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[ironclaw] Milking the Lizard

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  • Kurt Miller
    My view on the domesticated animals of Calabria: 1. Spiders would make sense on a smaller scale, since as you may recall all arachnids are carnivores, drinking
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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      My view on the domesticated animals of Calabria:

      1. Spiders would make sense on a smaller scale, since as you may recall all
      arachnids are carnivores, drinking the blood and bodily fluids of their
      prey. The problem with herding spiders is gathering enough bugs and small
      animals to feed them. I could imagine a barn with a few dozen fist-sized
      spiders cultivated for their silk and cages with pigeons for feeding them.
      Please note that spider silk is made from protein, so you must have
      something like blood to feed the spiders; you could feed them milk, but as
      we are currently debating, where would you get it from?

      2. Speaking of milk, what about warm-blooded dinosaurs? We already have
      evidence that some species of dinosaurs gave birth to live young, (care to
      help me on this one, Athelind?) so it is not improbable to suggest that
      there might have been dinosaurs with mammary glands, producing milk or a
      similar substance.
      One would assume that such dinosaurs are herbivores much like cows, and are
      probably similar to the creatures used in Calabria as draft animals.

      3. Since warm-blooded dinosaurs might have fur or feathers, it is quite
      possible that some species could be raised for their fur, much like a llama,
      sheep, or camel. Other saurians could be raised for their hides to make
      leather as well as for meat, although smaller dinosaurs could be used for
      the same purpose. Flightless birds might also be raised for their meat,
      hides, and feathers, (we currently breed ostriches for the same purpose) and
      what about flightless birds as riding beasts or pack animals?

      4. Giant insects could be raised for their meat and carapaces, as the latter
      could be used to make armor such as scale mail while giant bees could be
      used to produce homey. For more ideas on this subject, read the Trollpak
      supplement for Runequest, as Trolls in Glorantha raised insects and
      arachnids for food, pack animals, and other purposes.

      Kurt Miller
      Speaker-of-the-Law

      "...what the mind yearns for most is not to know, but to believe."
      --Gustav Holst.

      _________________________________________________________________
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    • Athelind Stormdancer
      ... Sure, I ll help! First off: from the evidence I ve seen, dinosaurs are clearly warm- blooded (or to be more technical, homeothermic and endothermic). The
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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        On 1 Mar 01, at 0:12, Kurt Miller wrote:

        > 2. Speaking of milk, what about warm-blooded dinosaurs? We already
        > have evidence that some species of dinosaurs gave birth to live young,
        > (care to help me on this one, Athelind?) so it is not improbable to
        > suggest that there might have been dinosaurs with mammary glands,
        > producing milk or a similar substance. One would assume that such
        > dinosaurs are herbivores much like cows, and are probably similar to
        > the creatures used in Calabria as draft animals.

        Sure, I'll help!

        First off: from the evidence I've seen, dinosaurs are clearly warm-
        blooded (or to be more technical, homeothermic and endothermic). The
        attempts I've seen to "explain" how dinosaurs could have functioned
        with a cold-blooded metabolism have struck me as being the biological
        equivalent of Ptolemy's epicycles.

        There is some SPECULATION that some species of dinosaurs gave birth
        to live young, but, insofar as I recall, no firm EVIDENCE as yet.
        There have been adult skeletons found with juvenile skeltons inside
        them, but the size of the pelvic opening in the adult suggests that
        these are examples of cannibalism* rather than viviparity. Giving
        birth to live young is one thing; so far, the Caesarean section is a
        method of birth unique to H. sapiens.

        *Don't get smug -- mammals have been known to do the same.

        It IS, however, improbable to suggest dinosaurs with mammary glands.
        Mammaries are a highly-specialized structure specific to a line of
        reptile-descendants that branched off from the dinosaurs' ancestors
        long before either line could have been called "mammals" or
        "dinosaurs". Having warm blood and live young doesn't imply mutant
        sweat glands to feed those young, nor does a lack of those mutant
        sweat glands imply an inability to nurture said young. "Advanced"
        doesn't have to mean "more like us".

        There IS good evidence that at least some species of dinosaurs DID,
        in fact, nurture their young -- but the best examples are in the
        fossilized nests of egg-layers.

        Dinosaurs probably fed their young in the time-honored manner still
        practiced by their modern descendants, the birds: regurgitating food.

        Now, onto some of the questions that I assume started all this. My
        mail was down for a month, so I haven't seen the beginnings of this
        thread -- forgive me if I ask questions that have already been
        answered.

        On "dairy" products:

        When I was working on the calendar appendix of PHELAN, I had to deal
        with this, since one of the major Phelan holidays was modelled on a
        Celtic festival celebrating the first milk of the season. I adapted
        this to refer instead to the first EGGS of the season, and Jason, in
        turn, incorporated that into the main text of the book.

