Thursday, April 1, 2010

Long Silence and Hairless Insulation

Blogs have always been a tricky thing for me to keep updated. Thankfully, my site hasn't been so neglected. Content continues to accumulate, as if in some adamant protest against everything else going on in my life. I'm not going to give an itemized annotation for everything, as that would be a lot, so I'll just settle with saying I've had a lot of fun with this project so far, and hope to continue developing it to the best of my abilities.

One thing I will mention at this point, however. When I began the project, there were several design parameters I established to guide my creativity: tripedalism, mouths located somewhere other than near the brain and senses, and no hair. In their development and publication, two of these three criteria have had a certain degree of critical approval, but the third, hairlessness, has been regarded as one of the project's points of implausibility. The argument is that hair is such a simple structure to evolve that it would likely be present on extraterrestrials for insulation. I don't disagree with the probability, but it means going back and rethinking/redrawing several species I've already taken care of.

So I guess I've been trying to think up different ways that my endothermic nereids can combat loss of heat in environments where that's an issue. One idea I have cooking up is adapting a pair of lung-hearts (hey, they have six of them, who's going to miss two?) into some novel organs specialized for thermogenesis. In a nutshell, when things get cold they will kick into gear and pump hot blood into parts of the body to keep temperatures up. I'm not sure what kind of side effects or challenges there are for such an idea, but that's the idea I'm working with right now.

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