(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by bbbourq » Tue 22 Aug 2017, 03:57

Hello fellow linguists and artists!

I am quite new to the conworlding aspect of things. I have created a rudimentary map and also a basic idea for a conworld. I have been good to avoid the "kitchen sink" language thus far, but I fear that without assistance I could very well fall into the trap of making a "kitchen sink" conworld.

What I have at this point in time is a circumbinary planet that has water, land masses, basic climate, and terrain features to include deserts and mountains. I don't know where to go from here. I've seen many posts which point out the physical and natural phenomenon associated with this type of system, but a lot of it is above my head.

I have thought about making my planet a moon orbiting a gas giant, but I feel that might be too similar to James Cameron's Avatar.

Being a complete novice in this particular arena I feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is available. I just need a nice starting point.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction?

Thank you.
https://linguifex.com/wiki/Lortho
http://conworkshop.info/view_language.php?l=LTH

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Tue 22 Aug 2017, 18:51

bbbourq wrote:Hello fellow linguists and artists!

I am quite new to the conworlding aspect of things. I have created a rudimentary map and also a basic idea for a conworld. I have been good to avoid the "kitchen sink" language thus far, but I fear that without assistance I could very well fall into the trap of making a "kitchen sink" conworld.
Glad to see you've decided to expand your creative horizons in this direction!

Kitchen sink invented languages are indeed a thing (and, except under special circumstances, are best avoided), but a world is a much broader much larger thing. A world is a place where, basically, everything happens. Extreme diversity of culture, history, religion, social structure, politics and so forth. I would actually challenge your fear by turning it on its head. What you should fear is not the making of a kitchen sink world, but rather the making of a world too narrowly conceived!
What I have at this point in time is a circumbinary planet that has water, land masses, basic climate, and terrain features to include deserts and mountains. I don't know where to go from here. I've seen many posts which point out the physical and natural phenomenon associated with this type of system, but a lot of it is above my head.

I have thought about making my planet a moon orbiting a gas giant, but I feel that might be too similar to James Cameron's Avatar.

Being a complete novice in this particular arena I feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is available. I just need a nice starting point.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction?
Question: why are you worried about a moon orbiting a gas giant (a la Avatar), but not worried about a circumbinary world (a la Star Wars)?

Forget about that kind of worry! Pick the kind of system mechanics you like best and go with that. The wonder of it will be in your own creative spin on the world(s) you make.

In all honesty, I think the best starting point is right now. Get on with it already! I also think a good philosophy of worldbuilding is to not let yourself be overwhelmed by Science. Just like how too many language inventors worry too much about linguistic plausibility, so it is with worlds. Many worldbuilders work in fear of their creations being unrealistic. If you want everything to be plausible and realistic, just settle for writing historical romance or science textbooks or something.

The sooner you get over that fear the sooner you can get on with fearlessly revealing life in the strange and wonderful world you're creating!

Also, don't forget to show us your maps!
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Tue 22 Aug 2017, 19:12

bbbourq wrote:Hello fellow linguists and artists!

I am quite new to the conworlding aspect of things. I have created a rudimentary map and also a basic idea for a conworld. I have been good to avoid the "kitchen sink" language thus far, but I fear that without assistance I could very well fall into the trap of making a "kitchen sink" conworld.

What I have at this point in time is a circumbinary planet that has water, land masses, basic climate, and terrain features to include deserts and mountains. I don't know where to go from here. I've seen many posts which point out the physical and natural phenomenon associated with this type of system, but a lot of it is above my head.

I have thought about making my planet a moon orbiting a gas giant, but I feel that might be too similar to James Cameron's Avatar.

Being a complete novice in this particular arena I feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is available. I just need a nice starting point.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction?

Thank you.
Both circumbinaries and moonworlds are sort of kitchen-sink-y, it's true* - they're things people do because they seem cool and unique and different (even though everyone does them), rather than for any specific purpose (in terms of those facts affect anything else) and often without really understanding the consequences.

Then again, I wouldn't worry too much if that's the extent of the 'KSC'-ness. [I would say that: my main conworld is too large to physically exist, theoretically has a ring system (don't know if it really will do) and multiple easily visible moons, and has five atmospheric cells per hemisphere instead of three. Yeah, kind of newbish...]

