Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

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Aethaeryn
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Aethaeryn »

Zarel wrote:
uzytkownik wrote:Hmm. We have to base on something. Unfortunatly we will not escape certain restrictions - for example we cannot think how would think non-humans as our thoughts about non-humans are inherently human. We have to base on something. To make drakes 'scientific' we have only one setient specious and principle of medicory.
How is "females cannot fight" possibly a restriction?
uzytkownik wrote:Currently we have 1. only Drake males fighting in battles 2. people not like the current not-sentient female (which is much not human at all IMHO).
Did you completely ignore my suggestion that we can retcon the Clasher line to female? o_O
So females cannot fly?

What if you retcon the Glider line to be female?
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Zarel »

Aethaeryn wrote:So females cannot fly?

What if you retcon the Glider line to be female?
"Females cannot fight" is more cliché than "females cannot fly while wearing heavy armor", I think.
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by uzytkownik »

Zarel wrote:
uzytkownik wrote:Currently we have 1. only Drake males fighting in battles 2. people not like the current not-sentient female (which is much not human at all IMHO).
Did you completely ignore my suggestion that we can retcon the Clasher line to female? o_O
No - but currently we are more on brainstorm-level (at least from my observation). You may or may not like my explanation find it realistic/non-realistic/too-realistic. But as far as I can see your explanation is not official (if it is going to next wesnoth release please state so) - so I tried to explain the current state of game - at least someone may find something even better by combining parts of both ideas.

My proposition is merly that drakes female do not fight due to division of labour (separate point is if it is cultural or physical and how are precived the rare ocassions when they do fight). Such division is not entirly uncommon in last (over) 2000 years and it is only recently when it seems to change.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

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While we're in the brainstorming stage, we could simply make the drakes be sequential hermaphrodites. At birth, all drakes are male. Then, when two drakes wind up wanting to have kids, one of them becomes female, lays the eggs, and goes back to being male (or perhaps remains female for the rest of its life). Other alternatives include parthenogenesis (in this case, all drakes would be female (or at least, capable of laying eggs, the male/female distinction would no longer make sense for them) and no mating would occur. Several species of lizard reproduce via parthenogenesis. Of course, rather than being sequential hermaphrodites, drakes could be simultaneous hermaphrodites, which again would get rid of the issue of sexes altogether.

Under any of these cases, it's perfectly reasonable for Wesnothian scholars to assume that drakes are all-male and wonder where the females are. So we could leave the descriptions mostly as they are, but put something on the wiki or somewhere that hints at the true answer to the problem of the missing females. These ideas also make the drakes very non-human, and avoid any nasty complications regarding the existing social structure.
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

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uzytkownik wrote:No - but currently we are more on brainstorm-level (at least from my observation). You may or may not like my explanation find it realistic/non-realistic/too-realistic. But as far as I can see your explanation is not official (if it is going to next wesnoth release please state so) - so I tried to explain the current state of game - at least someone may find something even better by combining parts of both ideas.
Oh, no, that's perfectly fine on a brainstorm-level. I mainly just said that because your post was in reply to my post, implying you were criticizing my idea for some unknown reason.
solsword wrote:Under any of these cases, it's perfectly reasonable for Wesnothian scholars to assume that drakes are all-male and wonder where the females are. So we could leave the descriptions mostly as they are, but put something on the wiki or somewhere that hints at the true answer to the problem of the missing females. These ideas also make the drakes very non-human, and avoid any nasty complications regarding the existing social structure.
I believe that's the plan - all this would go under SecretLore.
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Aethaeryn »

solsword wrote:While we're in the brainstorming stage, we could simply make the drakes be sequential hermaphrodites. At birth, all drakes are male. Then, when two drakes wind up wanting to have kids, one of them becomes female, lays the eggs, and goes back to being male (or perhaps remains female for the rest of its life). Other alternatives include parthenogenesis (in this case, all drakes would be female (or at least, capable of laying eggs, the male/female distinction would no longer make sense for them) and no mating would occur. Several species of lizard reproduce via parthenogenesis. Of course, rather than being sequential hermaphrodites, drakes could be simultaneous hermaphrodites, which again would get rid of the issue of sexes altogether.

