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Author Topic: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday  (Read 2172 times)

KittyTac

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InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« on: October 11, 2017, 09:14:20 am »

This place is an infinite mass of dirt, mud, and occasionally rocks that seem to be unaffected by pressure. Glowing streams of nutrient mixed with water flow from entire oceans of nutrient. On average, the streams are half a meter in diameter and occasionally form caves along their path. The caves are inhabited by ecosystems of bugs and fungi. Caves come in five sizes: Tiny (10 cm tall,  30 cm wide to both sides of the stream), Small (30 cm tall, 50 cm wide to both sides of the stream, Medium (2 m tall, 5 m to both sides of the stream, Large (5 m tall, 10 m to both sides), and Huge (10 m tall, whopping 100 m to both sides of the stream). The length of the caves varies. The streams are pumped upwards by special creatures, the Archimedean Anemones, that pump water upwards and feed on the organic flotsam in it. Now, what produces the flotsam? It's time for a list!

Normal Bugs:

General information: They feed on fungi (in the next section), and lay eggs either into the cave or into a stream so they drift into another cave. They can be split into a lot of categories, but the main 3 are Carnivore, Herbivore, and Detrivore. Carnivores and Herbivores don't need explaining, but Detrivores might not be familiar to people not familiar with biology, they feed on dead animal matter. The types can be combined.

Plain beetle: Herbivore. It is 2 cm long. It has no special features, tends to be among the only insects, besides the occasional wayward worm, that inhabit Tiny caves.

Worm: Special. Literally an earthworm from Earth Prime. Can dig. Doesn't eat fungi (more on those in the next section), instead absorbs nutrients and water from the soil. The tunnels it digs tend to turn into small streams, that occasionally expand into caves.

Circular saw beetle: Carnivore. It is 4 cm long. Yep. Its mandibles are too weak to kill a moving, struggling target, but it is split into 2 parts, connected with a thick tube of muscle, that has a bone blade attached to it. Yes, it's very sharp. The blade WILL cut anything it hits into small pieces. Its drawback is that the blade consumes a lot of nutrition while it is spinning, and if it bumps into anything hard while the blade is spinning, it will bisect the poor thing and make the blade fly off and probably get stuck in a wall.

Bombardier beetle: Carnivore. It's the same as the real-world one, i.e it can fire hot fumes at a target, killing or heavily injuring it. Drawback: if the reagent-emitting glands are injured and the chambers are made interconnected by the injury, the bug can explode rather violently.

Meteor beetle: Omnivore. A mutation of the Bombardier Beetle. It's colored in a dashing red color and fires a jet of fire as a form of defense. Drawback: Wildfires.

Moldhopper: Herbivore. It can hop large distances to escape from predators. Can't feed on mushrooms.

Slayer beetle: Carnivore. A mutation of either the Moldhopper or the Circular Saw Beetle. Like the Circular Saw Beetle, it can't kill living targets with its mandibles and has to rely on its blade. the blade is attached to the front and spins slowly, vertically, and at a limited arc, so it can't hack up targets like the Circular Saw Beetle. However, it can jump like the Moldhopper, impaling its targets with its blade, and riding that way until the victim bleeds out and can be eaten.

Parasite Worm: Special. About 3 mm long. It crawls or drops onto a bug from behind, burrows into it, and makes its home there. It reproduces there, inflating the bug, before the host explodes, spewing vile-smelling gas and worms everywhere. They can survive water.

Ants: Omnivore. They're like Earth Prime ants, but some of them attain sentience. They cultivate fungi and bugs and use their special properties for their benefit.

Millipede: Herbivore. They're long (10 cm), and can climb slopes. Drawback: Can't self-right if flipped belly-up.

Lumberjack bug: Herbivore. It has a blade with a limited rotation like the Slayer bug, but it's horizontal and spins faster. They digest mushroom caps better than other bugs.

Locust: Herbivore. Can fly. The plain flying herbivore.

Bee: Special. Can fly. They build hives on ledges and on cave walls. They eat spores. They have three castes: Queens, who are the only ones capable of reproducing, Drones, who collect spores to feed the Queen and Hornets, who protect the hive.

