Printable Creatures 3 Ecology Reference

by Lis Morris

Each of the four sections below has a table that lists all species living in that area. Here is a quick guide to how the table works:

Name: The name of the species, as if you couldn't guess.

Norn's Word: What a Norn would call it.

Latin Name: The scientific and normally unpronounceable name of the species. The names vary in seriousness.

Edible: Whether it can be eaten by Norns, Grendels and Ettins or not. This does not guarantee, of course, that it'll be good for the creatures...

Niche: Niche is a term used by ecologist to mean what the plant or creature needs to survive. For instance, a plant's niche may be high light and fairly dry soil; an animal's niche might be as an insect eater.

The Norn Terrarium: Safe and full of food
The Norn terrarium is the area that Norn breeders undoubtedly spend their most time in. It is designed to be the perfect home for Norns- it's stacked with food, toys, and is fairly safe, although a really determined Norn can still drown in the pond.

The ecosystem of the Norn terrarium is based on a temperate earth climate very similar to that of the United Kingdom. Presumably the Shee, as well as the Creatures Labs programmers, spent much of their lives in such a climate.

The number of species of creatures in the Terrarium is greater than in any of the other four areas of the ship, and there is a large bias towards insect eaters of various kinds. In particular, many species eat a general diet of bugs and pests, which is why I've grouped these together in the food web below.

NB: Dragonfly nymphs also come into the bugs and pests category, and the luckless ones are eaten as such. This is not included on the food web above for simplicity's sake.

Animals and Plants of the Terrarium
Name Norn's Word Latin Name Edible Niche
Pumperspikel Seed Pumpica spikelum Yes Grows only on the Terrarium pumperspikel tree
Apples Fruit Malus albia Yes Grows only on the Terrarium apple tree
Waterplant Plant, Leaf Yucca aquatiform Leaves only Three plants grow in the pond
Grass Seed, Leaf Poa verdanata Yes Needs at least a small amount of heat, moisture and light
Foxglove Seed, Plant, Leaf, Flower Digitalis bensimpsus Seeds and leaves only. Needs a moderate amount of heat, moisture and light
Pinky Plant Plant Dianthus statiphytes No Immortal- five placed randomly on world creation
BlueFlower Plant Cyanoflora morrisii No Immortal- 20 placed randomly on world creation
Grazer Critter Scatus harmenius No Lives entirely on a grass diet
Grasshopper Animal Egg, Bug Idealius roberticum Bugs only Eats leaves
Bee Pest Bombillius lisasillius Yes Drinks nectar from flowers
Butterfly Animal Egg, Bug Papillio haywardian Bugs only Caterpillars eat and climb on plants, adults drink nectar from flowers
Ant Pest Formica saunterous albia Yes A detritivore- it eats any dead stuff that it might find about the place
Snail Bug Barrus osullivus Yes Another detritivore
Hummingbird Animal Egg, Critter Tristaniana bussia Critters only Drinks nectar from flowers
Gosh Hawk Beast Assipter stewardian No Catches and eats grazers, leaving their bones for ants
Dragonfly Animal Egg, Bug, Critter Flitus bhomicus Critters and Bugs only Adults eat bugs and pests, theoretically including their own offspring! Nymphs eat leaves in the pond
Wood Pigeon Critter Columba cantellia Yes Eats a wide diet of bugs, pests, fruit and seeds
Hedgehog Critter Erinaceus albia Yes Eats bugs and pests
Stickletrout Animal Egg, Critter Salar stikus Critters only Eats bugs and pests-presumably anything that falls in!
Robin Animal Egg, Critter Charltonian albia Animal Eggs only Eats bugs and pests
Kingfisher Critter Alcedo makious cristoph Yes Eats stickletrout

The Grendel Jungle: Dank and Dangerous

The Grendel jungle is the most inhospitable of the four ecosystems on the spaceship as far as your creatures are concerned. There are biting insects, bacteria, and of course, Grendels. Although there are fewer species than in the Norn terrarium, it is perhaps the most complicated ecosystem, with many complex interrelationships. There are no leaf producing plants or bug species, except for dragonfly nymphs. Interestingly, dragonfly nymphs need leaves, both as food and to leave the piranha pool, which could explain why mine always die...

However, a creature with a sturdy immune system could live happily in the jungle indefinitely- there is plenty of fruit and seeds to eat, and Grendels can happily be incarcerated their whole life in there, if you don't like getting rid of your Grendels in more unpleasant ways. Even though is isn't the most pleasant place to live, the jungle does have a certain charm -- it's always full of life, buzzing about on its own business. Incidentally, did you know that most piranha species are vegetarian on Earth? Strange but true.

One big difference between the jungle and the Norn terrarium is that the Norns, Ettins and Grendels take a far more active role in the ecosystem, mostly as prey species. For that reason, I have included them on the food web below. Male Grendels are separate to other creatures in the food web, because gnats feed only on them, not on Norns, Ettins or females Grendels. Poor Grendels!

