Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

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AnarchCassius
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by AnarchCassius » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:08 am

The first sure but not the only:

Image

Leedsichthys, Dunkleosteus and Megalodon are all fish but Basilosaurus is a mammal, Archelon and Elasmosaurus are reptiles, Hesperornis is a bird. The modern Blue Whale is the largest (by weight) Earth organism to ever live and it's ancestors were once land animals like all mammals.

The earliest land vertebrate was probably something like a lungfish but since than almost every other branch has returned to the water. Strangely I can't think of an actual aquatic dinosaur.

EDIT: For the record that is a hugenormous Leedsichthys, that probably COULD get that big but it's not exactly an average specimen.

Neovenator
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by Neovenator » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:19 pm

The closest thing to a marine non-avian dinosaur is a spinosaur, and even then we have no idea on their swimming skills.

Off the top of my head, the modern groups with marine relatives are:

Lizards/snakes (mososaurs, marine iguana)
Tuataras (pleurosaurs)
Birds (penguins, Hesperornis, other flightless seabirds)
Mammals (whales, seals, otters)
Turtles (durr)
Crocodiles (metriorhyncids)

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White parrot
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by White parrot » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:23 pm

A dancing pichu wrote:Wouldn't that still be backwards of evolutionary history, I thought sea creatures were the first of large organisms.
Yep', but here is a thing : Species is not a historic simulator. We don't have the patience nor the resources to wait for bacteria to give birth to jellyfish, and we don't expect dinosaurs to systematically appear only to be replaced by mammals for some reason. We have vertebrate hexapods, though.
So why do you expect the initial situation to be copy/pasted form Earth history ?? And for that matter, why do you want Species to begin with the first large organisms, rather than, say, the last ones (future evolution, yay !) ? For all we know, P. specium may be the last descendant of an older evolutionary history than Earth's, the last survivor of an unbelievable apocalypse.
There hasn't been any time on Earth when only a single "large" species existed anyway !
There is no ground to compare the beginning of a game in Species to any precise point in Earth history.

In my opinion, the key here is that Species doesn't aim to simulate a story, but a process. As long as anything lives, evolution will takes its course from it ; so what determine the ultimate primitive state in this world are ease and interest.
Ease incite us to begin with a single species, since it's viable : no need for Quasar for manually creating more ! (Even though it would be cool to begin with a wee lil' ecosystem, we can simply wait for the community to share their own when they got there. Or for madmen like you to design one from scratch. :P )
Interest is more difficult to identify : some people may want to get a super-predator from the go, others would care about the diversity of marine ecosystems ... People have different tastes ; so P. specium is designed to be average, so that each potential "goal" can be reached in an equally short amount of time. If it were a specialized herbivore, we could have to wait for a long time for the first carnivore to appear ; similarly, having an exclusively marine first species would mean terrestrial animals lovers would be irritated to have to wait for something to eventually crawl out of the blue waves.
Hence, as soon as swimming is possible, P. specium will tend toward amphibious, hopefully giving simultaneously birth to terrestrial and marine lineages at the beginning of each game.
At this point, we shouldn't be surprised by anything nature does. She's like a meth addict whose drug-fueled rampages unfold in slow motion and span millions of years.
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mw3modderman
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by mw3modderman » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:52 pm

White parrot wrote:
A dancing pichu wrote:Wouldn't that still be backwards of evolutionary history, I thought sea creatures were the first of large organisms.
Yep', but here is a thing : Species is not a historic simulator. We don't have the patience nor the resources to wait for bacteria to give birth to jellyfish, and we don't expect dinosaurs to systematically appear only to be replaced by mammals for some reason. We have vertebrate hexapods, though.
So why do you expect the initial situation to be copy/pasted form Earth history ?? And for that matter, why do you want Species to begin with the first large organisms, rather than, say, the last ones (future evolution, yay !) ? For all we know, P. specium may be the last descendant of an older evolutionary history than Earth's, the last survivor of an unbelievable apocalypse.
There hasn't been any time on Earth when only a single "large" species existed anyway !
There is no ground to compare the beginning of a game in Species to any precise point in Earth history.

In my opinion, the key here is that Species doesn't aim to simulate a story, but a process. As long as anything lives, evolution will takes its course from it ; so what determine the ultimate primitive state in this world are ease and interest.
Ease incite us to begin with a single species, since it's viable : no need for Quasar for manually creating more ! (Even though it would be cool to begin with a wee lil' ecosystem, we can simply wait for the community to share their own when they got there. Or for madmen like you to design one from scratch. :P )
Interest is more difficult to identify : some people may want to get a super-predator from the go, others would care about the diversity of marine ecosystems ... People have different tastes ; so P. specium is designed to be average, so that each potential "goal" can be reached in an equally short amount of time. If it were a specialized herbivore, we could have to wait for a long time for the first carnivore to appear ; similarly, having an exclusively marine first species would mean terrestrial animals lovers would be irritated to have to wait for something to eventually crawl out of the blue waves.
Hence, as soon as swimming is possible, P. specium will tend toward amphibious, hopefully giving simultaneously birth to terrestrial and marine lineages at the beginning of each game.
That kinda seemed repetitive so you lost me. All I know is I would prefer (once it's available) if we could start out with bacteria and such. It's a game, but I think it's purpose is more than amusement, eventually online could create a non-theistic social group (At least I hope)

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White parrot
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by White parrot » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:12 pm

You do realize we already have difficulty running 300 creatures at the same time, right ? How many bacteria do you think a map of this size should contain ?!? We will never have the ways to introduce bacteria as creatures ! This is madness !!
It is moreover unnecessary because Species focuses on a much larger scope. (Would you keep trace of each and every fallen leaves when describing a forest at fall ?)


