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wierd critter thread
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Author:  Iowanic [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

So many ways for life to reproduce isn't there?

The tricky part for the speed-critter is I was thinking that the whole process of reproduction not require any assistence from another speed-critter: the whole cycle of life being carried out within each critter.
I figured this would have the advantage of allowing each speed-hunter to not require any contact with others in it's species: thus less conflict for food.

Couple possibilites:

Each critter in fact carry's a wide range of genetic info; each slightly different from the others. When it dies, multipul young in fact birth and begin chowing down: basically it's a race to see who can eat the most and get away before the others turn on them. Each cub would contain a very wide range of possible genes to pass on; the one that does the best job eatting early in it's life, lives to adulthood.

The somewhat random nature of which genetic set gets passed along could help to keep a wide gene-pool.

Author:  Ann Vole [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Iowanic wrote:
Each critter in fact carry's a wide range of genetic info;
Some hybrids (both plant and animal) carry twice the genetic material (both species) so occationally have births without a father by having eggs form that have the complete set of chromosome parts for one of the original species (the baby is not a hybrid like the mother is so is not even the same species). A type of lizzard has "virgin" births by normally having 4 copies of each of that species's chromosomes and then the eggs have pieces of the halfs of these four which form into different chromosomes with a random mixture of genes. The egg cell just completes the halves to form four new unique copies of each chromasome.

The long-distance exchange of genetic material is still quite possible as I think my previous post details and also that exchange of genetic material does not need to happen as often as cloning to still provide genetic variety.

Back to my alien creatures, I planned to have all the creatures on the planet to have the same set of genetic material (but with variations) and each creature is just modeled after the parrent but the cells could form into any creature on the planet if missing cues to form parts of a particular species. I have this story element so one creature of one species can leave the planet, the entire life of the planet can become extinct, and then the creature that left can return and quickly repopulate the world with the full set of life forms that existed before (the genetics are carried but not active for every species)

Author:  Iowanic [ Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

That's a clever way of surviving a planet-wide extinction. =D>

So; I guess I'm good to go on the gene-exchange prob....

Now I'm wondering if I made the speed-hunter too dependant on a single prey-critter(Grazelopes). The part that has me worried is the grazelope is dependant on a species of tree for shelter. Thus, in a round about way; the hunter-critter depends on the tree.

Now I worry about grass-fires doing more damage then it first seems!

One starts out designing a make-believe predator and ends up working on a natural way of controlling grass-fire! :?

Author:  Iowanic [ Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

I read somewhere black walnut trees produce a chemical that makes ground plants die around it.

Perhaps my trees(Prairie-loft) could use something similar to keep the grass-growths far enough away to reduce the fire-damage.

Author:  Iowanic [ Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Researching black walnuts trees has led me to ponder: Could plant life grow along the ground without growing IN the ground? I can think of vines kinda working that way.

Author:  Iowanic [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Here's a curious twist:

Plants that 'migrate' across the land(Or even sea), following the sun north/south seasonally.

Time-lapse videos of such might be amusing to watch. Heck, say you go out one morning and see a wind-tossed wave of plant-life; just on the horizen. Then a couple days later go out and find the plants have surrounded your home.
Weed-control would be a cottage-industry. But the risk of completely messing up a vital link to the rest of the eco-system arises yet again.

Author:  Iowanic [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Had a odd thought;

Do different plants use different wavelengths of light ? I had this vision of semi-transparent leaves, filtering sunlight to the ground below, thus acting like weed-control. Standing underneath such trees, the sunlight filtering thru would probably be remindful of stain-glass windows.

Author:  Ann Vole [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Iowanic wrote:
Do different plants use different wavelengths of light ?
yes and no... there are a few different energy-transforming cycles that use different chemical combinations and thus different light frequencies as the energy source... but also do different functions. Human skin is an example that uses a particualr frequency of ultraviolet light to form Vitamin D. There are 3 frequencies that are used in different versions of photosynthesis I believe but most plants just use the one green frequency (I think both the others are in the red part of the spectrum)

Author:  Iowanic [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

There was a article about how plants on other planets might use different parts of the spectrum in one of the popular science mags but I'd have to find it.
It'd be different to have it used as weed-control, though, if i do say so myself. 8-[

Author:  Iowanic [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Been thinking this thru....

If we use 'stain-glass' weed control, the tree-canopy will be on the thin side, since thick llayers or multipal layers of semi-tranparent leaves will block all sunlight to what's below.

It's not that this couldn't work: if a given tree-type thrives in a enviroment where it doesn't have to compete with ground-growth plants, blocking all sunlight below could work.

This suggests if I use the 'stain-glass' method, it's going to be very selective in what it targets and there has to be some advantage to a thin canopy.

But I haven't figured out a reason for that, yet. Perhaps protection from high-winds? Ie; with little canopy, it's be less inclined to bear the full brunt of a gale?

Author:  Iowanic [ Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

I'm just about ready to explain the insects that don't breath.

Author:  Iowanic [ Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Okay, I had the dang dream again. Why does this critter stalk my dreams!!!???

Anyone into dream analyising or stuff?

Author:  Iowanic [ Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Regarding Grazelopes...

I figured them for feeding during the daylight hours and taking cover at night.
But daytime temps are rather brutal, during the summer anyway.

So; I'm running thru ideas that will help critters withstand heat.

Couple early possibilities;

Shade.(May not work, though. Their tradition feeding ground is savanna: not many trees.

Water wading(Same prob....rivers okay...but not a lot of them)

I've tried to utilize features that assist critters deal with heat but being fairly small animals(60 pounds) I'm not sure they'd be able to disapate heat fast enough, if they're grazing in open sun.

any suggestions, anyone?

Author:  Iowanic [ Wed May 06, 2009 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

I keep coming back to somehow, using critter urine was coolant. I know, I know GROSS....but could a 'extra loop' in circulation; be which a critter passes urine once about it's body; (Think coolant systems in spacesuits) before expelling as we've gotten used to expecting.
Would that extra 'loop' lower body temp enough to make it useful? :-k

Author:  Ann Vole [ Thu May 07, 2009 3:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wierd critter thread

Iowanic wrote:
I keep coming back to somehow, using critter urine was coolant. I know, I know GROSS....but could a 'extra loop' in circulation; be which a critter passes urine once about it's body; (Think coolant systems in spacesuits) before expelling as we've gotten used to expecting.
Would that extra 'loop' lower body temp enough to make it useful? :-k
Not many people are aware that mammals have a rather unusual urinary tract plumbing compared to all other animals. All non-mammal males only use the penis or equivalent for sperm and the urine is instead mixed with the solid wastes. I only mention that because special plumbing of liquids is no big deal for earth animals so unique plumbing would be rather expected of extra-terrestrial life forms. As for function, water has a high thermal mass and even higher phase-change latent heat capacity so using liquid wastes to capture heat or even to be a refrigerant and change phase (like turn to steam) is a logical use to expect to evolve (or be created).

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