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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:37 am 
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I LOVE the last part, extremely symbiotic agriculture is a very cool idea.

Obviously, the thing in these real-world examples is that all these insects have had tens of millions of years to evolve alongside their crops, whereas humans have only been doing it for ~10,000 years, but (and I'll quote the paper here) "through a combination of insight, creative planning, and a fair share of contingency and luck," humans have managed to cultivate a wide variety of monoculture plants. If we apply the concept to a magical race and world, I see little reason why amazing leaps in agriculture wouldn't occur.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:53 pm 
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I completely forgot to mention that I was also directed to a literal underwater band, called AquaSonic (like the toothbrush, unfortunately). They use a range of instruments from the expected to the uncommon to the unique. Obviously wind instruments are right out because, hey, water, though they use what's basically a water ocarina called a hydraulophone, which is really what I wanted to point out, since a lot of their other instruments (string, percussion, glass harmonica, their own voices) make a certain kind of sense, but this thing is basically a water-type woodwind instrument and it kind of blows my mind.

You can look up some of their music on youtube if you want to listen for yourself, but their site here gives a good overview of the instruments they use.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:19 pm 
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So, as I was reading up a bit about sharks today, I finally discovered that, on my work computer, I just have access to several scholarly article sites and am not blocked by paywalls and such. It's probably something I should have realized a long time ago, because it's Baylor University Medical Center -- i.e. a medical school -- but it's nice to find out now. I hope/plan to put it to good (if questionable) use as I search for creative inspiration among the natural world.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:15 am 
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We hotwired a DVD player into a projector today.
Watched Beetlejuice and then Castlevania.
We're going to abuse the hell out of this.

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To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:41 pm 
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Some new information I learned today, about some specific sharks:

Thresher sharks (the ones with the loooooooong tail fins) whip them around like freaking scorpions to stun prey.

Bonnetheads (a type of hammerhead with small "hammers") can at least partially digest seagrass, and it seems to make up to 50% of their diet, though it's not clear whether they derive much nutritional value out of it, and may just eat it to pad their stomachs against the shells of the crabs and such that they eat. They also have molars, for crushing the aforementioned shells.

Silky sharks are actually incredibly sensitive to sounds, are drawn to specific sounds close to the surface, but will also get spooked if the sound suddenly changes. They also have an obvious "threat display," arching their back and swimming weird when they feel threatened, and will either run or attack if divers continue getting close while they're doing that.

Scalloped hammerheads (which seems to be the most well-studied hammerhead species) are actually incredibly social, hanging out in schools of females which spread out to hunt at night and then gather back together over underwater mountains again during the day. They also seem to have several easily-recognizable (for us) body language signs to communicate with each other.

I forget which species it was now, but I think it was a cat shark, was experimented with to test their visual acuity and memory, teaching them to recognize triangles and longest lines to get food. They not only were able to easily recognize these things despite common visual illusions (such as the <---> / >---< illusion), but they also remembered how to do these things when tested again a year later.

As a weird side-note, I also learned from at least two shark species which had extensive pages on them, that they seem to have only 1 ovary but 2 uteruses.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that scalloped hammerheads have also been observed to tan, as in their skin gets darker from melanin after exposure to UV.


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