Author Topic: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 08/21/10]  (Read 56857 times)

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Offline Caltsar

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2007, 06:40:55 PM »
on the subject of hermaphroditism, you have to keep in mind a few bullet points about sex in the evolutionary perspective:

1. asexual reproduction is, in theory, the more likely outcome over sexual reproduction.  However, sexual reproduction allows for faster adaptation against parasites, especially since most parasites are able to go through generations MUCH faster (which is why asexual reproduction is prevalent in bacteria)
2. sexual reproduction is divided into male and female because you have a small gamete (sperm) and a large gamete (egg).  The different sexes are expressed not only through genes, but also through hormones and based on the need for one sex over the other (this varies in how much each method is expressed throughout species).  This could account for the kuvvie's "third sex"
3. Sexual reproduction has something called the "cost of males" where HALF the population can not reproduce.  Now, in theory, hermaphroditism could render this problem with sex moot, however...
4. hermaphroditism has a major problem in most plant and animal species... and that is something called organelles... specifically the mitochondria and chloroplasts... these organelles contain their own genetic material that does not get passed on on the male side (because if it did, the two organelles would "battle" to be passed on, ultimately killing the seed/baby)... and if you think about evolution, the point is to pass on your genetic material.  Anyway, many of these organelles have "male killer genes" that can be seen active in hermaphroditic species, essentially killing the male half and leaving the female so their genetic material can be passed on.  This ultimately leads to a seperation of the sexes in mobile species... you still see hermaphroditism prevail in immobile species and some mobile species with low density populations or mating practices that allow male-female competition outside the cellular level (see some species of snail and slug for an example of the last one)

So, ultimately, the third sex only makes sense if it was a transient thing and the battle for male and female is still taking place... however, I don't know the evolutionary history of kuvrahks, but from just the fact that they have three sexes I can conclude the following:

There are parasites (viruses, bacteria, and other deleterious organisms) that target kuvvies.
Their evolutionary history alongside magic seems to cause major differences from earth based biology
There is some mechanism in place that causes the survival of an in between sex... (with a little research, I might be able to find an earth species that could give an idea of what this mechanism is)
Kuvrahk gender is not expressed by genes (humans have XY, XX for genes with the rare case of XXY and XXX), but rather is expressed based on another mechanism (many reptiles use incubation temperature, but this wouldn't explain the development of the third sex)

Once again, the fact that the Kuvrahk world has magic could very easily account for some of the strangeness, but given a good amount of time to research it, I imagine I could find an earth species that has similar reproductive strategies as a kuvvie.

now, that was rather rambling, but it all is connected! I can prove it!

Sources:
Matt Ridley's "Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature"
other various academic papers (ask me and I can dig up the list)

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2007, 06:40:55 PM »

Offline Sparky Bluefang

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2007, 07:39:46 PM »
Well, as far as I know, there is only one physical sex (hermaphrodite) and then the population is broken up into gender roles  (which is behavioral and probably in part influenced by the dominant physical expression).

I think most of the questions about this subject can be condensed in to wanting to know the triggers and controls in the expression of both the physical (sexual) and behavioral (gender) traits, and to what degree those traits are or aren't expressed.

But, unless I have missed something, Caz hasn't gone in to any depth on that particular subject. So we can only make speculations based on reality or otherwise.

Offline Adder

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2007, 11:15:26 AM »
Genetically, I had the same problems, Caltsar. Without sex chromosomes it's hard to explain gender when it goes beyond personality.

It could be diet, or an environmental condition activating dormant genes... but every way I think about it leads to the ability to almost exactly choose your gender (like those fish and frogs that can change gender when necessary).

The idea of homosexuality also becomes a sticking point, since any 2 individuals should be able to perform the same functions and thus procreate. Attraction (via hormones, etc) could be controlled if there is a gene difference between genders... but it seems as if there isn't.

As for incubation temperatures, wouldn't there be a narrow band in temperature where neither male nor female is prefered? It could lead to a very low percentage of androgenies.

