Necronomicon Convention talk Biology of the Old Ones, Part 11 – Biology of the Elder Ones

So far the evolution and society of the Elder Ones has been discussed, however, this article will cover the biology of these entitles.  As previously mentioned, while the Elder Ones truly are aliens to Earth, they are made of the same “star stuff” as us.  In other words they are a product of the known Universe and do not come from the “Outside”.

Elder One drawing by Lance Brown; from Crypt of Cthulhu #37
Elder One drawing by Lance Brown; from Crypt of Cthulhu #37

We also previously mentioned that the radial anatomy based on the number five has had a large impact on their culture and civilization.  However, in addition to their external anatomy being based on five, their brain was five-lobed and appeared to be extremely advanced.  Based on this and the wiry cilia on the top of the head, it is more than likely that the Elder Ones had more than five senses.

Elder One's brain and nervous system, drawn by Steve Maschuck
Elder One’s brain and nervous system, drawn by Steve Maschuck

The external and internal tissues of the Elder Ones were described as being almost indestructible but giving off an offensive odor when thawed.  They had a thick, dark-green fluid that apparently functioned as blood.  Overall, they had attributes of both animals and plants.  For example, they had red tubes at their base that probably functioned as organs of digestion, respiration and/or elimination of waste matter (see the drawing below).  On the other hand, their reproduction cycle appeared to be similar to that of ferns (more on that in a subsequent article).

Elder One with extended feeding tubes, drawn by Steve Maschuck
Elder One with extended feeding and/or breathing tubes, drawn by Steve Maschuck

While being a mix of animal and plant, the Elder Ones were probably amphibian in nature, with at least two different types of respiratory systems, including air-storage chambers and a set of gills / air pores.  While considered marine in origin, the Elder Ones had large wings for flight and could easily exist on land for extended periods of time.

In addition to living in a variety of Terran habitats, the Elder Ones were also known to actually survive in the vacuum of space.  It is noted that they could fly through the cosmos without the need to eat or respire and could obviously survive in the absence of heat.  This is how they filtered down from the stars.  However, to do this it is said they needed to absorb certain chemicals and based on the story, over the centuries, they lost the ability of interstellar travel.  More than likely this is directly linked to the loss of this chemical technology.

Finally, it sounds like the Elder Ones had the ability to obtain energy through variety means, both autotrophic (photosynthesis, chemosynthesis) and heterotrophic (predation, saprophytic).  However, it sounds like once the Elder Ones arrived on Earth, they preferred to feed as predators and in fact even enjoyed hunting.  While the Shoggoths were originally created and bred as a source of food, they were later used as a slave labor force.  This is probably one of the reasons why the Elder Ones would not simply exterminate all of their “failed” biological experiments that slithered away to evolve on their own.  More than likely, the Elder Ones would hunt primitive Terran life for both food and pleasure.

Next time, I will be talking about the reproductive cycle of the Elder Ones and have some supplemental notes on the blog site .  Thank you – Fred

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