Addendum 6: Tyranid Life Cycle
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[theoretical] Life cycle of lesser tyranidic species /termagauntus sp. and warrior sp.
The ripper swarms encountered within the tyranid hoards by imperial troops are a crucial tool to understanding the developmental physiology of tyranids. There are several distinct forms of rippers each of which performs specific roles during the devestment process. These are, in fact, larval forms of most known tyranid organisms. What follows is a study into the particular stages of life from “birth” to maturity typical of harbinger Tyranids. [Note: Genestealers are excluded because they mature and gestate in a host rather than as free larvae]
When the eggs are laid within the great brood chambers of the hives they are spherical, with a bony texture, about 15cm in radius and weigh approximately 10 kg. Nearly all eggs (of this type) recovered in operations have come from “Omega” class tyrants planetside. Another type of egg is known to exist. These are results of mating pairs of specific tyranidic broods and are similar in size but far more oval in shape.
The eggs develop until a certain point just prior to hatching and then enter a dormant stage, this stage can last an unknown period of time, but pheromones from the hive seem to control its cessation. When the larva hatch they are particularly ravenous and will double their size in hours. Once they have reached a specific size [different dependent on sp.] they enter a harvesting stage. During this time they eat as much as possible and return to the brood ships disgorging the predigested nutrient matter. Once they have completed a large number of these cycles (presumably thousands) they enter a pupae stage. Those which are entering this stage begin to This can occur within the brood chambers or deep within the soil of a planet. It is these hatchings which are responsible for infestations weeks after the initial threat has been contained.