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<MBf:/Tyranid/Biology/thesis >
<MBf:/Tyranid/Biology/Physiology/durability >
<MBf:/Tyranid/Biology/morphology/Biomorphs >
<MBf:/Tyranid/Ecology/PlanetaryConsumption >
<MBf.tyranid/hiveship/description/weapons >
<MBf:/Tyranid/Warpdisturbance/Propulsion >
<MBf/Tyranid/LifeCycle >
<MBf/Tyranid/Bioweapons >
<MBf/Tyranid/Planetary Structures>

Authorization <ACCEPTED>

++Commit to: Council of Lord Drakes entry 76429
++Crossfile to: Techno Magus record entry 1782543
++Input Date: 1768999.M41
+++Input Clearence: Apothicatiate Master Talos
+++Source: Biomedical Reaserch station: New Hallefuss
+++Transmitted: Capitol Ship: Reaper in the Gloom
++Transmitter Astropath Prime Felnun
++Reciever: Astropath terminus Korbarrain
+++Thought for the Day:  Fear not to use the biggest gun
+++Subject: Threat Assessment Hivefleet HARBINGER



Great Wyrm, and Council of Lord Drakes,

Since our first sporadic contacts with Genestealers there have been many misconceptions associated with them. We first thought they were indigenous to the moons of Ymgarl we later determined this to be in err and subsequently conducted a xenocide on said moons. <Ref. GWTC.9> When the hive fleets came upon the imperium, we named the creatures based on the first notable planet to fall before their advance, Tyran. <Ref. GWTC.6>

Initial scientific and intelligence reports indicated that the creatures were akin to hive insects and that they were basically all the same race with significant bioengineering accounting for the diverse forms. Recent encounters with the hive fleet designated Harbinger have caused us to reassess our position. Through the actions of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Apothicarian conclave we have been able to examine and report in depth on the physical and mental characteristics of many creatures from this hive fleet. Subjects were captured by the Honored 1st cohort Wyverns, under Dragon Priest Tanner,using stasis field generators produced by Grand Artificer Keplars' Talosfactories. This allowed for some of the first living examinations of many tyranid organisms. The results are nothing short of astounding.

Preliminary attempts to classify the biology of the creatures met with considerable difficulty due to the existence on multiple redundant systems for respiration and circulation. Skeletal systems were internal as well as external thus allowing for little internal, space but providing exceptional resilience and strength. It was determined by examination of 27 different creatures with 22 different morphologies that the creatures are not in fact the same "race". They do have many similar characteristics, which leads us to our next point. NOTE: All of the large specimens carried at least 3 very small parasites or symbiotes. <Ref MBf.12575-12577>Two varieties of these carried bacterium lethal to humans. <RefMBf.12868>Radiation in high doses proves fatal to these particular strains. RECOMMEND:Li6 bombing of any cleansed areas to prevent outbreak.

Typical physiological within "Tyranids"

  • Skeletal structure:
    • External Carapace thickness increases exponentially with increased size.
    • Internal Skeleton density likewise increases with size.
    • Substantial mass percentage allocated to structural support at larger sizes
    • [Leads to significant natural armor and resistance to damage]
    • <REF.AMA/MB$##.......Link inactive Key target /weak point thesis non-functional
  • Circulatory System:
    • Open System: blood vessels incomplete, hemolymph bathes intercellular spaces
    • Closed System: closed, 1 systemic& 2 branchial hearts
    • Phage Cells: Most of the tyranids examined had amoebae-like cells within their blood, which appeared to serve no purpose. Close examination of these later brought the realization that these cells act as digestive systems. It is theorized that tyranids (at least the advanced ones) feed on a preprocessed liquid which maybe absorbed through osmosis within the larger hive vessels. <Anomaly. Ref.ripper.qv> These very active cells serve many functions and are the most dangerous component of tyranid venom against marines. [additional information will be forwarded as tests conclude]
    • [This renders many if not all standard poisons inefficient and lessens the effect of any structural damage as well.]
  • Respiration System:
    • Gills -- specialized portions of appendages.
    • Flattened, filaments. May be hidden in carapace<REF.MBf12886>, ventilated by scaphognathite, also tracheal gills, extensions of body surface with tracheae


