Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

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infernovia
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:16 pm UTC

The hypothesis isn't we came off of the savannah, the hypothesis is that the savannah stopped being a savannah and instead had a wide varying weather patterns that the animals (humans) had to adapt to or die. Here is the scientist searching with that hypothesis: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =124906102 There is a nova article/video on it that takes it a lot further which I can't lookup right now, but it looked like a pretty good correlation on top of making sense.

and we discussed why birth and hatch points can be developmentally identical.

We established that there could be at a similar level of development in terms of altrical/precocial infants. Just because birds are born without fullly formed skulls/habits (which is an important factor yes, and I would agree that it is more important than egg-laying/placental birth, especially for land animals), but it does not mean that a hatchling can achieve the same amount of intelligence as a mammal overall. And even if they can, there is still more to discuss in how a placental/egg-laying animal differ (longer period of infancy/mobility of the mother vs. mobility of the egg etc.). I thought it would be a good way to imagine how these alternative worlds could happen but it's kinda getting stuck in this weird "you don't agree that birds can have a soft skull when they are hatched" mentality which I don't even hold as true.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Yoshisummons » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:21 am UTC

infernovia wrote:Just because birds are born without fully formed skulls, but it does not mean that a hatchling can achieve the same amount of intelligence as a mammal overall.

Being birthed without a fully formed skull is because if the brain in the offspring while still in the womb/egg grows any larger ie: develops it becomes detrimental to it's survival to be alive after being born. In other words being birthed without a fully formed skull is something arose independently in at minimum two different species(humans and some birds) because there is negative feedback from developing the brain in the first stage too much(eggs having a fixed space, and getting the offspring through the birth canal). Since we observe that some traits that humans use because of our large amount of brain development appear in egg layers gives evidence to support the claim that egg layers are just as capable as creating sentient life as placental mammals.
And even if they can, there is still more to discuss in how a placental/egg-laying animal differ (longer period of infancy/mobility of the mother vs. mobility of the egg etc.).

As far as I can recall there are very few egg laying creatures that can't be mobile at any point while the mother is carrying the egg(s) pre-laying and pregnant women from my observations are pretty mobile(I'll be the first to admit I know nothing in that area, also warning even the Wikipedia article on human pregnancy is NSFW). Past that point there is nothing stopping from the parent(s) carrying the egg/baby where ever they go.
I thought it would be a good way to imagine how these alternative worlds could happen but it's kinda getting stuck in this weird "you don't agree that birds can have a soft skull when they are hatched" mentality which I don't even hold as true.

I came into this thread expecting discussion about sentient creatures that lay eggs with bumps all over them like a basketball because the parents carry them around everywhere but it more less turned into this.

You go
1: Creature lay's eggs
2: Because of reasons
3: Egg layers can't be as intelligent as placental mammals

Then the forum goes
1: Creature lay's eggs
2: But we have observational evidence in nature that egg layers that have large brains use traits similar to mammals with large brains to compensate for the negative feedback from large amounts of brain development when the offspring is young therefor there is not really any reason why egg laying sentient life can't be possible.
3: Egg layers can be just as intelligent as placental mammals.

Then you discount our conclusion because reasons, then because of this we think you're disagreeing with the evidence of bird hatchlings being born without fully developed skulls
(I mean if I'm misrepresenting or speaking out of turn I'll happily go back into my corner).

Oh and I'm sorry you took the word fluff so negatively I was only using it to describe that if we're still hanged up on the whole can egg layers be just as intelligent thing. Establishing that egg layers can be just as intelligent those features(the fun stuff) are irrelevant in proving that point. This is a please in the name of the sun god put the horse before the cart kind of thing.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:45 am UTC

infernovia wrote:The hypothesis isn't we came off of the savannah, the hypothesis is that the savannah stopped being a savannah and instead had a wide varying weather patterns that the animals (humans) had to adapt to or die. Here is the scientist searching with that hypothesis: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =124906102 There is a nova article/video on it that takes it a lot further which I can't lookup right now, but it looked like a pretty good correlation on top of making sense.
That article says nothing of forcing human evolution or intelligence development because of climate change, if anything, it suggests that we were particularly adapted to climate change, and that we didn't really impact other species as heavily as climate change affected them. On the other hand, this supports what I was saying about our intelligence and bauplan adapting and being particularly suited to intelligence and running.

infernovia wrote:Just because birds are born without fullly formed skulls/habits (which is an important factor yes, and I would agree that it is more important than egg-laying/placental birth, especially for land animals), but it does not mean that a hatchling can achieve the same amount of intelligence as a mammal overall. A
So, I read this as "I acknowledge your point that discredits my claim, but, still, my claim." I'm not sure what foot you're standing on here to maintain that ovipary cannot result in equivalent intelligence to vivipary.

infernovia wrote:I thought it would be a good way to imagine how these alternative worlds could happen but it's kinda getting stuck in this weird "you don't agree that birds can have a soft skull when they are hatched" mentality which I don't even hold as true.
I don't really care if you hold it to be true, as I linked you to an article that demonstrated it. If you want more articles on the time table of skull ossification, I can google it for you, or you can google it yourself. But I'm not sure why you assert the first part either; it's perfectly well and good to imagine plenty of alternative worlds wherein intelligence evolved from oviparous critters; you're the one hung up on this notion that they couldn't possibly be as smart as mammals, despite all the evidence we keep bringing to the contrary.

We've even given you a multiple diverse reproductive scenarios wherein it would be perfectly reasonable to produce intelligence, that you've discarded for no real reason other than 'just because'.

So, lets back up; if you have a problem with any of the specific situations or examples that have been raised, can you explicitely state what these issues are, and provide data that refutes THOSE EXAMPLES. I.e., if you believe that avian skulls are fully ossified at hatching, provide data that no avians hatch with incompletely ossified skulls. If you hold that cranial size is limited by egg laying, provide data that this is true. You posit that r-type reproduction simply CANNOT produce intelligence, but provide no reason or explanation for why? Please explain and support.