Animals and Plants of the Jungle
Name Norn's Name Latin Name Edible Niche
Tendril Seed, Weed Coeloformis albia Seeds only Needs some nutrients, but can grow in total darkness or in cold conditions
Fungi Seed, Fruit Amanita albia Yes Identical requirements to the tendril plant
Purbana Weed Coleus purpureum No Immortal- five are randomly placed on world creation. Takes no active role in the ecosystem
Wasp Pest Netelia davidum Yes Fruit eating insect
Rhino Beetle Pest Tuffus burchiium maximus Yes Detritivore
Gnat Animal Egg, Pest Strawcium gigantus No Specialises in eating male Grendels
Dragonfly Animal Egg, Bug, Critter Flitus bhomicus Only as critters and bugs Eats leaves as a nymph, and bugs and pests as an adult. Theoretically, this means nymphs can be eaten by adult dragonflies, and also by rocklice, but in practise if they tried this, the piranhas would get them!
Rocklice Animal Egg, Beast Jonti praticilium Yes Burrowing bug and pest eater
Creatures Norn, Grendel, Ettin Cyberlifogenis species cutis, vicious, kleptomania No! Very much generalists, will eat a whole range of species. Staple diet is fruit and seeds
Kobold Beast Baldium mysterious No Eats fruit, bugs and pests. Will also eat food items such as cheese brought into the jungle by creatures
Bacteria Invisible to Creatures Bhowmicoccus Nornovora No Parasites that drift in the air in a dormant state until they attach to a passing creature, causing various illnesses
Mosquito Animal Egg, Pest Mossee darmicus No Will sting any creature that hits, pushes or tries to eat it
Piranha Animal Egg, Beast Viscious fiscious No Vicious carnivores that eat creatures, beasts and critters

The Ettin Desert: Hot and Sparse
The Ettin desert is the simplest ecology on the ship, with only a small number of species. One of the oddest features is the lack of detritivores. Everything in the desert presumably decays on its own without help. Most of the desert species are specialists- eating only one or two other animals on the ship. No general bug and pest eaters here!

As you might have guessed, there isn't much food in the desert for a hungry Norn, Ettin, or Grendel. There are plenty of seeds for the short term, but your creatures will probably wander off looking for other sustenance after a while.

Since the Ettin desert is quite empty, it's a great place to experiment with building your own ecosystem. Try placing a random selection of creatures from other parts of the ship. It's really fun!

Animals and Plants of the Desert
Name Norn 's Word Latin Name Edible Niche
Cacbana Seed, Weed, Flower Burbania barnabicia Only as Seed Needs quite high heat
Desert Grass Seed, Leaf Festuca xerophilus Yes Needs at least some light, heat, and nutrients
Balloon Bug Animal Egg, Bug Apterus claudinio No Eats flowers
Gnarler Animal Egg, Critter Hungarius oscari No Eats volcano rocks, once they have cooled down
Meerk Critter Sciurus harmanii No Eats balloon bugs
Uglee Beast Grendomorphis vulgaris No Eats gnarler eggs

The Aquarium: Underwater Wonderland
Perhaps the most beautiful area on the ship, the aquarium is filled with many different life forms -- not just fish, but sponges, sea slugs and plants, too.

However, the Aquarium is most definitely dominated by fish. The four fish species- Angel, Clown, Handlefish, and Neon, all eat similar foods, and are in turn eaten by another fish species, the Rainbow Sharkling. The other striking feature is the new food source available only in the area of the ship -- filter feeding. Many of the organisms in the aquarium live by filtering nutrients out of the sea water, and thus don't actually eat any other animal at all.

There is plenty for your Norns to eat in the aquarium, if they can find it -- the fish eggs and the fish themselves are all edible. However, Norns have no instincts to eat critters or animal eggs, so this is something they'll have to learn. Before they drown, of course.

Incidentally, never put piranhas in the aquarium. You'll regret it!

Animals and Plants of the Aquarium
Name Norn's Word Latin Name Edible Niche
Opal Sponge Seed, Plant Porifera opalite No Needs salt water to grow
Orange Sponge Seed, Plant Porifera orangeboom No Needs salt water to grow
Gumin Grass Seed, Plant Poa guminum No Needs salt water to grow, and will only grow when not close to an adult gumin grass or orange sponge
Aquamites Bug Aquatophagoides albia No Filter feeders
Wysts Animal Egg, Critter Cluelesseus officiusous Yes Filter feeders
Cuttlefish Critter Sushi hazardous No Filter feeders
Angel Fish Animal Egg, Critter Gillium gillium Yes Eats the seeds of orange sponges, opal sponges, gumin grass, and also aquamites
Clown Fish Animal Egg, Critter Premnas hilariousis Yes Eats the seeds of orange sponges, opal sponges, gumin grass, and also aquamites
Handlefish Animal Egg, Critter Ficious tobiniuos aquatonicus Yes Eats the seeds of orange sponges, opal sponges, gumin grass, and also aquamites
Neon Fish Animal Egg, Critter Hyphessobrycon creaturelabiani Yes Eats the seeds of orange sponges, opal sponges, gumin grass, and also aquamites
Nudibranch Critter Rockinium silveria No Eats Aquamites, Wysts, and Gumin Grass seeds
Rainbow Sharkling Beast Odontaspis spectrumian No Eats all fish species
Man-O-War Animal Egg, Critter Medusa chappie ferociousia Only as Critter. Eats all critter species- and therefore, is capable of cannabalism!