    • Cutaneous diffusion on sack-like simple lungs <REF.MBf12899> with many symbiotic bacteria. [Allows adaptation to nearly any atmosphere]


  • Digestive system: NONE<seePhage Cells>
  • Ocular organs:
    • No palpebrae, Hard exterior
    • Meibomian glands:modified sebaceous glands
    • lysozyme -- antibacterial enzyme(similar to many known creatures)
    • sclera:black, corneaalso black,Vertical pupils visible under UV light. <ref.BMf.12869>
    • Vulnerable to high intensity light overcompensation response "flash blinding" quick recovery.


  • Reproductive:
    • Genestealers, hormogaunts, gargoyles, termagaunts, and warriors have been known to reproduce. It is unknown at this time whether lictors and zoanthropes are able to do so. Tyrants are thought to be universally "male" while the female counterpart maybe the monstrous Dominatrix. It has been found that the ripper swarms common on ravaged worlds are the larva forms of many different tyranids. The large amount of energy required to complete a metamorphosis is rapidly accumulated to excess when the swarms begin stripping the biomass from a planet. Rippers fed until they became sated excreted a basic rendered form of all material consumed. Constituent amino acids, proteins, sugars, carbohydrates and basic minerals were excreted in a greasy liquid. Presumably this is for use by other creatures, <q.v. Norn-Queens>, which could not or did not gain nourishment directly from the biomass. Ripper swarms seem to be the first stage of a symbiotic digestive system when encompasses the entire hive.
  • Organs:
    • The lack of any discernible liver, kidneys, digestive track and other glands allows the creatures tousle this valuable biological space to house additional defenses, muscle and redundant systems. It is very difficult to kill them without inflicting significant damage to several systems unless the central nervous system is severely damaged.  Please see attached report on vulnerable locations on many tyranidic organisims. <REF.AMA/MB$##.......Link inactive keytarget /weak point thesis non-functional partial load complete...see Threatassessment table below for alternate link......
Evolution as we define it requires many generations of gradual adaptation. "Tyranids" seem to evolve "as needed" maintaining all adaptations that are deemed useful and adding redundant systems within already adequate ones to bolster the organism. Many define this as bio-engineering, but the two are mingled in such a way as to be inseparable when discussing "Tyranids". Also, then ancestors are discussed typically the older organism is no longer around, in the case of "tyranids" creatures which evolve almost certainly still have existing ancestors. The Tyranid Norn-Queens process genetic material gathered by the swarm and look for evolutionary steps which could provide useful results within the hive. Biomorphs are thought to be tests of new adaptations.<Ref. WD145.3738>

"Tyranids" may be described as a convergent rather than divergent form of life. DNA, RNA and other tests show that there are several creatures that have evolutionary ancestors within the group, however others show no connection. Convergent life takes a form and only adapts it by removing others from the ecosystem, usurping their place, absorbing them, and mimicking those aspects deemed useful for continued survival. As these creatures enter a biosphere they systematically eliminate all biomass, feeding upon not only the nutritional content but the evolutionary history as well . Within the Hiveships there exist great broodchambers, wherein lie the sleeping and maturing warriors of the hivefleet.As new genetic information is gained this in-turn is relayed to the sleeping metamorphosing creatures in a process similar to that of the Space marineOmopphagea.In this way they are able to adapt to new atmospheres and poisons very quickly by making modifications to their own metabolism while still in the developmental stage. Hormogaunts, which were thought to be a recent adaptation,seem to be nearly as ancient as all the other Termagauntus. Perhaps there are creatures within the hivefleets which have not awakened in eons, which when we dosee them we will mistakenly believe to be new creatures, ratherthan adaptive killers brought about by a millennia of sporadic evolution.