Otherwise, we're not really getting anywhere, because you simply keep ignoring our counter points and holding onto your position.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby tomandlu » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:42 pm UTC

Hopefully not derailing the topic, but is their any reason why egg-layers might never reach high intelligence for reasons unrelated to brain-size and strictly morphological issues? Number of eggs/young for instance? Social limits imposed by egg-laying? (I take it as a given that intelligence cannot evolve in solitary animals).
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:50 pm UTC

tomandlu wrote:Hopefully not derailing the topic, but is their any reason why egg-layers might never reach high intelligence for reasons unrelated to brain-size and strictly morphological issues? Number of eggs/young for instance? Social limits imposed by egg-laying? (I take it as a given that intelligence cannot evolve in solitary animals).

Nothing off hand that really comes to mind, and we've actually addressed all of those as reproductive strategies that in and of themselves don't suggest an effect on intelligence.

For example, Cephalopods are quite intelligent, and are r-type reproducers. Some organisms (across fish, insects, reptiles, mammals) have large clutches (+10, +20, +30, +50!) but still have heavy behavioral parental investments in the litter.

Egg laying in and of itself really only influences 'time spent gestating in the egg', which isn't really a metric of anything useful. Marsupials for example continue development ex utero, and birds have a juvenile period in the nest. So. That.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby tomandlu » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:37 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:For example, Cephalopods are quite intelligent, and are r-type reproducers. Some organisms (across fish, insects, reptiles, mammals) have large clutches (+10, +20, +30, +50!) but still have heavy behavioral parental investments in the litter.


Never knew that r-type was an actual thing. Wonderful.

That aside, now you've got me curious. Octopus are very much r-type (previously known as "have lots of offspring"), and their intelligence is, I assume, used almost entirely as a predatory tool rather than a social one. In other words, they don't use it to learn from their parents/social group - they use it as a problem-solving tool. So, I think my assumption was wrong - intelligence does not exclusively arise in social animals, as demonstrated by some r-type predators.

Small anecdote - I was once swimming in tropical waters and came across a group of 3 cuttlefish, apparently 2 adults and a juvenile, having all the appearance of a mini-nuclear family. And they were very curious about me, showing little fear. I can't find out much about the social habits of cuttlefish, and I don't know if such groups are common or not, or what this group might have represented.

To my shame, btw (and it still makes me cringe with self-loathing 30 years later) I decided to shoot one of them with a harpoon-gun that some boys on some nearby rocks had with them. There were these creatures who were letting me stroke them, and I used the opportunity to pointlessly spear one of the adults. I think it's the worst thing I've ever done in my life. :cry: :oops:
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby PM 2Ring » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:24 am UTC

tomandlu wrote:To my shame, btw (and it still makes me cringe with self-loathing 30 years later) I decided to shoot one of them with a harpoon-gun that some boys on some nearby rocks had with them. There were these creatures who were letting me stroke them, and I used the opportunity to pointlessly spear one of the adults. I think it's the worst thing I've ever done in my life. :cry: :oops:

Perhaps you should attempt to atone by immortalizing them in a scifi story...

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Sprocklem » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:29 am UTC

tomandlu wrote:That aside, now you've got me curious. Octopus are very much r-type (previously known as "have lots of offspring"), and their intelligence is, I assume, used almost entirely as a predatory tool rather than a social one. In other words, they don't use it to learn from their parents/social group - they use it as a problem-solving tool. So, I think my assumption was wrong - intelligence does not exclusively arise in social animals, as demonstrated by some r-type predators.


Not disagreeing here, but a possible scenario was mentioned earlier in the thread in which you could have an intelligent, r-type, social creatures instead of an intelligent, r-type, predatory species:
Izawwlgood wrote:imagine for example, that it is assumed that the juveniles must be winnowed in their struggle to survive. They are released into the sea, and years later, the few that made it return to the fold. Once returned, they are viewed as members of society, and cared for by all. Hell, in some respects the elimination of inheritance might do a society better; people no longer leave resources for their children, but for all children (Don't let Enuja see me agreeing with that). Also, it's possible that a few hundred are born, and the larvae compete with one another. It's possible that this competition is viewed as essential for the species. A number of organisms (eutherians and egg layers alike!) practice something akin to this in the womb/egg.

Remember, this doesn't mean 'adults have a billion babies, one survives, and is now a full adult and ready to reproduce itself'. The surviving and returning offspring may very well require additional rearing.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby untitled » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:13 pm UTC

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

I know it's something only a Protoss would call an "egg"... but hey, it's plausible.

For example, you could have spaceships full of these. Or entire fleets. Just don't send them to earth, ok? :mrgreen:
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:54 pm UTC

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:29 am UTC

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/ ... man-part-1
~27 mins then ~42 mins then ~49mins

If you watch the series, they get into why humans were stagnant in skull sizes for millions of years until climate changes forced the species as a whole to adopt higher intelligence. This also makes way too much sense and I would be surprised if it wasn't valid. It makes more sense than gradual brain growth in the savannah with absolutely no environmental pressure for versatility for the group as a whole.

Cephalopods are interesting, but they have really short lives, and I think that will be a hard limitation on something getting a species with as high intelligence as those of humans if they don't take care of their young. Are there any animals that follow r style population growth where the parental animal/society ends up teaching their young? I would be surprised and very curious to see how such a species functions, particularly because they seem opposite ends of adapting to new situations.

Artificial wombs are good, very good technology for future space colonization.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:19 pm UTC

Yeah, as we already went over, that is one of the prevailing theories that led humans to larger brain sizes. How does it fit into your 'egg layers cannot produce intelligence' notion, or rather, what does it have to do with reproductive strategies and their effect on intelligence?

