Introduction[edit | edit source]

Terrae (from latin terra, which means land or earth) are worlds that have a self-perpetuating tectonic cycle maintained by the planet's inner heat and the lubricating effect of the oceans. The presence of life aids in maintaining the oceans and the atmosphere, just as the oceans and atmosphere allow for the presence of life. These worlds are among the most complex of planetary systemics. The tectonic plates of a terran world form early on in the planet's history, but can significantly change over periods of hundreds of millions of years. The atmosphere of a terran world is formed by volcanic out-gassing and cometary inputs, but also maintained and often transformed by the presence of life. While certain elements may vary, for the most part oxygen and nitrogen are the most common and most essential parts of these atmospheres. Life itself can become quite prolific and varied, even producing sapient species. But it is also fragile, and though microbial life is often difficult to eradicate, it does not take much of a global temperature or environmental change to wipe out much of the higher forms.

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