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Please help me make realistic frog-men

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Please help me make realistic frog-men

Postby Spectrum » Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:52 pm

Hello, everyone. I am Spectrum. This is my first post.

I am working on creating a fictional fantasy world, complete with a bunch of creatures. The thing is, I would like my world and its creatures to be "realistic". Of course, it's fantasy, so there are things such as magic, gods and monsters, but I want it to be at least logically coherent and consistent with the real world as far as possible.

This means that I want my creatures to be biologically consistent with similar creatures from RL (real life). But I am no biologist, and thus I come here asking for help.

I have here a section I wrote on one of my species, the Meccarans. They are amphibian humanoids, frog-men. I have tried to make them consistent with RL amphibians, by browsing Wikipedia a bit for information, but my knowledge is very limited. So if some of you (knowledgeable about amphibian biology) could take a look at it and give me some feedback, on which parts are realistic and which are unrealistic, that would be great.

I am not sure if I have explained myself well enough. If what I am saying does not make sense, please tell me and I'll try to clarify. But if anyone want to try and help, I would be grateful. Thanks in advance.

Here goes:



Meccara

Meccara (singular "Meccara", plural "Meccara" or "Meccarans") are amphibian humanoids. They are widespread especially in the warmer climates of the South.

Physique

Meccara look like humanoid frogs. They have large, strong hind legs and are fast and agile runners, leapers and swimmers. Their forearms are dextrous, but not very strong. In combat, Meccarans rely more on speed than on brute force. Meccaran skin is smooth and no tougher than human skin.

A Meccaran's mouth is filled with sharp teeth that curve backwards. Adapted (among other things) to catch fish, Meccaran teeth are effective for biting and holding. Meccaran necks are short, however, so biting is difficult in combat.

A average, full-grown Meccaran female weighs 65 kg and stands about 140 cm tall in her natual posture. The male is smaller than the female, about 55 kg and 130 cm in height. Meccarans do not stand fully erect but in a 'crouched' position with the legs bent outwards. They can increase their height by up to one third by stretching out, but this is an unnatural position and can not be maintained for long. Meccaran arms are short, only around 50 cm.

Meccara have the ability to regenerate lost limbs. The time this takes depends on size: A lost hand or foot can be regrown in a month, an arm in four months and a leg in six months. The new limb is generally as good as the old one, but sometimes the regeneration is faulty, making the new limb smaller, weaker and/or less agile than the old one. At TL7 and above, limb transplants between individuals is generally easy. Non-fatal injuries to internal organs (even the brain) can also be healed. Meccaran regeneration is slow, however, and not useful in combat.

Biology

Meccara, naturally evolved from large, freshwater-dwelling, predatory frogs, are carnivorous and semi-aquatic. They are able swimmers but cannot breathe water. They prefer subtropical to tropical climates and high humidity. Their natural habitats are jungles and swamps. They naturally live as hunters. Some of the more advanced Meccaran communities also raise livestock for food and tools, with farms to support the animals. (This is a science they have learned from other species, such as the Scathae. The naturally carnivorous Meccara would be unlikely to discover farming on their own.)

Meccara prefer to bathe in fresh water regularly (once per day at the very least, more in hotter or drier areas). Drying out is painful, but not fatal.

Meccara have two genders and reproduce by external fertilization: The female lays her eggs in water and the male fertilizes them. A female can several dozen eggs at a time, most of which die. The eggs are spherical, 2-3 cm in diameter. After six months, the surviving eggs hatch into tadpoles. A hatchling tadpole is only few cm in length and has very little intelligence. Gradually they tadpoles develop legs and the ability to breathe air. After around five years, they are about 50 cm long, have legs as well as a tail, and are as intelligent as a human child of two years or so. At this point they mostly land-living. After one or two more years, they lose the tail and the ability to breathe water. At the age of around 10, Meccara are sexually mature, about 80-90 cm tall and as intelligent as a human teenager. They are full-grown adults around the age of 15. Meccara live to be up to 60 years old, 75 in exceptional cases. The females outnumber the males, making up 60 percent of the population.

The Meccaran species is closely related to the Fitteran species. It is possible (albeit rare) for the two species to crossbreed. Meccaran/Fitteran hybrids are larger than Meccara but more intelligent than Fittera. They are sterile, like mules, and usually considered ugly freaks by both species. There are, however, communities with Meccarans and Fitterans living together. In these communities, crossbreeds tend to be accepted as normal members of society.

Meccara are generally not monogamous and do not mate for life. Culturally, they tend to have few sexual taboos. Indeed, certain tribes are known to indulge in collective sexual orgies, often under the influence of certain drugs brewed by their witch-doctors.

Psychology

Meccara tend to crave independence and freedom. As such, Meccaran tribes are rather loosely organized and laws are few and simple. Meccara are curious and inquisitive by nature and have little fear of change. Some tribes have evolved into settled farmers and built towns or even cities, but their natural lifestyle is nomadic.

Meccaran adventureres are rather common. Meccara tend to be very active and energetic, with laziness being seen as abnormal.
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Postby mith » Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:51 pm

You'll probably have to describe them as having slimey/wet skin if you describe them as drying out if they don't bathe..
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Postby Spectrum » Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:04 am

mithrilhack wrote:You'll probably have to describe them as having slimey/wet skin if you describe them as drying out if they don't bathe..

Yeah, this is one of the areas where I was unsure how to proceed. But how do real amphibians behave in this regard? Do some of them need to be near water, or what?

The most important part of it is probably the reproduction part, where they hatch as tadpoles and then metamorphose. The numbers in that section, for instance (ie., the time they spend as tadpoles) are pulled out of thin air, as I have no idea what would be realistic here.
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Postby mith » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:20 am

Yes, amphibians have wet skin, reptiles have dry scales.
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Postby Spectrum » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:40 am

mithrilhack wrote:Yes, amphibians have wet skin, reptiles have dry scales.

Right. And do they need to be near water? What happens if they are not?
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Postby mith » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:49 am

I forgot, toads have dry skin so not all amphibians are slimey skinned, Their skin allows them to breath extra oxygen and to absorb moisture, if it dries out the frog will be dehydrated.
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Postby Spectrum » Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:17 am

mithrilhack wrote:I forgot, toads have dry skin so not all amphibians are slimey skinned, Their skin allows them to breath extra oxygen and to absorb moisture, if it dries out the frog will be dehydrated.

How does this dehydration work? Does it make them pass out and eventually die, or what?
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:15 pm

Yes, frogs die if their skin dries. But, as dave said not all amphibians have weat skin. Salamanders for example have a tail and a dry skin. The adults of salamandars can't even swim:)
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Postby Spectrum » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:00 pm

MrMistery wrote:Yes, frogs die if their skin dries. But, as dave said not all amphibians have weat skin. Salamanders for example have a tail and a dry skin. The adults of salamandars can't even swim:)

OK. I think I'll keep the whole water-dependence as it is (preferred, but not vital).

Can you please take a look at the reproduction cycle section and see if that makes sense?

Many thanks for the help so far.
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