I.e., can you not envision an egg layer that responds to environmental pressure by also increasing intelligence?
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:34 pm UTC

We haven't gone over that hypothesis, you wanted to know where I found that information and I just gave it to you.

I was using that climate change argument to lower the possibility of an animal with extremely long time of growth needed before intelligence. Secondly, not sure. I would think placental birth would be safer in those situations, but I don't have statistical evidence to prove it.

Can't believe I haven't seen this article before:
http://news.discovery.com/animals/dinos ... 120417.htm

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby untitled » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:17 pm UTC

btw there needs to be some stuff about actually HATCHING. lizards and beaked animals have a so-called egg tooth in order to aid them. probably this is why the only mammal to come out of an egg is a platypus (it has a beak). sure, mommy could break the egg for you but that time estimation mechanism would have to be evolutionarily produced - it wasn't till now on Earth but on Alien Lands who knows.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:36 pm UTC

Ok, so, again, this is about body weight, and says nothing of intelligence. These points are also kind of odd; Marsupials for example give birth to extremely low weight babies that continue developing ex utero. So what? You started this tangent about environmental pressure and body size, which certainly ties into survivability of a species but again, says nothing of intelligence. For example, being able to better thermoregulate allowed protomammals to remain active at night, something which allowed them to survive around dinosaurs, and something that allowed them to maintain higher levels of activity. That is absolutely an advantage that they would have over ectotherms, but has nothing to do with capability of intelligence. Also, vivi- or ovipary don't have anything to do really with activity levels, as anyone who has seen a sparrow and a sloth should know.

untitled wrote:probably this is why the only mammal to come out of an egg is a platypus (it has a beak).
Platypus are Monotremes, which includes Echidnas. The Echidna does not have a bill/beak. They do however have a hard snout, so, maybe that works as an egg tooth.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby untitled » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:52 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Ok, so, again, this is about body weight, and says nothing of intelligence.<SNIP>The Echidna does not have a bill/beak. They do however have a hard snout, so, maybe that works as an egg tooth.


to talk without having a clue about what was discussed: i agree that body weight has nothing to do with intelligence, between some limits (the bonobo and the elephant are comparably intelligent yet the elephant weighs around 170 times as much!). the limits might be more interesting than the relationship itself.

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BTW thank you for the correction. looking at those claws, I don't think it even NEEDS an egg tooth! not to mention that developing those claws in utero would be... ugh... rather messy :shock: (hint, hint)

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:33 pm UTC

untitled wrote:BTW thank you for the correction. looking at those claws, I don't think it even NEEDS an egg tooth! not to mention that developing those claws in utero would be... ugh... rather messy :shock: (hint, hint)
Huh, yeah, maybe the claws are the primary means of egg exit.

For what it's worth, however, and I mentioned this earlier in the thread, but a number of organisms (vivi and oviparous animals alike!) practice siblicide in utero or in ovo. Some animals forgo yolk, and consuming siblings is what nourishes the developing animal. Deer, for example, develop sharp hooves in utero which they use to stab their siblings in a 'last to develop first to die' manner.

This is all unrelated to the topic at hand, but still kind of neat. I suppose it does show that similar behaviors exist across families.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:20 am UTC

izawwlgood wrote:For example, being able to better thermoregulate allowed protomammals to remain active at night, something which allowed them to survive around dinosaurs, and something that allowed them to maintain higher levels of activity.

Wouldn't the ability to thermoregulate be pretty key to surviving some massive climate changes?

Interestingly, I expected placental birth to exist in the Jurassic period... but it doesn't look like it did: http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/02/ ... dinosaurs/

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby untitled » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:12 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:Wouldn't the ability to thermoregulate be pretty key to surviving some massive climate changes?


Only if you are in a zone massively impacted by climate change - and you cannot find other zones which are more
environmentally friendly to you (not the best example but think migratory birds... which are egglayers!).

Also, climate change doesn't always cycle in and out - but the sun is... and it's impacting everyone by the same
amount (especially before humans invent the fireplace and cats start sleeping on it :mrgreen: )

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:10 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:Wouldn't the ability to thermoregulate be pretty key to surviving some massive climate changes?
Sure, but again, that has virtually nothing to say about intelligence. If you're trying to make the point that mammals were better able to survive than dinosaurs because during periods of change they were able to adapt, you'll find no argument from me. I'm just not sure how you're trying to tie this to the conversation about whether or not an intelligent egg-laying alien race is possible.

Unless, and please correct me if I'm misinterpreting you; are you trying to say 'dinosaurs died out during massive and cataclysmic climate shifts and some mammals were able to survive' and 'one of the contributing factors to human intelligence is climate shift', ergo, 'only viviparous animals could become intelligent'? Because that is a very poorly linked conclusion from two hardly related pieces of information.
untitled wrote:(not the best example but think migratory birds... which are egglayers!).
This is actually a fantastic example of how 'ability to better thermoregulate' isn't simply 'be mammal', and has nothing to do with being ovi or viviparous, AND can also have nothing to do with physical adaptations either. Especially so because avians are endoderms.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:50 am UTC

untitled wrote:Only if you are in a zone massively impacted by climate change - and you cannot find other zones which are more
environmentally friendly to you (not the best example but think migratory birds... which are egglayers!).

Well, yeah, that's kind of the idea, you can't just move away from the source of the problem but have to adapt to, and exploit, many different climates.

izaawlgood wrote:Unless, and please correct me if I'm misinterpreting you; are you trying to say 'dinosaurs died out during massive and cataclysmic climate shifts and some mammals were able to survive' and 'one of the contributing factors to human intelligence is climate shift', ergo, 'only viviparous animals could become intelligent'? Because that is a very poorly linked conclusion from two hardly related pieces of information.

I am not saying there is a casual link between those two ideas, but I would say that traits that increase the ability for an individual to adapt and exploit multiple climate changes like having thermo-regulation, or having an omnivorous diet, would be pretty important for an organism to have the potential to have higher intelligence and actually stay in the environment.

