Alien Profile: The Kutalii

Mark BallThe following alien profile was created by John Reiher as an entry to the Alien August competition. Excellent entry, John. Well done!

monster_no__049_by_onehundred_monsters-d3cwfkgSpecies: Xenu Kutalus Sapiens

Common Name: Kutalii

Size: 1.3 m tall, 2 m length. Upright 2.2 m

Mass: 89-120 kg

Sex: 2, oviparous, 3-4 hatchlings, 25% Female, 75% Male

Coloration: Brick red to almost black-red.

Biology: Carbon-based, proteins, sugars. Triplex DNA

Locomotion: Bipedal/Quadrupedal: knuckle-walker

Manipulative digits: 3

Nutrition: Omnivore

Vision: Binocular, Red-Yellow-Green-Blue color vision

Special Senses: Electromagnetic 400 MHz – 3 GHz

Day/night cycle: 13 waking, 7 sleeping, 20 hour sidereal day

Gravity: 11.6699135 m/s2

Atmosphere: N2 72%, O2 19%, CO2 8%, other gases 1%, Pressure: 1.5 atm

Temperature Range: 20° C – 34 ° C

Society: Matriarchal

Religion: Pantheistic 60%, Animism 38%, Spiritual 40%

Government: Clan-based

Technology: Interplanetary flight, advanced medicine, advance electronics and computing, supersonic aviation and advanced personal aviation.


The Kutalii inhabit the planet Xenu Kootenai in the Klex Ealth system. Xenu Kootenai is a terrestrial planet with a lethal to human concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The planet is 1.5 AU from its G-type sun, Klex Ealth. With average temperatures ranging from 11° C at the poles to 87° C in its hottest deserts Xenu Kootenai a hot world.

Despite the heat, it is a lush world, with tropical conditions across mid latitudes of both hemispheres. The oceans cover 80% of the surface, and the landmasses are divided into 12 sub continents, three quarters of which lie in the mid latitudes. Precipitation is high in the mid latitudes, upwards of 40cm a year. The planet has a thick cloud layer that offsets the greenhouse effect of the high carbon dioxide percentage.

The Kutalii have been civilized for close to eleven millennia, after 200,000-year history of being hunter-gathers and aquatic nomads. Their affinity for the ocean stood them well during two dustbowl events in their prehistory, when temperatures soared close to the boiling point due to massive eruptions that built the eleventh and twelfth continents.

A stocky race, they are equally adept at walking in a bipedal gait, but prefer their quadrupedal gait for speed. Their three fingered hands are quite nimble and capable of fine work despite their large claws. They created tools that slip onto or over their claws for detailed work, while larger tools can be manipulated directly.

On their snouts, they have electromagnetic sense organs, common to many creatures on Xenu Kootenai. These organs can sense electromagnetic waves generated by other creatures and act as another means of “seeing” others. The Kutalii can also broadcast over the upper UHF and SHF bands. Because of this they never developed other means of communication, such as aural communication.

Kutalii group themselves into clans lead by matriarchs. The largest clans number in the thousands of members. The clan owns property collectively, though in practice the matriarch has her choice of who can use the property and who can profit from it. Money does exist as a concept, though it is only used when two clans are enacting trades that one cannot fulfil at the time. It’s more of promissory note, than an actual currency.

Individual Kutalii have many freedoms within their clan and outside of them. Depending on the matriarch, individuals may be allowed ownership of property outside of personal items. Life is good for most Kutalii, living in the communal residences, working on clan farms, in factories, or in resource extraction, everyone is gainfully employed at improving the clan’s lot.

Culturally, there are Kutalii who specialize in creating entertainments: Music, art, narratives, plays, and other entertainments. Due to their EM sense, their music is a combination of shortwave radio frequencies and more traditional percussion, string, and wind instruments.

Because they communicate in shortwave frequencies, they never develop radio or television, but create devices that expand the reach of their “voices”. They also learned to shield their electronics, reducing the noise they produce.

Stories involve clan ancestors, or ur-Kutalii that all clans claim as an ancestor. The great Yter-Dpeth is common to all northern Kutalii clans. She is a figure similar to Earth’s Gilgamesh, giving birth to the 12-clan leaders that founded the first clans. Other story types would be familiar to most sapients: Romance, speculative fiction, adventure, mysteries, etc. However, the content would be unfamiliar. The stories emphasize clan structure, obedience to the matriarch, working for the betterment of the clan, ad nauseum. Emphasis is on the clan and what the individual Kutalii can do for her clan.

