Lost River Skeleton - Observations, Science, and things which make no sense

Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
Here is a list of observations I made about the skeleton (pretty interesting, really, if you're into biology or archeology or anything sciency, really).

1. since in all cases, the biology of 4546B is very similar to that of Earth, (since they're both largely oceanic rocky planets, this makes sense,) we can notice that the lost river creature likely had four eyes and a neck joint very different from that of any creature of earth, (since the three indentations we see in the side of its head head are three rather than four like in a T-Rex, and none of them look like the fourth gap where the T-Rex's neck meets its skull. Therefore, the lost river skeleton likely had four eyes and no sense of smell or six eyes and.. very... few senses; (although this would make sense if the creature were more like an eel). This is supported by the biters quadruple eyes. (note that I used the T-Rex as an analogue because the creature in the lost river appears serpentine and eel-like and the Saurians of earth had many similar bone structures as reptiles like snakes.)
2. It might have been so ancient a creature that rays were also derived from it, since it has a pair of horns which reminisce of the rabbit ray.
3. An eel is not a very good analogue for this creature because eels have a skeleton, (specifically rib-cage,) more like the transparent river eels; and so must have been more similar to an aquatic reptile and so a Tyrannosaurus is a very good example for it to follow.
4. We now know that the creature was very different from the other creatures on this list and would have been something similar to an aquatic reptile in bone structure rather than a 'fish' like an eel. We can also make the leap that creatures like Stalkers evolved from it; since stalkers do look a good deal like some prehistoric fishes of earth like the late species the Mixosaurus.
5. This creature, due to its amazing size and obvious need for circulation due to its monstrosity, wouldn't be able to survive at very deep depths. The reason, of course, is that any creature that has to capture gas in their lungs to breathe will encounter the pressure inside their lungs gradually becoming greater than the pressure outside their lungs the deeper they went; meaning that the creature might suffer spontaneous lung collapse as I imagine. Another danger, if they have some special way of depressurizing a layer of specially-fit blubber for example, they would also experience all of the oxygen still in their bloodstream gathering into bubbles and giving them fizzy seltzer blood. But really though, the brain would not be able to absorb these bubbles of air and the owner of the brain would suffocate. And so, it would probably have swim bladders so that it could float along at around where the current reefbacks of Subnautica would cruise.
6. A living specimen would be something like 1200 meters long
7. In order to survive, it'd need some crazy source of calories; and so it likely lived in a world of leviathans
8. Had something like fins on the bottom of its jaw along its cheek jutting out at an angle; maybe bioluminescent.
9. Would have gone after much smaller prey since although its bite is huge, it takes up like a 15% of its entire body length.
10. Would have been so freaking stupid. It's brain to body mass ratio would be worse than any of the sentient creatures on earth. Think earthworm with fangs and a predatory mouth.


Here are a list of observations which make this all sound ridiculous:

1. it's spinal cord is along its stomach and chest, and not the other way around like it is for most creatures with a rib-cage (this means that it would have a behavior like a sandshark and await prey before popping out of the sand, and grabbing its prey. However, due to one of my other points, it'd have to stay in the shallows in order to be able to do this)
2. Eel skulls have only one indentation in the side of its head and don't have a ribcage. T-Rex's, for instance, have four indentations in their skull and have a ribcage. The lost river creature has three indentations in its skull, a ribcage, but its spinal cord somewhere on its stomach and probably can't move its neck very well because it doesn't appear to be attached to its spinal cord.
3. I'm beginning to wonder if the precursors messed around with the skeleton a bit more than I thought previously. Maybe they engineered the corpse as a practical joke for explorers to come, who knows.
4. Along with my precursors theory, this might be one of those 'put the head of the diplodocus on its tail again' moments. (scifiwriterguy is going to give me so much crap if I got that reference wrong) :#
5. Might have lived at a much cooler climate. Lizards, (which are resilient against heat,) tend to have flatter skeletons. This creature, however, what with being so large, would need a way to get rid of its excess heat well; and since I don't see any scales on it it'd be better fit for a cooler climate which might have actually helped with the whole pressure thing. (note that the river creature, although gargantuan, is long rather than fat. A superheated sphere will trap more heat than a superheated cylinder of the same mass yet greater surface area; part of the reason, (I imagine,) that snakes like to curl up into mounds when its cold and dark out.

P.S. I really do fear that @scifiwriterguy has already read this entire document and is preparing to post a page worth's of comments describing his own opinion on the matter.
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Comments

  • ranmafanranmafan Join Date: 2018-02-04 Member: 236837Members Posts: 45 Advanced user
    It could also have a decentralized nervous system with various 'secondary' brains helping it make instinctual or independent decisions while the main brain was still able to make intelligent decisions. (see millipedes, octopi, insects)

    Multiple hearts, nodes and highly efficient blood chemistry would help circulation. Yes it would've required a lot of food to keep going, but this is assuming 'leviathan' size creatures as we know it were the norm and not the exception (as speculated in-game).

    I doubt it had lungs as we understand it. There are many ways to absorb oxygen from its environment. Spiracles, skin absorption, gills, tracheae, natural hydrolysis, etc. or a combination thereof would work.

    Also like prehistoric earth, the oxygen saturation in the water may have been much higher, enabling larger creatures to survive.

    It's impossible to assume what kind of metabolism this creature had - the game just doesn't go into that much detail. The planet would've been much hotter before when it was 'fresh', so a cold-blooded metabolism might've made sense for energy-efficiency and evolutionary steps (warm-blooded creatures were more complex and slower to evolve). Rise to the surface to cool off, dive to the depths to hunt. Or vice versa, depending on atmospheric chemistry and how active the volcanic activity was on the planet surface.
    Isummon_Durt
  • ShuttleBugShuttleBug USA Join Date: 2017-03-15 Member: 228943Members Posts: 567 Advanced user
    (scifiwriterguy is going to give me so much crap if I got that reference wrong) :#

    I think you got the reference right my friend ;)

    Good read, I might say. Good indeed.
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  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    edited March 15
    ranmafan wrote: »
    It could also have a decentralized nervous system with various 'secondary' brains helping it make instinctual or independent decisions while the main brain was still able to make intelligent decisions. (see millipedes, octopi, insects)

    Multiple hearts, nodes and highly efficient blood chemistry would help circulation. Yes it would've required a lot of food to keep going, but this is assuming 'leviathan' size creatures as we know it were the norm and not the exception (as speculated in-game).

    I doubt it had lungs as we understand it. There are many ways to absorb oxygen from its environment. Spiracles, skin absorption, gills, tracheae, natural hydrolysis, etc. or a combination thereof would work.

    Also like prehistoric earth, the oxygen saturation in the water may have been much higher, enabling larger creatures to survive.

    It's impossible to assume what kind of metabolism this creature had - the game just doesn't go into that much detail. The planet would've been much hotter before when it was 'fresh', so a cold-blooded metabolism might've made sense for energy-efficiency and evolutionary steps (warm-blooded creatures were more complex and slower to evolve). Rise to the surface to cool off, dive to the depths to hunt. Or vice versa, depending on atmospheric chemistry and how active the volcanic activity was on the planet surface.

    However this may be, it occurs that we can't be entirely sure of the creature's characteristics from its bone structure due to sections of its skeleton perhaps being missing, its neck joints being much different from any we have experience with on Earth, and its invariably having been messed with by either thermal activity or bad precursor archaeologists.