How I would relate this to bird-laying is that I can't, as I said before. I find egg-laying to be highly limiting in mobility of the egg and the way the birth system works, but unfortunately I have no data to prove or disprove this. I haven't been able to find much research yet on why mammals dominate the land and the effect of the old historic climate changes on birds... doubly hard to research with the climate change issue we are having right now.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:12 am UTC

I think you're mincing a few ideas here, and it's muddying the waters.

infernovia wrote:I am not saying there is a casual link between those two ideas, but I would say that traits that increase the ability for an individual to adapt and exploit multiple climate changes like having thermo-regulation, or having an omnivorous diet, would be pretty important for an organism to have the potential to have higher intelligence and actually stay in the environment.
These traits *may* be useful for improving the survival of a pre-sapient organism, but obviously are not sufficient. Given that there are a whooooooooole lot of organisms that are capable of thermoregulating (WAY better than we are!), eating virtually anything (WAY better than we do!), I wager it's safe to assume these traits aren't even really necessary. We're naked apes that cannot synthesize all our required metabolites; by this metric, we shouldn't actually even fit the paradigm you're trying to establish.

infernovia wrote:How I would relate this to bird-laying is that I can't, as I said before. I find egg-laying to be highly limiting in mobility of the egg and the way the birth system works, but unfortunately I have no data to prove or disprove this. I haven't been able to find much research yet on why mammals dominate the land and the effect of the old historic climate changes on birds... doubly hard to research with the climate change issue we are having right now.
Firstly, mammals don't dominate land; insects do.

I don't understand what you mean by the above bolded. Third trimester human women aren't very mobile either.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:08 am UTC

For the insect thing, we are not talking about the most numerous species or the most diverse species (bacterias) but simply the biggest and most influential species that dominate the land (apex predators). It's safe to say that we pretty much dominate our environment, mega-mammals did a bit beforehand, mega-birds did before that, and before that there were dinosaurs (or ferns and conifers if you want to go the plant route). Also, I thought pigs/ravens were considered to be pretty smart?

I thought birds incubated for months, and it looks like it's usually just a month for the little ones, so it about comes close to the end of the human trimesters. It's breaking my brain that they can get that smart with that little energy investment, but evolution is awesome in that way.

As for the mobility factor, we are talking about birds vs. mammals. Birds need to create nests and the eggs are essentially immobile. Mammals, even while being more limited than normal, are usually much more mobile than that.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:17 am UTC

Interesting, the biggest dinosaur egg we found was 18 inches, and infants are usually 14-20 inches, so it is theoretically possible to have an egg that could pop out a hatchling the size of a human infant. I wonder how much the actual size of the egg would be, if it was a regular human infant. Not that I want to see that <_<

Looks like this was a reddit question: http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/1qww57/ It looks like you already participated on it. And I still can't find what I am looking for (mega-birds are gone but giant mammals still exist, why?). As a side question... why do birds/dinosaurs have hollow bone and mammals have solid ones? I thought hollow bones were supposed to be as strong as regular bones? Or is that a myth?

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby untitled » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:31 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:
untitled wrote:Only if you are in a zone massively impacted by climate change - and you cannot find other zones which are more
environmentally friendly to you (not the best example but think migratory birds... which are egglayers!).

Well, yeah, that's kind of the idea, you can't just move away from the source of the problem but have to adapt to, and exploit, many different climates.


No no no you got it all wrong *adjusts glasses, lights pipe and pets goatee* adaptation to the source of the problem won't happen like "hey, we need to adapt here or we'll die!" Of course that might as well happen for humans of medium intelligence but for anything less it's a pipe-dream - and here we are talking about egg-laying alien races whom we didn't even measure for intelligence! :P

It happens when all the creatures, which have not even an ounce of a trait which could be developed (by evolution, not by themselves, don't make the same confusion repeatedly although it's very tempting!) for purposes of adaptation, die off and only the strong remain (like Conan the Barbarian).

Same goes for exploiting different climates although the little creatures need a motivation for that in the first place...

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:22 pm UTC

I didn't say it like that, the better translation would be:

The smartest and most adaptable species can exploit these massive climate changes. The idea is that mutations randomly creates creature of high intelligence, but unless there is environmental pressure to demand it, it will not amount to much. So if the species can just move away, which many no doubt did, there isn't much selection pressure to be adaptable to different environments. All I need is for a section of the species to be able to exploit that climate flux.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:46 pm UTC

I apologize for the wall of quote snipes, but you threw up a ton of new points I take issue with.

infernovia wrote:The smartest and most adaptable species can exploit these massive climate changes.
These are not equivalents. 'Smartest' here is under the umbrella of 'most adaptable'. Intelligence is an adaptation, just like migration, fur, and claws are.

infernovia wrote:The idea is that mutations randomly creates creature of high intelligence
I wouldn't think this to be true; intelligence develops over time like any other trait. There wasn't a singular mutation that made some ape go AHA, MATH! You can see this in the steadily increasing skull volume of protohumans over many a millions of years.

infernovia wrote: So if the species can just move away, which many no doubt did, there isn't much selection pressure to be adaptable to different environments.
I feel like you're putting the cart before the horse here. Humans didn't become intelligent because we stayed in a singular biome and adapted to it. We became intelligent because a variety of pressures encouraged us to do so; environmental change contributed, but was not the sole reason, and more to the point, it seems that it's contribution is more along the lines of 'required us to change our diet to be more carnivorous, which changed our social structure, encouraged running, tool use, and relaxed the need for strong grinding jaw muscles'.