Under any of these cases, it's perfectly reasonable for Wesnothian scholars to assume that drakes are all-male and wonder where the females are. So we could leave the descriptions mostly as they are, but put something on the wiki or somewhere that hints at the true answer to the problem of the missing females. These ideas also make the drakes very non-human, and avoid any nasty complications regarding the existing social structure.
Interesting idea. Instead of trying to think outside of the box on the role of females, you're thinking outside of the box on the male/female distinction among Drakes. Some of your suggestions especially make sense if Drakes are indeed related to Dragons, who are not very numerous at all (Drakes themselves appear mostly as a rare species, too).
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by uzytkownik »

Zarel wrote:
uzytkownik wrote:No - but currently we are more on brainstorm-level (at least from my observation). You may or may not like my explanation find it realistic/non-realistic/too-realistic. But as far as I can see your explanation is not official (if it is going to next wesnoth release please state so) - so I tried to explain the current state of game - at least someone may find something even better by combining parts of both ideas.
Oh, no, that's perfectly fine on a brainstorm-level. I mainly just said that because your post was in reply to my post, implying you were criticizing my idea for some unknown reason.
I just forgot to remove the rest of post (I commented first part of your post). When I look onto once again - yes, it might look like I was criticizing your idea. I am sorry for misunderstending.

----------------------

About hermaphrodites/parthenogenesis - do you know how is with herd/tribal behaviour?

Also the Komodo Dragon according to wikipedia provides intresting case - especially given that both species developed on islands.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Zachron »

I found some of the assumptions regarding the maximum population of the Drakes to be a tad contrived. All the estimates concerning them hunting instead of raising meat, using the sea to augment food source. They all make the assumption that Drakes are carnivorous. Very few island bound species are carnivorous. Even predators would augment their diets with plant matter of some sort, in fact apex predators on islands are usually omnivorous. Since I imagine them as islanders, and mountain dwellers, it would make sense that they hunted for their meat in the lowlands, but they made gardens up in the highlands for their fruits and vegetables. Up at the peaks would be their dwellings.

Overhunting I think would be most mitigated by the limits in how fast Drakes could reproduce. Since we are operating on the basis that drakes are pygmy-dragons, or rather Dragons that stay at a Juvenile size because of nutritional deficiencies, it could be very well possible that they have quite a bit of difficulty breeding. Perhaps the creature has shrunk a great deal, but the egg that it hatches from, not so much. (Think the Kiwi bird, or imagine an 8 year old human girl trying to give birth to a full sized infant.) So while a full grown dragon would lay massive clutches of eggs, the drakes would have less numerous clutches, and laying them would be risky, quite often resulting in the death of the prospective mother. More reason for the eternal hearths in the village dwellings, the male can't hunt for food for the hatchlings and coddle the eggs at the same time...
...This might also play into their Symbiotic relationship with the Saurians, who while they are a less ancient breed than the Dragon, have for a longer time been familiar with the restrictions of their reptilian biology. Perhaps 9 out of 10 females die in the process of laying the eggs, and that one that survives probably doesn't have a working reproductive system afterwards, but a Saurian shaman or witch doctor, would probably make the a decent midwife for the process. Their knowlege of medicine, and their healing magics may or may not actually improve the survival rate of the prospective mothers, but their care may help those who survive to be able to lay clutches of eggs again, and again. They may also be able to increase the odds of the eggs that are layed would make it. With time they would identify the risk factors, and determine when it is best to perform procedures that result in the safe extraction of eggs but require cutting the mothers open, which makes for a very long recovery time before she could breed again. (which is preferable to dying.) All in all, this would culminate in the drakes being able to maintain their population size, and not have their population plummet in a downward spiral. (of course if their population dropped too low, the decrease in competetion would result in some of them acheiving full Dragon size, and in full Dragon sized females which would lay massive clutches of eggs with little risk of personal injury, resulting in the population bouncing back up in numbers, and shrinking back down in stature. Drakes are useful allies to the Saurians who need the Saurians, but Dragons are supreme apex predators that eat the Saurians. The Saurians might have a motivation in this regard to help keep the drakes intact and the dragons extinct.)
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Aethaeryn »

