- Main article: starwars:Zelosian
Zelosians: Initial Discription
As mentioned, this section highlights the common canon traits of Zelosians in regards to physical attributes.
- Homeworld: Zelos II
- Eye Color: All Zelosians have emerald green eyes.
- Hair Color: Outwardly Identical to Humans.
- Skin Color: Outwardly Identical to Humans
- Language: Zelosian language, Galactic Basic Standard
- Noteable Species-specific Distinctions:
- Blind in the dark and had many night-based superstition
- Were moody and even rude in darkness
- Chlorophyll sap instead of blood
- Sugar affects Zelosians in the same manner alcohol affects Humans
- Horticulture was a common galactic profession for Zelosians
Xalystira Sulli'na's Additions
As botanical-based sentients, Zelosians benefit from a longer life span than the average human. The typical Zelosian life span averages out to approximately 500 years. Full physical maturity occurs around age 30 for Zelosians.
Biology and Appearance
Zelosians are identical to humans physically except for having green eyes. By interpretation, this leads me to believe that the hair and skin color variations run the gamut similarly. Having pale to dark peach, olive, and tan skin tones and hair colors ranging in blacks, blondes, browns, reds and grey/whites. The only exception to skin is in the case of blushing, overheating, or being flushed. Since the 'blood' of Zelosians is chlorophyll, the coloring of skin becomes more greenish rather than red with increased blood flow to skin.
Even though Zelosians are botanical in nature, they have evolved and adapted to living in a largely mammalian world. Therefore, Zelosians have many of the same internal organ structures as mammals. Basic, and much smaller than the internal structures of mammals, Zelosians' primary organ systems are all able to fit in the space behind the typical rib cage.These systems include:
- A Digestive system: Consisting of the typical mouth, teeth, tongue, esophagus, stomach, liver, kidney bladder small and large intestines and rectum, the digestive system is a little under half the size of that of a mammal. The reason being it merely exists for supplementary purposes. The stomach and other digestive organs range from baseball sized to ping-pong ball sized. The intestines are the only parts of the digestive tract that move past the rib-cage area, traveling along a path near the spine to an exit for the body. All manner of waste exits the Zelosian body in the same way, which in and of itself is a rare event.
- A Cardiovascular system: There are veins and arteries (which act more like vines in how and particularly what they transport) pumping the chlorophyll-like 'blood' throughout the bodies of Zelosians, typically running through their thick skin, and stomachs. Zelosians however do not have hearts, but rather a cluster of veins and arteries near the upper-left side of their chests. This cluster adds pressure to the veins to aid in the pumping of oxygen, nutrients, and chlorophyll to the various systems and organs of the body.
- A Respiratory system: Zelosians are able to inhale air through their noses and mouths which travels down a wind pipe into a small lung existing in their chests which is about the size of a softball. Like the digestive system the respiratory system is primarily meant to supplement the acquisition of oxygen and carbon dioxide for use in respiration and photosynthesis. This system, however also acts as a camouflage method. The act of breathing, though not entirely necessary for Zelosians, does allow them to blend in better with other, mammalian, sentients. Though not strong, the development of a respiratory system has also enabled Zelosians to have a faint sense of smell.
Much like breathing, the ability to cry has become another camouflage technique, evolving in the species to help flesh out emotional expression. Zelosian tears tend to be sweet rather than salty, as their bodies naturally produce sugars through photosynthesis and are primarily composed of the chlorophyll which runs through their veins/vines.
Though these systems do exist, as mentioned, two of these systems are largely for supplementary purposes. Zelosians are composed of a thick skin/muscle tissue that is primarily responsible for breathing, drinking, and obtaining sunlight for sustenance. Being botanically based, Zelosians gain nutrients from the sun in order to photosynthesize. To do this, they breathe in carbon dioxide through their skin, and the nutrients from sunlight and water, also through the skin. These elements are then carried to their small, base-ball sized stomachs to be photosynthesized into food. This food is then passed to the intestines where it is absorbed and used to provide nutrients and enerty for the body through respiration, using oxygen also obtained through the skin.
However, the galaxy has not been kind to Zelosians. With many places existing in complete darkness, drought and/or little breathable air, Zelosians have evolved to be able to consume non-sentient vegetation to obtain the nutrients they are missing from lack of sunlight, drink water for fluid they cannot obtain on drought-ridden planets, and breathe through artificial breathers in situations where the atmosphere is less than kind.
As the gasses oxygen and carbon dioxide are obtained through a Zelosian's thick flesh, it is typically filtered through the veins and into the lungs where it is broken down and used accordingly. Being able to use and produce both oxygen and carbon dioxide as elements and bi-products of photosynthesis and respiration does enable them to hold their breaths for hours at a time and recycle their own air supply.
Likewise this enables them to spend a few hours underwater with no breathers and little side effect. However too long spent underwater can lead to a swelling illness which is colloquially known as 'water-logging'. Spending extended periods in water can cause Zelosians to absorb too much, causing the body to sweel and-or attempt to store the water in other systems. This is basically the Zelosian equivalent to drowning. Curing water logging requires immediate removal from the water and resting in a dry, sunny environment, typically a under a heat lamp under observation. The illness will come on slowly and may be unnoticed before it becomes painfully obvious. If not treated soon enough, water logging can result in a slow drowning death.