    Also, for something entirely silly that I might as well do a bit of querying about, if this creature is likely the ancestor of many of the creatures on 4546B, (or is undoubtedly related,) if this creature has a decentralized nervous system then many of its descendants likely will too. And if a decentralized nervous system would allow for intelligence exempt of having to make all those boring, conscious movements, (note that I really know absolutely nothing about psychology,) then I'll take the example of the most intelligent vertebrate we can see in-game: the cuddlefish (note that it does display advanced sapience towards the end of the game). This is not important, but the cuddlefish is actually not very smart for having a brain case taking up 1/5th of its overall size and so it must therefore not have a decentralized nervous system (because if it did, its proportions would make it a genus). Then, we have the things which it is a confirmed ancestor of; the sandshark and biter, and likely the ghost leviathan, (and by extent the bone shark and possibly a few others). The sandshark and bone shark in particular have characteristic light exoskeletons like the sea emperor and the sea dragon; and the lava lizard has the scale characteristic of the sea dragon itself.) Now, for fun, we can see that the brain to body mass ratio of the sea dragon is similar to that of the sea emperor; despite their clear evolutionary dissimilarities besides the sea emperor being a bit of a vegetarian and maybe slightly omnivorous. (Note that the sea emperor must have some abundant plant-based source of protein or else it eats some much smaller prey fish on the side or eat microorganisms like the ghost leviathan). But anyhow, seeing that the sea dragon is apparently intelligent in its ability to use tools, it's much below the sea emperor's daunting sapience. And so, the point at which the sea emperor, (for I assume this means that if creatures in subnautica have decentralized nervous-systems, the sea emperor must have it,) has developed its decentralized nervous system in order to poses a greater sentience, it must have long since branched off of the sea dragon's evolutionary rollercoaster ride; and since the intelligence of an animal can only improve its survivability, creatures don't evolve backwards and become stupider over time. And so therefore, since the sea emperor is so unquestionably different from the lost river monster and must have branched off of it, its decentralized nervous system must have been first developed in its own evolutionary family and not a quality of the river creature! So hah! Get riggedy-riggedy-Rekkkkt, son!

    Also, did you get my pun with the cuddlefish being a genus and it being a genus? Wait, no, that's a play on words because they sound (and are spelt) the same...
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  • phantomfinchphantomfinch West Philadelphia , born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days. Join Date: 2016-09-06 Member: 222128Members Posts: 1,120 Advanced user
    Originally the lost river skeleton was ment to have a rib cage
    latest?cb=20151221044559

    Any observations you could see from spine/ ripcage in the art?
    Shit happens
  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    The ribcage in the art is obviously not canonical and therefore absolute dingo kidneys.
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  • phantomfinchphantomfinch West Philadelphia , born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days. Join Date: 2016-09-06 Member: 222128Members Posts: 1,120 Advanced user
    The ribcage in the art is obviously not canonical and therefore absolute dingo kidneys.

    But what makes more sence, for every creature on the planet to have a spine on its back and this one not to, the neck is twisted 180 degrees/ the creature swam upsideown or it has a rib cage but the Dev diddnt put it in?
    Shit happens
  • ShuttleBugShuttleBug USA Join Date: 2017-03-15 Member: 228943Members Posts: 567 Advanced user
    Originally the lost river skeleton was ment to have a rib cage
    latest?cb=20151221044559

    Any observations you could see from spine/ ripcage in the art?

    Looks a lot more Earth-Reptilian like. What I am assuming to be the vertebrae extends well past the ribcage. We could be looking at somthing like an aqatic Spinosaurus or Dimetrodon here.

    Pictures for reference:
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    wqv099l35z66.jpeg
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  • Muninn_CrowMuninn_Crow Join Date: 2018-02-27 Member: 238401Members Posts: 20 Advanced user
    edited March 15
    One of the big reasons for the contortion of the skeleton is the geological shifting of the undersea caverns. One of the PDA entries even discusses this.
    The fossilized remains of an extinct super predator. Its sheer size would have prohibited it from entering such an enclosed space, suggesting the geography of the planet has shifted around it over time. A true apex predator.
    http://subnautica.wikia.com/wiki/Gargantuan_Fossil

    It is possible that the body rolled as it decayed, ending up on its spine as the bones settled, or that the geography shifted it into this position.
  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 858 Advanced user
    Nice work, @Isummon_Durt. :)

    The Lost River creature that gave us the Gargantuan Fossil as the wiki calls it (I call him Snaggletooth - he's my little Lost River mascot) is a weird one, but some suppositions can certainly be made, and several of those put forth certainly hold water. (No pun.) I'm going to have to disagree on a few points, though. (Science and point-by-point stuff in the spoilers sections as usual.)

    The big one is the assumption that the biology of 4546B is similar to Earth's - it isn't. There are some phenotypical similarities, but it's a radically different biology all the way down to the basics.
    Principally, the biochemistry of 4546B is way, way off the Earth baseline. Every creature in the game, when injured, bleeds yellow. This is in stark contrast to Earth, where the two most common blood colors outside of the class Insecta (which contains all insects) is either red or blue. This is because iron and copper are both common and readily bioavailable here on Earth, leading to hemoglobin (iron-based, red blood) and hemocyanin (copper-based, blue blood). Yellow is a weird color from a terrestrial standpoint because yellow-colored oxygen-carrying pigments are rare and require specific (and less common) components. Specifically, on Earth, the closest we have is coboglobin, which appears yellow when deoxygenated (whereas human blood appears dark, dark red) and is clear when oxygenated. The catch is that rather than plentiful iron or nearly-as-plentiful copper, coboglobin is built around cobalt, which is a little hard to come by. It's why coboglobin is so rare in on Earth. Insects also have yellow-tinted blood, but that's not blood at all; it's hemolymph, and doesn't have oxygen-binding pigments like true blood. It's a result of an open circulatory system, which gets kinda complicated and isn't entirely germane to this discussion. Still, if you want to know, ask. :)

    The widespread incorporation of bioluminescent compounds in macroorganisms is another substantial departure from Earth biology; here, only organisms that live largely or exclusively in the midnight regions of the oceans or in lightless caves exhibit noteworthy bioluminescence. It's a tricky and biologically expensive trait that, apart from those specific environments, serves little function.

    Finally, the sheer lack of structural diversity is also an eyebrow-raiser. Most of the organisms on 4546B follow one of only a handful of basic structural configurations: eel-like, ray-like, bony fish-like, and arthropod-like. Mammalian life seems entirely absent, as do a whole host of other classes in Terran taxonomy. It's a weird setup which we can explain (or at least handwave away) by saying the planet used to be more biodiverse but the carar led to mass extinctions.

    So, while some of the creatures on 4546B look reminiscent of things we have here on Earth, it's only skin-deep; their basic biochemistry is substantially different, their evolutionary tracks are different, and, well, they're the products of an alien ecosystem. Having terrestrial-pattern creatures everywhere in the galaxy is a symptom of lazy writing, but people accept it because of Star Trek.

    Points with which I have no quarrel at all: estimated size of 1200m; resultant extreme caloric requirements; a possible ancestor of stalkers; it's not an eel.
    It's big, and big things need lots of fuel. There's a pretty clear - although not conclusive - comparison of the dentition on the skull with a stalker, and while the skull is heavier and shorter, it's not difficult to see how selection pressure could favor the longer-snouted, thinner-boned architecture of a stalker over time, particularly in the environments they inhabit.

