Space Marines are genetically engineered super-humans.
The nineteen organs created by the ancient technicians of the Emperor are described below.
Not all chapters have all organs, each chapter has its own genetically "fingerprint"
after its Primarch.
- Secondary Heart. The secondary heart is capable of boosting the blood supply or maintaining full life functions even with the destruction of the recipients original heart. The phase 1 implant enables Marines to survive low oxygen concentrations and traumatic injury.
- Ossmodula. This is a small sized tubular shaped organ. The Ossmodula monitors and secretes hormones affecting epiphyseal fusion and ossification of the skeleton. At the same time, the specially engineered hormones encourage the forming bones to absorb ceramic based chemicals administered in the Marines diet. Two years following implantation, this will have caused considerable strengthening of the long-bones; extreme ossification of the chest cavity (caused by growth of the ribs forming a solid mass of inter-laced bone plates) and a general increase in the size of the recipients skeleton.
- Biscopea. This organ is implanted into the chest cavity. It is small, approximately circular and, like the Ossmodula its primary action is hormonal to stimulate muscle growth throughout the body.
- Haemastamen. This tiny organ is implanted into a main blood vessel. The Haemastamen serves two purposes. It monitors and to some degree controls the phase 2 and 3 implants. The organ also alters the constituent make-up of the recipients blood. As a result, Marine blood is considerably more efficient than ordinary human blood, as it has to be when you consider the extra biological hardware a Marine carries inside him.
- Larraman Organ. This is a liver shaped, dark, fleshy organ about the size of a golf ball. It is implanted into the chest cavity along with a complicated array of blood vessels. The organ generates and stores special Larraman cells. If the recipient is wounded, these cells are released into the blood stream. They are transported to the site of a wound. Once in contact with air, the Larraman cells form a skin substitute of instant scar tissue, stopping the flow of blood and protecting exposed wound area.
- Catalepsean Node. This brain implant is usually inserted into the back of the skull via a hole drilled into the occipital bone. The pea-sized organ influences the circadian rhythms of sleep and the bodies response to sleep deprivation. Normally a Marine sleeps like any normal man, but if deprived of sleep, the Catalepsean node cuts in. A man implanted with the node is capable of sleeping and remaining awake at the same time by switching off areas of the brain sequentially. This process cannot replace normal sleep entirely, but increases a Marines survivability by allowing perception of the environment whilst resting.
- Preomnor. The Preomnor is a large implant which fits into the chest cavity. It is a pre-digestive stomach which allows the Marine to eat a variety of otherwise poisonous or indigestible materials. No actual digestion takes place in the Preomnor. Individual sensory tubes assess potential poisons and neutralize them or where necessary, isolate the Preomnor from the rest of the digestive tract.
- Omophagea. This complicated implant becomes part of the brain, but is actually situated within the spinal cord between the cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Four nerve sheaths called neuroglia are implanted between the spine and the Preomnor wall. The Omophagea is designed to absorb genetic material generated in animal tissue as a function of memory, experience or innate ability. A Marine can actually learn by eating. Incidentally, it is the presence of this organ which has created the various flesh and blood drinking rituals for which the Marines are famous, as well as giving the names to Chapters such as the Blood Drinkers, Flesh Tearers etc.
- Multi-lung. This is another large implant. The multi-lung, or third lung, is a tubular grey organ. Blood is pumped through the organ via connecting vessels grafted onto the recipients pulmonary system. Atmosphere is taken in by means of a sphincter located in the trachea. In toxic atmospheres, an associated sphincter muscle closes the trachea and restricts normal breathing, thus protecting the lungs. The multi-lung is able to absorb oxygen from poorly oxygenated or poisonous air. Most importantly it is able to do this without suffering damage thanks to its own efficient toxin dispersal, neutralization and regeneration systems.
- Occulobe. This small slug-like organ sits at the base of the brain. It provides the hormonal and genetic stimuli which enable a Marines eyes to respond to optic-therapy. The Occulobe does not itself improve a Marin's eyesight, but it allows technicians to make adjustments to the growth patterns of the eye and the light-receptive retinal cells. An adult Marine has far better eyesight than a normal human, and can see in low light conditions almost as well as in daylight.