Big Worm: Special. Large worms that also feed on nutrients like their smaller counterparts. They tend to create the vast majority of the streams because their tunnels are long and wide.

Cuccu Bee, a bug that has evolved to mimic a drone bee, but is actually more closely related to ants. It largely plays along like a real bee but steals some of their resources for itself. A bit stronger than a real drone, it won't hesitate to try to eat them when alone with one. Their eggs, too, if it can get at any. (by Maximum Spin)

Curling worm: Not actually a worm, but a highly reduced neotenous grub; in rare cases, it can still be induced to molt into a beetle, but it doesn't do this naturally. Small with very permeable skin, they're usually content to drift through the water passively absorbing nutrients. They're very durable, however, and occasionally become facultative parasites if a larger bug drinks one (although the unlucky ones just get digested). They are not harmful in any particularly exciting way, but, because a typical bug contains so much nutrition to absorb, they can easily reproduce out of control as a parasite and cripple the host from malnutrition. Of course, if the host dies outside of water, the worms will desiccate within minutes, and, even if it dies in water, the competition for nutrients will tend to kill off all but a very few - their long-term-sustainable population density in all but the most nutrient-rich streams is perhaps eight to a cubic foot or so. They're named for the peculiar twisting way they move in order to produce microcurrents to carry fresh nutrients toward them. (by MaximumSpin)

Giant Slug: Omnivore. Green. Huge slugs, even by Earth Prime standards. Over 2 meters long and about 1 meter tall. Skids along caves, eating everything in its path, sweeping anthills and crumpling flowers. Drawback: Flammable. If anything over 60C hits it, it'll burn for a while, and if it fails to douse itself in water, it EXPLODES, with a large fireball. Can also fall to repeated ant bites. Will be expanded in another update.

Bumblebee: Special. A mutation of the Bee, most likely. They lack caste differentiation, are defenseless, and their colonies are small, up to 50 individuals, nesting in Mushbushes. They eat spores and rely on Mushbush protection to defend their colony. They make new Mushbushes intentionally as protection.

Digger Ant: Omnivore. They're a mutation of ants with huge mandibles that can dig extremely well. They don't have a queen, any individual can breed. Because of this, they're very numerous. They live far away from caves (about 20 meters or more). They're quite intelligent and can organize collecting food in the caves proper. They can sense the vibrations of moving insects from about a meter. They're the worst nightmare for ants, as they can evade all of their tunnels and go straight for the queen, ensuring the colony will die in a few years. Then they wage a war of attrition. Unfortunately, Giant Worms confuse them with their vibrations, causing sensory overload equivalent to strobe lights. Not that the worm cares, but it might cause them to bungle an assault on an anthill.

Giant Worm: Omnivore-Special. A huge worm, about five meters wide, and many dozens long. It feeds on nutrients in the ground and directly on streams. It can also eat some caves whole and disrupt the ecosystem of others by just passing through. Basically Sandworms, but less extreme.

Artillery Beetle: Carnivore. A large beetle, about 6 cm long, that has a tube on top of it, fixed on a hinge. The beetle has a few pods with poisonous material inside of its body, and it can load them inside the tub, then fire it at the target using a compressed air supply, hopefully poisoning it and killing it. Interestingly, it can be tamed by ants, who use them as... well, artillery.

Dragon Fly: Carnivore-Detrivore. An apex predator! It has a large, elongated body, with two pairs of large wings. It can emit fire from a gland on its head. It can escape from the same wildfires it started by flying up unless the convection gets it first. After its target is burned to death, it proceeds to eat the corpse. Or it can just descend and claw it apart.

More bugs will be added as you suggest them!

Normal Fungi:

General information: They feed on water and nutrient, occasionally feeding on bugs. The roots can grow along a vast horizontal distance, but to spread vertically or along steep slopes, they rely on flowers that emit spores that grow into more roots.

Gray mold: Nutrivore. The basic mold. Ant philosophers argue on whether it should be "gray" or "grey" mold.

