lin might have had to kill off the entire ectoderm .

Didn’t Lin also have its own stinger cells? However, Lin’s stinger cells did not have such penetrative power . Lin had not used them for a long time .

For the first time, Lin encountered single cells that could penetrate the mothership’s ectoderm, even though they grew on a multicellular organism . Lin thought that it had to harden the ectoderm more . If it was as hard the protector’s shell, there would be no problems .

The jellyfish had a simple structure with a few sacs without any blood vessels . These sacs swelled with tentacles that had stinger cells . Lin found these tentacles would also secrete dissolving fluid . These sacs most likely were used to dissolve food . Other than these structure, not much else existed . The jellyfish’s structure was a great deal less complex than the sea star .

However, this simple jellyfish, and the leaf worms were much bigger than the sea star . Why was this?

Could only simple organisms grow big? But the oval worm had been large, and could be considered complex .

Lin ate all of the jellyfish except the parts with the stinger cells . By the end, the surroundings had completely darkened . In this region of water, everything was black except for the light from the jellyfish .

Lin paid close attention to the surroundings . Fortunately, no jellyfish drifted over . Lin had finished repairing the wound on the ectoderm and had some cells consume the remnants of the venom . It attempted to have the cells evolve resistance .

The jellyfish appeared to finish eating the cells the leaf worms had sprayed out . Lin found as they gradually decreased in number many jellyfish were swimming into the distance .

With the departure of each jellyfish, the surroundings would dim slightly . When they all left, Lin could not see any light .

It felt as though it hadn’t experienced complete darkness for a long time … . … Lin felt that it should make a large light structure .

“Gulp … …”

Suddenly, unusual vibrations came from the water .

What was that?

Lin’s sense tentacle detected clear changes in the vibrations of water . It felt as though … … something enormous moved .

As the water shifted, countless smaller vibrations occurred . Lin knew that was the feeling of sand being upturned . Was something climbing out of the sand?

No, the surroundings sand granules shook as well!

Lin hesitated . Then it had the mothership slowly swim upwards . However the protector that couldn’t swim was left on the sand .

The protector didn’t have eyes, but it had sensory tentacles . It could also feel the vibrations in the water .

The vibrations on the entire sand patch became even more evident . Something seemed to be occurring .

 

 

Disk organisms in the Ediacaran Era include Cyclomedusa, Ediacaria, and Rugoconites . The disk fossils seemed to be circular with tentacle like ridges so scientists initially thought they were similar to jellyfish . The present hypothesis is that these fossils were made by cell colonies, or organisms on the ocean floor rather than free-swimming jellyfish .  

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