What sort of starting point are you looking for? What approach are you taking? Do you want to spend years designing invented plants, for instance, or do you want to move right ahead to human beings (or their analogues?). Or are plants too advanced - do you want to concentrate at first on your diachronic plate tectonics? Some people like to work out their system mechanics (orbital periods, temperatures, etc). Or you could go straight to working out your climates?



*elemtilas: I think the analogy here is that the KSL throws all the "cool" features the creator can think of into one language to make it maximally "cool" and "unique", without any thought about how they might logically fit together, let alone how they might create a distinctive aesthetic, and often results in something that is so "unique" that it's cliché. The same trends are certainly possible with conworlds.
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Wed 23 Aug 2017, 01:55

Salmoneus wrote:*elemtilas: I think the analogy here is that the KSL throws all the "cool" features the creator can think of into one language to make it maximally "cool" and "unique", without any thought about how they might logically fit together, let alone how they might create a distinctive aesthetic, and often results in something that is so "unique" that it's cliché. The same trends are certainly possible with conworlds.
No disagreement from me. I have some notes for a KSL, though have no plans to follow through on it. Too much of a muchness. The analogy fails, of course, because, as I said a world is so much bigger than a single language. If a whole world isn't kitchen sinky --- if it doesn't have everything in it --- then I at least'd argue that the geopoet has not done a complete job of it.

By this I mean: if the geopoet, particularly a young one or a first timer, is fearful of making a kitchen sink world and thus limits himself only to a very limited concept, then in my estimation the resulting world will be limited. Depthless and well, flat, if you take my meaning.

(There are, of course, good reasons for narrowing one's scope --- professional writers do this all the time. They want to write a story. They want to set it in an otherworld, not Earth. They don't need to invent a whole world; they need only devise enough to tell the story and no more. My comments are not directed in that direction.)

How it all fits together. Much more of a concern for the language inventor. After all, grammatical wossnames do kind of have to fit. And they have to fit within the framework of a single language. The maker of worlds can get away with much more latitude. And in fact, I'd argue that no geopoet in a lifetime of work can do much more than bring forth a small fraction of a whole world.



Salmoneus wrote:Both circumbinaries and moonworlds are sort of kitchen-sink-y, it's true* - they're things people do because they seem cool and unique and different (even though everyone does them), rather than for any specific purpose (in terms of those facts affect anything else) and often without really understanding the consequences.
All true. On the other hand, there's not a lot of choice in the matter; and whatever choice there is regarding the star system, it's all speculation as to whether life (of our kind) could ever develop there.

On the third hand, there's no rule book we have to follow. Consequences? We don't even know what the consequences would be in the primary world! But the thing about otherworlds, be they sci-fi or fantasy or yet something else, we can choose how strictly or how laxly we take those consequences into account.

I for example, don't really care. The World is what it is. I understand that there are consequences to what has been revealed, I understand all about the realism & plausibility of this or that, but I simply don't give a fiddlers fart what a stellar mechanic or a climatologist might say on the matter. That kind of worry is just beside the point.

Now, I think you are making very excellent points --- not all worldbuilders want to tread the same path I have. Some, perhaps many, want to make a world with whatever foundations Science can give them. That's fine --- more power to them, says I! Since bbbourq is just starting out, I don't want him thinking there is only one true path, or a certain set of rules that must be followed or expectations that must be met.
Then again, I wouldn't worry too much if that's the extent of the 'KSC'-ness. [I would say that: my main conworld is too large to physically exist, theoretically has a ring system (don't know if it really will do) and multiple easily visible moons, and has five atmospheric cells per hemisphere instead of three. Yeah, kind of newbish...]
But wonderful all the same!

I've read some of your stories and descriptions. Marvellous stuff to be sure! I often times find myself hoping for more...
What sort of starting point are you looking for? What approach are you taking? Do you want to spend years designing invented plants, for instance, or do you want to move right ahead to human beings (or their analogues?). Or are plants too advanced - do you want to concentrate at first on your diachronic plate tectonics? Some people like to work out their system mechanics (orbital periods, temperatures, etc). Or you could go straight to working out your climates?
Or dive right into the histories and cultures of a billion people, wander the canals and byways of a thousand countries, peruse the suqs and bazaars of a myriad market towns! Plonk your metaphorical finger down on a random country and go meet the people, the gods. Go look into the eyes of innocent kids as they wait their turn before the altar of Yq the Soulspitter, the jaded eyes of the priests who've seen it all a million times before, the mothers who've no hope left and the once noble knights who longer give a fuck.