Volcano pod: Nutrivore. Red color. Its flowers are marge and cone-shaped. They accumulate air inside before launching spores, causing the spores to shoot upwards, spreading onto ledges.

Swinging maw: Carnivore. Purple color. Its flowers are large and have a maw on a stalk on them that can snatch at bugs then eat them. Doesn't spread by roots, releases spores when a bug is digested.

Mesh mold: Nutrivore. Grayish green color. Has a mesh-like microstructure, so it can transfer nutrients to the whole colony. No flowers, so it thrives in flat spaces.

Mushroom: Nutrivore. Blue color. Exactly what it says on the tin. Unlike Earth Prime mushrooms, they're tall and thin. Spores spread outwards from the cap.

Hunter Mold: Omnivore. Orange color. Can't spread using roots, and can feed on both nutrient and bugs. There are 2 different flower types: Brain flowers that are basically the brains of the colony and coordinate where to shoot with Hunter flowers, which are sacs of poisonous spores that can shoot at either the ground to reproduce or bugs, to poison them and make them die within 3 seconds. Note that when a bug dies, it has to be ON the mold's roots for the fungus to drain it of juice.

Wind Stalk: Nutrivore-Special. Can't spread using roots, is a large cluster of stalks that can grow taller than 3 meters! Spores can only be loosened by flying insects stuck in the stalks.

Bursting Sickness (Parasitic fungus): The fine spores of this pale gray fungus are inert until consumed by a bug. When they are eaten, however, they take root in the bug's body, generating spores and small amounts of gas over time. Eventually, the gas builds up to the point where the exoskeleton ruptures, spreading the spores widely across the surrounding area, where they anchor onto whatever surface they hit. If they happen to hit a bug, they lie dormant on its shell instead of immediately germinating. Spores inside a bug's body or released due to injury tend to be less virulent than those spread by bursting but could infect unwary, unfortunate, or predatory bugs. (By XXXXYYYY)

Infestioshrooms: A strange, parasitic shroom that aggressively spits out spores which grow and create more shrooms. If one of the spores hits an animal, said animal becomes a host for the infestation, getting limbs and exoskeleton parts overgrown, and eventually, the spores dig into the brain and overtake the poor creature's mind, making it serve only to expand the infestation, by laying spore-filled eggs, which hatch into infestioshroom-creature hybrids, and dropping spores which fall off passively and whenever said creature breathes.

Should anything penetrate a shroom, the mushroom spews out spores in that direction, causing the idiotic animal that tries to eat one of these mushrooms to get the Infestation.

There are 3 main types of infestioshrooms:

Necro Strand: A strand that takes over corpses' inactive neural system, and zombifies them. Spores leak out of the corpse's "flesh", spreading the infestation. Has trouble drilling into a living creature's flesh.

Plate strand: A hard strand that acts like chitin. This comes with the drawback of being less flexible, but if it does get pierced, it regrows fast, permanently locking the piercing part inside the plate strand fungus, or at least until the struggling creature manages to get the part out.

Generic strand: No noteworthy abilities.

The infestioshrooms are mostly pale green, hot pink, cyan, and dark yellow in color. (by 0cra_tr0per)

Pumpkin pod: Nutrivore. Orange with a small green stalk on top. Can't spread using roots. Can grow on top of other fungi due to deep roots. Spores are contained inside, and when a bug eats it, they stay there, hopefully undigested, then leave with bug droppings. Since they can grow on top of other fungi, its population is very stable. Also, (probably late) Spooky Halloween to you!

Mushbush: Special. Looks like a bush of small mushrooms with a cavity inside. Bumblebees nest inside the cavity and feed it with nectar, the only way it can feed. It can also spray toxins from its caps to defend the bumblebee colony.

Suggestions welcome!

Special ecosystems:

In addition to the ecosystem I described above, there are a few special ones that arise from a specific set of conditions. They usually have two sources: An environmental condition like fewer nutrients in the stream, and a bug or fungus that adapts to the condition and changes the environment. Other bugs or fungi may adapt to the environment.