In regards to eating and drinking, both vegetative material, primarily salad greens, fruits, or vegetables of a non-sentient nature, and water can be consumed and stored in the stomach for use in photosynthesis. However eating fruits is viewed more like enjoying a desert or a daiquiri. Fruit has a higher sugar content than vegetables or greens and affect Zelosians similarly to eating sugar on it's own. As mentioned previously, sugar affects Zelosians in the same way that alcohol affects humans. Alcohol itself has an even stronger effect on Zelosians as compared with Humans and could even be poisonous or lethal. Meats as well are too difficult to digest for a Zelosians system. Therefore, consuming meat would also act as a poison to Zelosian digestion since their bodies do not produce strong enough acids to break down such a harsh protein source.
((I'll do my best to be brief and put as little graphic/gruesome detail into this as possible while still being through. Readers may find me silly for even caring about this topic, but in RPing a species i find it important to know the basics of existence and how one comes to be. As humans in RL don't we usually learn all this information regarding our own reproduction by the middle to end of our school years after all? If so, why should any other species be any different?))
Zelosians, like other sentients, are broken up into two sexes. Both sexes are near-identical to their mammalian counterparts in the area of reproduction, having similar souther-based reproductive organs. However, their botanical heritage enables Zelosians to have a secondary mode of reproduction. Traveling from the reproductive center in which meiosis occurs, along the spine and to the scalp. Depending on the gender, the small, microscopic pores that exists on the scalp from this source are either emitters (in men) or receptors (in women). Much like plants flowering and emitting pollen, in a particular season Zelosian males will emit pollen-like spores from their scalps, much like a fine dander into the air. Likewise during the same season, the dander landing on a Zelosian female's scalp will be absorbed into her own reproductive pores and taken down a similar line of tubing to her own reproductive center to fertilize a seed.
However, the reproductive system varies slightly from mammalian systems in Zelosian females at this point. Fertilization of 'seeds' for Zelosian females occurs in an area just above, but separate, from the uterus. This area is called the germination sack. It is here that the female's ovum travels to from the ovaries, and where the males travels to in order to germinate a Zelosian seed. Genetic material can be obtained from males through either by way of traditional mating or through a female's scalp receptors. Regardless, once a seed is germinated, it remains dormant in the germination sack for up to three months. If prior to this time it has not moved into the uterus for implantation, it is merely absorbed into the body or passed from the body as a non-viable seed during a Zelosian female's menses. In order to be implanted traditional sexual stimulation or intercourse must occur. Due to this process of reproduction, Zelosians have adopted a culture that is free and flexible in terms of love and sexuality, leaving it all as a matter of choice. It is not uncommon for a single woman to become pregnant, nor is it uncommon for a man to father and raise a child that is not biologically his own. However, culturally, the child's parents are seen to be legally belonging to the couple who's actions led to the child's implantation, rather than actual genetic makeup. This has also allowed Zelosians to flourish genetically as a species, enabling a wide range of genetic possibilities and pairings in cases of pore-germination.
Once a Zelosian woman becomes pregnant, the process occurs more similarly to a seed taking root in soil at first, resulting in a sharp pain at the initial implantation, followed by a period of dull, achey sensations as the seed extends fibrous roots throughout the lining of the uterus to form it's own amniotic sac and umbilical chord. The fiberous roots themselves act as the placenta. The rooting also helps seal off both entrances into the uterus for the duration of the pregnancy. Once the rooting is complete, the seed then begins to sprout, much like a microscopic seedling, growing like vines and forming the various systems and organs that make up Zelosians. At the end of the sprouting stage, a Zelosian embryo appears comparable in appearance to a human embryo and no more than the size of a ping-pong ball. Development continues from here until birth in a similar manner to humans, though the entire process takes a bit more time in all. The flesh around the mother's stomach also takes on a semi-transparent quality, enabling light to more easily pass through the flesh to be absorbed more quickly by mother and baby. The beginning stages of labor are marked by similarly-felt contractions as the roots begin to retract from the walls of the uterus, a potentially lengthy process. Afterward, birth proceeds similarly to that of humans. Typically Zelosians birth alone or with their spouses, or occasionally a coach/assistant. It is done either in their homes or outside rather than at hospitals unless risks for complications are present.
Zelosians can exchange or combine genetic material with a few other botanical species, though most not without some manner of complication. Some example species include: Neti, Affytechan, Pliith, Wirutid, Yarin, and Unidentified walking plant species As mentioned, however, though there is the possibility for genetic compatibility, most any breeding outside of Zelosian species would more than likely result in growth complications for offspring, or the need for genetic/medical intervention to even produce offspring.
Sedentary Rooting, sometimes referred to merely as rooting, is a process by which a Zelosian begins to take root. The process typically occurs during old age. An elder Zelosian will slip into a coma due to age or illness. While being sustained on life support, they will begin forming root buds over the portions of their bodies that are parallel to the ground. This is a sign that a Zelosian will not recover from their illness. In a sense it is another form of death, but one that is seen as a greater privilege. Once the roots begin to form, the rooting individual's caregiver(s) make arrangement for their placement in a green-house facility. These facilities are much like a mix between a grave yard, nursing home, and green house. It is possible to make arrangements for another rooting location, such as beside the grave of a loved one who passed away without rooting or in a family rooting-plot. Once a location has been chosen, the rooting individual is placed on a bed of soil to live out the remainder of their rooted life. After they have taken root in their bed of soil, their skin begins to harden and become bark-like. The continue to grow after rooting, forming buds across their skin that become sprigs, then twigs, then limbs, then branches as their bodies begin to lose many of their near-human features and take on a more plant or tree-like form. These individuals are still thought to be alive and are treated highly and cared for with pride among the Zelosian communities. It is possible, but rare, for a younger Zelosian or Zelosian child to take on a rooted form. Such an incident typically only occurs as a result of a traumatic event causing someone to enter a coma in which they do not wake from.