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The Tau and Genetics
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 06:20   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Tau and Genetics

The tau seem to have some genetic difference between the various caste. This got me to thinking that the Earth Caste would probably be interested in genetics.

As my purpose for this thread is to write genetic related fluff I'm requesting any/all active members to contribute to this thread. I will contribute something whenever I can, but I'd like some help.

Any type of genetic related fluff would be appreciated, but try to center it mainly on the tau's study of species within its empire.

Examples of species specific categories-

Tau, specifically the various caste differences and manipulation possiblities(SuperTau)

Kroot, specifically their ability to subsume genetic material from devoured enemies and how this relates to genetic manipulation

Vespid (I've already got some stuff for them, so I'll take this one ;D)

Nicassar and the genetics of psychics

Demiurg no specifics

Humans, maybe space marines would be an interesting subject.

Anything else I missed...

I'll add some fluff every chance I get, but for now I have to get to bed. :P
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 06:44   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

The Tau.

Early in their evolutionary history (Cf. M34), the Tau seperated into four distinct groups: plain warriors and hunters, skilled negotiators and politicians, strong builders and farmers, and nimble messengers who have membranous wings between their arms and bodies to fly.

This is contiunued by a selective breeding program (Cf M40), where each Shas'la to Shas'O is paired with another to mate and produce genetically superiour Tau. The Earth caste manages this.

Kroot take DNA from things and add it to their own. This allows future generations to be genetically superior to their predessors, and for threats to be quickly dealt with. For example, that ate chamealion-like prey would eventually have decendants who had similar properties. This is survival of the fittest, not evolution, at its finest and most obvious.

On psychic powers: Some races are comprised entirely of psychics, such as Eldar. In these, there is still a very broad range of psychic powers, from the latent to the strom of etheric destruction Farseers can call down. Humans are rarely psychics, but even so there is a great disparity between Alpha-Plus and a latent psyker. It is a recessive gene that is both humanity's curse and brightest hope for the future.

Space Marines get their DNA altered. That means that the next time the cell divides, it becomes two of something else. The Emperor himself grew the genes and devised their use thousands of years ago, and it is beyond the skill of the Imperium to fully replicate this. It is holy and mutation threatens to blot out the Avatars of the Emperor's Will.

[Edit] Made the beggining more clear for those of you who... uh... got confused. Somehow.
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 07:34   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

i think their brains would be an interesting thing to touch on. since they have obvious traits between the castes, and each skill uses a seperate part of the brain, in theory.

which would possibly mean sligtly different shaped heads.

the ethereal caste have a slightly raise boney ridge in that forehead slit thing dont they? that could mean something.
and females forehead slits are 'Y' shaped while males are 'l' shaped.

just some things you may be interested in. ill look into them if i have time.
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 08:11   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

say, the eldar, the humans and the orks and some other random other races i am not sure which, were all created by the ancients to defeat the necrons and the horible manifestation of their powers. the ancients wanted to give them all power over the necrons so gave them their psycic abilities.

say, isn't it strange how the tau emerged out of the warp storm shortly before the return of the c-tan? however, the fact that the tau do not hav access to warp tech makes me sure that it wasn't the necrons. say, how do necrons go about places again? i don't think they can live in the warp, i think they are just metal skeletons there. i will enquire my necron book.

either way, now i have a question, does anyone know if the tau had warp presence before the ethereals came?

ok i guess the necrons just sort of "appear" places. anyone know?
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 08:28   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

the necrons have FTL travel[faster than light] i think....
i doubt the tau have a strong presence in the warp before the ethereals.

infact the ethereals would be an interesting subject
ok ethereals
  • came out of nowere
  • somehow united the tau
  • seem to be different to normal tau
  • maybe have 'powers' i heard that in xenology a ships navigator/somone did things to herself when an ethereal was being killed on the ship she/he was on
  • in the dex it says something like only the space pope can use that rod thingy[well ethereals]
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 08:38   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

This is for the post that was submitted by the bear dude(sorry, didn't catch name). Tau arn't seperated at birth. They are born into each caste, arn't the ???y?
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 11:01   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

He meant the original tribes. The pre - historic Tau. They seperated, and their circumstances were so different that over time they became seperate sub - species.

This question has probably been asked before, but I can't remember hearing an answer. Inter - caste breeding is forbidden by the Ethereals. But are the castes actually capable of inter - breeding? Would they create a super - tau or a mongrel Tau? Or would such couples be sterile?

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Old 14 Aug 2006, 12:09   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

Originally Posted by MechTau
Space Marines get their DNA altered. That means that the next time the cell divides, it becomes two of something else.
As I understand it, it doesn't work this way. Space Marines are implanted with various additional organs grown from a progenoid gland, which are genetically distinct from the the (human) remainder of their body. So they're effectively a symbiosis between a normal human and a set of incomplete genetically engineered organisms.

The different castes of Tau apparently have a common ancestor, but have evolved along slightly different paths. Depending on how far they've diverged, they may or may not be interfertile. I think the novelization of Fire Warrior mentions that there are eugenic breeding plans under which the castes are occasionally mated with one another.

The ability of the Kroot to absorb and use genetic material from their surroundings is not unprecedented in nature. Bacteria swap plasmids - small fragments of genetic material - which allows them to spread traits such as antibiotic resistance rapidly through a population.
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 13:29   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

I think there would be about the same genetic deviation between castes as there is between native peoples of the different continents. We're almost 100% the same, buts there are enough differences, such as Africans being taller and having a slightly different ankle joint than Europeans. Asians tend to be shorter, and most lack an enzyme that allows them to properly absorb alcohol. Anyways, there's a lot of differences genetically, but some are so subtle that currently you can't tell someone's race by thier DNA (tho it's mostly because we don't quite know what EVERY molecule in DNA does yet, and in what order.)
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 16:13   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau and Genetics

SM are not symbiotes! I mean, technically they are during the first few days or weeks or whatever, but then the "directions" to make the organs become integrated into their DNA, so that later their DNA can be "harvested" from specialized glands to make new implants.


Necron tech isn't fully explained. I tried once, but found out thats how plasma would work (Yes, it isn't the heat, but rather the removal of the electrons that hold the target together. Quite nasty.)

They "remove the inertia" from their spacecraft, "allowing" "FTL" "travel" by the "Necrons". What they really mean to say is "Necr0n pwn3s y0z3!!!!111 t3h m4g1c r0xx0rzzzz1!!!!!!111"


Sycotikpryo: Their brains don't have much of a difference. Water caste are slightly quicker on their feet and more adept at a social situation, while Fire Warriors are slightly braver. This doesn't really matter. The much larger physical differences and the different schooling and social expectations of each caste play a much larger role in defining the Tau.

Exactly like Orion said.
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