Re: Newt and Zebra Biology

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@yeats.ucc.ie)
Date: Tue 11 Apr 2000 - 20:41:53 EEST


Trotsky:
> >While that's my impression too, I'll just toss out the fact, by way of
> >devil's advocacy, that the dragonewts are frequently described as 'neotenic
> >dragons', and a neotenic creature is, pretty much by definition, capable of
> >breeding...

Joerg:
> Not quite correct. They have hatched from eggs laid by neotenic dragons.
> They need to undergo several metamorphoses to become neotenic dragons.

'WLIO' (aka, IIRC), I think Trotsky is right on this one, the reference
puzzled me too. The parental dragons are described as 'immature', this
is true, but the dragonewts themselves are described, elsewhere as
'neotenic'. Though if you consider them the same 'species' as dragons,
the problem perhaps resolves itself (though not very satisfactorily).

> However, Sandy proposed that they have five sexes, one for each stage
> (including dragonet), and are thus able to breed. If so, I wonder which
> stage is capable of laying the egg large enough to hatch a warrior
> dragonewt.

Ooooh, that's *gotta* hurt... I wondered about this too, it does seem
a little odd. Perhaps the egg itself grows as the 'newt develops, or
some such thing. For the sake of argument, I'll propose that if this
does indeed happen, it's the warrior which is the 'oviparous sex'.

> Would it be correct to say that the individual 'newt only is the mobile
> manifestation of the developing egg, much like a dream dragon?

That sounds at any rate just the sort of thing whacked-out draconic
philosophers would say, at any rate. ;-) "You know, in a sense, what
are we all be mere mobile manifestations of the primal consciousness?"
"I'm warning you, any more of that EWF-ist guff and you won't be either
mobile, or conscious, guy!"

> Peter:
> >The Ralian 'newts have no inhuman king so it is difficult to see how
> >they might reproduce. I assume it's related to their former human
> >ancestry (they were originally reptile hsunchen) and so captive
> >humans might be necessary for successful reproduction (even if
> >only as an unwilling host).

I once suggested to Sandy that perhaps 'newts could indeed reproduce
without the 'full set', doubtless with horrific consequences to their
spiritual well-being. I was thinking also of the yet-more-degenerate
cases where only (say) the first two stages are present. (The counter-
argument being that these groups are likely out-and-out outlaw
'communities', and not (at least normally) self-sustaining.)

> As for the necessary fifth sex - maybe a true dragon might replace a
> dragonet in this function?

That's an interesting idea. Potentially eye-watering, mind you, but
very interesting...

Cheers,
Alex.

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