Zachron wrote:Overhunting I think would be most mitigated by the limits in how fast Drakes could reproduce...
The one problem I see with this theory (the rest of it seems okay) is that in order to maintain the population, they have to have two kids per couple (assuming a couple; at the very least they would need two kids from one female before the female dies) unless females are genetically twice as likely... This seems unlikely based on your explanations.
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Zachron »

But females are twice as likely to occur as males in a lot of species, humans and cats being among them(Disparities in infant mortality rates tend to even out the adult genders in the case of humans). As for drakes being more reptilian(and being magical creatures which cannot be quantified), in many reptiles, the most eggs have the genetic capacity to be either sex, but the temperature at which the eggs are incubated affects the resulting gender. Eggs that are kept warm more often become female, and eggs that are kept cool more often become male.

Not all reptiles are like that. Some can have their sex undefined as late as adolescence. These species might define their gender by external biochemical sensory. If more male pheromones are present throughout their development, more of the clutch will be female, but if more female pheromones are present throughout their development, more of the clutch will be male. The younger periods are a greater influence than the older periods, making the largest influence on the outcome be the sex of the parent that watches over the clutch the most. This has an effect that whichever sex is in shortage will be the sex the undefined hatchlings are most likely to assume. A few oddballs of said species are often predetermined to have one gender or another, additionally males of said species are prone to musk on a few of the eggs, which will ensure that they are female. The mothers will musk some of their eggs to ensure that they are male. Young hatchlings may even be able to choose their own sexes... the possibilities are endless. (Although the purpose of such a brainstorm is to limit said possibilities a bit.)

In the context of the reality they'd live in, females might be the larger portion of the hatchlings, but the smaller portion of the living population at any given point. (Humans managed to survive 1.5 million years in a comparable situation.)
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Devas »

Im pretty sure that Drake females are in their kitchens. If I wasn't, then I'd agree with Zachron.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Soliton »

Zachron wrote:But females are twice as likely to occur as males in a lot of species, humans and cats being among them(Disparities in infant mortality rates tend to even out the adult genders in the case of humans).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_ratio
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Zachron »

Damn Wikipedia.

I should really write my high school teachers and the History Channel an angry letter. But just about every person I've met has quoted sources claiming that females were more common than males in humans... (And in my age group, girls appear to be more common than boys in the region I live. For that matter, girls have been more common than boys in most places I've been, but maybe the boys are just more antisocial lol.)
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Aethaeryn »

Zachron wrote:Damn Wikipedia.

I should really write my high school teachers and the History Channel an angry letter. But just about every person I've met has quoted sources claiming that females were more common than males in humans... (And in my age group, girls appear to be more common than boys in the region I live. For that matter, girls have been more common than boys in most places I've been, but maybe the boys are just more antisocial lol.)
Afaik, more women than men in the past is actually not a natural process, but a result of the massive death toll in modern warfare. World War I and World War II killed off a lot more men than women (at least in the United States; there were a lot of European civilians killed in WWII so I can't say for sure), and the same can be said of most major wars where large numbers of young men are sent off to battle and die.
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Zarel »

Aethaeryn wrote:Afaik, more women than men in the past is actually not a natural process, but a result of the massive death toll in modern warfare. World War I and World War II killed off a lot more men than women (at least in the United States; there were a lot of European civilians killed in WWII so I can't say for sure), and the same can be said of most major wars where large numbers of young men are sent off to battle and die.
That's not the only reason. It's also that boys have a higher miscarriage rate. Either way, you end up with slightly more girls than boys, but it's pretty unnoticeable unless you have a major war or something.
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