The Murder are comparable to earth like avian animals. However, unlike their descendants, the Murder have evolved and have almost lost the ability to fly. Though they can glide short distances, and help slow a descend in case of free fall, to insure a safe landing for them.
The skeleton consists of very lightweight bones. They have large air-filled cavities (called pneumatic cavities) which connect with the respiratory system. The skull bones in adults are fused and do not show cranial sutures. The orbits are large and separated by a bony septum. The spine has cervical, thoracic, lumbar and caudal regions with the number of cervical (neck) vertebrae highly variable and especially flexible, but movement is reduced in the anterior thoracic vertebrae and absent in the later vertebrae. The last few are fused with the pelvis to form the synsacrum. The ribs are flattened and the sternum is keeled for the attachment of glide muscles. The forelimbs are modified into wings and simplistic gripping limb.
Respiratory and circulatory systemsEdit
The Murder have one of the most complex respiratory systems of all alien races. Upon inhalation, 75% of the fresh air bypasses the lungs and flows directly into a posterior air sac which extends from the lungs and connects with air spaces in the bones and fills them with air. The other 25% of the air goes directly into the lungs. When the Murder exhales, the used air flows out of the lung and the stored fresh air from the posterior air sac is simultaneously forced into the lungs. Thus, a Murder's lungs receive a constant supply of fresh air during both inhalation and exhalation. Sound production is achieved using the syrinx, a muscular chamber incorporating multiple tympanic membranes which diverges from the lower end of the trachea; the trachea being elongated in some species, increasing the volume of vocalizations and the perception of the Murder's size.
In Murders, the main arteries taking blood away from the heart originate from the right aortic arch (or pharyngeal arch), unlike in the other mammal aliens where the left aortic arch forms this part of the aorta. The postcava receives blood from the limbs via the renal portal system. Unlike in mammals, the circulating red blood cells in birds retain their nucleus.
The most developed part of the Murder's brain is the one that controls the fight or fligh t (or pilot's reflex as they call it) functions, while the cerebellum coordinates movement and the cerebrum controls behavior patterns, navigation, mating and social skills. Most Murders have a poor sense of smell. The Murder's visual system is usually highly developed. Water Murders have special flexible lenses, allowing accommodation for vision in air and water. Some sub-species also have dual fovea. Murders are tetrachromatic, possessing ultraviolet (UV) sensitive cone cells in the eye as well as green, red and blue ones. This allows them to perceive ultraviolet light, which is involved in courtship and space combat. Murders have specialized light-sensing cells deep in their brains that respond to light without input from eyes or other sensory neurons. These photo-receptive cells in the hypothalamus are involved in detecting the near absence of time in space, and thus regulate breeding activities.
Many Murders show plumage patterns in ultraviolet that are invisible to the human eye; some Murders whose sexes appear similar to the naked eye are distinguished by the presence of ultraviolet reflective patches on their feathers. The Murder's retina has a fan shaped blood supply system called the pecten. The Murder unlike their descendants have adapted the ability to move their eyes. The Murder have adapted to having their eyes somewhere between the sides of their heads and the front of their heads. The avian ear lacks external pinnae but is covered by feathers.
Murders have two sexes: male and female. The sex of Murders is determined by the Z and W sex chromosomes, rather than by the X and Y chromosomes present in mammals. Male Murders have two Z chromosomes (ZZ), and female birds have a W chromosome and a Z chromosome (WZ). An individual's sex is determined at fertilization.
Feathers, plumage, and scalesEdit
Feathers are a feature characteristic of Murder. They facilitate gliding, provide insulation that aids in thermoregulation, and are used in display, camouflage, and signaling. There are several types of feathers, each serving its own set of purposes. Feathers are epidermal growths attached to the skin and arise only in specific tracts of skin called pterylae. The distribution pattern of these feather tracts (pterylosis) is used in taxonomy and systematics. The arrangement and appearance of feathers on the body, called plumage, may vary within species by age, social status, and sex.
Plumage is regularly moulted; the standard plumage of a Murder that has moulted after breeding is known as the "non-breeding" plumage, or—in the Humphrey-Parkes terminology—"basic" plumage; breeding plumages or variations of the basic plumage are known under the Humphrey-Parkes system as "alternate" plumages. Moulting is annual in most Murders, although some may have two moults a year, and larger Murders may moult only once every few years. Moulting patterns vary from individual. In passerines, flight feathers are replaced one at a time with the innermost primary being the first. When the fifth of sixth primary is replaced, the outermost tertiaries begin to drop. After the innermost tertiaries are moulted, the secondaries starting from the innermost begin to drop and this proceeds to the outer feathers (centrifugal moult). The greater primary coverts are moulted in synchrony with the primary that they overlap. A small number of species, such as ducks and geese, lose all of their flight feathers at once, temporarily becoming flightless. As a general rule, the tail feathers are moulted and replaced starting with the innermost pair. Centripetal moults of tail feathers are however seen in the Phasianidae. Before mating, the females of the Murder gain a bare brood patch by losing feathers close to the belly. The skin there is well supplied with blood vessels and helps the Murder in incubation.
