Saturday, 31 July 2010

Furahan Fossils (bis)

Last time I wrote that I could not show an animation of a cloakfish, because it had been saved as a gif. Well, I could not resist to do one again. As I wanted to take advantage of a faster computer, I adapted the file to result in two cloakfish instead of one; a young? The male? I originally wished to change the relative sizes of body to tail in the small animal, so the body would exhibit 'allometric' growth, meaning some body parts of the young have a disproportionate size, such as large heads and large eyes in human children. That turned out to be trickier than I thought, so now the animal grows isometrically: infants are pure downscaled versions of the adults. I did however adapt the speed at which the smaller one moves its tail membranes, and its body movement now is less sedate as well due to less inertia. As a result, the animation definitely shows results of the difference in size between the two animals.

I also changed the phase differences of the four cloaks from the earlier one, so the animal is in fact using a different 'gait'. There is more of that on the website, to be found in the 'water' page, under 'swimming with membranes'.

video

The video above shows the result, but at a low resolution. Oddly, the width to height ratio is no longer correct (the image should be a bit wider). Perhaps I should have stuck to a 4x3 ratio instead of going for 720x480 pixels. I am not very familiar with all the various video formats. I did manage to add some titles though, and copied the idea for the soundtrack from an animation I showed earlier. I think I will put this animation up on the Furaha site; meanwhile, as an experiment, I also put it up on YouTube as an experiment. The image ratio turmed out better there...

6 comments:

Pol said...

Elegant cloakfishes with the Flower Duet...

Pavel I. Volkov said...

Sigmund, I see strange features in your cloakfish. So, this one seems active swimmer, but sensors like eyes are not visible. Why eyes? This fish has bright colouring (unaturally patterned in my opinion), but it is not assimilative or disruptive colouring. Maybe, warning colouring only? If not warning, it may be used as signal. If furahan fishes use such bright colouring, it must mean they have well developed sensors. But heads of your fishes look too smooth. Maybe, as primitive semi-transparent planktonic creature this one may look perfectly. But not as bottom-dwelling actively swimming creature.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Pol: thank you!

Pavel, Oh, it's got eyes... Four, in fact! I think you can see them more clearly in the larger YouTube versions.
The colours indeed leave something to be desired, but, as I wrote in the previous post, the animations were done with an old program that does not allow full control over any feature. (Mind you, newer programs still won't allow me to produce tail movements such as these, which are what the animations are really about.)

Anonymous said...

I like the cloakfish.

I actually had a dream about a giant tank with creatures like that too.

But I like them, because they remind me kind of like... an alien sort of nudibranch that's really good at swimming in it's own weird way.

It's one of those rare alien animals where it's not a fancy derivative of another animal from earth, or a hollywood monster that will kill you dead, but that still actually makes some sense.

Like one of those few alien things you could actually see evolving on some planet without it being a stretch, and without it being earth-like.

Anonymous said...

Won't 4 eyes require to much brain power? Unless it's eyes are weak like insect eyes...

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Anonymous: as with all biological traits, it is a matter of balance. On earth, the central nervous system is quite expensive in terms of energy. The human brain uses some 15-20% of the volume of blood pumped out by the heart, while constituting only about 1.5% of the mass of the body (I do not know whether this high energy demand is true for non-vertebrate brains as well).

Regardless, it is what you get back: the four eyes of Fishes over better coverage than two eyes do, and that is an advantage that presumably not only pays for itself but earns a profit..