    Realistically, this creature could represent a common ancestor of stalkers and reapers; millennia of evolution could easily account for the minor phenotypical differences. However, it's worth noting that nature favors forms which are most efficient for a given environment, so parallel evolution cannot be entirely discounted, either.

    A particular thumbs up is due for the statement that it's not an eel. It almost certainly isn't, and, as stated, it's likely a reptile. Specifically, an aquatic legless lizard. Legless lizards are often mistaken for snakes but when you take one apart, its skeleton is the same as a lizard, just minus the limbs. In the case of the skeleton we see, this is a good explanation, particularly as the ribs appear to be bony and not some lesser structure.

    Where we start to diverge: So ancient as to be an ancestor to rays; went after smaller prey; stupidity; body shape.
    While unlikely this thing is an ancestor - however deep - of rabbit rays, we can't rule it out entirely without some detailed testing like a genetic panel. (This is also why modern taxonomy is in such an uproar; bad things happen when you make assumptions based on how something looks.)

    Something this big is going to need to do one of three things, or a combination: eat literally tons of small prey, go after larger but more dangerous prey, or have one damn slow metabolism. Humpback whales get by with filter feeding despite having a body weight around 66,000 pounds. They strain out plankton, krill (a favorite) and small fishes from the water as they swim, consuming an average of 5,000 pounds of food per day. The bigger the critter, the more they need to pull in; blue whales eat up to 8,000 pounds of the same foods per day. Now, Snaggletooth was about 1,200 TIMES the size of a blue whale, so if its total mass and metabolic rate were anywhere near comparable, it'd need to choke down about 4,800 TONS of food per day just to break even. That's a lot. So it's unlikely; unless there were some much larger and/or more energy-dense prey back when it lived, it would've depopulated the planet by itself. Ergo, its energy demands weren't that extreme. The two easiest ways to jack down energy requirements are to eliminate endothermism (go "cold-blooded") and let the thing sleep a lot. Crocodiles are a good example here. They eat infrequently, sleep much of the time, and their body temperature fluctuates with the environment. That saves a lot on caloric requirements, probably enough to make this thing plausible. The other thing we can do is assume that Snaggletooth didn't hunt. Considering its body shape, dentition, and likely caloric needs, patrolling looking for prey would be wasteful. Instead, it's more likely it was an ambush predator, hiding in its cave and snapping on anything that moved close enough to be eaten. Ambush predators have very modest caloric requirements compared to mobile predators, and would explain a lot in this situation. So, when you shuck right down to it, giant alien moray eel (but not an eel).

    "Stupid" is a relative term, but could it have even approached sentience? Maybe. Sapience? Probably not. A sentient creature experiences its world subjectively, and that does not require "intelligence," merely consciousness, so we can take that one almost as a given. (Sci-fi notwithstanding, "sentience" is not exactly an accomplishment. If it's operating on anything better than reflex, it's sentient. Your dog is sentient. The earthworm he's eating is not.) The problem here is that the thing is so dang big, almost too big. Titanosaur Argentinosaurus huinculensis was only 39.7m long, so that's not even in the running against a blue whale. This monster has its size working against it for one basic reason: its nerves. In your body, the fastest nerves are involved with proprioception - your ability to know where all your bits are in 3D space so you can move, interact, and basically live as a human - and they top out at a conduction velocity of 120 meters per second. At 1,200 meters long, if you bit Snaggletooth on the tail, it'd take 10 full seconds for that message to get to his brain, and another 10 back for a response. And 120m/s is about the best we can do on Earth (or at least that we've seen). And the whole dinosaur butt brain thing? Yeah...total myth. So we're stuck with one of two possibilities: a distributed nervous system or a damn slow central one. Given the size of the skull's potential braincase, I'd personally lean toward a distributed nervous system with ganglia handling local operations. (This is the "secondary brain" system @ranmafan mentioned, although they're entirely reflexive and don't make decisions; they're not "brains" so much as a "wad of neurons.") Of course, this means operating largely on reflex, and there goes sentience out the window. But if you do that, you don't need a spinal cord anymore, which would mean this thing was either an invertebrate or was the weirdest damn vertebrate that ever lived. If it's really an invertebrate, then it's a eel with bony ribs (which transcends weird) or is something for which we have no terrestrial analogue.

    Lastly, we can't assume a flatter body shape regardless of its thermoregulation. Lizards are flatter so as to be more thermally efficient while basking. But human beings are also flatter than round for entirely different reasons. Most creatures are flattened.

    Disagree strongly: position of spinal cord; eye count; depth limit; skull fins; precursor trolling.
    A spinal cord technically can be placed just about anywhere, but it needs to be protected and can't get in the way of other structures. Having one installed on your ventral side is a whole lot of problems. So where's the spinal column? @Muninn_Crow had a decent hypothesis, although that kind of torque on the neck would be problematic (the skull should've ended up on its side rather than spun 180 degrees.) Assuming it's not the mutant bony eel possibility, it's still there. I just blame Hollywood for the confusion. See, skeletons aren't naturally articulated, and that skeleton has been there awhile. Once decay takes out connective tissues, a skeleton just kinda...falls apart. Take a look at a whale fall sometime. It's a pile of bones, not a skeleton that could be recognized. It's entirely possible that once the skeleton dearticulated the vertebral bodies just fell into the mud and sank.

    Assuming one of them isn't a sinus of some kind, I count six eye sockets. Of course, it's possible that one of them is a sinus for cooling the brain (brachiosaurus did the same thing), but it's unlikely. They all look like orbits.
    There's very little to limit Snaggletooth's depth, even if he is somehow an air-breathing creature. Whales don't get the bends (or "fizzy seltzer blood" which conjures up such a great image - I used to use cherry soda for classroom demonstrations for just that reason). Decompression sickness only occurs when you perform gas loading while under pressure. In English, that means that only if you're breathing while under pressure can you get the bends. Whales take a deep breath on the surface, dive, swim, and resurface to exhale and do it again. Human freedivers do the same, and despite falling to depths of up to 214 meters (that'd be Herbert Nitsch) they won't get the bends either. Only by breathing gas at depth does the blood load more gas than it can hold at surface pressure. (It's also worth noting that the gas involved is nitrogen, not oxygen. Pure oxygen can't give you the bends. It can kill you in no fewer than a half dozen other ways, but not the bends.)

    No way to tell what the soft structures of the creature looked like. Without an actual, preserved-in-situ fossil to work with (like a mud fossil) we can only make educated guesses based on skeletal structure. Nothing on that skull necessarily points to fins.

    I really doubt the precursors had the inclination (or the time) to fool around with a skeleton to convincingly confuse some alien paleontologist that may or may not survive being shot down by their giant flashlight from hell.
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
    ShuttleBugRalijMaalteromm
  • SkopeSkope Wouldn't you like to know ;) Join Date: 2016-06-07 Member: 218212Members Posts: 1,176 Advanced user
    Assuming one of them isn't a sinus of some kind, I count six eye sockets. Of course, it's possible that one of them is a sinus for cooling the brain (brachiosaurus did the same thing), but it's unlikely. They all look like orbits.

    Would one of these pairs not be a nasal cavity of some sort, or is that not how reptiles work?
    I've been skulking around here for almost four years.