Males are one of the items that clans trade between themselves, promoting genetic diversity. Or that’s the plan. On some of the subcontinents, the genetic tree doesn’t branch as much as it does elsewhere. There is some prejudice based on clan affiliation, not so much based on actual physical appearance. In those situations, males may be turned down or sent away.

On these subcontinents, there exist independent male enclaves. They form groups of males who have been turned away, operating as a leaderless clan. They live life almost as they would have in a clan. However, without a matriarch, they have no standing with actual clans, so they are forced to labor for anything they can get from those clans willing to trade with them.

Enterprising younger females will sometimes strike out on their own or with some like-minded sisters, and locate one of these male enclaves and form a new clan, with the leader as its matriarch. If there is more than one enclave, it is absorbed into this one clan.

Due to the lack of land for the clan to settle on, some of these new clans take to the sea and form large floating cities, moving from port to port, trading the bounty of the sea for the necessities of life. These clans became the first to strike out into space.

The nomadic lifestyle suits these space-based clans, as they build fleets of ships to travel from world to world, or massive stations to house their people.

Article written by John H Reiher.

Artwork by Alexander Thümler (miNze). Check out Alex’s Facebook page and DeviantART page.

  • EM_Gumby

    Nice! Well done!

    • John H Reiher Jr

      Thank you!

  • Vanessa Ravencroft

    1) aural communication?
    Some sort of light field? Halo?
    2) An organ that senses EM waves would not be same as a device that sends radio waves. For example your oral way of communication needs two separate systems (Vocal cords vibration and pitch, lungs media (air) , lips and tongue for modulation.) and Ears . A person may speak but if deaf can’t receive. A radio or a TV set is not equal to broadcasting. Now your creatures could of course have some sort of transmitter, but in these wavelength need an antenna and more so an electrical source of energy. The natural energy created by even a large brain, let’s say whale would; not be able to create enough energy to operate a transmitter that could be received a few centimeters away from a receiver.
    And radio waves are just a part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    Another problem is modulation, frequency and the difference between analog and digital. What do they do inside the air craft you describe? (Faraday you know)
    I know in our digital age the word Radio smacks of old men with glass tubes and it isn’t cool to sit through a class on radio waves etc.
    But even your WiFi and your mobile use radio waves. Our sun is and the entire Universe emits radiation including on the bands you described.
    Now you described music and instruments, how do they “record” ? Do they have yet a third organ that acts as a microphone?
    A device (even organic) that receives radio waves is not the same as a microphone. Why invent music (acoustic) if you do not communicate via sound?
    3) If there is a lack of land, where did the material of the floating cities come from?
    If there were forests they would be gone after building just a few.
    (That is why Spain has lost its forests (to this day) because building the Spanish Armada ) Or the Greeks deforested entire islands for their ships during the Antique)
    And they had to start somewhere to create a tool building society ( discover fire , mine, smelt metals and go form there) Underwater mining is not possible for civilization starting out.

    Nicely described, kudos for phantasy but not very feasible. Sorry


    • Ooh! Normally it’s John who’s the one pointing out scientific inaccuracies.
      I don’t know enough about electro-magnetism to respond intelligently, so I’ll leave it up to John to defend his creation 😀

      • Vanessa Ravencroft

        Take Bats for examole they use Ultra sound to navigate in darkness Sending out high pitched sound and receiving them via….you guessed it Bat Ears. But there are animals who use electricity like Electric Eels or Rays.
        And there are sharks who have a so called Lorentz Organ for electro location.
        The Life form scanner of the Union Science Corps is based on the same principle to locate neuro electric impulses .
        radio waves as communication has one serious flaw. (as biological solution) Frequency. Each creature would have to have the same organ down to size and make up to create the same frequency that can be clearly received by anyone on the same wave length. (You could not hear a Bat, your dog can) Wrong frequency and you hear nothing.. Same thing you tune into your favorite station lets say Channel one but your radio station but your wife can listen to Dances with the Aliens on Channel 2 without interference same medium and same wave, different frequency) That’s why your garage door opener does not work on your neighbors door.
        A living creature would certainly have variations as all biological things do…Everyone has a Nose but they all look different,,,and no dial to adjust;….