        If you're raising great, big, thousand-pound lizardy-things as meat
        animals and as the base of your economy, then they're going to be
        producing eggs. A few centuries of careful breeding might produce a
        breed of cumal that produce non-fertile eggs in almost the same
        quantity as modern chickens -- and the eggs will be BIG.

        The evidence I've seen supports the idea that the smaller dinosaurs
        ("smaller" in this context meaning "up to a few hundred kilograms")
        were almost certainly insulated, most probably with some form of
        feathers. However, IRONCLAW has set an artistic precedent for mammal-
        like lizardy things of all sizes covered with hide.

        On animal-based fiber products:

        First, while I appreciate the effort that has gone into these
        speculations, I have to say that the notion of herding cute little
        floofy spider-things for wool or silk doesn't quite fit my mental
        image of IRONCLAW. Pokemon or Monster Rancher, perhaps, but not
        IRONCLAW. For one thing, there's no real precedent for Really Big
        Bugs in Calabria: all of the "critters" we've seen are either saurian
        or avian.

        Second -- why would there have to be a wool-equivalent? Perhaps the
        Calabrians simply make do with clothing made of plant fibers and
        leather, with feather decorations. Frankly, I'd think that people
        covered in their own fur would wear much lighter clothing than does
        H. sapiens. How much of a market would there BE for wool garments?

        Third -- maybe, just maybe, the Goats and Sheep of Calabria shear
        THEMSELVES for wool, for sale and trade. I know we all reached a
        polite agreement to avoid such speculations about dairy products, but
        I think it's worth considering for fiber.

        Oh, wait... selling wool would be a foolish risk when a Thaumaturge
        could use it to forge a pretty solid Synecdoche link. Maybe if you
        mixed the wool from several individuals in a batch, it would be more
        difficult to get a Synecdoche to "lock on". Does a thaumaturge have
        to know WHO he's trying to affect?

        Or maybe the wool trade started centuries before modern Thaumaturgy
        developed. It's stated that reliable, systematic magical theory is a
        relatively recent development in Calabria. Beyond that, even today,
        Thaumaturges are RARE -- and probably don't advertise the details of
        their abilities. If a significant wool economy had developed, I think
        those involved would downplay their concern about such things, even
        to themselves -- since the bulk of them would be peasants in the
        first place, and who would bother enchanting a peasant*?

        *Can you say "plot seed"? "Amalthea was the loveliest goat in all
        the Chevernaise lands, and, though poor-born, her wool was the finest
        and softest in any hill or vale...."

        But that's just wool-gathering.

        --

        Your Obedient Serpent,
        Athelind Stormdancer,
        The Boojum Snark

        "If you are what you eat,
        then dragons are people, too!"
      • Athelind Stormdancer
        ... Yes. Yes, we can. Kurt, you should be ashamed of yourself. Of course, I ve been saying that for twenty years now, and you never are. -- Your Obedient
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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          On 1 Mar 01, at 10:48, draconis wrote:

          > Can we say this subject line is in poor taste?? :)

          Yes. Yes, we can. Kurt, you should be ashamed of yourself. Of
          course, I've been saying that for twenty years now, and you never
          are. <G>


          --

          Your Obedient Serpent,
          Athelind Stormdancer,
          The Boojum Snark

          "If you are what you eat,
          then dragons are people, too!"
        • Frederick Tarbox
          ... You re ruining my beautiful dream! =) ... I think it was Firemane who made the reference to the Marvel No Prize. The Phelan book accidentally made
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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            On Thu, 1 Mar 2001, Athelind Stormdancer wrote:

            > Now, onto some of the questions that I assume started all this. My
            > mail was down for a month, so I haven't seen the beginnings of this
            > thread -- forgive me if I ask questions that have already been
            > answered.
            >
            > On animal-based fiber products:
            >
            > First, while I appreciate the effort that has gone into these
            > speculations, I have to say that the notion of herding cute little
            > floofy spider-things for wool or silk doesn't quite fit my mental
            > image of IRONCLAW.

            You're ruining my beautiful dream! =)

            > Second -- why would there have to be a wool-equivalent?

            I think it was Firemane who made the reference to the Marvel No Prize.
            The Phelan book "accidentally" made reference to wool tartans, and implied
            they are very popular among the Phelan. So there has to be some fiber
            going under the name of wool, but it's true it doesn't *have* to be animal
            based...there's just no fun in that.

            >
            > Third -- maybe, just maybe, the Goats and Sheep of Calabria shear
            > THEMSELVES for wool, for sale and trade. I know we all reached a
            > polite agreement to avoid such speculations about dairy products, but
            > I think it's worth considering for fiber.
            >
            > Oh, wait... selling wool would be a foolish risk when a Thaumaturge
            > could use it to forge a pretty solid Synecdoche link. Maybe if you
            > mixed the wool from several individuals in a batch, it would be more
            > difficult to get a Synecdoche to "lock on". Does a thaumaturge have
            > to know WHO he's trying to affect?