infernovia wrote:Interesting, the biggest dinosaur egg we found was 18 inches, and infants are usually 14-20 inches, so it is theoretically possible to have an egg that could pop out a hatchling the size of a human infant. I wonder how much the actual size of the egg would be, if it was a regular human infant. Not that I want to see that <_<
And again, the creature can hatch at infant size, and continue to develop. Or even hatch sub-infant size, and continue to develop. Birth/Hatch weight is not a good measure of intelligence across species. Chimps for examples have a much higher birth:adult weight ratio than we do, as their infants are not born as prematurely as ours are, but no one would claim that marsupials are inherently smarter than similarly sized mammals, despite having a strikingly lower birth:adult weight ratio. I think you actually suggested the opposite may be true.

infernovia wrote:And I still can't find what I am looking for (mega-birds are gone but giant mammals still exist
I'm not sure why this is either (ostriches are pretty big, for whatever that's worth), but I don't think it has to do with intelligence. Whales for example are not particularly intelligent. Elephants are, but Rhino's are not. Ostriches are supposedly as smart as dumb rats, while Cassowary's are purportedly more intelligent (I'm not sure how smart...)

infernovia wrote:As a side question... why do birds/dinosaurs have hollow bone and mammals have solid ones? I thought hollow bones were supposed to be as strong as regular bones? Or is that a myth?
Birds have hollowish bones (they're less 'hollow' and more 'honey combed and lightened') to reduce overall weight and allow them to fly. Bird bones are much more fragile relative to mammalian bones, but not all bird bones are hollowed, and not all birds have hollow bones. Flightless birds tend to have denser bones, for example.

infernovia wrote:For the insect thing, we are not talking about the most numerous species or the most diverse species (bacterias) but simply the biggest and most influential species that dominate the land (apex predators).
So what you actually meant was 'largest singular individual and apex predator over those biomes'. Sure, yeah, mammals dominate in the 100+ lb animal size range. I don't think that's really saying much though, because that's not a very large group of organisms. I wouldn't even say mammals are the 'most influential' species in... just about any biome.

infernovia wrote: Also, I thought pigs/ravens were considered to be pretty smart?
They are! I've even mentioned ravens a few times in this thread! Both are, IIRC, about as intelligent as dogs, or a bit higher. What of it?

infernovia wrote:I thought birds incubated for months, and it looks like it's usually just a month for the little ones, so it about comes close to the end of the human trimesters. It's breaking my brain that they can get that smart with that little energy investment, but evolution is awesome in that way.
You cannot compare across species like this; eggs are laid a few weeks after fertilization and incubated for about a month, and baby birds fed for about a month, and then they're fit to fly. Mice/Rats (to pick a similarly small sized mammal) gestate a month or so, and are weened in about a month.

This point is important; you keep making assumptions about what developmental stages things MUST happen at, and what I keep trying to explain to you is that life as we know it doesn't abide by your rules. Viviparous animals (Marsupials and Mammals and a handful of various fish and reptiles) birth their young at a range of different developmental stages, and either care for them or don't until they're able to fend for themselves. The exactly same thing can be said of oviparous animals. The *difference* is that egg laying places a size limitation on these organisms, meaning the birth weight and the adult weight may be extreme, as in the case of dinosaurs. That is interesting, but kind of irrelevant to the issue of 'can intelligence arise'.

infernovia wrote:As for the mobility factor, we are talking about birds vs. mammals. Birds need to create nests and the eggs are essentially immobile. Mammals, even while being more limited than normal, are usually much more mobile than that.
Mammals den or hole up, and birds will leave their chicks. In all biomes, you'll find mammals that birth a litter, and the female will stay with the litter, relying on paternal hunting contributions, and in all biomes you'll find birds that will do the same. I'm not sure what you're thinking here; a lot of mammals will den up, birth the litter, and leave, only returning once every 24 hrs to nurse for about 30m. No joke, there are mammals that impart significantly less post-birth behavioral investment in their youth than your average bird.

Again, I apologize for the wall of quote snipes. I asked you about a page back to concisely state your contention, and you didn't, and I feel you're sort of just throwing up a variety of off topic points now. If you concede that intelligent egg-laying animals are possible, and you're simply interested in further discussion of the differences and cool quirks of ovi- and vivipary, then awesome, I'm totes on board, but I would like some acknowledgement that you've understood the myriad points made, otherwise I feel like you're intentionally trying to get us to run after ever changing goal posts.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:49 am UTC

Yes, I would agree that I have no data that can definitely prove that oviparous animals cannot attain the level of intelligence that humans have.

I typed another response, but I lost it to the ether. Hopefully this still satisfies.

These are not equivalents. 'Smartest' here is under the umbrella of 'most adaptable'. Intelligence is an adaptation, just like migration, fur, and claws are.

Yes, you are right that fur, claws, intelligence are all traits. I am simply arguing that intelligence is the trait that is the most adaptable to the most situations, and as long as we are dealing with an environment that is constantly in flux, it will be something that pressures a species to tend towards higher intelligence. I am not saying it guarantees these species will have higher intelligence, but that there is great incentive for individuals that does have more intelligence and is able to exploit the environment. I am not arguing that an individual of a species somehow suddenly jumped in IQ from 40 to 100 or something, but that there are individuals with higher than mean intelligence, and unless there is great environmental advantage to be those individuals compared to the average, the mean intelligence of the population will likely stagnate.

I feel like you're putting the cart before the horse here. Humans didn't become intelligent because we stayed in a singular biome and adapted to it. We became intelligent because a variety of pressures encouraged us to do so; environmental change contributed, but was not the sole reason, and more to the point, it seems that it's contribution is more along the lines of 'required us to change our diet to be more carnivorous, which changed our social structure, encouraged running, tool use, and relaxed the need for strong grinding jaw muscles'.

