A new species of fauna was discovered on June 3rd, 2018 by researchers at the Calzona Technical Institute. The new plant has been named the Herba Fugax after its quiet and reclusive nature. The Herba Fugax seems to be a newly evolved organism with surprisingly advanced organ systems. Despite not having any animal cells contained in it, the Herba Fugax is raising many questions about what it is to be a plant versus an animal. Many of its features and behaviors are reminiscent of organisms in kingdom Animalia more than kingdom Plantae.
Ion Storage Center
The Herba Fugax has several different specialized systems with various functions, all of which require energy provided by a central storage location in the body of the plant. This cylindrical organ is capable of creating lithium ions (Li+) which are then passively used to force electron movement. That electron movement is then harnessed by the organ systems in various ways. The Li+ pool is constantly draining via the organs, and refilling itself via the photosynthetic plate.
Not to be confused with the standard photosynthetic approach of plants and bacteria, the Herba Fugax’s means of drawing energy from the sun is dramatically different. Rather than using a photosynthesis-cellular respiration loop with CO2, H2O, and Glucose; the Herba Fugax uses a strange silicon-phosphorus-boron system. Calzona Tech is doing more research on this new approach to see how it might be applicable to human photovoltaic systems. Initial observations found that they are extremely similar approaches.
Circulatory and Peripheral Nervous System
Unlike most plants which have independent Xylem and Phloem which transport various nutritional needs, the Herba Fugax only uses one channel to provide the energy needed by the organ systems. This revolutionary system combines the nervous and circulatory system into a single path – where the energy sustenance is provided through the electrical impulses directed by the CNS. The axons, however, are made of a surprising aluminum structure which is wrapped in polyvinyl chloride instead of a lipid bilayer of myelin as commonly seen in animals.
Central Nervous System
The first known CNS in a plant exists in the Herba Fugax. It is extremely simple and seems to do little more than control when the nerves connected to the stem are sending impulses to the phosphorescent organ, and when they aren’t. One very strange feature of the CNS can be seen if looking closely at how it was programmed – so to speak. The CNS seems to be communicating or attempting to communicate with some other intelligence, sending it information about its state of being. Researchers at Calzona Tech found that the information it was communicating revolved around a state of fear which the CNS would enter into if its receptors detected potential predators in the environment.
The recipient of these messages is still unclear, and speculation that the communications are for some other organism unknown to us. Unconventional organ systems in the Herba Fugax could communicate with other unconventional organ systems in yet to be discovered organisms.
A notable clue as to this organism’s ancestors was found while examining the CNS. Particulates were found which only exist in Southeastern China near the modern day Shenzhen. This would indicate that initial assumptions about this being a newly evolved organism could be grossly incorrect. But as East Asia and Western North America were never connected, not even during Pangaea, scientists have been left with many questions.
The most notable part of the Herba Fugax is its stem which stands about 1 foot above the surface of the ground. It is made of a translucent Poly(methyl methacrylate) structure which is extremely effective at hiding the plant – making it almost invisible to keen-sighted animals like humans and hawks. This is speculated to be one of the contributing reasons as to why it is only now that this species was discovered.
At the base of the stem is an organ which acts very similarly to phosphorescent organisms, but is completely unique. It uses directional electron movement to generate a very bright green light which is directed up the stem. The stem then glows with this green light.
There is still great discussion at Calzona Tech with regard to the purpose of the light and the stem. The most prevalent theory is that they are used for sexual reproduction similar to the glowing courtship seen in squid and cuttlefish. This would, however, be the first known instance of a plant displaying courtship behaviors.
The main body of the Herba Fugax hides underground in a shape somewhat reminiscent of a flattened potato. This structure has prompted immediate DNA testing to be done to see if this new species belongs in the tuberosum family. The DNA Sequencer at Calzona Tech currently isn’t operational, and so, this study has been placed on hold. It will likely need to be outsourced to another university if the sequencer isn’t up and running soon. It, however, does not possess stolons commonly found in tubers. Another feature which indicates its uniqueness is the utter lack of root systems altogether. The bulbous body is perfectly smooth except for a small lip near the ground’s surface.
Inside of the body is a green colored organ system which is used to detect movement in the environment, most likely used to hide from predators. A receptor picks up minute electromagnetic movements in the environment in the microwave region of the spectrum. When sudden changes in the environment occur, the receptor sends a signal to the CNS.
The receptor is able to detect movement only due to the immediately adjacent phosphorescent organ which emits microwave radiation out in all directions, giving the receptor something to look at.
Both of these organs get energy transported to them from the Ion Storage Center.
During the day, the Herba Fugax is all but invisible to animals. It, however, does seem to continually produce an ever so slight green hue from its stem. The plant seems strangely unaware of whether or not the sun is out. It acts exactly as it does during the night time, with the notable difference being that they are extremely difficult to spot during the day
During the night, the Herba Fugax truly shows its colors as its green stem can be seen glowing from over half a mile away. As noted previously in this paper, there is a discussion on the purpose of this nocturnal glowing and its potential relationship to sexual reproduction. Any sort of mating has yet to be observed however.
This beacon can be suddenly extinguished by the CNS when the Herba Fugax feels threatened by potential predators like humans. The receptor sends out a signal in response to a nearby movement which propagates along the PNS’s aluminum axons to the CNS which immediately cuts off signals being sent to the stem’s light-emitting organ, causing the green glow to disappear. Thus far, trains and humans seem to be the main trigger of this shy/fearful behavior.
The Herba Fugax have only been found in a small one square kilometer cluster of 17 plants. None are particularly close to each other (particularly strange with the courtship behavior), and little can be determined about soil preference other than that they appear to thrive in the dry desert earth. Two Herba Fugax were found near railroad tracks, one in an abandoned tire, and a third in the shade of a brick wall. All others were found next to plants or out in the open. There seems to be little to no reasoning for their locations.
There have yet to be any dead Herba Fugax found, and so lifespan is yet to be determined.