Another matter of considerable import is that of the so-called "HiveMind". With the help of the Epistolary Drukha, we were able to determine which creatures had "True" intelligence and which seemed to rely only on instinct when isolated from the "HiveMind".  Examination and comparison of bestial creatures versus higher organisms noted a significant biological difference within the creatures brains. Hivenode creatures < Tyranicus Tyranicii, Tyranicii Preafeceta> both were found to harbor a complex truncated organ within the brain which seems to be the source of psychic activity and control of lower organisms. In genestealers this organ emits a psychic energy field powerful enough to tear through most armor.  Zoanthropii have the most pronounced use, allowing them to hurl bolts of force capable of destroying battle tanks. Three types of organs were found, Master, Independent and Slave.  Master organs constantly radiate thoughts and commands as well as read stimulus from other organs capable of overriding the control of the Slave brain through the organ.  Independent organs receive but do not broadcast any slaver signal.  Slave organs require stimulus from master organs and many creatures with this organ function only on instinct when removed from Master influence. EXAMPLE: When placed within"contact" range of a Tyranicii Preafeceta, both all Termagauntus behavedsimilarly.When the stimulus was removed the Gargoylisii and Termagauntii both exhibited diminished faculties while the Hormaguantii became completely animalistic.In genestealers this organ emits a psychic energy field through their claws powerful enough to tear through most armor. <REF.MBf[autopsy]1099> Cerebrumea have the most pronounced use, allowing them to hurl bolts of force capableof destroying battle tanks. Thus it could be possible to jam these emanations and disrupt the orchestration of the entire attack.We are currently working on developing a modulator, which will cause excessive feedback to the source. <Ref.TFk.17534>
NOTE: Individual creatures are unable to manifest the warp disturbances, which blanket worlds attacked by the fleet, even at minute levels. Thus this phenomenon has been attributed to either the Hivemind circuit overloading the warp with psychic messages, or a constant flux of overwhelming power from an as yet unknown source.

The Hive Fleet is quite literally a mobile ecosystem.  It must be capable of sustaining itself for unimaginably long periods of time if they crossed the intergalactic void.  All the individual creatures have become symbiotic with one another many depending on others for food or defense or guidance.  Within the hive ships, individual "creatures" have been seen to act like blood cells, but examination of these indicates they are in fact part of the hive ship,not a separate creature at all. Thus their self-destructive behavior is understandable in protection of the body whole.

  • PHYLLUM: Comptraconchea <skeletons within shells>
    • CLASS: Gogmagogea <all the enemies of the earth>
      • ORDER: <Tyranicus>
Classification  Common Name Threat Assessment Ranged/Melee* Height and/or Length (ave) Weight (ave) Audio** Image
Tyranicus Tyranicii Omega (sp.) Omega Tyrant Extreme/Extreme 7.2 meters 4000 kgs none available YES
Tyranicus Tyranicii  Hive Tyrant High/Extreme 5.5 meters 2000 kg Tyrant YES
Tyranicus Cruentusea Carnifex or Screamer Killer High/Extreme 4.0 meters 2200 kg Carnifex YES
Tyranicus Tormentum Biovore Moderate/Minimal 2.1 meters(L) 250 kg Biovore NO
Tyranicii Preafeceta Tyranid Warrior High/Moderate 2.8 meters 500 kg Warrior YES
Preafectea Cerebrumea Zoanthrope Extreme/Moderate 2.5 meters 550 kg Zoanthrope YES
Preafectea Caecusea Lictor, spook, Mantis warrior or ghost Nil/Moderate 4.7 meters(L) 750 kg none available YES
Preafectea Ceralobitus  Genestealer Nil/Extreme 2.1 meters 200 kg Genestealer NO
Termagauntus Termagauntii Termagaunt, Hunter Killer Moderate/Minimal 1.8 meters 100 kg Termagaunts NO
Termagauntus Hormaguantii Homogaunts, roaches Nil/Moderate 2.1 meters 150 kg Hormagaunts YES
Termagauntus Gargoylisii Gargoyle Minimal/Minimal 2.1 meters(L) 200 kg Gargoyles YES
Termagauntus sp. Larva  Ripper swarms Nil/Minimal 2.1 meters(L) 100 kg RipperSwarms  NO
Tyranicus MegaTormentum Exocrine Extreme/High 12-15 meters(L) 5-7 metric tons none available YES
Tyranicus Ocupedico Malefactor Nil/High 12-15 meters(L) 4-6 metric tons none available YES
Tyranicus MegaCruentusea Trygon High/Extreme 15-17 meters(L) 6-9 metric tons none available YES