Warm ecosystem:

The abundance of nutrients in the stream fueling this cave has caused the yellow-colored Heat Mold to release the excess energy as heat, heating up the cave. Other lifeforms:

  Warm fungi:
  Scorching mold: Omnivore. Yellowish-red color. A mutation of the Heat Mold, focusing the temperature into a single long stalk it uses to burn bugs to death.

Lava mold, a Warm fungus that has developed the ability to expand and contract its tissues by pumping hot fluid around internally. It uses this to move around slowly by detaching from its substrate on one side while expanding on the other, then reattaching on that side before contracting again. As it moves it seems to roll and ooze like a lava flow, an appearance which is greatly improved by the scalding temperature of its underside and its habit of searing bugs in its path to ash. It's not quite carnivorous because it does not seek out prey, but is more than happy to eat anything it finds under itself. (by Maximum SPin)

  Warm bugs:
  Lion beetle: Carnivore-Detrivore. Orange-colored. Travels in packs, killing anything they can catch up with and eating corpses.

  Steam Stalker, a bug that lives in the Warm. Shaped somewhat like an assassin bug, it absorbs large quantities of water into a spongey abdominal organ through its porous head and forelimbs, then harvests heat from Scorching Molds to shoot pulses of scalding steam at prey. Naturally, it has evolved to resist high temperatures. (by Maximum Spin)

  Runner beetle: Herbivore. Brown-colored. Fast, but gets tired quickly.

  Rhino beetle: Herbivore. Black-colored. Like the Earth Prime ones.

Forest ecosystem:

This is an ecosystem primarily made of two symbiotic fungi: The Tree Stalk and the Star Pod. I will describe those in detail. Due to the size of the Tree Stalk, it can only form in Huge caves or occasionally Large ones.

  Forest fungi:

  Star Pod: Nutrivore. Spores float upwards and it grows on the ceiling. Produces light, required for the Tree Stalk. Prefers lower pressures, hence why it only grows high up.

  Tree Stalk: Nutrivore-Special. Looks like a smaller pine. Can photosynthesize. Usually about 5 meters tall. The spores hamper the reproduction of non-adapted bugs. The branches house an ecosystem.

  Also, most of the "Normal" fungi roster.

  Forest bugs:

  Spiders: Carnivore. They build webs to catch interloping bugs.

  Ghost beetle, an extremely pale, green-tinged beetle found on the Forest floor. It needs to graze on molds to survive, but produces most of its energy from a limited form of photosynthesis. Though large and usually fairly sedentary, they are deceptively fast when attacked, and they are slightly toxic, although not so much that predators won't eat them in a pinch. (By Maximum Spin)

  Tiger beetles: Carnivore. Pounces on targets and tears them apart.

  Moose beetles: Herbivore. Peaceful grazers, but can defend themselves with their impressive horns.

  Engineer Spiders: Omnivore. The highly social equivalent of spiders. They have varying castes, each producing a kind of web. Heavy webs, that are heavier than normal ones, aren't sticky, yet they're much stronger. Transport webs, that allow spiders to slide down at incredible speeds. Pipe webs, that can suck nutrients from dead insects and use that to power Spin webs, which are webs that spin. There's also a caste that emits hydrogen. There's more. they'll receive their day in the limelight in another update. They can make digging machines, blimps, et cetera. Beware of fire, otherwise, a perfect reenactment of Hindenburg will ensue.

Full list of webs:

Normal web: A perfectly normal spiderweb. Useful for aerodynamics, light protection, transportation, and sticking things together.

Heavy web: A rigid, but heavy and non-sticky spiderweb. Useful as a skeleton for vehicles.

Transport web: A perfectly normal spiderweb, but it doesn't stick to anything and spiders can't climb it. Instead, they slide.

Pipe web: Non-sticky web that can suck nutrients from dead insects and power powered webs.

Spin web: A web that spins when powered. Useful for vehicles.

Heat web (new!): A web that heats up when powered. Useful for things that need to be heated. Like weapons that spray enemies with boiling water! Or bombs!

  Also, occasionally Normal bugs.

  Branch bugs:

  Squirrel beetle: Herbivore-Special. Can only feed on the needles. Can jump.