(By the way, I don't want to alienate theists, just creationists. The difference is important.)
At this point, we shouldn't be surprised by anything nature does. She's like a meth addict whose drug-fueled rampages unfold in slow motion and span millions of years.
Silly Otter wrote:Welcome to the forum.
Please ignore the cultists.

AnarchCassius
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by AnarchCassius » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:59 pm

I can run 2500 creatures pretty well on a fairly old system. I think the reason is the graphics card is insane.

On the other hand I think 2000 is about the minimum most species need for biodiversity in the real world. We still have real trouble getting up the point where we can truly simulate enough macroscopic creatures on the island. If we had 10x that number we might have an accurate picture of a pretty small island ecosystem.

You're asking for accuracy but our machines simply can't simulate the bacteria in one organism, much less all that would be on the island. It seems better to have abstraction at that level and get as many macroscopics as we can. I think dynamic plants are a higher priority and to even get basic ones would require cutting the number of plants to 1/3 or getting equivalent gains elsewhere.

So it's a question do you really want bacteria at the cost the macroscopic creatures not being able to be any more complex than they are now? Adding bacteria as anything but an abstraction poses a major emergent dynamics problem. Bacteria are cells... if we are tracking single cells and making the transition to multicellular we're going to wind up simulating every cell in a creature's body.

Things didn't just start having more cells. Organisms just beginning that path are more like colonies than single creatures. First those cells gather in balls and strings for mutual benefit. Then that becomes part of their normal development. Then some of those cell start specializing. There's no clear point where you can say "okay that isn't a colony of microbes that's a single creature".

The problem is that while that's technically possible it means we can never STOP tracking those individual cells because how they've specialized IS what would determine the macroscopic animal's form. Beautiful if you have a supercomputer but the simple organism Volvox has around 50,000 cells. If we cut that to 1% for abstraction we still have 500 cells in what's basically a speck of algae on its way to being something like a plant. I could simulate 5 of them. A jellyfish has millions of cells.

I think this may have to hold off for Species 2 or 3. There are some games based on the 1st stage of Spore, you'd really want to start at that level and focus on the cells entirely, eventually letting them join together. The current system of creature parts would become superfluous. What you describe is at least a couple orders of magnitude more complex than Species.

AnarchCassius
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by AnarchCassius » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:10 am

Personally I'd like to start the game in the water myself. It's easy enough to have a variety of possible starting creatures when swimming works.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikaia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haikouella_lanceolata

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yunnanozoon

These are about where I think the game in it's finished form should be starting at the earliest. I could see non-chordates of equivalent complexity but we are already dealing with distinct plants and animals. That's not a division that would necessarily even arise on another world starting from the cellular level.

Wait... no, I found it!

Image

P Specium's family! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vetulicolia

Image

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AngerDomeAble
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by AngerDomeAble » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:22 am

AnarchCassius wrote:
Wait... no, I found it!

Image
Man looks like something out of half life.
20 is against common sense.
Don't believe his lies.

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White parrot
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by White parrot » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:23 am

AnarchCassius, your whole post is pure gold ! :D P. specium is EXACTY like that !

(Even though I really want the thing to be able to watz on land without too much difficulty ... Maybe P. specium is a Vetulicolia-like animal that lives preferentially around/in the tidal zone ?.. Not that important, anyway, pure speculative biology moment. :) )

This part could be useful to figure out what kind of food should the generalist P. specium be able to digest without any apparent adaptation ...
At this point, we shouldn't be surprised by anything nature does. She's like a meth addict whose drug-fueled rampages unfold in slow motion and span millions of years.
Silly Otter wrote:Welcome to the forum.
Please ignore the cultists.

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Quasar
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Re: Body parts functions and "mutation paths" ?

Post by Quasar » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:57 am

White parrot wrote:AnarchCassius, your whole post is pure gold !
Seconded!

Early deuterostomes... that actually means we're more closely related to these guys than we are to scorpions and spiders.

I've generally been thinking of all the creature's in Species as chordates/vertebrates, but since I plan to include chitin exoskeleton as a body covering, that's not entirely accurate. Best to call them early Bilateria, but of course we don't have any fossils for those so Vetulicolia are probably a decent approximation.

Oh hey, look at this. There's actually a term for P. Specium in the scientific literature: the Urbilaterian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbilaterian
Wikipedia, source of all knowledge and truth wrote:A traditional approach to reconstructing the urbilaterian considers it as a "roundish flatworm" consisting of as few features as possible. This concept of a very simple animal was abandoned when it was realised that the vast array of traits common to bilaterians would produce quite a complex animal,[5] but has had a resurgence with the inclusion of a phylum of flatworms within the bilateria.[6]

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