There are a lot of assumptions here. We don't know when the proto-humans became used to running, there is an idea floating around that proto-humans were endurance runners because they were running from one tree grove to another in the open savannah, as they were weak and easy prey, which luckily led the humans to be pre-adapted to heavy tool use. So, the idea is that after this immense period of climate flux, which the proto-humans were the best at exploiting, let them become bigger and more powerful until they could start legitimately hunting game. And you have to remember that the humans at 3.5 million years ago stagnated in IQ for many years (I believe a million) according to our knowledge right now, so I would look into external factors and heavy selection pressure to figure out why the brain size shifted so heavily. The second big jump in intelligence scientists also associate with another huge climate change (the ice age).

They are! I've even mentioned ravens a few times in this thread! Both are, IIRC, about as intelligent as dogs, or a bit higher. What of it?

I pointed out that being an omnivore would be a good indication for the ability to improve intelligence of the species... and you went on about how I was proving the opposite of what I wanted to prove. My point is that generally... omnivores are pretty smart, and it lets them adapt to many different biomes.

And again, the creature can hatch at infant size, and continue to develop. Or even hatch sub-infant size, and continue to develop. Birth/Hatch weight is not a good measure of intelligence across species. Chimps for examples have a much higher birth:adult weight ratio than we do, as their infants are not born as prematurely as ours are, but no one would claim that marsupials are inherently smarter than similarly sized mammals, despite having a strikingly lower birth:adult weight ratio. I think you actually suggested the opposite may be true.

Weight is a bad measurement of parental investment. The brain is said to consume 15% of our body's calories and only takes up 2% of our body weight. Given this, if an animal emphasizes brain growth early in life or has particularly large brain (both of which I hold as important for a species to have high intelligence), the body weight is going to be smaller than expected, so the chimpanzee example isn't valid. Metabolism is the biggest limiter of all, and humans are higher than average on the list on how much energy we give to our young vs. our size.

That said, yes there is still potential for growth while it is an infant/hatchling. I would still expect these species to spend as much time as possible to grow before "coming out" to the world though because... why wouldn't you want protection for your control center?

You cannot compare across species like this; eggs are laid a few weeks after fertilization and incubated for about a month, and baby birds fed for about a month, and then they're fit to fly. Mice/Rats (to pick a similarly small sized mammal) gestate a month or so, and are weened in about a month.

I don't like how you use extremes like this. Yes, there are mammals that grow in certain ways that do not make them good candidates, but it's better to generally look at the top candidates for each type like corvids, cephalopods, and primates instead of the animals that display the opposite traits. Otherwise you are adding too many other variables, all of which could be important, but has little to do with the type of birth.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:19 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:I am not arguing that an individual of a species somehow suddenly jumped in IQ from 40 to 100 or something, but that there are individuals with higher than mean intelligence, and unless there is great environmental advantage to be those individuals compared to the average, the mean intelligence of the population will likely stagnate.
What I think you're confused about here is that 'environmental advantage' does not have to be 'do those individuals fare better on the savannah'. It can, and I think in the case of human intelligence, *does*, mean 'does this invididual fare better in the complex social arena that is the protohuman social environment'. Social environment is the environment here that is causing maximum pressure for increased intelligence, not 'man it's cold out can we stay warm'.

infernovia wrote: We don't know when the proto-humans became used to running, there is an idea floating around that proto-humans were endurance runners because they were running from one tree grove to another in the open savannah, as they were weak and easy prey, which luckily led the humans to be pre-adapted to heavy tool use.
Nonono, humans developed running to hunt bigger and bigger game using seek-and-chase techniques. We did not use running to evade predation. This is extremely important, and incidentally why we are extremely slow runners, but extremely proficient endurance runners. What this adaptation allowed was better diets consisting of higher energy content, which contributed to the weakening of our jaw muscles, which relaxed size limitations on our skulls. It *also* encouraged/allowed larger social groupings, which further encouraged increased intelligence.

infernovia wrote:Weight is a bad measurement of parental investment. The brain is said to consume 15% of our body's calories and only takes up 2% of our body weight. Given this, if an animal emphasizes brain growth early in life or has particularly large brain (both of which I hold as important for a species to have high intelligence), the body weight is going to be smaller than expected, so the chimpanzee example isn't valid. Metabolism is the biggest limiter of all, and humans are higher than average on the list on how much energy we give to our young vs. our size.

That said, yes there is still potential for growth while it is an infant/hatchling. I would still expect these species to spend as much time as possible to grow before "coming out" to the world though because... why wouldn't you want protection for your control center?
Well, to the first; isn't this was what a lot of your earlier argument was hinged on, when you were comparing brain sizes and birth weights across species, so, I'm not sure why you're dismissing it now. I'd be very interested to see you provide some numbers though to prove humans have higher than average investment to the size, given that a number of extremely small primates and birds care for their young with exactly as much effort as we do. But yeah, brain:body weight at birth is pretty important here, given how you were so hung up skull ossification and juvenility. So, no, I don't think it's dismissible.

To the second, again, it's really frustrating that you keep throwing around these 'infernovia's rules of development', because they have zero basis on reality. You may like the idea that young must be maximally developed before emerging into the world, but across the animal kingdom you can see fairly helpless young being birthed and cared for by their parents for extended periods of time, with intelligence as a completely uncorrelated variable. There are plenty of reasons for this; higher post birth/hatching parental investment means the young can spend less time developing in utero or in the egg, seasonal/environmental constraints may require the mother maintain food seeking while the young stays behind, bauplan constraints may require the young be born/hatch earlier, behavioral adaptations such as large social groups mean the young can be cared for by the pack/herd/pod/clutch/family so the parent invests less, etc.

infernovia wrote:I don't like how you use extremes like this. Yes, there are mammals that grow in certain ways that do not make them good candidates, but it's better to generally look at the top candidates for each type like corvids, cephalopods, and primates instead of the animals that display the opposite traits. Otherwise you are adding too many other variables, all of which could be important, but has little to do with the type of birth.
My point was that you're taking these singular examples of higher intelligence and making incorrect comparisons across species, which are only underlining errors in your thinking. So you want to focus on corvids, cephalopods, and primates; putting aside that you're comparing family to class to order, you're still not really proving anything aside from the idea that 'brain size to body weight' is high in intelligent animals. There are primates with fairly low brain size to body weight, and the nautilus is pretty stupid.

