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Featherinator; It goes ding when there's feathers!
Topic Started: Apr 5 2012, 09:21 AM (310 Views)
T.Neo
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Translunar injection: TLI
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So, in light of the debate over dinosaur featheredness...

Imagine a simulator of some sort. It accepts values regarding environmental issues (temperature, humidity), values regarding physiological attributes (degrees of endothermy, body temperature, blood flow, skin dynamics, etc), and perhaps even behavioural factors (how aquatic something was, whether it liked to wallow in mud or dust, whether it would seek sheltered environments or exposed ones).

This simulator then generates a result showing what kind of integument the animal would have, where the integument would be located, which areas would lack or posess insulative integument and to what degree, etc.

For added visual results, the results of the calculation could be performed with and applied on a 3D model, with relevant values 'painted' onto the model with the help of a greyscale raster image file UV-mapped onto it.

First the simulator would be calibrated with living animals (or those of which the integumentary nature is somewhat understood). Then it would be extrapolated to extinct animals with the nature of their integumentary structures in question, using theorised values.

Whadya think, everyone?
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lamna
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Elsa? Do you want to overthrow the Kaiser?

Nice idea, but I don't know how to do that. It sounds like it's mostly computer modelling, and computers are a kind of magic I don't understand.
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Russwallac
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"Ta-da!"
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WHy don't we just go for the whole shebang and get a computer simulation for evolution? Just give it environmental conditions, a time period, and some species, and watch it work its magic!
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Holbenilord
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Will of the People

It does sound useful, but also incredibly complex. Particularly the behavioral factors- how could we incorporate those well?
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T.Neo
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Quote:
 
Nice idea, but I don't know how to do that. It sounds like it's mostly computer modelling, and computers are a kind of magic I don't understand.


It'd mostly be computer programming. Quite different from 3D computer modelling and other graphics work, but equally impossible for those who aren't literate in the matter.

Quote:
 
WHy don't we just go for the whole shebang and get a computer simulation for evolution? Just give it environmental conditions, a time period, and some species, and watch it work its magic!


That'd be far more complex and far more prone to implausibility than what I'm describing here, though.

Quote:
 
It does sound useful, but also incredibly complex. Particularly the behavioral factors- how could we incorporate those well?


It would be based on living animals. By behaviour I mean things like how athletic an animal might have been, how aquatic it was, and how that would affect the nature of their integument.
Edited by T.Neo, Apr 5 2012, 11:38 AM.
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Nanotyranus
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I'm going back to basics.
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Different animals have different solutions, and integument is no different. Also, it would only work with structures that already exist. Primitive feathers and pycnofibers wouldn't be included.
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T.Neo
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It could be extrapolated from existing integumentary structures and existing solutions. I never tried to say that it's perfect, just that it could be used to gain an extra insight on issues that till now have basically been guesswork, without explicit evidence.
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Tartarus
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Adult
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Russwallac
Apr 5 2012, 10:17 AM
WHy don't we just go for the whole shebang and get a computer simulation for evolution? Just give it environmental conditions, a time period, and some species, and watch it work its magic!
That wouldn't work. The computer simulation would not be able to take into account the unpredictability of real life, nor would it be able to account for all the countless factors involved.
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T.Neo
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You could if the simulation were detailed enough, but it would have to be astronomically advanced.

Plus, it's very difficult to simulate something when you're not exactly sure how it works. There are plenty of unanswered questions about biology.
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