Or perhaps all that at the same time?

Why not? It's your world, and it's dealer's choice how you approach things.
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by bbbourq » Wed 23 Aug 2017, 05:17

Spoiler:
elemtilas wrote:
bbbourq wrote:Hello fellow linguists and artists!

I am quite new to the conworlding aspect of things. I have created a rudimentary map and also a basic idea for a conworld. I have been good to avoid the "kitchen sink" language thus far, but I fear that without assistance I could very well fall into the trap of making a "kitchen sink" conworld.
Glad to see you've decided to expand your creative horizons in this direction!

Kitchen sink invented languages are indeed a thing (and, except under special circumstances, are best avoided), but a world is a much broader much larger thing. A world is a place where, basically, everything happens. Extreme diversity of culture, history, religion, social structure, politics and so forth. I would actually challenge your fear by turning it on its head. What you should fear is not the making of a kitchen sink world, but rather the making of a world too narrowly conceived!
bbbourq wrote:What I have at this point in time is a circumbinary planet that has water, land masses, basic climate, and terrain features to include deserts and mountains. I don't know where to go from here. I've seen many posts which point out the physical and natural phenomenon associated with this type of system, but a lot of it is above my head.

I have thought about making my planet a moon orbiting a gas giant, but I feel that might be too similar to James Cameron's Avatar.

Being a complete novice in this particular arena I feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is available. I just need a nice starting point.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction?
Question: why are you worried about a moon orbiting a gas giant (a la Avatar), but not worried about a circumbinary world (a la Star Wars)?

Forget about that kind of worry! Pick the kind of system mechanics you like best and go with that. The wonder of it will be in your own creative spin on the world(s) you make.

In all honesty, I think the best starting point is right now. Get on with it already! I also think a good philosophy of worldbuilding is to not let yourself be overwhelmed by Science. Just like how too many language inventors worry too much about linguistic plausibility, so it is with worlds. Many worldbuilders work in fear of their creations being unrealistic. If you want everything to be plausible and realistic, just settle for writing historical romance or science textbooks or something.

The sooner you get over that fear the sooner you can get on with fearlessly revealing life in the strange and wonderful world you're creating!

Also, don't forget to show us your maps!
Spoiler:
Salmoneus wrote:
bbbourq wrote:Hello fellow linguists and artists!

I am quite new to the conworlding aspect of things. I have created a rudimentary map and also a basic idea for a conworld. I have been good to avoid the "kitchen sink" language thus far, but I fear that without assistance I could very well fall into the trap of making a "kitchen sink" conworld.

What I have at this point in time is a circumbinary planet that has water, land masses, basic climate, and terrain features to include deserts and mountains. I don't know where to go from here. I've seen many posts which point out the physical and natural phenomenon associated with this type of system, but a lot of it is above my head.

I have thought about making my planet a moon orbiting a gas giant, but I feel that might be too similar to James Cameron's Avatar.

Being a complete novice in this particular arena I feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is available. I just need a nice starting point.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction?

Thank you.
Both circumbinaries and moonworlds are sort of kitchen-sink-y, it's true* - they're things people do because they seem cool and unique and different (even though everyone does them), rather than for any specific purpose (in terms of those facts affect anything else) and often without really understanding the consequences.

Then again, I wouldn't worry too much if that's the extent of the 'KSC'-ness. [I would say that: my main conworld is too large to physically exist, theoretically has a ring system (don't know if it really will do) and multiple easily visible moons, and has five atmospheric cells per hemisphere instead of three. Yeah, kind of newbish...]

What sort of starting point are you looking for? What approach are you taking? Do you want to spend years designing invented plants, for instance, or do you want to move right ahead to human beings (or their analogues?). Or are plants too advanced - do you want to concentrate at first on your diachronic plate tectonics? Some people like to work out their system mechanics (orbital periods, temperatures, etc). Or you could go straight to working out your climates?