  Branchswinger: Carnivore. Has a tail with which it hangs down on prey and eats it.

  Bark beetle: Special. Eats the tree from the inside out, eventually demolishing it and moving on to another.

  Ivory-mandibled woodpecker: Bites a hole in the bark of a Tree Stalk, eating the Bark Beetles within.


Ceiling bugs:

  Cosmic Borer, a kind of beetle found in the forest ecosystem that lazily chews tunnels through Star Pods. These tunnels are mostly harmless to the Star Pods unless one is critically infested. Although the ancestors of this beetle had the ability to fly, they have since lost it and any individual that winds up falling to the floor - luckily a rare event - is probably doomed. (By Maximum Spin)

Sundogs, a large bug (Hemiptera) native to the Forest ceilings. With their sharp forelegs, they surgically cut open Star Pods to locate the tunnels of Cosmic Borers, which they eat. With few natural predators in this habitat and plentiful prey, they might easily overpopulate, but nature always finds a way, and, luckily for the ecosystem, they are much larger (around 4-6 times the size) and clumsier than the Borers, especially as they grow older, and thus relatively prone to falling to the floor where they become an easy target for passing carnivores. This form of nutrient transfer from the upper story of the Forest to the floor, not unlike our world's whalefall, makes them something of a keystone species in maintaining the balance between the two. (by Maximum Spin)



Ant "ecosystem"

 This isn't so much of an ecosystem as it is the absence of one. Ants have taken this cave over and are carefully keeping the fungi under control. Any interlopers are "disassembled" on the spot.

Magma ecosystem:

The bacteria that caused the nutrient streams to glow blue have mutated here. They now glow red and cause burns to most lifeforms (except eggs and spores)! They flood caves and oceans, creating weird pillars of petrified bacteria within. Also, it's not lava because it's underground.

Magma bugs:

   Magma Filter: Special. Regulates the amount of Magma Bacteria-infested water that can pass through it, leaving the cave half-flooded at all times.

   Magma Worm: Carnivore. Large red worms that dwell in the magma. They can jump impressive distances upwards to get bugs on the pillars.

   Moldhopper: Herbivore. Exactly the same as the regular Moldhopper.

   Carnivorous Moldhopper: Carnivore. Exactly what it says on the tin.

   Magmaskimmer: Omnivore. Can skip along the magma with its pair of paddle-like legs. Eggs float. Its skipping ability allows it to escape predators on the pillars, but unfortunately, the paddle-legs make it clumsy on land and slow to climb walls and pillars.

Magma fungi:

   Magma Mold: Nutrivore. Red. Spores are more floaty than usual to cross the gaps between pillars. Otherwise perfectly normal.

   Magma Shroom: Nutrivore. It is a mushroom with tendrils that extend to the magma and suck the nutrients and water to the mushroom to maximize consumption. The magma is also usable as a defense.


Cold ecosystem:

The smaller amount of nutrient in the stream powering these caves has caused the Cold Fungus to absorb the heat from the air. Most bugs will freeze to death.

   Cold fungi:

   Cold Fungus: Nutrivore. A fungus that absorbs heat from the air to help its growth.

   Snow Fungus: Nutrivore-detrivore. A peculiar fungus. It has no roots and instead has piles of small pods that emit spores. Bugs often get stuck in it, allowing it to drain the juices from their corpses.

   Cold bugs:

   Deerbug: Herbivore. This beetle is different from the ones who mimic Earth Prime's ecosystem. It's more like a mix between a slug and a beetle. It has a   soft, slimy body with a hard crust. About 10 legs sprout out of holes in the crust, allowing it, in combination with its soft body, to navigate the often rough terrain of this ecosystem. It can, for example, make itself flat with legs spread out to navigate Snow Fungus, or flexible and centipede-like to navigate hills, et cetera. It also has antlers.

   Bearbug: Carnivore. Again, different. This one masquerades as a Deerbug, until the front of its body opens up to reveal a mouth, with which it swallows an unsuspecting Deerbug.

   Frostbite Beetle: Carnivore. It has a stinger that causes the stung to rapidly emit its heat into the air, causing it to die of frostbite. Death by the laws of thermodynamics!

