- 2088, February 21
S. canterlope humonga
- Observed a four legged animal that strongly resembles a horse grazing in a grassy area on top of the mountain plateau. It saw me and ran away but was back in a few hours. I found a good place to hide and observe him. I named them S. canterlope humonga, because they canter like horses and are really big.
- 2088, March 3
S. phylangomorph mandibilia
- I've been sighting these things on the plateau since I landed. They range from about ten to twenty centimeters in length and are about seven centimeters wide. There are thousands of them.
- They're invertebrates of some kind but have many of the traits of amphibians. Their bite is poisonous and hurts like hell. I've been bitten a few times and the wounds take weeks to heal, which is why I've named them phylangomorph mandibilia. Their pincers are about ten times larger than their abdomen. They are nearly impossible to catch, making them difficult to study.
The next several pages contain a comparative analysis of the migratory behavior of gyranthymus swoopa. You stop flipping pages at an interesting entry on page 18
- 2088. July 9
S. gyranthymus swoopa
- Since my arrival, I've had to with a huge variety of bird that is quite prevalent. They strongly resemble pterodactyl species from Earth textbooks I read as a child. The indigenous species here are much smaller, though, and extremely intelligent. I learned quite by accident that various high-pitched tones elicit specific (and often strange) reactions in them, perhaps relating to migratory or mating behaviors. After experimenting with a few handmade whistles, I was able to make one tht causes them to sleep, another that causes them to attack, and yet another that seems to pacify them.
- A few months after I arrived, one aggressive one of these birds made a nest beside the wreckage of my ship and wouldn't let me get near it. I eventually was able to find the correct frequency on a whistle to drive it away. Another one built a nest in the pinnacles outside my house and yet another whistle was required to appease it. The whistles don't seem to have the same effect on each animal. Very strange, indeed. Anyway, I think the one outside my house likes me. Its been there for a long time and has periodically protected me from canterlopes that have wandered into the cliffs. It swoops down from tis perch and bars the way across my rope bridge. But it just lets me pass right on by.
- I've sighted twenty four different subspecies of S. gyr. swoop. in the vicinity of my home. Some are aggressive but most of them make themselves scarce when they see me coming.
- 2089, February 15
S. geraldo cassius
- An aggressive species of cactus occurs sparsely throughout the desert terrain of this planet. Standing over four meters tall, an adult S. geraldo cassius possesses limbs of unimaginable destructive power. Clearly as an evolved defense mechanism, these organisms are able to propel their massive limbs at will to the detriment of the casual observer. The slightest pressure on the surface of one of the spine-covered limbs causes the plant to swing its limbs wildly in the direction of the unwary victim.
- I was lucky enough to learn of these plants' behavior by watching one impale a helpless injured jackalope that happened to brush one of its arms. Needles from the arm of the S. geraldo quickly skewered the animal, causing immediate death. Thank god these plants do not possess mobility or the desert terrain would be dominated by huge green barbed aggressors intent on making pincushions out of all the creatures they encountered.
- Although fierce and deadly, the plants do not seem to possess any reasoning ability and I've often amused myself by throwing things at them (from a safe distance). The arms wave violently in all directions for a moment and soon resume their seemingly harmless frozen pose.
The next several pages conain a study of feeding patterns of desert invertebrates. You stop flipping pages at an interesting entry on page 28
- 2090, August 13
S. rodenta roadrunna
- The fastest organism to inhabit this planet appears to be the ubiquitous S. rodenta roadrunna. Sprinting at speeds exceeding 100 kilometers/hour, they are nearly impossible to catch. I have been marginally successful at capturing a few injured specimens for further study, although I always release them when I'm done with my observations.
- They run from 23 to 90 cm in length and resemble miniature prairie dogs. Their incredible speed seems to be the result of specialized leg muscles and aerodynamic body shape. They are warm blooded and seem to bear their children live. Their metabolism resembles that of earth rodents, their hearts beating over three hundred times per minute. Perhaps resulting from the extremely short nights on this planet, they seem to require little or no sleep.
- Analyses of their fecal deposits has led me to conclude that they subsist largely on a diet of leafy plants and small insects, of which there are hundreds of species in the local habitat. They build subterranean tunnels just below the surface of the desert in which they rest and rear their young. It is quite amusing to see a tunnel being dug, a slight furrow rising from the desert as it winds out of sight.