*elemtilas: I think the analogy here is that the KSL throws all the "cool" features the creator can think of into one language to make it maximally "cool" and "unique", without any thought about how they might logically fit together, let alone how they might create a distinctive aesthetic, and often results in something that is so "unique" that it's cliché. The same trends are certainly possible with conworlds.
This is truly amazing inspiration from the both of you! I honestly had no idea what to expect, but this was great! Thank you for this information.

@Salmoneus, I did think about Star Wars when I thought about the circumbinary planet. I was worried (albeit no longer) that the addition of having a moon orbiting a gas giant was going to have too many eyebrow raises. Nevertheless, I decided that the world will be a planet with two natural satellites. I guess as my language progresses and I start thinking about animals, climatology, and historical, and cultural aspects of the people who speak Lortho, I will then start looking into more of the flora, fauna, and other physical aspects of the world. Its been more or less coming to me as I imagine how the language develops with me. It's quite fascinating to see this happen.

As far as a map, I took a photo of a concrete pad in my apartment complex, and I immediately saw a flat map that could be stretched around a globe. A fellow conworlder made a nice render of the map into a 2D color map, but I would love to see this in Map to Globe. The photo fits the globe perfectly, but it will be epic once I can get a background relief to make it 3d complete with mountainous and flat terrain and an atmoshpere.
https://linguifex.com/wiki/Lortho
http://conworkshop.info/view_language.php?l=LTH

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Wed 23 Aug 2017, 19:11

bbbourq wrote:This is truly amazing inspiration from the both of you! I honestly had no idea what to expect, but this was great! Thank you for this information.
For my part, you're very welcome! I think this is what a forum like this is best at, especially when you're starting out. You can ask and find out many things. Often the opinions you get will be contradictory and sometimes counterintuitive. I guess best thing you can do is take what folks say and think on it and decide for yourself how that will work with your own methods.
I did think about Star Wars when I thought about the circumbinary planet. I was worried (albeit no longer) that the addition of having a moon orbiting a gas giant was going to have too many eyebrow raises. &c &c &c
In the end, some of these decisions will really be six of one half dozen of the other --- there is nothing new under the Sun. What matters is what you do with the materials at hand. How you take those old motifs and tropes and make them your own. What will make your world and its two moonlets different from everyone elses' of the same basic configuration.

Whatever you do, I certainly hope you'll not be afraid to spill the beans here! Now that you're keen on all this, please do make a thread for your world and churn out some nice articles and stories for us! It would be a shame if we never heard anything else about the place!
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Thu 24 Aug 2017, 02:31

elemtilas wrote:
In the end, some of these decisions will really be six of one half dozen of the other --- there is nothing new under the
Edit: Suns
.
hey, Hey, HEY!

http://cfvod.kaltura.com/p/1068292/sp/1 ... height/585

http://www.onlyforever.com/d_greatconjunction.jpeg


Stick with the motif, por favor!
[:P]
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Thu 24 Aug 2017, 03:25

Lambuzhao wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
In the end, some of these decisions will really be six of one half dozen of the other --- there is nothing new under the
Edit: Suns
.
Ha! Monumental tpyo, that!
A rather suggestive conjiggulation, if I do say so!
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 24 Aug 2017, 07:06

@Salmoneus: where can I find stuff on your conworld? I would be interested. [:)]
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Thu 24 Aug 2017, 11:27

DesEsseintes wrote:@Salmoneus: where can I find stuff on your conworld? I would be interested. [:)]
The Census is your friend!

There's undoubtedly more juicy goodness out there, but that's what I've been able to find.
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 24 Aug 2017, 19:29

DesEsseintes wrote:@Salmoneus: where can I find stuff on your conworld? I would be interested. [:)]
The key, I think, would really be searching through years and years and years of posts on the ZBB. It occurs to me that I haven't really posted much in many years, although I used to do so quite a bit. Although a lot of that would be out of date by now anyway.

I should clarify that this isn't about the SF setting that elemtilas has collected some mentions of, nor about the Wenthar Islands (an archipelago northwest of Ireland). If ever I post anything about Rawàng Ata and the Là culture, though, that's the place.