            No, a thaumaturge does *not*. At least not in all cases. Of course I
            don't remember where this is said, but I'm certain there is a sentence in
            the main rulebook to that effect. I think the Locate spell in particular
            has such an example.


            As to kawaii anime spider things...geez, last time *I* try to please the
            arachnaphobes.


            Fred
          • draconis
            Can we say this subject line is in poor taste?? :) Draconis
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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              Can we say this subject line is in poor taste?? :)

              Draconis
            • MacKinnon, Ted
              ... I would tend to agree with this point - why wear something heavy when you have fur of your own? For those who want to wear heavy, try leather garments. I
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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                > Second -- why would there have to be a wool-equivalent? Perhaps the
                > Calabrians simply make do with clothing made of plant fibers and
                > leather, with feather decorations. Frankly, I'd think that people
                > covered in their own fur would wear much lighter clothing than does
                > H. sapiens. How much of a market would there BE for wool garments?
                >
                I would tend to agree with this point - why wear something heavy when you
                have fur of your own?
                For those who want to wear heavy, try leather garments. I wouldn't wear
                straight leather myself (on skin) but on fur, it cuts the wind and the fur
                would provide the insulation. For those nobles with a great deal of coin,
                sewing in a cloth insert would add style and a bit of comfort.
                Otherwise, I'm sure cotton cloth would be sufficient.

                Ted
              • timothytheraven@yahoo.com
                *wing-baps himself in the head* duh! The simplest answer is most often the best answer. One s own fur provides enough insulation, and cotton is easily grown,
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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                  *wing-baps himself in the head* duh! The simplest answer is most
                  often the best answer. One's own fur provides enough insulation, and
                  cotton is easily grown, and manufactured. (Well, partially. Perhaps
                  part of being forced to work in the Stocks could include picking
                  cotton.) I'd say cotton, leather and self shearing is the way to go.
                  no need to go out and create a new species of critter for raw
                  materials; but i did like my poison idea tho...

                  ~Tim~
                • riiya@aol.com
                  In a message dated Thu, 1 Mar 2001 10:17:09 AM Eastern Standard Time, Athelind Stormdancer writes:
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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                    In a message dated Thu, 1 Mar 2001 10:17:09 AM Eastern Standard Time, "Athelind Stormdancer" <athelind@...> writes:

                    << First, while I appreciate the effort that has gone into these
                    speculations, I have to say that the notion of herding cute little
                    floofy spider-things for wool or silk doesn't quite fit my mental
                    image of IRONCLAW. Pokemon or Monster Rancher, perhaps, but not
                    IRONCLAW. >>

                    But... but... they'd be so cute! You could snuggle with them and scratch them behind the mandibles and ....

                    Greg
                  • MacKinnon, Ted
                    ... [Sound of retching and gagging in the corner] Ted
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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                      > But... but... they'd be so cute! You could snuggle with them and scratch
                      > them behind the mandibles and ....
                      >
                      > Greg
                      >
                      [Sound of retching and gagging in the corner]

                      Ted
                    • Danford, Chris
                      But the short hair breeds will need heavier clothes for those cold winters, as well as the guys that are normally from hotter places, like rhinos. So you may
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 1, 2001
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                        But the short hair breeds will need heavier clothes for those cold winters,
                        as well as the guys that are normally from hotter places, like rhinos. So
                        you may still need the big shearing herds.



                        > *wing-baps himself in the head* duh! The simplest answer is most
                        > often the best answer. One's own fur provides enough insulation, and
                        > cotton is easily grown, and manufactured. (Well, partially. Perhaps
                        > part of being forced to work in the Stocks could include picking
                        > cotton.) I'd say cotton, leather and self shearing is the way to go.
                        > no need to go out and create a new species of critter for raw
                        > materials; but i did like my poison idea tho...
                        >
                        > ~
                      • Mpanthera@aol.com
                        Well, as I have been following this thread for a while now, it does seem to occur to me with this discussion of clothing fibers and such, like using giant
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 2, 2001
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                          Well, as I have been following this thread for a while now, it does seem to
                          occur to me with this discussion of clothing fibers and such, like using
                          giant spiders for example, for silk. It seems to me that the common silkworm
                          would be a more obvious resource for such.

                          Later.

                          MP
                        • timothytheraven@yahoo.com
                          i already suggested that a few posts ago. ... seem to occur to me with this discussion of clothing fibers and such, like using giant spiders for example, for
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 2, 2001
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                            i already suggested that a few posts ago.


                            --- In ironclaw@y..., Mpanthera@a... wrote:
                            > Well, as I have been following this thread for a while now, it does
                            seem to occur to me with this discussion of clothing fibers and such,
                            like using giant spiders for example, for silk. It seems to me that
                            the common silkworm would be a more obvious resource for such.
                            >
                            > Later.
                            >
                            > MP
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