Offline Sparky Bluefang

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2007, 02:25:21 AM »
Well just because there aren't sex chromosomes doesn't mean that an amalgamation of the same information don't exist in other autosomal chromosomes.

There is a form of genetic expression called  Codominance where the organism expresses both allele, but there are more than 2 allele.
An example of this is blood types. There are A, B, and i alleles which produce 4 blood types.

     A     i
B    AB    B
i    A     O


There are also a form of expression called (I think) Multiple Inheritance, where a group of genes control the expression of one particular phenotype. This is the way thinks like pigmentation (hair, eye, and skin color) work.

Is with that in mind, I think it's possible to have a base hermaphroditic organism which can separate in to gender groups due to genetic expression of physical and behavioral traits.

Also, to address the problems with mitochondria that Caltsar brought up, it is currently thought that mitochondria are endosymbiont bacteria. So it's entirely possible that the mitochondria on Cavris followed a slightly different evolutionary path allowing them to exist in a hermaphroditic species. It's also possible that there is an entirely different mechanism to replace that of the mitochondria. It's also possible that Kuvrahks don't have the need for mitochondria.

Another thing I just remembered was that at one point, Caz said that Kuvvies were 'engineered' for rapid breeding. I suppose that hermaphrodism would be beneficial for that means, because the entire population could produce offspring rather than half. Caz also mentioned, back before the sleepover chapter and there appeared to be a strong definition of male and female sexes and genders, that Sasha had remnants of female reproductive organs. Between the two, it would seem like Kuvvies starter as a hermaphroditic species and slowly transitioned to a more separated sexes system. However the actual direction that the comic is taking seems to contradict that.



One thing I have noticed that this change in Kuvvies happened just about the time Caz went from being referred to as 'he' to 'she'... So perhaps there is  or isn't some sort of a connection. But either way that's a personal issue and Caz has no reason to elaborate any further. I just threw this out there for food for thought.
(and that is why some of us still refer to Caz as 'he'. Some habits are hard to break.)

Offline Lai

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2007, 02:55:42 PM »
I think one of the biggest problems in discerning alternate sexes and genders comes from the human perception.  It is nearly impossible for human beings to fathom the genetic equations and the biochemical processes a truly hermaphroditic being goes through during its life.  Nature itself has proven that it is possible for creatures to have both male and female and even non-sexes.  Humans may not be capable of the same, but that isn't to say a sentient race couldn't be.

I notice a lot of referencing in this thread to established concepts of gender, perception, and anatomy.  I think it's very important to note that our knowledge as humans is limited to what we have experienced on Earth and in our own (rather meager) lifetimes.  Kuvrahks originated in a world of magic and supernatural.  They were created as an act of divine will.  While people would like to think the same about the human race, all scientific evidence points to evolution.  Kuvrahks may be -evolving- and may have a basis in reality, but the truth is as far as I can tell that their progenitor was a deific being.

Figuring out kuvrahk sexes and genders from our perception of defined male and female is hard.  Even saying why it's hard is hard.  We're born and raised to see everything as boy or girl.  Every action, every mannerism, every attitude and dress and food all have gender-based connotations attached to them.  In a world where there are more than two genders, or no genders at all, sentient life would be forced to evolve in a different manner, defining actions and people and things without the concept of "male" or "female."
But, for a certainty, back then we loved so many, but hated so much, we hurt others and were hurt ourselves... Yet even then we ran like the wind, whilst our laughter echoed under cerulean skies...

Offline Caltsar

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2007, 10:53:24 PM »
Of course Lai, which is why I mentioned at the end of my post that the different evolutionary circumstances probably rule my entire rambling arguement void.  However, the point of this, I believe, is trying to work out (based on what we, as humans, know) just how kuvrahks evolved to their current state with very little evidence to go off of :)

Personally, I find it a fascinating mental exercise, and while Caz's word and the story and universe do point to a magic and/or divine establishment, there is a certain sense that people here do want to try and understand things in scientific, earth based terms.