Feathers require maintenance and Murders preen or groom them daily, spending an average of around 9% of their daily time on this. The bill is used to brush away foreign particles and to apply waxy secretions from the uropygial gland; these secretions protect the feathers' flexibility and act as an antimicrobial agent, inhibiting the growth of feather-degrading bacteria.
The scales of Murders are composed of the same keratin as beaks, claws, and spurs. They are found mainly on the toes and metatarsus, but may be found further up on the ankle in some birds. The scales of Murders are thought to be homologous to those of reptiles and mammals.
With most races in the galaxy having similiar reproduction systems, or at the least, relatively same roles and organs, The Murder are not an exception. Also with most races, The Murder also have secondary sex characteristics, such as in females, how bright their plumage is. For the Murder, all members of the race have a kraaekae, The Murder's version of a cloaca, that ends in an opening. Through this opening, a Murder's sex organs, testicles or ovaries, discharge sperm or eggs; the same opening that expels urine and excrement.
On the onset of pueberty in a Murder, a Murder gains the ability to swell the kraaekae, which protrudes slightly. When it is time to mate, a duo of Murders rub kraaekae together. The male's sperm, which is stored in the opening, is deposited into a female's, where it travels up the chamber and fertilizes and egg. This act often takes multiple attempts before resulting in successful copulation.
The Murder's economy is based on necessity, all materials that are deemed necessary by The Band, are given top priority. Their main means of income for themselves, is the numerous amount of privateering and mercenary outputs that exist in The Murder race. Pirates, Privateers, and Mercenaries are given special pardons by The Band, and are given permission to act on any means necessary to achieve rich valuables and to achieve an income for The Band. The Band also is known for setting up numerous shipyards around the galaxy for various races and or private groups, and Murder Engineers make great money for their money and are considered some of the best in the galaxy.
Though the Murder have no real religion, they do believe in honoring their ancestors and those great members of their race who went above and beyond for them. Their first and greatest ancestor was given the name Todit'r klo F'utk, roughly translated to Temujin the First. He was known as one of the first rulers of the Murder when they still inhabited their home world and a renown conqueror and setting the foundation for uniting the Murder. Another important figure in their honoring is named Dtikdoat klo Saeqaeso, or Djutmeos the Savage. He is regularly called upon or asked for advice whenever the Murder is at war. As he was known to take down entire enemy legions all by himself and was only slain after being shot in the head after taking down twenty legions by himself.
Murders' diets are varied and often include nectar, fruit, plants, seeds, carrion, and various small animals. Because Murders have no teeth, their digestive system is adapted to process unmasticated food items that are swallowed whole.
Due to the Murder's short lifespan, everything has to be done to continue their species longevity and history. All Murder males and females are designated a mate from the moment of their birth, to another's genes who are most compatible with theirs. To ensure the best genes and the best children for future generations. The birth mates are officially married at the age of ten (equivalent to twenty in human years) and are made to commit intercourse to have their first group of children. Typically a healthy Murder mother will lay a clutch of four eggs, six if she's lucky and her partner has good enough genes. Both parents take time caring for the eggs and offspring after their laying and subsequent hatching. The parents are entrusted to produce offspring a total of three to five times in their lifespan. To ensure a significant number of offspring can continue their species lineage.
In cases Murder mates may request who they marry if they are give permission from both their paternal parents and local governing body to be with the mate of their choosing. In rarer cases a male with the strongest genes is given permission to commit polygamy and take up multiple mates. The Murder have sex often, due to coupulation needing multiple attempts to be sucessful. The standard sex position is the male perching on top of the female, who moves her tail feathers to the side to expose her cloaca. Arching back, the male rubs his cloaca against hers. Also due to their fast living life and need to commit to future generations, homosexuality is rare to non-existent in the Murder's society.
Notable Tlo MiubouEdit
- Bouxlo klo V'kkau'ait (Berkhe the Victorious)
- Buarxo F'slkou Cadvaerv (Bronze Fighter Company)
- Todit'r klo F'utk (Temujin the First)
- Dtikdoat klo Saeqaeso (Djutmeos the Savage)