   This is... a pretty barren ecosystem. Note the lack of actual snow and ice, that would be very, very bad for an ecosystem dependent on water.

Taiga ecosystem:

This cave has a large interior and less harsh conditions, allowing a slightly different forest to thrive there. But the cold prevents the easy reproduction of Forest fungi and bugs, causing some areas to be normal Cold. Also, the Snow Fungus often piles up on the branches of the trees.

   Taiga fungi: All the forest fungi and cold fungi, with those exclusives:

   Red Stalk: Nutrivore. Can't spread using roots. A stalk with a red pod. The pod, after a time, ruptures, spreading spores over a distance. It can also be eaten by bugs, spreading the spores alongside bug droppings.

   Fake Red Stalk: Nutrivore-special. Like the Red Stalk, but the spores can take over an insect, causing it to rupture into a LOT of spores after a time. The only way it can reproduce. Also, the insect can leak a bit of spores to infect more victims, causing it to spread like a zombie plague.

   Ornament Pod: Omnivore. A colorful pod which grows on the trees in Taiga. It can only live on the branches, and it has tentacles inside of it, which it uses to snag bugs and drag them inside, digesting them. Death by Xmas Ornaments. I always wanted to say that.

   Taiga bugs:
   
   Most Cold and Forest bugs.

   Wolf Beetle: Carnivore. The replacement for Tiger Beetles. It is very social, but not to the point of borderline-sentience found in eusocial insects. When one of them feels like it can't defeat a bigger prey, it marks it with pheromones only its pack can sense so its friends can take it down together later.

I need suggestions for the rest.

Mushroom Forest:

A very dense forest of mushrooms. Their spores slowly poison all non-adapted life. Suffice to say... There is not mushroom for life here (bdum tish!). Their spores also glow and tint the air green. The size of the Tower Caps that produce said poisonous spores prevents the ecosystem from forming in anything but Large or Huge caves, as with every other Forest flavor. All specialized species have a symbiotic relationship with the spores, so they can't reproduce outside of this ecosystem.

  MushForest fungi:

  Rarely normal fungi.

  Mushroom: Nutrivore. Like the one detailed earlier.

  Tower Cap: Nutrivore. A giant mushroom that grows for its entire life. It can reach 9 meters at its peak, making it the biggest fungus of all InfiniCave! After a few years, it withers and crashes down. Then the mycelium grows another one, and the cycle repeats.

  Tunnel Strand: Omnivore. A peculiar fungus that digs through the soil and creates tunnels. The tunnels have roots outside of them and strands inside. The tunnels wait for a bug to come in, then the stands snatch the bug and carry it to a dug-out room. Then, after there are enough bugs inside the room, the fungus starts draining the nutrients out of the bugs. But the bug detection is not foolproof, and the tunnels can be used by bugs to run away from predators.

  Fungus Floater: Omnivore. A blimp-like bag of fungus strands, filled with a lighter-than-air, non-flammable gas. On its underside, it has coils with strands. Those coils can extend the strands to the ground, anchoring it and sucking nutrients and water from it. It's done at regular times. The strands can also NOT dig into the ground, and instead search for bugs, then snatch them and feed them to the nutrient extractor, also on the underside. The strands can also either seed spores onto the ground, or push off of it and move the blimp. Obviously, if the bag is breached, the Floater is doomed and will fall down. Usable by ants as a dropship.

  Spike Cap: Omnivore. A short mushroom with a very wide cap. The cap has spikes on the underside, fixed on a spring-like mechanism. The spikes shoot out at bugs underneath, impaling them and dragging them to the cap, where they're slowly drained.

  Boom Cap: Nutrivore. Once a herbivore bites this medium-sized, gray mushroom, part of it explodes, probably killing the herbivore. However, it reacts with the Magma Bacteria, an interaction unlikely to be seen naturally, to make the whole thing explode with incredible force at the slightest provocation. Chunks of the activated Boom Cap are usable by the social insects as bombs that can completely level an anthill with a 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm chunk. However, they're hard to produce and involve pouring a stream of Magma Bacteria-infested water into a carefully cultivated plantation of the mushrooms.