    Yet I still have no idea what's going on.
  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    Response to @scifiwriterguy

    Spoiler box #1: By 'similar biology to earth' I mean that 4546B has many analogues to earth creatures; like rays, eels, sharks, isopods, ect. For example, in-game, we're more likely to see a familiar-looking biter with physical characteristics of a piranha; that is, we'd see that it is a smaller creature, carnivorous, and not very smart. However, what we'd see at a second glance is that it has four eyes, is a solitary hunter, has an anglerfish-like facial appendage, and is more shaped like a tadpole. Yet we can overlook this things because tadpoles are familiar to most humans, eyes are familiar, and anglerfish are familiar. Another example is the sandshark. Although the sandshark is perhaps among the best examples of where subnautica is good at avoiding earth analogues, it really isn't because it fills the same evolutionary niche as the wobblegong shark (I hope I spelt it right) of earth, and is reminiscent of our own giant isopods. So what if it has four eyes? At least it has eyes. The thing is, although it may not be Earth, it's clearly something which could have happened to Earth and rings a bell. We wouldn't, for example, meet an in-game creature with a gyroscopic intestinal tract which uses the mass of its own feces to spin its spherical, porous body around; ascending by filtering oxygen out of the surrounding water to fill its sponge flesh with something lighter than the water outside and by descending again by soaking up water. This is what I call something that is not terran biology. More like terror biology if you catch my drift. Which, since, 4546B is a predominantly oceanic planet, is a pun.
    My point is not that the biology of 4546B has the same colored and composed blood as some earth creatures, but that they have blood at all which makes them earth-like. As you can tell, I have some weird opinions on what 'life' means. (Also, if you steal my stupid spongebob ball idea / toy baking soda submarine gyroscope, I will sue you if you don't give me credit. (And this point is absolutely reminiscent of the apparent affinity for non-biodiverse classifications in 4546B's fauna.)
    A side question: does the effectiveness of cobalt as circulation differ from that of Iron? Also, I think I've heard of what a cobgoblin is before... isn't it basically just a larger variety of goblin? If so, we kill them a lot in our campaign. This last one wasn't a serious question.

    Spoiler box #2: I am fascinated, truly, and want an example of one of these 'legless lizards'. And with 'legs' do you classify any limbs beside main torso? Also, I am amazed that I managed to make an entire post without once thinking of a water snake.

    Spoiler box #2: So it's undoubtedly a reptile. Right. Forgot about that whole 'where to get them calories'. I just had a funny image in my head of a giant alligator head on a sea snake like thing and a giant fitbit collar about its neck. This would actually make sense, (not the fitbit thing,) if it were more like an alligator which awaits prey to come by, matching up with its weird screwed-up neck. Its skull, ( just looking at the jaws,) look essentially identical to those of an alligator. However, there are far too many points which suggest that it wouldn't have similar behaviors to a 'gator and so I will just mention a few for fun: 1, as a snake- sorry, legless lizard, it'd have to expend a lot of calories to move and have a lot of muscle. There's really no need to have all that muscle if you're just waiting around for your prey and don't need to 'go fast' because of other predators since the PDA described it as likely being at the top of the food chain. Although there is an obvious problem with this which I will face later. Another reason why this wouldn't work is that alligators tend to float with part of their body out of the water; a method they have of gleaming a few calories from sunlight so as to decrease the load of fish it'd have to catch to maintain its bulk; a tactic which snaggletooth would've appreciated as you've stated. However, I imagine that a creature with a cylindrical body rather than a flat one would of course find it more difficult to fill their lungs with air to the point at which they can stay afloat without burning calories in trying to do their wavy snake thing. Now to go back to the problem I've attempted to evade which is obviously that of other Snaggles. Confrontations between alligators, I assume are common (although have no idea really) but is mainly due to alligators being social creatures just as the reason why any creatures would willingly face their own match, (it's not like anything smart would want to hunt down one of its own kind simply to fight them and probably die or at least suffer serious and crippling injuries like what humans do quite often because of our social tendencies). Although snaggles might have been forced to hunt each other towards the end of their reign because of how difficult it might have become for an apex predator to find enough calories to support them. But this would be very late in their reign if it was possible for a snaggle to run across a relative. So it's unlikely that they'd have to deal with each other much because A: We think we only see one set skeletal remains in the lost river belonging to the snaggletooth, and this is backed by B: It's unlikely that a single area the size of the crater could possibly provide enough food for a colony of little snagglies.

    Another point on Section #3: (I want to note that I've written most of my responses the moment they come to me, and so if I mention a bit that you'd have mentioned later on in the article, I am sorry,) it wouldn't really make sense for this creature to be at all mobile beyond its skull unless it had multiple reflexive brains which were all interconnected and one main, sentient brain in its skull. This'd be useful, actually, now that I think of it... I now think that this is the only way in which it could work it it were mobile, and that this could also allow for a sort of gecko-tail distraction; that is, if it were preyed upon as a juvenile and-say- a reaper analogue grabbed a hold of its tail and managed to tear it off, if the tail segment was one which had a reflexive brain in it then it would keep on flipping about as if it were swimming. and if the brains required to be interconnected in order to perform the function of swimming in unison, it could evolve with a fail safe so that a brain were disconnected from its fellows, the bit of tail it resided in would begin flailing spasmodically so as to draw motion-based eyes away from the fleeing snaggletooth. However, it'd still take a really long time for the adult creature to be able to stop moving or get going in the morning (without his tea); and so I imagine that eventually, the creature will reach a state of maturity in which they burrow into some hole to get fat on anything which happens to swim between its jaws. There, it'd lay for an eternity until the ecosystem around it shifts to the point at which snaggle- the late Mr. Snaggle who we loved so dearly- dies.

    Note on your 'no terrestrial analogue' bit, I'm beginning to think of something kinda' like a slinky... but more like if one took a bunch of big metal rings and wrapped fabric around it, and then put a spring in the inside of it and sewed the ends of the spring into the fabric and then gave it to their 4-year-old to get them to stop annoying them. Basically, it'd just move by pulling a pair of its rib bones closer to each other, stretching the segment of skin stretched between that set of ribs and the one before it, then pulling the first pair of ribs apart from each other before pushing them backwards as the pair of ribs after them contracted and were pushed forwards to meet the previous pair, whereupon they also separate again and repeat the same process with the next pair of ribs over and over again. I imagine its torso having transparent, bluish, veiny skin like a ghost leviathan; and if the bits where ribs stick out of its stretchy wrinkled skin would be lined with bioluminescence, it'd have a mesmerizing affect on other creatures what with the waves of color which would play across it incessantly.
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  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    I want to give the creature I described, (the snaggle; not the crap-blooded spongebob sphere,) a skin, now... Could someone else do this? I wonder if I can- one sec, I know about this artist on devianart who recently was hired by the subnautica devs. I was going to get a devianart account anyways, so I might as well ask him since he's already designing for them.
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  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    Skope wrote: »
    Assuming one of them isn't a sinus of some kind, I count six eye sockets. Of course, it's possible that one of them is a sinus for cooling the brain (brachiosaurus did the same thing), but it's unlikely. They all look like orbits.

    Would one of these pairs not be a nasal cavity of some sort, or is that not how reptiles work?

