|World Summary Library Data Index|
The swarmer is a shaggy, quadrocular multiped that grows more legs as it grows older and larger. Up to nine radially-arranged legs have been observed on old specimens. Most noteworthy, the swarmer has a complex society but no apparent means of communicating. It has no sound-producing organs, signalling plumage, or other structure typically used for transmitting information. This has puzzled scientists for centuries.
In 1108 the means of communication was accidentally discovered.
The clouds of insect-like "idiot gnats" that accompany the swarmers are
actually cellular repeaters for extremely high-frequency radio emissions
from the swarmers. The gnats are produced within the swarmers' bodies,
secreted in their waste, and nourished by secretions on their skin; they
function as mobile, reconfigurable antennae for the swarmers. Once this
was discovered, researchers contacted the swarmers by radio, and found
that they had an unusual facility for linguistics. -AGD