- It is not at all uncommon to see a group of S. rodenta racing at top speed across the desert terrain. Although disconcerting at first, I have grown fond of their playful games, racing to and fro amid the fragile ecosystem of my adopted home.
The next several pages contain an analysis of the chemical composition of gyranthymus droppings. You stop flipping pages at an interesting entry on page 34
- 2091, December 24
S. gopheria robustus
- Certainly the oddest of intelligent organisms on this planet is S. gopheria robustus, similar in appearance to Earth dinosaurs, but extremely small. Standing less than a foot tall, gopheria are adept at negotiating the craggy cliff tops of the local terrain. Living like bighorn sheep, they roam courageously atop the rocky mountaintops, building nests and eating flora that only occur naturally at extreme elevations.
- S. gopheria, like S. rodenta roadrunna, are extremely mobile, enabling them to evade their natural predators which are, at this time, unknown to me. They possess an extremely small horn embedded in their head which serves as a powerful deterrent to the unwary aggressor. They communicate with each other through a system of barking and whining that can be quite noisy and annoying. When happy, the gopheria is a quiet and peaceful species, desiring lots of food and sleep but little else.
- S. gopheria seem to be extremely social, living in groups of two to seven. I encountered a member of a gopheria 'clan' on a recent hike in the mountains surrounding the mountain plateau where I live. It seemed to be stranded on a particularly jagged cliff top and its friends or family had abandoned it. Risking my ow, life, I did manage to free the small creature and it immediately befriended me, following close behind my heels all the way back to my house. It insisted on sleeping on my mattress until I fashioned one especially for it. It seems content to lounge around my home day in and out, leaving only occasionally to hunt for the mysterious plants it needs to survive.
- As pets go, S. gopheria is certainly one of the gentlest and most rewarding animals a human could befriend, attentive and empathetic, and requiring little other than a soft bed.
The next several pages contain observations of the mating rituals of gopheria robustus. You stop flipping pages at an interesting entry on page 47
- 2082, January 1
S. jubifruitus deliciosa
- Tracking my adopted S. gopheria, I was able to finally determine the exact species of plant it requires for subsistence. S. jubifruitus deliciosa is a quite delicious and sweet leafy plant that occurs naturally at extreme elevation in the mountains surrounding my clifftop home. The leaves of S. jubifuirtus give off a pungent and sweet aroma and S. gopheria seems to eat twice its weight in them every few days.
You turn to the next entry on page 48 of Becker's field notebook
- 2094, January 2
S. winnerpeller avia
- Napping in a nearby meadow, I came across the strangest of tress I've seen so far. These tress, which I've named S. winnerpeller avia, produce seeds which occasionally take flight like small helicopters, spinning around a few feet in the air. They then settle back toward the ground. Perhaps this behavior is a defense mechanism, protecting them from predators. Perhaps the seeds re-orient themselves to areas where soil conditions are better. These questions remained unanswered.
- As far as I've been able to determine, the one S. winnerpeller avia I've found is the only one n this entire plateau. It may be the last of its kind and I treat it with special care, watering it occasionally during times of drought.
The next several pages contain recordings of average ground speeds of rodenta roadrunna. You stop flipping pages at an interesting entry on page 78
- 2097, October 5
S. mendobrillium violeta
- This stange bush resembles a creosote but possesses leaves shaped like flyswatters that attack small insects hovering beside them. Apparently not carnivorous, the reason for this evolved behavior is unclear. It is, however, quite amusing to watch.
You turn to the next entry on page 79 of Becker's field notebook
- 2098, May 2
S. parroo vocallis
- I first observed S. parroo vocallis early this year, hunting for rodenta scurrying across on the desert floor. They resemble parakeets and make an awful racket, screeching and squawking constantly. They're extremely timid and avoid all contact with me with one very strange exception. I discovered this quite by accident when I was experimenting with some drums I manufactured to enhance my life here with the joys of music. One day while I was experimenting with abstract meterless rhythms, a parroo landed less than a meter away from me and began squawking like crazy. The moment I stopped playing, flew away, but immediately returned when I resumed my playing.
- I'm not sure this is a trait shared by all S. parroo, but whenever I start playing, one of them soon appears and lands on the stand, squawking along with me until I'm done.
- Perhaps S. parroo vocallis possesses an innate attraction to certain percussive rhythms and is drat. to rhythmic sources against its will. More study is required of this strange bird.