    Er... Well I'm not a biologist, but first off: in subnautica, we have reptile analogues. Not reptiles. Part B: I'm pretty sure that reptiles either use their tongues to pick up particles in the air or have their nostrils in little slits at the very front of their skull.
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  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 475 Advanced user
    @scifiwriterguy
    Every creature in the game, when injured, bleeds yellow. This is in stark contrast to Earth, where the two most common blood colors outside of the class Insecta (which contains all insects) is either red or blue. This is because iron and copper are both common and readily bioavailable here on Earth, leading to hemoglobin (iron-based, red blood) and hemocyanin (copper-based, blue blood). Yellow is a weird color from a terrestrial standpoint because yellow-colored oxygen-carrying pigments are rare and require specific (and less common) components.
    Assuming they do breath oxygen. Maybe it is a new gas on the atmosphere, like it was on proto Earth, and the creatures are still adapting to it. A creature that size would probably need a hell of an oxidizing agent to replace oxygen though. Or maybe be über slow.
    This monster has its size working against it for one basic reason: its nerves. In your body, the fastest nerves are involved with proprioception - your ability to know where all your bits are in 3D space so you can move, interact, and basically live as a human - and they top out at a conduction velocity of 120 meters per second. At 1,200 meters long, if you bit Snaggletooth on the tail, it'd take 10 full seconds for that message to get to his brain, and another 10 back for a response. And 120m/s is about the best we can do on Earth (or at least that we've seen). And the whole dinosaur butt brain thing? Yeah...total myth. So we're stuck with one of two possibilities: a distributed nervous system or a damn slow central one.
    I'd like to summon sci-fi magic on this one. The Sea Emperor is clearly sapient and a powerful telepath. Maybe telepathy is something that evolved in the planet and is more common place than expected. This creature could have a decentralized nervous system that synced itself through some sort of personal telepathy.

    @Skope
    Would one of these pairs not be a nasal cavity of some sort, or is that not how reptiles work?
    It might be, but it is clearly inspired by real earth eye sockets.
    Lots of air-breathing aquatic animals have their nostrils facing upwards, so it is easier to breath while most of the head submerged.



    In addition to the responses, I would like to point out that the eye cavities on the gargantuan fossil aren't clearly forward facing, like those of a reaper. Having excellent binocular vision is a trait of most predators on Earth, and is also present in 4546B, maybe excluding the Sea Dragon, Biter and Sand Shark.
    On the gargantuan skull only the first pair seems to be facing forward, so what was with its flanks that it had to keep two pairs of eyes there, while possibly presenting lateral binocular vision.
    Ralij
  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    edited March 16
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    @scifiwriterguy
    Every creature in the game, when injured, bleeds yellow. This is in stark contrast to Earth, where the two most common blood colors outside of the class Insecta (which contains all insects) is either red or blue. This is because iron and copper are both common and readily bioavailable here on Earth, leading to hemoglobin (iron-based, red blood) and hemocyanin (copper-based, blue blood). Yellow is a weird color from a terrestrial standpoint because yellow-colored oxygen-carrying pigments are rare and require specific (and less common) components.
    Assuming they do breath oxygen. Maybe it is a new gas on the atmosphere, like it was on proto Earth, and the creatures are still adapting to it. A creature that size would probably need a hell of an oxidizing agent to replace oxygen though. Or maybe be über slow.
    This monster has its size working against it for one basic reason: its nerves. In your body, the fastest nerves are involved with proprioception - your ability to know where all your bits are in 3D space so you can move, interact, and basically live as a human - and they top out at a conduction velocity of 120 meters per second. At 1,200 meters long, if you bit Snaggletooth on the tail, it'd take 10 full seconds for that message to get to his brain, and another 10 back for a response. And 120m/s is about the best we can do on Earth (or at least that we've seen). And the whole dinosaur butt brain thing? Yeah...total myth. So we're stuck with one of two possibilities: a distributed nervous system or a damn slow central one.
    I'd like to summon sci-fi magic on this one. The Sea Emperor is clearly sapient and a powerful telepath. Maybe telepathy is something that evolved in the planet and is more common place than expected. This creature could have a decentralized nervous system that synced itself through some sort of personal telepathy.

    @Skope
    Would one of these pairs not be a nasal cavity of some sort, or is that not how reptiles work?
    It might be, but it is clearly inspired by real earth eye sockets.
    Lots of air-breathing aquatic animals have their nostrils facing upwards, so it is easier to breath while most of the head submerged.



    In addition to the responses, I would like to point out that the eye cavities on the gargantuan fossil aren't clearly forward facing, like those of a reaper. Having excellent binocular vision is a trait of most predators on Earth, and is also present in 4546B, maybe excluding the Sea Dragon, Biter and Sand Shark.
    On the gargantuan skull only the first pair seems to be facing forward, so what was with its flanks that it had to keep two pairs of eyes there, while possibly presenting lateral binocular vision.


    I agree with all of this besides the bit about not needing oxygen; which I'm simply unsure about. My knowledge here is limited, but it is clear to me that oxygen is used by the brain as a means of energy, although I don't know what else could be used for this purpose.

    But I did make a point awhile back, (I forget on which thread,) that since all terrestrial creatures chose to power their brains exclusively with a substance taking up 21% of the surrounding air rather than finding a way to use all available gases, there must be a reason for it. And since the player doesn't die of air poisoning on a regular basis, (although Ryley Robinson admittedly usually only breathes filtered air through an airtank whether in a vehicle/indoor fixture or directly from the tank,) 4546B must have a similar makeup in its atmosphere as earth; and it obviously has an abundance of oxygen and hydrogen because the stuff which everything floats around in is obviously water and sodium (although a good deal of the sodium has crystalized on the ocean floor). And so, I assume that there's a reason why so many creatures chose to power their cells with only the second most abundant gas on earth-like planets such as 4546B. And as for plants, the brain of the human guzzles about 20% of the energy consumed by the body overall; and since plants do not have these, (brains I mean. They aren't incorporeal,) they shouldn't need to go to all the added trouble of sifting out the higher-energy stuff and simply do what's easiest; power their cells with the most readily available materials. However, this is not, in fact, what they do; they skip right past nitrogen and even oxygen and for some reason go to the trouble of consuming carbon dioxide. However, this sort-of makes sense because they compensate for the extra energy with sunlight
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  • ShuttleBugShuttleBug USA Join Date: 2017-03-15 Member: 228943Members Posts: 567 Advanced user
    edited March 16
    Could some other factor be responsible for the insane rigidness of the skeleton? The Terran examples of fossils are encased in minerals and pressure, but the many examples of fossils in the lost river are wide open. Perhaps a different bone chemistry or water minerals could explain?
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  • SkopeSkope Wouldn't you like to know ;) Join Date: 2016-06-07 Member: 218212Members Posts: 1,176 Advanced user
    ShuttleBug wrote: »
    Could some other factor be responsible for the insane rigidness of the skeleton? The Terran examples of fossils are encased in minerals and pressure, but the many examples of fossils in the lost river are wide open. Perhaps a different bone chemistry or water minerals could explain?

    The Lost River Brine is probably the culprit.
    I've been skulking around here for almost four years.

