A Question With Implications: What Do the Huergar Eat?

Najwalaylah

Exalted Member
Also, don't forget that the weight of the exoskeleton is probably as important as breathing / gas diffusion when it comes to the size limit of arthropods. Then again, if the breathing problem is solved, the weight of the exoskeleton might be partly compensated by increased muscle mass and efficiency due to better respiration. Furthermore a more "spongy" chitinous skeleton and the use of other minerals than calcium carbonate for biomineralization (or other proteins for sclerotisation) could drastically reduce the weight. I've always envisioned the large arthropods in MO to have evolved something similar to an endoskeleton (from their apodemes perhaps), meaning the exoskeleton can be reduced to a thin shell in places where armor isn't needed.
  Maybe they're full of helium or hydrogen or methane gas or just hot air in "bags" that mean they're about to float away into the sky at any moment when lift exceeds drag. Gods know, it used to be true enough of horses and pigs.
 
Thread starter #42

Tuhtram

Silver Supporter
Ahhh :(

Actually, it's unclear whether Jaekelopterus or Arthropleura was the largest of those we have found, yet.

You are right. However it sounds like you have decided that it would be impossible for arthropods in MO to evolve a different tracheal system (for instance many insects IRL have collapsible air sacks, and some of the larger insects use active ventilation, which are both potentially good starting points) or homologous "gills/lungs", or a combination of both.

Also, don't forget that the weight of the exoskeleton is probably as important as breathing / gas diffusion when it comes to the size limit of land living arthropods. Then again, if the breathing problem is solved, the weight of the exoskeleton might be partially compensated for by increased muscle mass and efficiency due to better respiration. Furthermore a more "spongy" chitinous skeleton and the use of other minerals than calcium carbonate for biomineralization (or other proteins for sclerotisation) could drastically reduce the weight. I've always envisioned the large arthropods in MO to have evolved something similar to an endoskeleton (from their apodemes perhaps), meaning the exoskeleton can be reduced to a thin shell in places where armor isn't needed.

I hope this and my previous comment show that I actually do care, and think, about these things. Very much. I definitely agree that the laws are broken from time to time though. Even if "arthropods" could theoretically be much bigger (at least in MO), it doesn't explain the size of the Thorax (not my invention) or other ginormous creatures. Size in sci-fantasy is generally always a problem ;)
Just so you know, I totally (platonically) love you.
 

Mattk50

Senior Member
Mats should go ingame and live in a hermit cabin atop a mountain or something as the old sage. To get clarifications on lore, you should have to physically journey there and ask such questions, maybe he would or wouldn't be there.

(heh, or not, the ingame chat system is terrible. Regardless thats a fun role you fulfill mats, even on the forums.)
 

Najwalaylah

Exalted Member
with extra ichor sauce.
Srichor Sauce. It tastes like... burning.
* * *


I've been thinking of Chemosynthesis as well (tube worms were mostly coming to mind), I didn't think anyone would really care to get too in-depth with it considering that MO is a fantasy universe that already breaks a lot of biological common sense.

For example, the Thorax and the Megnatons. The maximum size of an arthropod is determined by the relative oxygen content. The largest Arthropod ever was this thing. Right now the maximum size of a land-dwelling arthropod is approximately the Coconut Crab. Things used to be able to be bigger, but we have less oxygen around now than we did then. To support a Megnaton (or the mountain spiders we see all over, or the Spider Queens...) we'd need TONS of more oxygen. To support a Thorax... I don't even know if it's possible to be entirely honest.

So when it comes to MO's evolutionary biology I tend to just kinda shrug and say "It's fantasy, they get to decide when to play by the rules and when to not.". Sometimes "Wow, that'd be really awesome" outweighs the real-world restrictions -- hence why we can throw spells and why there's an entire society surviving entirely underground when we don't even know of any mammals that can do that -- and they seemingly have kept some skin pigmentation for whatever reason. They've already got giant glowing mushrooms and spiders quite decently deep underground, so we might as well roll with it and assume that there's hyperabundant chemosynthesis.
Tuhtram, it looks like we're getting huge (sub)terrestrial tube worms, after all.
 
Thread starter #47

Tuhtram

Silver Supporter
Tuhtram, it looks like we're getting huge (sub)terrestrial tube worms, after all.
To grow as large as they are, to the point that someone got lost in one and wandered for days, the things must be ancient.

They also must... defecate. Seeing as how that unfortunate Sarducaan's note was found. The question remains, however, how was the note spared being digested? How did the Sarducaan write in the pitch black? Is there a pile of gigantic worm poop containing tons of armor, weapons, reagents, and non-digestible materials from its former prey? What niche does this predator fulfill? There must be some form of large parasitic creatures living inside of such a large creature. Do they ever escape? Do I even want to entertain that horrifying thought? Probably not.

It also indicates to us that Sarducaa's sands are extremely deep. However, since the Sahara's estimated average depth is about 500 feet, not that big of a jump to say there's a massive fantasy creature that lurks below a similar (or even deeper) amount of sand.
 

Najwalaylah

Exalted Member
To grow as large as they are, to the point that someone got lost in one and wandered for days, the things must be ancient.

They also must... defecate. Seeing as how that unfortunate Sarducaan's note was found. The question remains, however, how was the note spared being digested?
Perhaps the Unfortunate Sarducaan used some version of the Burns Method: "I was most worried when he swallowed me, but then, well, you know the rest. And now for my triumphant return to <Springfield>!"
How did the Sarducaan write in the pitch black?
Glowing fungus. When in doubt, go with glowing fungus.
Is there a pile of gigantic worm poop containing tons of armor, weapons, reagents, and non-digestible materials from its former prey?
Probably. (Wouldn't it be cool if loot bags never decayed, inside? Impossible to do, but cool. Adding your stuff to the pile.) It is possible there could be things to gather, in there: bone tissue, saprophytic fungi, worn short swords and graveyard armour, <racial> carcass and heads, etc.

It's so much easier when you're dealing with fictional whales:
Gepetto's Boat inside Monstro the Whale from Pinocchio
What niche does this predator fulfill?
Maybe, whatever that niche was, it was destroyed as a result of whatever caused the Conflux.
There must be some form of large parasitic creatures living inside of such a large creature. Do they ever escape? Do I even want to entertain that horrifying thought? Probably not.
If you were stuck inside, and managed to survive, wouldn't you become one of its 'parasites'? ...We'll go there later.
It also indicates to us that Sarducaa's sands are extremely deep. However, since the Sahara's estimated average depth is about 500 feet, not that big of a jump to say there's a massive fantasy creature that lurks below a similar (or even deeper) amount of sand.
True. But in practice, somehow, I don't think the Belly of the Worm is going to go deep; more like sprawl wide.
 
Top