But sure, lets look at corvids and cephalopods; wouldn't you say that the existence of extremely intelligent members of these groups is all the evidence we need to say that yes, egg layers can be intelligent?
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:47 pm UTC

izawwlgood wrote:What I think you're confused about here is that 'environmental advantage' does not have to be 'do those individuals fare better on the savannah'. It can, and I think in the case of human intelligence, *does*, mean 'does this invididual fare better in the complex social arena that is the protohuman social environment'. Social environment is the environment here that is causing maximum pressure for increased intelligence, not 'man it's cold out can we stay warm'.

Sure, that's one of the advantages of being intelligent, but the evidence we have points to one million years of stagnation and then a rapid increase in intelligence. If what you said here was true, I would expect a gradual increase in intelligence and no stagnation. And that's oversimplifying the tremendous effects of climate change a lot, don't you think?

izawwlgood wrote:Nonono, humans developed running to hunt bigger and bigger game using seek-and-chase techniques. We did not use running to evade predation. This is extremely important, and incidentally why we are extremely slow runners, but extremely proficient endurance runners. What this adaptation allowed was better diets consisting of higher energy content, which contributed to the weakening of our jaw muscles, which relaxed size limitations on our skulls. It *also* encouraged/allowed larger social groupings, which further encouraged increased intelligence.

I am not convinced that the proto-humans did this until they became our size (Homo Erectus), and I am still not sure if persistence hunting is a thing. For one thing it takes 4 hours to run down an antelope, which is an incredibly long time and these proto-humans were pretty weak. They would have their kill stolen by the other predators.

Responding to the rest later when I have time to find the sources.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Sizik » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:58 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:I am still not sure if persistence hunting is a thing.


See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=826HMLoiE_o
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:59 pm UTC

Yes, I saw that video to know that it can be done, but that doesn't tell me that the protohumans did it. Like he said, it takes hours and hours, so if the reasoning is to avoid predators on the mid day sun, then it doesn't make sense. The humans shown in the video also have shoes and water jugs, so I am still doubtful that it happened to the degree that is being claimed.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:08 pm UTC

Please provide sources to support your above two contentions as well, please.

To the first, I'm not convinced that this stagnation coincided with anything pertinent to the discussion. But can you provide some numbers as to when it happened, and to which member of our lineage?

To the second, you forget that persistence hunting was conducted during the hottest time of day, so, no, other predators would not have picked off our kills. And there is evidence of meat eating and primitive tool use dating back about 2 mya, which is around Homo erectus.

I'm not an anthropologist, it seems like we've been using persistence running for over 3 million years. infernovia, that is linked specifically for your contention that persistence running isn't a thing. Despite the, you know, over 3 million years of adaptations modern humans bear to do it. EDIT: I'm going to say, for the record, that I find this sort of contention of yours to be the sort of frustration I'm talking about. I'm getting close to asking you what your background is in this field
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:33 pm UTC

I am just a software engineer that is interested in this topic. I thought you were a physicist? I can find something improbable without considering it impossible nor the primary driver of certain changes. <_<

http://www.pnas.org/content/97/25/13506.full
Another important aspect of early hominid trophic adaptations is evident from data presented here—the dietary shift from apes to early hominids did not involve an increase in the consumption of tough foods, and so the australopithecines were not preadapted for eating meat. This conclusion runs counter to (i) recent isotope work suggesting that the australopithecines did in fact consume significant amounts of meat (7) and (ii) nutritional work suggesting that meat may have provided critical nutrients for both young and old hominids (77–79). There would seem to be three different ways to reconcile these perspectives. First, the present study has reviewed only craniodental features related to diet. If the australopithecines used other means for ingesting and processing meat (e.g., tools), they might have been able to process meat more efficiently than the craniodental evidence suggests (80, 81). Second, the heavy C3 signature found in A. africanus (7) may reflect the consumption of underground storage organs of C3 plants rather than meat (82). Third, the functional analyses of the teeth assume that all meat has the same degree of toughness. This may not be the case. Studies of the physical properties of food have thus far focused on plant remains, with only brief mention of the toughness of materials like skin (40, 46). Variations in toughness between animal tissues might well be due to variations in the arrangement and density of collagen matrix. Furthermore, the physical effects of decomposition might render meat less tough and more readily processed by hominids. If this is so, it could be further evidence in support of scavenging as part of the early hominid way of life.


Again, there are various things used in the video (shoes, water jugs) that makes me doubtful and careful with accepting persistence hunting as the primary driver.

As for the skull size thing, I would like to link something better than this, so hopefully I can find something that deals with the issue with better. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/species.html

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Sizik » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

It's not like people never ran until shoes were invented. As for water jugs:
Wikipedia wrote:Hunter-gatherers in the Kalahari use ostrich eggshell as water containers in which they puncture a hole to enable them to be used as canteens. The presence of such eggshells dating from the Howiesons Poort period of the Middle Stone Age at Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa suggests canteens were used by humans as early as 60,000 years ago.[1]
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:41 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:I am just a software engineer that is interested in this topic. I thought you were a physicist? I can find something improbable without considering it impossible nor the primary driver of certain changes. <_<
I'm a biologist, my focus is molecular and cell biology. Respectfully, your contention at this point is akin to me saying "I believe programs work by spinning little gears in the chips, and I have no proof of this, and you've provided evidence to the contrary, but I hold the notion of electronic circuits to be improbable, so, I'm going to stick to it". By all means, please keep asking questions and thinking about this, but understand that your contention about egg layers and intelligence is fairly baseless and you're making a lot of assumptions that are simply incorrect.