  MushForest bugs:

  Mushroom Centipede: Carnivore-Nutrivore. A centipede that collects strands of Mushroom mycelium and attaches them to its back, making it able to feed itself from the ground. Is quite long.

  Mushroom Beetle: Herbivore. A beetle that, in addition to feeding on mycelium, is also able to dig inside of a mushroom and eat part of it from the inside to hide from predators.

  Mushroom Climber: Omnivore. A beetle that can climb mushrooms and eat the nutritious cap. It can also jump down and ambush prey. It can also jump to other mushrooms. They're quite social and engage in battles for territory on top of Tower Caps. They're quite large, so if one is knocked down, permanent injuries may result.
 

Crystal Ecosystem:

Some rocky patches are almost completely sealed away from the rest of the cave. Instead of the rather familiar-if-different ecosystem of the rest of the world, silicon-based life evolved here. Instead of the nutrient streams, nutrient occasionally drips from the ceiling when a stream or ocean is formed above the cave. The patches are connected by Rock Worms, worms that tunnel through the soil and leave rock-like tubes to their sides. The worms evolved rather early in the evolutionary development of InfiniCave, leading the patches to interact with each other. These kinds of patches are extremely rare and only five examples exist in the area where life exists, all close and connected. A Boom Cap explosives test accidentally broke one of the rarely-used tubes. The EngiSpiders of that cave were subsequently wiped out by Ants, who started researching the lifeforms there.

Crystal bugs (?):

  Rock Worm: Nutrivore. Explained above.

  Crystal Crawler: Nutrivore-Crystallivore. A medium-sized bug-like organism, covered in crystals that can absorb nutrients, then feed the bug in times of hunger. The crystals also act as armor, to complement chitin. It can also digest crystals. They're quite slow.

  Crystal Roller: Carnivore. A largish ball, covered in sharp crystals that can drain the nutrients out of any bug. The crystals can also contract and extend, and this is how this organism propels itself. Fast on open terrain, but it is slow at climbing, and when it rolls off a slope, it can go so fast that the Roller goes splat.

  Crystal Dart Bug: Omnivore. A bug that can absorb silicates, then from them into a dart shape, connected to an air bladder. The dart can fire for long distances, possibly piercing the prey and impaling whatever is behind it. It can also digest crystals, as always.

  Iron Snail: Nutrivore. A snail that slowly crawls around and absorbs nutrients pooling in small puddles. It can absorb silicates from crystals and use them to strengthen its shell and body, also rendering it very resilient to explosions and fire, as a side effect.

Crystal fungi (?):

  Nonliving crystals: Nutrivore, technically. Just crystals that glow slowly on the nutrients.

  Greenish Crystal: Nutrivore. Crystals that are similar to the nonliving ones, but they grow faster and can bud into more crystals.

  Reddish Crystal: Omnivore. Crystals that can drain nutrients out of insects to grow and bud faster. They're not as quick at absorbing free nutrients as the Greenish ones, however. Usable as weapons by sentient insects.

  Purple Crystal: Nutrivore. A slower-growing Greenish Crystal that has pockets of Arsenic inside of it, to prevent Crystallivores from eating it. Usable as biological weapons by sentient insects. Just shatter it above an enemy base!

Crystal Forest coming soontm.

Swamp ecosystem:

As the glow of the nutrient streams is caused by special bacteria, something is bound to feed on them. The Filter Stalk and Overgrowth Pod work in tandem to create a half-flooded, dark ecosystem. It's not completely dark, it's enough for minor photosynthesis, and yes, photosynthesis is pretty much required, as there is a lot of water there, requiring tall stalks on which to support spores and all, and the copious amount of water and nutrient is too lucrative to miss. It's not harmful to normal bugs and fungi in any exciting way, but they have limited space to move and reproduce, while the predators get as much space as there is water.

  Swamp fungi:

  Filter Stalk: Nutrivore. Clusters of stalks grown near cave exits, limiting the flow of water, causing the cave to be half-flooded at all times and feeding on nutrient.

