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Subject: Re: Macrodactyl Part 4: World Building


Author:
Ellis
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Date Posted: 20:02:27 05/28/16 Sat
In reply to: Wes Boyd 's message, "Macrodactyl Part 4: World Building" on 15:19:15 05/27/16 Fri

>Interstellar space flight at less than light speed is
>at least theoretically possible, although there are
>plenty of engineering problems to be solved before
>someone sets out on a starship. I'm not going to get
>into those problems, but there are many good articles
>and books on the topic to pursue. I'd be willing to
>bet that it gets tried somewhere in the distant future
>assuming the world doesn't get too loused up along the
>way.

Eh, I bet someone will try it relatively soon. A century or so, unless there is a major but not completely catastrophic disaster, where humans need to leave the planet but there are still enough left to build a variety of ships.
Or if there is a major new physics discovery, then someone might try it pretty quickly, but THAT is impossible to predict.

>Many of the "dinosaurs" eat vegetation, but
>there are some that hunt meat. The macrodactyls
>probably evolved to be so big so they could hunt
>bigger prey.
>
>One of the reasons I decided to make the metrodactyls
>meat eaters is because of the greater energy available
>with the relatively small volume to process. I was
>going to make them plant eaters until I reflected upon
>cows, which have to eat high volumes of relatively
>lower energy food -- and then they have to dispose of
>that waste. I remembered a poem from when I was a kid
>that ended, "I sure am glad that cows don't fly."
>Falling manure is not a hazard you often see in
>science fiction stories. Incommmmminnngggg!

I was talking to one of the people involved with the Smithsonian Pterodactyl a while ago and he commented that of course pterosaurs ate meat.
"It doesn't take much effort to sneak up on a leaf!"
That is the main reason to fly, from an evolutionary point of view. Every large bird eats meat, though some are scavengers rather than hunters.

>You have to wonder about the person
>who would have been crazy enough to be the first
>person to try and ride a macrodactyl, but someone did
>it and over the years it has been moderately
>successful.

YEE HAW!!!! [wave your cowboy hat]

>There is a "critter problem," especially at the lower
>elevations, and the classic M-2 fifty-caliber machine
>gun isn't big enough to deal with the larger and more
>obnoxious species. The settlers have been forced to
>reinvent the rocket-propelled grenade. At the lower
>elevations it's necessary to live in armed fortresses
>and only till fields during daylight with a security
>team overwatch. It's still pretty dangerous -- and
>cold -- at higher elevations, but at least there the
>biggest and most obnoxious critters are altitude
>restricted too -- they can't handle the higher
>elevations or the cooler temperatures.

Wouldn't that point to hydroponic farming, mostly because it needs less land (can be stacked vertically)?


>I'm not sure that this is going to turn into a story
>or what, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
>Hope you enjoyed it!
>
>-- Wes

Thanks for sharing Wes. If it does, I know I'd love to read it. Your characters are always fascinating.

-E

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