Regarding the basic physics of the place: the main setting is a continent not dissimilar from Eurasia, except that it's only one (and not the biggest) of many continents on the planet, with lots of ocean between them. Iirc it's got something like 8 times the surface area of Earth, although I've only got vague and general ideas about who and what are on most of the other continents.
Unfortunately, when I was looking it up, it appears that a planet 8 times the size of earth, but with earthlike gravity, is basically impossible - you can't stuff it with anything light enough. To which I said: bugger it, what the hell. I have a sneaking suspicion that the planet is actually "hollow" - if not in the sense of being filled with air, at least in the sense of being suspiciously light inside, and, although there is some conventional plate tectonics, I think at least some of the tectonics is really the result of the entire surface area gradually shrinking.
Being large, the planet has been able to capture multiple small moons - iirc, 3 visible as discs (though smaller than ours) and one just as a dot. And a ring system, though this is pretty small. Sometimes I've tried to bear in mind the effect that this might have on culture, climate, etc, but most of the time I've ignored it, so I don't know if it's something I'll actually stick with. I think the moons are scientifically valid, though.

Regarding climate: as it's much bigger than Earth, while having similar temperatures and day lengths (the day is a bit longer, but not ridiculously so), it has to rotate much faster, which has given it five cells per hemisphere. This is actually good science, as I understand it, and is reflected in local climates... however, I have used a shorthand and assumed that, as on earth, each cell is roughly the same size. In reality, we know that if you have a dozen cells, they'll be different sizes - iirc, the tropical cell is big, then they get smaller and smaller until you reach the polar front, and then the polar cell is the biggest of all. But we don't really know what would happen on a super-earth with 5 cells, instead of a gas giant with 11 (or however many), so I'm happy just handwaving it that these effects aren't noticeable at this scale.

[having 5 cells per se doesn't have too much effect - I've lowered the axial tilt to compensate, so the seasonal cycles are still similar, there's just more climate bands on the earth - 2 hot arid bands instead of 1. And a sort of pseudo-tropics, as though you took our temperate forests and made them much hotter, while having the frontal windstorms join up with hurricanes that move in the wrong direction. It also means that there's a closer analgoue to our temperate zone much closer to the poles (peaking at 72 degrees instead of 60) - I've warmed the whole planet up a bit, but it means that the world's "Europe" is actually more like, say, southern Alaska. There's a sufficiently warm growing season to support agriculture, but winter is a combination of torrential downpours and blizzards. And further north there's a considerable band of moss-and-bog-and-stunted-trees wet polar regions.]
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Fri 25 Aug 2017, 14:45

Salmoneus wrote:The key, I think, would really be searching through years and years and years of posts on the ZBB. It occurs to me that I haven't really posted much in many years, although I used to do so quite a bit. Although a lot of that would be out of date by now anyway.

If I do so, are there any keywords that might be of help whilst searching? Does the world have a name? I've read quite a bit about Rawàng Ata on the ZBB and on your blog, but I don't remember coming across information about the world itself.
Regarding the basic physics/climate/etc...

This all sounds interesting, and I am pretty sure that if you ever choose to write more about your world, it would be of the same excellent quality as your posts on Rawàng Ata and the Wenthars [/fanboy], so I hope you do post more at some point.

Would you set up an AMA thread by any chance?
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 25 Aug 2017, 14:48

DesEsseintes wrote:Would you set up an AMA thread by any chance?
Pretty sure, if Sal does set up such a thread, it won't be by chance.
Odds are he'll do it on purpose.

[;)] [xD]
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 25 Aug 2017, 18:43

1. Has anyone here ever heard of these Primates (Dermoptera)?
They can glide like flying squirrels, but they're primates!

2. Has anyone ever tried a conworld with an intelligent species evolved from gliding primates?
2a. If so, can they still glide, or are their skin-flaps now vestigial?

3. Was bipedalism (thus freeing the hands) so crucial to the evolution of intelligence, and is the ability to glide so inconsistent with the development of hands, that no gliding primate would be likely to give rise to an intelligent descendant, unless the gliding became vestigial?

4. Has anyone else even thought about putting a "colugoid"-descended conpeople in a conworld?
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Sat 26 Aug 2017, 02:46

eldin raigmore wrote:1. Has anyone here ever heard of these Primates (Dermoptera)?
They can glide like flying squirrels, but they're primates!
Ah, the kagwang! Never heard of them until now!
2. Has anyone ever tried a conworld with an intelligent species evolved from gliding primates?
2a. If so, can they still glide, or are their skin-flaps now vestigial?
Well, Daine (males) can glide fairly well, but not because of any skin flaps
3. Was bipedalism (thus freeing the hands) so crucial to the evolution of intelligence, and is the ability to glide so inconsistent with the development of hands, that no gliding primate would be likely to give rise to an intelligent descendant, unless the gliding became vestigial?
Well, it looks like the kagwang hands could still be free for use --- just perhaps not whilst gliding!
4. Has anyone else even thought about putting a "colugoid"-descended conpeople in a conworld?
Yes, as a matter of fact, someone has!
Spoiler:
Image
I like the head shape of the kagwang and the eyes, though I think Kagwang-folk in The World would look a little different than Connie!

