The Forests of Venus by Mark W. Foster
Last time we reviewed the flora of Venus in H.P. Lovecraft’s “In the Walls of Eryx.” In this article we will review the fauna of Venus.
Farnoth Flies by Spearhafoc (www.deviantart.com)
As previously mentioned, rates of decomposition on Venus are extremely high, partially due to its high humidity and temperature. Decomposition appears to follow a specific succession of biological processes. The corpse first attracts the farnath flies, which are later followed by the sificlighs and the wiggling, slimy akmans. These animals directly feed off the dead biomatter, tearing off chunks of flesh and organs to consume. This breakdown and tearing apart of the biomass increases the surface area of the material, allowing the resident microbial and fungal species, as well as the farnath flies, to continue this process of reducing the size of the biomass. Additionally all of these organisms may exert or produce compounds that aid and accelerate the rate of decomposition through purification. Thus, by the time the efjeh-weeds appear not much is left other than bone and some residual biomatter. With very little organic matter left the efjeh-weeds begin to break down the leather of the environmental suits.
Sificligh by Spearhafoc (www.deviantart.com)
Akman by Spearhafoc (www.deviantart.com)
A very similar succession of decomposition occurs on Earth, largely dependent on season and temperature. Thus, rates of decomposition are generally faster in tropical regions when compared to temperate regions, which in turn, are faster than those to polar regions. Thus, the high humidity and temperature throughout most of Venus results in very accelerated rates of decomposition.
Venus is not just filed with necrophagous organisms and decomposers. Predatory skorahs have also been identified. In the tale as the protagonist is trapped within the invisible maze he observes the body of a fallen comrade being converted into a “writhing mass of vermin…” He hopes the odor will attract carnivores such as the skorahs who would then wiggle through the maze so he could find a way out. Unfortunately for him this did not occur. The last note made of the skorahs was that in addition to being carnivorous they tended to function in aggregations, working in groups or packs to bring down prey considerably larger than their individual selves.
Carnivorous Skorah by Spearhafoc (www.deviantart.com)
Another animal mentioned in “In the Walls of Eryx” is the flying tukah. This organism is only mentioned once in the tale and it is identified as one of the few higher forms of life that is found on one the other continents of Venus. Other than that, little is known of the flying tukahs.
The only other animal life on Venus described in a higher degree of detail were the man-lizards, the sentient natives to this world and we will discuss this race of beings in the next article. Thank you – Fred.
Venusian Man-LIzard by Spearhafoc (www.deviantart.com)