Your link doesn't disprove anything, it just suggests that australopithecines were some of the earliest in the Homo lineage to begin eating meat routinely.

infernovia wrote:Again, there are various things used in the video (shoes, water jugs) that makes me doubtful and careful with accepting persistence hunting as the primary driver.
I didn't say primary driver. But to your contention that shoes and water jugs were present; most persistence runners do it (and would obviously have done it) barefoot. Water would have been stored in animal skins or such, or, they would have simply drank from streams along the way. Persistence running isn't predicated on any tool more advanced than a spear.
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:55 pm UTC

60,000 isn't 3-4 million years ago.

I'm a biologist, my focus is molecular and cell biology.

I have a friend who is studying cancer cells and growth. She also knows NONE of the research we are talking about here and isn't particularly predisposed to know more about this topic than me.

didn't say primary driver. But to your contention that shoes and water jugs were present; most persistence runners do it (and would obviously have done it) barefoot. Water would have been stored in animal skins or such, or, they would have simply drank from streams along the way. Persistence running isn't predicated on any tool more advanced than a spear.

So you are saying that
a) australopithecines, even while not particularly being pre-adapted to eat meat, started hunting and they were able to chew meat just magically?
b) That they had water jugs (!!!) and animal skins (!!!) and spears to hunt game 3.5 million years ago?
c) somehow could predict and predatory chomp animals that they had very little understanding of before? Ones they had to run down for hours and hours?! I could understand if someone said they were able to TRAP animals using superior pack hunting techniques, but that's a completely different point and I would still have to see how they were able to change their diet so significantly.
d) Do it while escaping predators that have superior adaptations in the environment such as power, smell, etc.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:03 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:60,000 isn't 3-4 million years ago.
The presence of eggshells as water containers has zero bearing on anything I've said.

infernovia wrote:I have a friend who is studying cancer cells and growth. She also knows NONE of the research we are talking about here and isn't particularly predisposed to know more about this topic than me.
True, as I mentioned, I'm not an anthropoligist. However, your friend and I alike have probably been exposed to far more coursework that would make understanding this stuff easier. Just like you may have no idea how, say, Python works because you only know Java, being a software engineer means you'll have a much easier time than I would picking up Python.

infernovia wrote:So you are saying that
a) australopithecines, even while not particularly being pre-adapted to eat meat, started hunting and they were able to chew meat just magically?
b) That they had water jugs (!!!) and animal skins (!!!) and spears to hunt game 3.5 million years ago?
c) somehow could predict and predatory chomp animals that they had very little understanding of before? Ones they had to run down for hours and hours?! I could understand if someone said they were able to TRAP animals using superior pack hunting techniques, but that's a completely different point.

A ) No, I'm saying that they were some of the earliest runners that used tools and ate meat. Nothing about this was magical; in fact, some of their tool use, as mentioned in the wiki entry on australopithecines, may have been for cutting carrion.
B ) Yes to at least one of those. If not water jugs, they were capable of drinking from streams, and still better at mitigating heat generation than their ungulate prey. But again, I never said that australopithecines were solely persistent hunters and so because they evolved to run.
C ) Huh? You think tracking a scared animal through the brush is somehow easier than trapping an animal?

Ok, look, we're getting very sidetracked here; Can you please, please, just state your contention to egg layers being intelligent at this point, and if you have none, state "I understand that egg layers can be intelligent and I simply wish to discuss evolution of intelligence"?

EDIT: Also, what was the 'period of cranial stagnation' that you were referring to?
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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby infernovia » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:09 pm UTC

I already said that. <_<

infernovia wrote:Yes, I would agree that I have no data that can definitely prove that oviparous animals cannot attain the level of intelligence that humans have.


B ) Yes to at least one of those. If not water jugs, they were capable of drinking from streams, and still better at mitigating heat generation than their ungulate prey. But again, I never said that australopithecines were persistent hunters and so because they evolved to run.

Drinking from streams is a cop out, it's simply not versatile enough. I was talking about australopithecines, not Erectus, and I thought you were arguing what you are saying you didn't. My point was simply that I find it more likely to believe that we were pre-adapted to endurance running and that running came before persistence hunting or hunting in general, but you disagreed with that assertion and gave me a counter study.

As for the eggshell thing, I was just pointing out that we are not talking about anatomically modern humans here but proto-humans with significantly lowered intellectual capacity.

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Re: Is an intelligent egg-laying alien race possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:20 pm UTC

Sorry, must have missed it :(

infernovia wrote:Drinking from streams is a cop out, it's simply not versatile enough.
The paper I linked actually lists it as a possibility. You have to understand persistence running capitalizes on specific physiological adaptations that hominids have that quadrapeds do not. First and foremost, is the ability to dump excess heat due to evaporative cooling. This means that no matter how hot it is, hominids are going to thermoregulate better than everything else. Secondly, being bipedal with adaptations for efficient distance running, we can cover lots of ground at extremely minimal cost. This means that when a gazelle runs 2 miles off, it expends, say, 600 calories, and we only expend 80 to catch up. Thirdly, the efficiency at which we do these things means that any water source is going to be more beneficial to the hominid than to the prey.

infernovia wrote:My point was simply that I find it more likely to believe that we were pre-adapted to endurance running and that running came before persistence hunting or hunting in general, but you disagreed with that assertion and gave me a counter study.
Oh, yeah, we are distinctly not pre-adapted for running. Look at the physiology of earlier man or apes; they effectively locomoted as a quadriped. Hips and legs were not well suited for running, and hair loss occurred around when we started standing more upright, had wider hips, longer legs.

infernovia wrote:As for the eggshell thing, I was just pointing out that we are not talking about anatomically modern humans here but proto-humans with significantly lowered intellectual capacity.
This is a highly subjective statement based on, I feel, more of 'infernovia's assumptions about the way things are'. Tool use is extremely ancient. Like... extremely.
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