"Na kagwang ka" in Waray-Waray means something like you're being rather naughty-silly!

I kind of like something like this one:

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » Sat 26 Aug 2017, 03:56

@elemtilas:
[O.O] Wow! Pictures! Cool! [B)]

Colugos, unlike many other primates, don't have opposable thumbs.
I don't believe hands are incompatible with wings -- don't certain flying fish have "hands"?
But I'm not sure about opposable thumbs on hands on colugo-like skin-flaps.

BTW whose conworld, and what conworld, is Connie of the feathered-wings-and-digigrade-pawprint from?
How about the polka-dotted female(?) who really looks like she's dressed in a luxurious sari-like gown(?) although I think she's actually not(?) wearing anything?
(Or does she have on a kind of sweater-vest-hoodie? If so I'm not sure the sleeves would work right with the part of the skin-flap above and along-and-just-below the arms.)
Does she have a name?

Thanks for always knowing something I don't know!
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Sat 26 Aug 2017, 13:47

The problem is that any gliding creature would have to be tiny, which would make it hard for it to have a brain big enough for intelligence. Some birds have miniaturised their brains well enough that you could imagine, say, an intelligent raven that was still flight-capable... but that's after tens of millions of years of specialisation for flight, which is probably incompatible with the evolution of a glider (because developing proper wings is easier than developing hyperminiaturised hyperintelligence).

For context, the wingspan of a flying human would have to be around 18 metres, and they'd struggle to take off. Front limbs of those dimensions would only be usable for other purposes with a pterosaur-like alignment, but even then that scale would rule out any sort of arboreal environment suitable for gliding. Admittedly, with a square-plan wing anchored on the legs as well, the limb length would be shorter, but it would still be immense, and then it would be all four legs - a glide-capable human would look like a human lying on a tent, or like a giant four-legged spider with skin between its legs. And of course any savings from using four limbs would be reduced by gliding rather than flying - if substantial gliding is required (and it would have to be, or else the costs would be unjustifiable), then the wing would need to be bigger than that for true flying (because flying wings can produce much more lift for the same area). And remember the wing-loading requirements for arboreal flight!

Of course, we don't know how small you can make a mammal and still give it human-like intelligence, because we've only got the one example of human-like intelligence to go on.

But, for context, the largest bat is about 1kg, and even that requires about 2m of wing to get airborne. The largest colugo is about the same weight and wings a bit under 1m, because it doesn't actually have to fly. The largest bird is about 10-15kg, and wings of "only" 3m.

[Bats and gliders need much bigger wings for their weight, because their arboreal habitat (and in the case of bats their dietary habits) require agile flying at slow speeds. Turning quickly needs lots of wing per kg, as does generating lift at low speeds, whereas soarers like condors need relatively little. (It also affects the shape of the wing: quick-turning, slow-flying bats have relatively huge, broad wings, whereas soarers and divers and the like have relatively narrow, pointed wings). Hummingbirds try to escape this equation by flapping their arms ridiculously quickly (generating high effective wingspeed despite their bodies moving relatively slowly), but that's only energetically and biomechanically possible at very small sizes.]
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Lambuzhao
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 26 Aug 2017, 14:54

eldin raigmore wrote:@elemtilas:
[O.O] Wow! Pictures! Cool! [B)]

Colugos, unlike many other primates, don't have opposable thumbs.
I don't believe hands are incompatible with wings -- don't certain flying fish have "hands"?
But I'm not sure about opposable thumbs on hands on colugo-like skin-flaps.

BTW whose conworld, and what conworld, is Connie of the feathered-wings-and-digigrade-pawprint from?
How about the polka-dotted female(?) who really looks like she's dressed in a luxurious sari-like gown(?) although I think she's actually not(?) wearing anything?
(Or does she have on a kind of sweater-vest-hoodie? If so I'm not sure the sleeves would work right with the part of the skin-flap above and along-and-just-below the arms.)
Does she have a name?