    Yet I still have no idea what's going on.
    Isummon_Durt
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 475 Advanced user
    @Isummon_Durt
    Earth plants do breath oxygen as well. Very few creatures don't rely on it to produce energy. It is one of the most successful evolutionary traits.
    Other substances can be used in biological energy production instead of oxygen, but they are far less efficient. Which does not mean this would hold true in an alien world. However, as you noted, oxygen does seem to be readily available on 4546B and that's why I suggested that if the lifeforms do not breath it, it must be because it is new in the planet.
    They probably do breath it though, but then we have the yellow blood to explain.

    O2 was once scarce on our own planet, the prevailing theory is that microscopic lifeforms secreted oxygen as a byproduct of their metabolism and it accumulated in the atmosphere. Then life evolved to use it.
    Climate change and Geo-engineering at its best.
    My knowledge here is limited
    "I know that I know nothing"
    - A man that knew a lot.
    scifiwriterguy
  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    ShuttleBug wrote: »
    Could some other factor be responsible for the insase rigidness of the skeleton. The Terran fossils are encased in minerals and pressure, but not the many examples of fossils in the lost river. Perhaps a different bone chemistry or water minerals could explain?

    Simple. We can't tell because any mineral casing would have long since deteriorated after 3,000,000 years. To tell you the truth, I am surprised that the gargantuan fossil managed to stick around for that long without completely deteriorating or fossilizing at some point. Also, on mine and @scifiwriterguy 's argument, it is important to note now that the bone composition of the Snaggletooth would have been very different from that of earth creatures. Also important information for the argument is that if it did indeed have scales or some sort of exoskeleton on top of its rib cage and the entire fossil managed to avoid permineralization, then the scales or exoskeleton would be the first things to deteriorate. :o
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  • ShuttleBugShuttleBug USA Join Date: 2017-03-15 Member: 228943Members Posts: 567 Advanced user
    Skope wrote: »
    ShuttleBug wrote: »
    Could some other factor be responsible for the insane rigidness of the skeleton? The Terran examples of fossils are encased in minerals and pressure, but the many examples of fossils in the lost river are wide open. Perhaps a different bone chemistry or water minerals could explain?

    The Lost River Brine is probably the culprit.

    By the way, what is that stuff? It burns through the seamoth’s titanium like plastic.
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  • SkopeSkope Wouldn't you like to know ;) Join Date: 2016-06-07 Member: 218212Members Posts: 1,176 Advanced user
    ShuttleBug wrote: »
    Skope wrote: »
    ShuttleBug wrote: »
    Could some other factor be responsible for the insane rigidness of the skeleton? The Terran examples of fossils are encased in minerals and pressure, but the many examples of fossils in the lost river are wide open. Perhaps a different bone chemistry or water minerals could explain?

    The Lost River Brine is probably the culprit.

    By the way, what is that stuff? It burns through the seamoth’s titanium like plastic.

    Most likely some sort of acid. Or maybe a base. I forget the difference in properties.
    I've been skulking around here for almost four years.

    Yet I still have no idea what's going on.
  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    *facepalm* It's obviously acid.
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  • ShuttleBugShuttleBug USA Join Date: 2017-03-15 Member: 228943Members Posts: 567 Advanced user
    The earth “brine” is a combination of groundwater and organic matter, so the lost river brine must be completely different.

    (Yes, the brine is obviously acidic :D)
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  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 858 Advanced user
    Skope wrote: »
    Assuming one of them isn't a sinus of some kind, I count six eye sockets. Of course, it's possible that one of them is a sinus for cooling the brain (brachiosaurus did the same thing), but it's unlikely. They all look like orbits.

    Would one of these pairs not be a nasal cavity of some sort, or is that not how reptiles work?

    That's what I meant by a sinus. :) (Biologically, a sinus is any open space in bone or tissue.) Almost all complex organisms have sinuses for one purpose or another. Respiration, temperature regulation, mass reduction...there are lots of reasons and functions for them.
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    Assuming they do breath oxygen. Maybe it is a new gas on the atmosphere, like it was on proto Earth, and the creatures are still adapting to it. A creature that size would probably need a hell of an oxidizing agent to replace oxygen though. Or maybe be über slow.

    Well, early Earth's atmosphere didn't contain any gases it doesn't contain today - the difference is in proportions. The balance of gas mixes in the atmosphere has wiggled all over the place from epoch to epoch, but aerobic organisms have always relied on oxygen, and they've (nearly) always been in the high majority. Since 4546B has an oxy/nitrogen atmosphere, it's safe to assume that the majority of the animals on it will require oxygen to live.
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    This monster has its size working against it for one basic reason: its nerves. In your body, the fastest nerves are involved with proprioception - your ability to know where all your bits are in 3D space so you can move, interact, and basically live as a human - and they top out at a conduction velocity of 120 meters per second. At 1,200 meters long, if you bit Snaggletooth on the tail, it'd take 10 full seconds for that message to get to his brain, and another 10 back for a response. And 120m/s is about the best we can do on Earth (or at least that we've seen). And the whole dinosaur butt brain thing? Yeah...total myth. So we're stuck with one of two possibilities: a distributed nervous system or a damn slow central one.
    I'd like to summon sci-fi magic on this one. The Sea Emperor is clearly sapient and a powerful telepath. Maybe telepathy is something that evolved in the planet and is more common place than expected. This creature could have a decentralized nervous system that synced itself through some sort of personal telepathy.

    Oof...that'd be difficult in the extreme. Unless it has a radically different nerve structure than we've ever seen - which, being a telepath, we can't rule out, of course - it'd be nearly impossible. Our brains work so well because it's all in one place; communications lag is minimal, so complex interaction is possible. If you were to displace parts of the brain elsewhere in the body, no matter how well connected by trunk nerves, it just wouldn't work. It'd be like taking the parts of your motherboard and putting them in different counties, then expecting the system to work as well as it did before.
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    They probably do breath it though, but then we have the yellow blood to explain.

    We can, pretty easily. All we need to do is make one assumption: cobalt is much more available on 4546B. With cobalt, these organisms could've evolved with coboglobin instead of the more Earth-common hemoglobin, which is iron based. Deoxygenated coboglobin is indeed yellow, while oxygenated is clear. Those puffs of yellow blood in the water are venous coboglobin-based blood clouds.
    Skope wrote: »
    ShuttleBug wrote: »
    By the way, what is that stuff? It burns through the seamoth’s titanium like plastic.

    Most likely some sort of acid. Or maybe a base. I forget the difference in properties.

    Both will destroy materials pretty effectively; a strong acid and a strong base are both highly corrosive. Drain cleaner has a pH of 14, and you don't want that stuff on your skin, either.

    In the case of the Lost River, though, we have similar-appearing phenomena here on Earth: brine rivers. Now, brine on Earth is generally pretty mild; the Dead Sea has a pH that wobbles between 5.8 and 6, which you don't want in your eyes, for sure, but isn't liquid alkahest. Depending on the geology of 4546B, though (specifically the chemistry of its crust), there's no reason the brine in the Lost River can't be far more alkaline. Once you get past a pH of about 11, it starts getting serious. It's nothing we've seen here on Earth, but chemically, it's possible.
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
    RalijMaalteromm
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 475 Advanced user
    edited March 16
    @scifiwriterguy
    Well, early Earth's atmosphere didn't contain any gases it doesn't contain today - the difference is in proportions.
    I'm aware of that, it's just a teaching gimmick. I believe all know elements are present on Earth (excluding synthetics).
    Earth oceans were essentially what's currently called 'dead zones' in ecology.
    It is considered that O2 molecules in the oceans were very rare because free oxygen would tend to be captured by other molecules and not form the dioxygen molecule.
    Probably the best argument against 4546B creatures not being aerobic is due to the fact that, on real life Earth, oxygen is extremely toxic to exclusively anaerobic lifeforms, which doesn't mean it would hold true to every possible anaerobic lifeform.

