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Aren't the Kroot rather like the Tyranids???

Posted: May 19 2017 07:45
by Vio'ra Mal'caor
Alright. I was thinking the other day about how the Kroot adapt DNA from fallen enemies for their own use by eating them, and I was struck by how much this was like the Tyranids. Here is a short version of my musings. In list form.

1. The Kroot eat the flesh of their enemies after killing them. A specialist Kroot soldier samples DNA and decides what is useful for the Kroot squads. The Tyranids use DNA to adapt in a simular way to the Kroot.

2. The Kroot have evolved alongside Kroothawks and Kroothounds, both of which share the same DNA. Extrapolating on this, the Kroot were seeded from the sanme DNA as the Tyranids, and share a common ancestor.

3. Becuase the Tyranids are extrasolar, and come from ultible directions in the local group the Milky Way is part of, it seems that whoever seeded the Kroot also created the Tyranid Hive fleets. This suggests a hidden alien race that has not been revealed yet.

4. The Kroot may one day do the same way as the Tyranids, forcing the Tau to fight them. Who knows if this will happen in 8th edition???

Re: Aren't the Kroot rather like the Tyranids???

Posted: May 19 2017 08:20
by Kakapo42
Funnily enough you are not the first person to have noticed this - one of the earliest pieces of background lore about the Kroot was a short story about a Kroot kindred ambushing some Tyranids (Genestealers, if memory serves), and sensing that they had a similar MO. It seriously spooked the Shaper and even now if I remember right Tyranids are one of the few creatures the Kroot will not consume the flesh of.

As to your thinking, it's some interesting theories, however I would consider common ancestry between the Kroot and Tyranids to be unlikely. The Kroot are noticeably avian in nature, possessing bird-like features in all of their various species. The Tyranids, on the other hand, are noticeably insectoid or arachnoid in nature (including the presence of haemolymph in their bodies), and even the species that ARE theorised to be distant descendent of a previous Tyranid attack aeons ago are almost entirely insectoid as well, such as the Catachan Devil. Going by the many, many, many structural differences between the two (including not even using the same kinds of circulatory or digestive systems, two things related animals commonly share), it would seem that they Tyranids have a totally different lineage to the Kroot.

The Kroot themselves appear to be descended from the Kroot Hawk, which seems to be the common ancestor for the various Kroot-forms. Kroot-hounds 'evolved' (in the loosest sense of the term) from the Kroot after one or more Kroot Kindreds adapted too many canine traits from prey - Krootox came about from a similar process.

My final counterpoint would be that much of your speculation hinges on the assumption that Tyranids and Kroot are both 'engineered' or 'uplifted' species. While there are such species present in 40k, in the form of the Eldar and Orks which were both created by the Old Ones, they are far from ubiquitous and there has been, to my knowledge, no background material that strongly supports either the Kroot or the Tyranids being created by an intelligent force (beyond of course the creative genius of GW in the early 2000s).

It is however possible that the Kroot and Tyranids are both examples of Convergent Evolution, and that both arose from points of origin with similar environmental conditions (in other words, it's entirely possible that the long-lost extra-galactic homeworld that the Tyranids first originated from was similar to Pech until it was presumably eaten by the Tyranids).

Re: Aren't the Kroot rather like the Tyranids???

Posted: May 20 2017 03:19
by nic
The Kroot and the Tyranids are both examples of evolution by self-selection. Both have been given a method in the fluff to adopt characteristics across species boundaries to adapt faster. There are thematic similarities there. There are also huge differences; individual Kroot are tool using and sentient whereas members of a Tyranid swarm are essentially mindless and are instead bred by a hive mind for a purpose with biological enhancements to achieve it.

I doubt if there is any common ancestry, there is no hint of it in the fluff and their biology seems distinctly different.

Re: Aren't the Kroot rather like the Tyranids???

Posted: May 20 2017 04:42
by Panzer
There are some important differences though.
Tyranids store the collected DNA 'data' in their Hivemind (or just the tendril...it starts to look like those are different entities). And start using that data to produce new kind of Tyranids if it's worthwhile.

Kroot need to consume a lot of DNA wit those specific traits over the course of generations to develope specific traits. They are usually organized in rather small tribes which are lead by a Shaper who directs his tribes evolution in a specific direction.

The difference is that while Kroot make use of DNA they consume, it's restricted to their tribe and way way slower and unreliable than what the Tyranids do. The Tyranids find some very tasty DNA data, consume it and suddenly you see a complete new kind of Tyranids a few days later across the whole fleet.

When it's about that part of their fluff then Tyranids are Kroot cranked up to 11 (while Tau are on a 3 or something lol). :D


That's also the reason why we are unlikely to see super powerful Kroot psycher even if they would theoretically have the potential. It's just very hard to follow a diet of powerful psychers over the course of several generations. They are quite rare and usually able to defend themselves well. :P

Re: Aren't the Kroot rather like the Tyranids???

Posted: May 21 2017 12:30
by khayman
Earlier Codexes clearly point out that the Kroot do not need generations to adapt and I don't remember anything that could be considered a retcon to that. What could be said is that they would probably need generations to make significant evolutionary leaps. They can gain immunity to toxicity within a few kai'rotaa. But, for instance, to grow another set of arms, we can safely assume they would require selective breeding. Even with this in mind, the evidence points to convergent evolution (as pointed out earlier above), not common ancestry. Keep in mind that a common ancestry claim requires significantly more evidence of proof than convergent evolution.

Also, I don't think I can back the claim that the Tyranids are not sentient.

I think that a point where the Kroot and the Tyranids diverge most significantly the control they have over how they adapt their DNA.

Because of their social structure and hive society, the Tyranidss complete lack of individuality seems to allow them to store the evolutionary data and use it at will. If they need psychics, they produce psychics, if not, they don't. They can test out evolutionary branches and if it doesn't work out, simply stop producing that. There is no sense of self and as such no ethics or morality involved.

The Kroot on the other hand don't seem to have this luxury and, thus, are extremely wary of ending up in evolutionary dead ends, like the Krootox. We know from Codexes that Kroot infantry units can and will consume DNA at will and subsequently adapt without requiring permission from their communities but this is mentioned in a way that hints at very minimal adaptations. Even then, they will do so because they need to (i.e. on a campaign to a toxic environment, they will adapt while still on that compaign to gain immunity to that toxicity). The evolutionary leaps however go through the Shaper and, as heavily hinted at, even the Shaper will consult Shapers from other communities. And so, eventually, you may see clans with different skin colour but you will almost never see one clan with four hands and another one with wings.

Re: Aren't the Kroot rather like the Tyranids???

Posted: May 21 2017 02:44
by Panzer
khayman wrote: What could be said is that they would probably need generations to make significant evolutionary leaps.

That's what I meant, yes.

Re: Aren't the Kroot rather like the Tyranids???

Posted: Jun 20 2017 11:37
by Calmsword
There is a canonical instances of the Kroot being absolutely terrified of the Genestealers; recognizing that if their genetic information could be consumed and manipulated their entire species would be at risk. It's a fantastic dynamic and a unique relationship between a not-too-written about species interacting with the Tyranids.

I'm mobile so I can't look it up (and drive) but it's in the Ciaphus Cain novel involving the Tau, might be called 'Greater Good'.