Walking Mountain

Walking Mountain
Image from Steve Bowers
A Walking Mountain wades through the shallow, nutrient-rich hydrocarbon seas of Tanhauser

Dinophytus sapiens - Consolidation Age xenophyta provolve.

Originally found only on the Utopia Sphere PetroGaian garden world Tanhauser. "Walking Mountains" are so called due to the their large size and tendency to travel short distances over a period of years. An individual is actually a community organism comprised of various mobile autotrophic species and their symbiotic insectoid companions. Each Mountain is supported by hundreds of paddle-like legs, which can propel the Mountain through the mire of the shallow hydrocarbon seas but cannot support its weight on land.

These large, complex creatures were already semisentient when first encountered; biotechnicians from the Utopia Sphere succeeded in creating a new clade of Mountain in 3800 AT which were capable of communicating with each other and with Terragens via subsonic sound waves. This was one of the first successful xenoprovolve species.

Typical representatives of Dinophytus sapiens are generally considered to be superbright toposophic with extremely slow cognition/computation cycles performed entirely through hormonal and pheromonal pattern manipulation. Unenhanced lifespan is believed to be 104 years and reproduction is rare and apparently accomplished sexually through cross pollination and airborne seed pods.

Rumors that the Dinophytus sapiens provolve was originally performed by Ruby Marine are widely considered to be false as are rumors that the species is a result of a Genen proof of concept.

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Development Notes
Text by Bill Glover
Initially published on 27 December 2002.