Saturday, 28 July 2018

Postcard from Furaha

It took longer to get back to blogging than I thought, for several reasons. As usual I had less free time than planned and a shoulder problem made painting and other computer work unpleasant. Last but certainly not least, we had such a long hot spell here in the Netherlands where I live that heat records were shattered one after the other. A few nights ago we officially had the warmest night in the Netherlands since official records started in 1854: 23.6 degrees. The temperature in my computer room reached 29 degrees... If I can't sleep, I can't write, paint, or even think properly. If the climate continues in this direction, we should stop calling ours a 'temperate' climate. Global warming anyone?

Anyway, I have worked on a painting, but extremely slowly. As I save the files often, I thought I could produce a quick post in the form of a 'making of' video. I will let the video do its own talking.
Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk
The video is small, so here is the last frame at a larger size. The painting is not finished! The potator ('Amnesialata blansjarii') still needs much work. I think I will morph it into a microrusp. Rusps do not actually have necks, but I thought it would be useful for a tree climbing animal to be able to move its head around freely. The rusp's snout will of course solve that problem to a large extent, but another way might be to recruit the first several body segements: they could become slender and lose their locomotor function, with perhaps some tiny dangling remnant limbs. I'll see. The bioluminescent stayways may reappear in the from of tetrapters. It is fun tying the various Furahan clades together, while keeping room for new developments.     
The sooner the weather normalises, the sooner I will be back with more posts. 


Anonymous said...

> recruit the first several body segements: they could become slender and lose their locomotor function
I think that's how sloths manage it too, only without cute little mini-limbs.

-Anthony Docimo

Anonymous said...

ps: hope things improve for you, and you make a full recovery.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Anthony: I did not know that aboiut sloths. Thank you!
So this is an example of speculative adaptation as a parellel of adaptive radiation. (Did I see your name on TetZoo on Patreon?)

Thanks about the health remark. It's irritating, not serious, but like may such things it takes its own good time.

Anonymous said...

yep, I'm helping support TetZoo...I looked for Furaha as well, but couldn't find it - not sure if I'm looking under the wrong name or title or what.

Petr said...

I certainly don't blame you for not blogging, we've had nothing but heat for three weeks straight, only to be blessed by a bit of rain this morning. Now we are back to struggling through insufferable heat again.

I hope your shoulder feels better, the painting is beautiful.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Anthony: thank you for looking for Furaha. I've started supporting Darren Naish and Mark Witton, but I will not ask people for money to support the Furaha project, as my most pressing problem is time. My plans to work considerably fewer hours will become operational within a few months.

Petr: our forecasts predict temperatures of 35 degrees again. It's not normal. The shoulder is slowly getting better.

Sockmonkey said...

One thing I might expect to see in hexapods with specialized grasping forelimbs is a shortened neck.
Forelimbs like that could take over several of the roles that jaws currently play in tetrapods.
Fighting and food gathering for example.
Retaining head mobility is still desirable for looking around and keeping the visual field from jerking up and down when walking, so I doubt the

neck would be totally lost however.
The most extreme example I can think of is if the creature had a powerful gizzard, and forelimbs capable of cutting or breaking off bite-sized

chunks of whatever it eats.
At that point jaws can be eliminated alltogether, leaving just a little mouth hole at the top of the esophagus.
It's way to keep the non-walking fore limbs from making the creature too front-heavy.