Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mutants In The News — "Teach A Fish To Fish...." Edition

Per the BBC, researchers have demonstrated that sharks (in this case, lemon) learn from the behaviors of their fellows.  It's the first study to demonstrate social learning in any cartilaginous fish.

"The results showed that sharks working with trained partners could complete tasks more quickly and successfully."

There's a cool embedded video that shows the experiment.

I'm reminded of a National Geographic article from the mid-2000s about breakthroughs in great white shark studies, where scientists were tagging them with satellite trackers and such.  The neatest—and by "neatest", I mean "most absolutely terrifying"—thing was a little throwaway anecdote about how the sharks would stick their heads out of the water for extended periods of time, and just languidly...watch...as the scientists did their work.

Great whites would pop up.
And observe.
For extended periods.
Serene as you please.
Then sink back beneath the waves.
And then appear later.
Over and over and over again.


"Z" is for "Zeromir"


No. Enc.:  2d4 (3d6)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  60' (20')
     —Swim:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  7
Hit Dice:  10
Attacks:  1 (bite, or Ancient ranged weapon)
Damage:  1d4, or by Ancient ranged weapon
Save:  L10
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  XVI
XP:  6,600

Like most animal species granted sentience by strange radiations and exotic toxins, the despotic, acrimonious, 4' tall zeromir (both singular and plural) want nothing more than utter conquest of the Mutant Future...but they will content themselves with dominance of just the polar regions...for now.  They enslave the most dangerous and deadly beasts of the frigid wastes for their arctic armies.

Each zeromir possesses two hearts, which grant a +2 bonus to any given Saving Throw. They can also hold their breaths for 1 hour, making them immune to inhalants.

A zeromir can become so apoplectic with rage that its Mental Mutations backfire.

Mutations:  Ancestral Form, Empathy, Extra Parts (Hearts), Mental Phantasm, Mind Reflection (Defective) [D], Optic Emissions (Gamma Eyes), Reflective Epidermis (Cold), Vampiric Field