Thanks for always knowing something I don't know!
Wow.
I learned that Dermopterans (Colugos) are now 'primates' (?)
From how I learned it, they were traditionally considered closest cousins to primates.
But now, come to think of it, it is not hard to imagine a gliding-flapless colugo to pretty much map over the body frame of a Plesiadapis.

http://c8.alamy.com/comp/F02FJE/plesiad ... F02FJE.jpg
http://www.alunnilemayeur-arts.fr/media ... 4_dino.png

Wow.
Life is just fucking amazing, IMHO.
:mrgreen:

Also, I lerned that Tree Shrews seem to have gotten shuffled out of the immediate primate deck, and are now a 'closest cousin' outgroup.

Oh, yes, in the wiki Tree Shrew article, they had this to say:
Treeshrews have a higher brain to body mass ratio than any other mammal, including humans,[3] but high ratios are not uncommon for animals weighing less than a kilogram.
Also, the other day at the doctor's office (my son was getting his vaccine updates) I was reading in Nat'l Geo about hummingbirds. It said that a particular species of hummingbird also had the highest brain to body-mass ratio, prolly along similar reasoning as to the Tree-Shrew.
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magaz ... mingbirds/

:wat: :wat: :wat:

Did I mention that life is fucking amazing?
Well, it is.
:mrgreen:
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Lambuzhao
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 26 Aug 2017, 15:38

Salmoneus wrote: Of course, we don't know how small you can make a mammal and still give it human-like intelligence, because we've only got the one example of human-like intelligence to go on.


Well, there is the Flores Island Hobbit (Homo florisensis).
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/00/f2/5e ... 685f62.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Hbo7Ung0Hbg/S ... arison.jpg

These were tiny hominins, apparently descended from Homo habilis, that underwent insular dwarfism.

The Indonesians have a legendary creature (cryptid) the Ebu Gogo, which was a child-sized, apish creature that lived in the forests.
If we can glean anything from their legends as comparable to the habits of the Flores Hobbits, there are these points:
1) Ebu Gogo made some kind of murmuring communication among themselves, and could parrot almost anything a human said to it.
2) Ebu Gogo did not know how to make fire. While the Flores Hobbit dwellings (caves) have some evidence of fire-use, but it could be that they stole it from human settlements. Also, the way Indonesians extirpated them was to give them bundles coconut fibres,and then ignite the bundles from without, suffocating the inhabitants and flushing out any survivors.
3) The Ebu Gogo would capture human children, and tried to get the children to show them how to cook. Quite probably, in line with the former, the Ebu Gogo were trying to learn, at the very least, how to make fire. Apparently, the human children could easily outwit and escape from their captors.
On the other end of it, though, fossil evidence does show
4) Flores Hobbits could make tools
5) Flores Hobbits would have had to use cooperative hunting strategies to take down the diminutive Stegodon (a dwarf elephantien animal, that was still quite large to the Hobbits comparatively), komodo dragons, and giant storks which also populated their island. There is evidence of consumption of these creatures in the form of remains in bone-heaps in the caves, and some bones even exhibit slashes and cracks consistent with stone-tool use.

The Ebu Gogo, and by extrapolation, the Flores Hobbits, were not potential rocket-scientists, it seems. Yet they could use the intelligence they had to survive in their environment.


On the other other hand, of course, (primordial) dwarf humans do also exist, which are as small as, or even smaller than, Flores Hobbits, with adult human intelligence to boot. :roll:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Roy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verne_Troyer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyoti_Amge
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandra_Bahadur_Dangi

:?: [:S]
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » Sat 26 Aug 2017, 21:27

eldin raigmore wrote:1. Has anyone here ever heard of these Primates (Dermoptera)?
They can glide like flying squirrels, but they're primates!

4. Has anyone else even thought about putting a "colugoid"-descended conpeople in a conworld?
i have vague memories of being in elementary school or middle school, and our school library had a fiction book in which there was an extraterrestrial (on Earth, i assume; i don't recall the plot or anything), and his people had evolved from gliding squirrels (as most kids wouldn't have heard of colugos), and gone on to develop tech and spaceflight.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
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