* - links indicate an image is available
** - vocalizations of each creature have been added as WAV files, these are typical sounds where possible.
Note:
Individual Weapons, ammunition, and specialty creatures have not been included, as each typically has its own designation due to the lack of visible linear evolution. Example: Phytomasts Dirumpi-Spore mines

Toxicology Report - Lictor < PreafecteaCaecusea> "Venom"

The venom overwhelms even space marine augmented physiology by taking a shotgun approach. It is a mixture of highly reactive inorganic poisons, hemotoxins, aflotoxins, neurotoxins, acidic nodules and phage cells. Within the marine body most of these are dealt with quickly but it appears that the phage cells are very destructive very quickly, seemingly being excited to action by the bodies attempts to destroy them. They mimic the outer surface of native cells and set about destroying anything that they encounter. They do this by locking onto receptors on the outside of the cells and then releasing a matching permanent block onto them shutting down the cells function. This damage in effect turns the Larramens cells on overdrive causing blocked blood vessels on a bodily scale. We have been unable to create a systemic defense other than treatment with P.A.R.at double normal levels within minutes of exposure. This is standard in all apothecary med-kits.

Apothcariate Master Curairus

Addendum.Subtext><subject. Structural durability of Tyranids>

The surprising biological durability of Tyranids is of direct interest to the forces of the Imperium. What follows is analysis of tyranid biological defenses to projectile and directed energy weaponry. Subset <imperial armory>

1. Muscular: The muscular sheath within all the creatures of the hive fleets<known> exhibit a cross threaded fibrous nature which is as effective as standard issue bf430.Flak Armor. Primarily defensive against projectiles, this is a major factor within the organism,once primary defensive chitin and tissue have been breached.

2. Skeletal: The thick external chitin shells,coupled with the internal dense silicate rich skeleton offer a high degree of protection from both energy and projectile weapons. The outer carapace is baffled with the internal cysts containing "Tyrgel" a viscose organic liquid (92,987 cps) with astounding thermal capacity. Directed energy weapons are unlikely to cause lethal damage through these areas without being of an anti-armor nature.The protection afforded by the chitin itself is proportional to the density and thickness ranging from 5-14 Moh. The "Tyrgel" also depletes the inertial energy from projectile and fragmentation weapons. All Tyranicus Tyranicii , and Tyranicus Cruentusea and derivatives are exceptionally durable and contain the highest percentage of these cysts. Overall bio-mass density gradient 1.459 with significant proportions allocated to skeleton. [human=1.175]

3. Enzymic: Phage cells <REF ##########>,neutralize any poisons and/or biological attacks. They are also capable of releasing an enzyme which will polymerize the "trygel qv." upon exposure.This is used whenever the cysts are ruptured and seals the breech with remarkable efficiency and avoids the loss of essential bodily fluids.

4. Biological function: as described elsewhere the redundant systems of respiration and circulation, coupled with the lack of digestive systems within most tyranids allows them to sustain extensive non-lethal damage. Termagauntus Termagauntii have been seen to survive the loss of all limbs without expiring due to fluid loss <see enzymic entry>. Many may function for hours or days with severe thoracic damage and may fully recover from seemingly lethal wounds<REF.ravager>. Intense Radiation <REF:SquatFW-thummer> is effective in planetary applications but, hive fleet structures are biologically defended by an as yet unknown means. Thus it is within the evolutionary scope of the tyranids to cope with this threat.

All those attempting to slay tyranidic creatures with ranged weapons should consider this information. Armored areas should NOT be targeted except by anti-armor weapons <plasma, melta etc>. Eyes, neck, and joints are the weakest areas of nearly all tyranidic creatures. However extremity damage is unlikely to ever prove lethal except in extreme instances.