    I'll try to make analogies (you'll see what I did here) to explain why it's usually called a new gas.
    Imagine you're in your room, playing on your computer. You are, knowingly or not, smelling flatus molecules from countless people, yet it doesn't bother you because they are so diluted you can't consciously perceive it. Then the previous taco night flatulence kicks and your room suddenly turns into a chemical hazard zone, despite it is unlikely that new molecules (that weren't already present) were introduced in the environment.

    Another good one is the old joke about the mathematician, the engineer and the hot naked woman.
    Which, in name of political correctness (gender based PC, not career based. try and excuse-me if you're a mathematician), I'll adapt using doggos:
    A mathematician doggo and an engineer doggo are called into a room by their human, in it there's this awesome ball in the corner and the human tells them they can each move half the distance to the ball every 30 seconds. The mathematician doggo suddenly storms out barking "this is pointless", while the engineer doggo is wriggling his tail frantically and has his tongue out, drooling like crazy. The mathematician doggo turns to him and woofs "don't you see it, you'll never reach it", to which the engineer doggo reply woofing back "who cares?! Soon I'll be close enough for all practical purposes".

    Sometimes getting too intertwined with conceptual correctness can get in the way of pragmatically understanding a phenomenon.
    but aerobic organisms have always relied on oxygen, and they've (nearly) always been in the high majority. Since 4546B has an oxy/nitrogen atmosphere, it's safe to assume that the majority of the animals on it will require oxygen to live.
    Unless the presence of O2 in the atmosphere is something new. Maybe the precursors geo-engineered the planet. Their presence in the game lies between 1-2k years ago, if they spent another couple years terraforming it wouldn't give the creatures enough time to adapt.
    You have the safest bet, the creatures are carbon based, they certainly oxidize it to produce energy. But where's the fun in that.
    Oof...that'd be difficult in the extreme. Unless it has a radically different nerve structure than we've ever seen - which, being a telepath, we can't rule out, of course - it'd be nearly impossible. Our brains work so well because it's all in one place; communications lag is minimal, so complex interaction is possible. If you were to displace parts of the brain elsewhere in the body, no matter how well connected by trunk nerves, it just wouldn't work. It'd be like taking the parts of your motherboard and putting them in different counties, then expecting the system to work as well as it did before.
    Think of it as cloud computing, or some sort of internet multiplayer game. You have some players which receive information from a central server, process it independently and return it to the server. The server then processes all info it received plus some more things and return it to the players.
    We humans can play with people in other states/countries and, many times, barely feel any delay at all. If telepathy is some sort of radiation, and travels at light speed, it is easy to assume it could coordinate such a large body by using a brain the size of a house as a central hub and some nerve clusters as small clients.
    We can, pretty easily. All we need to do is make one assumption: cobalt is much more available on 4546B. With cobalt, these organisms could've evolved with coboglobin instead of the more Earth-common hemoglobin, which is iron based. Deoxygenated coboglobin is indeed yellow, while oxygenated is clear. Those puffs of yellow blood in the water are venous coboglobin-based blood clouds.
    True, yet cobalt has tons of industrial applications and we do not exploit it in the game. We do see a lot of copper so maybe, as you cited yourself, molecules similar to hemocyanin should be in order. Also, coboglobin loses its ability to bind oxygen quite quickly.
    Ralij
  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    I apologize, but these arguments have moved out of my range of interest and so I will discontinue making points. But so far, I think Maalteromm has begun to 'win' if presenting a good point can be called that. So buh-bye.
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  • RowletAlexRowletAlex Eleventy-seven Nonexistent Street, Nowhereville, Outer Space. Join Date: 2018-03-16 Member: 239126Members Posts: 53 Advanced user
    edited March 17
    If you don’t mind, I’d like to butt in with a theory of my own on the Alpha Leviathan’s behavior (I’ve decided to call it the Alpha Leviathan)

    The closest thing we had on Earth to the Alpha Leviathan in terms of body structure is Mosasaurus. It was a sea reptile that was actually rather closely related to monitor lizards, and was relatively huge. However, Alpha Leviathans were one heck of a lot bigger, and had vastly different dentition, so mostly this connection is irrelevant.

    After much thought I’ve decided that they were an ambush predator similar to gulper eels, hanging motionless in the water, it’s tail hanging below it, and it’s mouth gaped open waiting on prey to drift near (possibly attracted by a lure or rotting flesh in between its teeth) or by rapidly opening their jaws when prey draws near, sucking it in in a similar fashion to modern-day frogfish, who are also ambush predators. It would probably be able to swallow prey almost as big as itself, though it would seldom actually swallow anything that big.

    I’m going to make a wild guess and say that it reproduced in a similar way to deep-sea anglerfish, where a diminutive male permanently attaches to the female (what we see in-game) with specialized teeth, so the massive females wouldn’t have to do very much to find a mate.
    It would have moved primarily by drifting in the current, snapping up any ghost leviathans that swam by until they reached an active volcano, where they would gorge on sea dragon leviathans.
    Once mated females would lay one heavily armored, massive egg every few years that would sink to the sea floor.
    They would definitely be highly territorial, killing any other Alpha Leviathans that drifted too close, and eating them to regain the energy lost fighting.
    If they were related to Sea Dragons (which I don’t doubt) then they likely had
    tentacles, which would serve either as sensors, or as an additional means of capturing prey and drawing it to the mouth.

    Their limbs, if they had any, would serve to steer them if they needed to move around. Their skin would be extremely thick in comparison to other animals but it wouldn’t be armored very much because nothing ever dared to attack it. Fights between them, if they did not end quickly, would likely end up killing both individuals due to exhaustion anyway so armor is mostly useless, weighing them down needlessly. Juveniles however were likely armored due to living in an age where everything was a lot bigger, but lost the armor as they aged and grew.

    Juveniles would also hunt actively until they reached the size of a Sea Emperor, when they would slow down and become ambush predators (or go find an adult female if they were male)

    I apparently haven’t been on the forum long enough to post comments with photos so I couldn’t add my super detailed illustration I did in 10 seconds, but ah well.

    Note that this is all based on pure conjecture and there’s probably several flaws in this theory but it’s just my two cents.
    Maalteromm
  • RalijRalij US Join Date: 2016-05-20 Member: 217092Members Posts: 602 Advanced user
    edited March 17
    I apologize, but these arguments have moved out of my range of interest and so I will discontinue making points. But so far, I think Maalteromm has begun to 'win' if presenting a good point can be called that. So buh-bye.

    I don't think its a competition, lol. its all a fascinating science discussion between people who really know their stuff.
    Maalteromm
  • Isummon_DurtIsummon_Durt Lower MiddleEarth Join Date: 2017-12-09 Member: 234349Members Posts: 301 Advanced user
    RowletAlex wrote: »
    If you don’t mind, I’d like to butt in with a theory of my own on the Alpha Leviathan’s behavior (I’ve decided to call it the Alpha Leviathan)

    The closest thing we had on Earth to the Alpha Leviathan in terms of body structure is Mosasaurus. It was a sea reptile that was actually rather closely related to monitor lizards, and was relatively huge. However, Alpha Leviathans were one heck of a lot bigger, and had vastly different dentition, so mostly this connection is irrelevant.