        (I have a PhD in Physics and I can’t shut up once talking so stop me if I say too much)


        • But colours are just different wavelengths, and we all see the same range of colours/wavelengths. Could the Kutali sense organ not work the same way?

          • Vanessa Ravencroft

            As a matter of fact we don’t. What is Red to you is not the same red to you (hence RGB color scales with exact numbers) hence camera tests before a movie is shot. The only ” color” we all agree on is black (and that is technically not a color) The distance between the receptor (Ganglion Cells) rods – Pigment cells are , a a micro milimeter different than your brothers but a few pictometer make a huge difference when we talk about visible light wave lengths.
            But sure the Kutai could have a natural graphite rod (its carbon after all) as antenna and millions of years of evolution..but lets say it works they do broadcast all on the same wavelength and can receive..Where does the electricity come from? Even an Electric eel has no constant juice but can only produce short impulses high on Voltage but low on Watts ( You know Mr.. Ohm and his law) They need to have a constant charge of to keep talking. …Just saying without a battery or plug your fancy radio is simply “Off”



            • You’re talking me into this now Vanessa 🙂
              Some of the energy could be recycled from the waves they receive. Maybe their environment could also have a natural static charge that they can either channel or perhaps store.

            • Vanessa Ravencroft

              Waves that can transmit useful energy quantities for example Infrared ,micro waves would cook the critters.
              But I truly like your thinking and digging for a solution. That’s the hallmark of a true scientist and thinking about a solution makes you an engineer at heart.
              How about this?
              The bone like structures at the side of the head are actually resonance chambers with foam tissue heavy laden with lets say natural earth magnet strands . The creatures constant movement (maybe shaking of the head creates a current like a electro motor. So the creature must shake its head to communicate.(Send) While the resonance chambers can be “agitated” by electromagnetic waves ( much like the micro bones and the ear drum in our ears) Or perhaps a Lorentz organ for electro resonance detection.
              Of course it still would not create a microphone to pick up sound and music.

            • John H Reiher Jr

              I totally agree that I dropped the ball on how they generate electricity to power their radio sense. I was assuming something akin to photoluminescence only in the longer wave lengths. They have to create the chemical reaction to generate the radio waves. Visible light has a shorter wavelength and therefore requires more power. So a chemical method of releasing photons in the UHF to SHF radio band might be possible.

              Now that’s more than likely bogus science, I’ll admit. But I did want a creature that didn’t communicate primarily through air vibrations, and didn’t want to have ambulatory cephalopods with their chromophores flashing like a disco on LSD. 🙂

              I do like your graphite rods in the organs acting as both receivers and transmitters. However, I assumed that they were only receivers. (I never said that, ran out of word count to add them in.)

              As for how they would react inside an aircraft, well, that depends on what it’s made of. Not all airplanes are made of metal.

              As for the island continents, most are the size of India, a couple are as big as Australia. To completely denude either would take some doing. But it’s a fair point. I imagine that a couple of the subcontinents are barren and in desperate need of reforestation. That’s a plot point for a story. Thanks for the Idea Vanessa!

            • Paulo R. Mendes

              And what about using sonar instead of radio for long range communication? many of the lifeforms in Darwin IV use this method.

    • Vanessa, you questioned “aural communication”. “Aural” relates to the sense of hearing.

      • I was indeed, because I hearing is an act of receiving and I wondered what the author meant and considered he meant perhaps some sort of visual / light communication

  • Vanessa Ravencroft

    The ampullae of Lorenzini are special sensing organs called electroreceptors, forming a network of jelly-filled pores. They are mostly discussed as being found in cartilaginous fishes (sharks, rays, and chimaeras); however, they are also reported to be found in Chondrostei such as Reedfish and sturgeon.Lungfish have also been reported to have them. Teleosts have re-evolved a different type of electroreceptors. They were first described by Stefano Lorenzini in 1678.

    These sensory organs help fish to sense electric fields in the water.

  • Paulo R. Mendes

    And I still follow my life loving the Kutalii… 🙂