- Lyman's Ear. The organ enables a Marine to consciously enhance and even filter certain types of background noise. Not only is hearing improved, but a Marine cannot become dizzy or nauseous as a result of extreme disorientation.
- Sus-an Membrane. This flat, circular organ is implanted over the top of the exposed brain. It then grows into the brain tissue until completely merged. The organ is ineffective without subsequent chemical therapy and training. However, a properly tutored Marine may then enter into a state of suspended animation. This may be a conscious action, or may happen automatically in the event of extreme physical trauma. In this condition a Marine may survive for many years, even if bearing otherwise fatal injuries. Only appropriate chemical therapy and auto-suggestion can revive a Marine from this state - a Marine cannot revive himself.
- The Melanochrome, or Melanochromic Organ, is hemispherical and black. It monitors radiation levels and types bombarding the skin, and if necessary, sets off chemical reactions to darken the skin to protect it from ultraviolet exposure. It also provides limited protection from other forms of radiation.
- Oolitic Kidney. This red-brown and heart shaped organ improves and modifies the Marines circulatory system enabling other implants to function effectively. The Oolitic Kidney also filters blood extremely efficiently and quickly. The secondary heart and Oolitic Kidney are able to act together, performing an emergency detoxification program in which the Marine is rendered unconscious as his blood is circulated at high speed. This enables a Marine to survive poisons and gases which are otherwise too much for even the multi-lung to cope with.
- Neuroglottis. Although the Preomnor protects a Marine from digesting anything too deadly, the Neuroglottis enables him to assess a potential food by taste. The organ is implanted into the back of the mouth. By chewing, or simply by tasting, a Marine can detect a wide variety of natural poisons, some chemicals and even the distinctive odours of some creatures. To some degree a Marine is also able to track a target by taste alone.
- Mucranoid. This small organ is implanted in the lower intestine where its hormonal secretions are absorbed by the colon. These secretions initiate a modification of the sweat glands. This modification normally makes no difference to the Marine until activated by appropriate chemical therapy. As a result of this treatment the Marine sweats an oily naturally cleansing substance which coats the skin. This protects the Marine against extremes of temperature and even offers a slight degree of protection in vacuum. Mucranoid chemical therapy is standard procedure on long space voyages and when fighting in vacuum or near vacuum.
- Betchers Gland. Two of these identical glands are implanted, either into the lower lip, alongside the salivary glands or into the hard palette. Betchers Gland works in a similar way to the poison gland of venomous reptiles by synthesizing and storing deadly poison. Marines are rendered immune to this poison by the glands presence. The gland allows the Marine to spit a blinding contact poison. The poison is also highly acidic and corrosive. A Marine imprisoned behind iron bars could easily chew his way out given an hour or so.
- Progenoid. There are two of these glands, one situated in the neck, the other deep within the chest cavity. These glands are important to the survival of the Marines Chapter. Each organ grows within the Marine, absorbing hormonal stimuli and genetic material from the other implants. After five years the neck gland is mature and ready for removal. After ten years the chest gland becomes mature and is also ready for removal. A gland may be removed anytime after it has matured. These glands represent a Chapters only source of gene-seed. When mature, each gland contains a single gene-seed corresponding to each zygote implanted into the recipient Marine. Once removed by surgery, the Progenoid must be carefully prepared, its individual gene-seeds checked for mutation, and stored.
- Black Carapace. This is the last and the most distinctive implant. It looks like a film of black plastic when it is growing in the tanks. This is removed from its culture-solution and cut into sheets which are implanted directly beneath the skin of the Marines torso. Within a few hours the tissue expands, hardens on the outside, and sends invasive neural bundles deep inside the Marine. After several months the carapace will have matured and the recipient is then fitted with neural sensors and transfusion points cut into the hardened carapace. These artificial plug-in points mesh with features integral to the powered armour, such as the monitoring, medicinal and maintenance units. Without the benefit of a black carapace a Space Marines armour is relatively useless.