    After much thought I’ve decided that they were an ambush predator similar to gulper eels, hanging motionless in the water, it’s tail hanging below it, and it’s mouth gaped open waiting on prey to drift near (possibly attracted by a lure or rotting flesh in between its teeth) or by rapidly opening their jaws when prey draws near, sucking it in in a similar fashion to modern-day frogfish, who are also ambush predators. It would probably be able to swallow prey almost as big as itself, though it would seldom actually swallow anything that big.

    I’m going to make a wild guess and say that it reproduced in a similar way to deep-sea anglerfish, where a diminutive male permanently attaches to the female (what we see in-game) with specialized teeth, so the massive females wouldn’t have to do very much to find a mate.
    It would have moved primarily by drifting in the current, snapping up any ghost leviathans that swam by until they reached an active volcano, where they would gorge on sea dragon leviathans.
    Once mated females would lay one heavily armored, massive egg every few years that would sink to the sea floor.
    They would definitely be highly territorial, killing any other Alpha Leviathans that drifted too close, and eating them to regain the energy lost fighting.
    If they were related to Sea Dragons (which I don’t doubt) then they likely had
    tentacles, which would serve either as sensors, or as an additional means of capturing prey and drawing it to the mouth.

    Their limbs, if they had any, would serve to steer them if they needed to move around. Their skin would be extremely thick in comparison to other animals but it wouldn’t be armored very much because nothing ever dared to attack it. Fights between them, if they did not end quickly, would likely end up killing both individuals due to exhaustion anyway so armor is mostly useless, weighing them down needlessly. Juveniles however were likely armored due to living in an age where everything was a lot bigger, but lost the armor as they aged and grew.

    Juveniles would also hunt actively until they reached the size of a Sea Emperor, when they would slow down and become ambush predators (or go find an adult female if they were male)

    I apparently haven’t been on the forum long enough to post comments with photos so I couldn’t add my super detailed illustration I did in 10 seconds, but ah well.

    Note that this is all based on pure conjecture and there’s probably several flaws in this theory but it’s just my two cents.

    The mosasaurus isn't the best analogue here, (Yeah, I know I said that I'd shut up,) as the mosasaurus had a body shape more like a shark whereas the Alpha Leviathan had an obviously serpentine body shape, and while the mosasaurus had a much more elongated jaw used for crunching and sinking teeth into something, (and then following through with its secondary set of jaws like a moray eel,) the AlphaSnaggle has only one, more alligator-like set of jaws. As for swallowing prey as big as itself, I've long since, (in a separate post,) mentioned that although the skull of the Alphasnaggle was certainly large, it wasn't all that much in line with its massive body length. In another post on this discussion, I described a very similar life-cycle; except that my model described Alphasnaggles as being more apt at avoiding confrontations between species than mating. I honestly think that the lack of diversity in variations within species might be there for a reason and that asexual reproduction is a much more common thing in 4546B's ecology than it is on earth. In fact, the only creature with any definitive 'gender' is one with more of a mindset in this way, and that's the sea emperor; and that's probably only because they had to give it a voice in the first place. Like I mentioned above, Alphasnaggles would avoid confrontation with each other in the large part; unless at towards the end of their reign, they began to run out of adequate prey items and began hunting each other although this would have been unlikely. I, too, agree that baby snagglies would have been much more active than their adult counterparts; and I mean incredibly more active. I agree with your ambush bit, although it'd be much easier for the Alphasnaggle to simply snap its jaws whenever something big swims through them. That's what alligators do, I think.
    ________
    |\ \ \ \ \ \\ WE ARE THE BORG.
    ||\__|__|_\ YOUR BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS
    | \| || | ||| | WILL BE ADDED TO OUR OWN.
    \| | | | |||| |
    | \|__|__|_| R E S I S T A N C E I S F U T I L E
    Maalteromm
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 475 Advanced user
    Ralij wrote: »
    I apologize, but these arguments have moved out of my range of interest and so I will discontinue making points. But so far, I think Maalteromm has begun to 'win' if presenting a good point can be called that. So buh-bye.

    I don't think its a competition, lol. its all a fascinating science discussion between people who really know their stuff.
    This is spot on.
    In fact it wouldn't even approach a fair competition as @scifiwriterguy is on a league waaay ahead of my own.

    I don't discuss to try and prove I'm right, I do it to as an exercise in rhetoric. And in this last post I used a fairly cheap tactics against him, in this part:
    I'm aware of that, it's just a teaching gimmick. I believe all know elements are present on Earth (excluding synthetics).
    Earth oceans were essentially what's currently called 'dead zones' in ecology.
    It is considered that O2 molecules in the oceans were very rare because free oxygen would tend to be captured by other molecules and not form the dioxygen molecule.
    Probably the best argument against 4546B creatures not being aerobic is due to the fact that, on real life Earth, oxygen is extremely toxic to exclusively anaerobic lifeforms, which doesn't mean it would hold true to every possible anaerobic lifeform.

    I'll try to make analogies (you'll see what I did here) to explain why it's usually called a new gas.
    Imagine you're in your room, playing on your computer. You are, knowingly or not, smelling flatus molecules from countless people, yet it doesn't bother you because they are so diluted you can't consciously perceive it. Then the previous taco night flatulence kicks and your room suddenly turns into a chemical hazard zone, despite it is unlikely that new molecules (that weren't already present) were introduced in the environment.

    Another good one is the old joke about the mathematician, the engineer and the hot naked woman.
    Which, in name of political correctness (gender based PC, not career based. try and excuse-me if you're a mathematician), I'll adapt using doggos:
    A mathematician doggo and an engineer doggo are called into a room by their human, in it there's this awesome ball in the corner and the human tells them they can each move half the distance to the ball every 30 seconds. The mathematician doggo suddenly storms out barking "this is pointless", while the engineer doggo is wriggling his tail frantically and has his tongue out, drooling like crazy. The mathematician doggo turns to him and woofs "don't you see it, you'll never reach it", to which the engineer doggo reply woofing back "who cares?! Soon I'll be close enough for all practical purposes".

    Sometimes getting too intertwined with conceptual correctness can get in the way of pragmatically understanding a phenomenon.
    He is certainly well aware of all this, but instead of accepting his correction (which might not even have been aimed at me, but at other readers), I chose to use a sort of Ad hominem by exalting that mine was a deliberate mistake. I'm ashamed by that.

    Another important trait that signalizes the tier contrast between our points is how deep one is able to ground their arguments. I usually point out one or two reasons on why a fictional situation might be valid. He tend to go a long way by listing and linking several reasons, taking the time to explain where/how they would be applied, their weaknesses/strengths and finally choosing one of them and further explaining why he chose it.

    I'm a discordant person by nature, even if I agree with someone I might openly disagree with them just because. This is one of this cases.
    Particularly I like to counterpoint @scifiwriterguy for two main reasons, he usually responds in detail (and we learn a lot through that) and is a really tough 'opponent', so you really have to step up your game to try and have a discussion with him (also leads to tons of learning).

    By the way SciFiWguy, I recently posted a link to a project that greatly reminded me of you, but as you have been visiting us sparingly lately it might have slipped you by.
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