  Overgrowth Pod: Nutrivore-Special. A dark green pod, floating on water and feeding off of nutrient.

  Mangrove Stalk: Nutrivore-Special. A descendant of the Tree Stalk. A twisting, short tree-like growth with dark leaves.

  Floating Maw: Omnivore. A purple pod that can either inefficiently feed on nutrient, or eat and digest bugs.

  Moss: Nutrivore. Exactly the same as the Earth Prime one. Can only grow on land.

  Swamp bugs:

  Pond-Skater: Carnivore. Exactly the same as the Earth Prime one.

  Branchclimber: Herbivore. Mostly lives on Mangrove Stalks and lazily eats their leaves, but if it falls off and drifts to an island, it can eat the moss.

  Sky Snatcher: Carnivore. Flies near the ceiling and divebombs Branchclimbers, grabbing, then eating them while in flight.

  Swamp Worm: Omnivore. Aquatic. Can either eat Overgrowth Pods or eat bugs. 

What do you think? Suggestions welcome!

Changelog:

27.01.2018: Saved the thing to my flash drive! Now if Bay12 goes kaput, I can repost InfiniCave once it is back up! Also, the Boom Cap and the Dragon Fly.

07.02.2018: One crystal-themed ecosystem. Backup yet again.

19.02.2018: The swamp ecosystem! Backup.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 06:06:46 am by KittyTac »
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blueturtle1134

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 09:03:15 pm »

Really cool alternate universe!

Start simpler if you want it to be a evolution simulation/suggestion game, or make it a survival thing of some sort for reader interaction.

Or do art of it? Good ideas deserve to be expounded on.
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 10:10:02 pm »

Really cool alternate universe!

Start simpler if you want it to be a evolution simulation/suggestion game, or make it a survival thing of some sort for reader interaction.

Or do art of it? Good ideas deserve to be expounded on.

Well... I kinda want to make it an evolution forum game, considering there's a bunch of ecological niches there and there that I can't think of filling... Warm ecosystem needs more love, for example. And I'm adding an ocean ecosystem, consisting of bugs that live in water... later this day.

Reserved.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 05:47:33 am by KittyTac »
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Maximum Spin

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 11:14:25 pm »

Regarding names: How about "Archimedean Anemone" for the pump, and "ivory-mandibled woodpecker" for the bark-beetle-eater?
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 04:25:15 am »

Spoiler: Tiny Cave 1 (click to show/hide)

Includes: 1 Gaping Maw, 2 Plain Beetles, 1 Locust, Grey Mold, Hunter Mold, and Mushroom.
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Parsely

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 11:34:48 am »

I'd be interested in seeing this as a simple forum game. What you've written about the ecosystem is interesting.

KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 09:34:15 am »

Halloween update! 2 new fungi, 2 new bugs, and a new ecosystem. Only one of these is related to Halloween in any way! :P (Also implemented Maximum Spin's name suggestions!)
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2017, 05:20:10 am »

This will get a christmas update in a month. Stay tuned. Sneak peek: Cold ecosystem and ornament fungi.
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 07:38:33 am »

Update today. Sorry for the wait. It's done. Remember that I mentioned Xmas ornaments? They're carnivores.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 08:41:37 am by KittyTac »
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 04:48:22 am »

Engineer spiders sometimes make planes armed with Giant Slug slime bombs to bomb anthills.

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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 05:08:17 am »

Made a mini-update that expands a bit on Engineer Spiders. Also, this bomb:



The spider jumps off when the bomb's temperature reaches 50C. This should create a largish crater.
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 12:07:00 am »

Fixed a biology research failure: EngiSpiders aren't eusocial, as every caste can reproduce. They're just highly social.
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 04:43:36 am »

Update! Now with a forest of mushrooms!
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 09:05:44 am »

Mini-update with an artillery beetle.
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KittyTac

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Re: InfiniCave - A weird thing I thought up yesterday
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2018, 06:41:13 am »

EngiSpiders have been known to build "War Carts", armed with ballistae.



Onwards, to the nearest anthill!
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