But, once again, I'm rambling.  Feel free to ignore me :P

Offline Noben

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2007, 11:24:50 AM »
I don't have the mental capacity at the moment to go into greater details, but I'll solidify some of the thoughts presented and knock some off the shelf too.

Throughout their lifetime, kuvrahks do not bounce back and forth.  They are born hermaphroditic, a leftover trait from their beginnings, before the fall of the dragon where yes indeed every single individual was able to bear young, and was in fact both sexes.
After the Dragon's fall, their entire purpose changed, their outlook, everything.  This was an effect far beyond explanation of science.  It was truly a god dying and things going kerput.  Soon they started to become "normal" (from the human perspective) where you had those that could be defined as physically males and females seperately, but only at the start or right before puberty.  Before then, they are in fact pretty much null-sexed.

Now even though they do have this mid-life evolution, it -is- dictated by chromosomes. I'm not a geneticist, so I won't go into details about it because honestly its a subject beyond me. So I won't try to explain X and  Y and anything else about it.  I'm going to simplify it by saying just that.  Their chromosomes, genetics, is what dictates what happens at puberty.  Sure some diets, activity levels, etc may affect the 'severity' of the effects of the genetics, and some might even be caught in the middle after all is said and done.  Either way, even though they are one or the other in regards to their genetics, they still retain the equipment they were born with, the potential of both.  But its per individual how much this genetic sex is blended together or separated by a great deal by the time they grow up.

I hope this clears the air a bit.
No spontaneous sex changes throughout their lives.
Some mix it up, and it ain't their fault or desire.
Others are on one side or the other.
And some are just outside the box altogether and are without definition.

None of these are viewed as freaks, but just a part of their lives and how it works.  Some influence comes from the very two-sided sexed Hromwathi, male/female specifically.  But its a culture thing that gradually makes great steps to affect the Csyelusian society in the future.  Clothing options, perspectives, and the gradual chasm that we humans are used to between the genders and the sexes.

Note: This is a major aspect to their way of life, but it is not something that the comic nor I are going to focus on.  I know that hermaphroditic tendencies are really "OMG HAWT" to some folks, but I'm not playing up that aspect about them as if its integral to the story. Its not.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 07:16:39 PM by Caz »
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Offline Brunhidden

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2007, 01:14:00 PM »
and here i thought a part of what gender an individual appears to be depended on lifestyle choices which change hormone levels- for instance take sasha and knock him up 3 or 4 times and he would have childbearing hips and a fine set of juggs, put someone flat chested to work as a nurse in a hospital and the caring maternal actions would eventually do a boob job on them too, conversely i had thought that you put CC to work as a construction worker or guard  eventually she would kiss her wonderboobs goodbye in favor of bulging pectorals and rippling biceps.

good to have it cleared up thats not the case, as funny as the mental imagery i had was

guess we have to accept that itll take a while for the concept of neutral gender to be fully understood

Offline Hrontore

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2007, 10:58:07 PM »
for instance take sasha and knock him up 3 or 4 times and he would have childbearing hips and a fine set of juggs, put someone flat chested to work as a nurse in a hospital and the caring maternal actions would eventually do a boob job on them too, conversely i had thought that you put CC to work as a construction worker or guard  eventually she would kiss her wonderboobs goodbye in favor of bulging pectorals and rippling biceps.

0.o
@_<
Error Error Error...
.
.
.
  Unhandled Exception Local Address...
     Report Standard to Brunhidden's post.
      Supect problem lies in user; is only running a 386.
End of Report.

IM me for god sakes! im bored most of the day.
( not that im likely to reply right away.)

Offline MikeyB

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2007, 08:36:30 PM »

None of these are viewed as freaks, but just a part of their lives and how it works.  Some influence comes from the very two-sided sexed Hromwathi, male/female specifically.  But its a culture thing that gradually makes great steps to affect the Csyelusian society in the future.  Clothing options, perspectives, and the gradual chasm that we humans are used to between the genders and the sexes.


Interesting :) See, I've always found that part of the mythos fascinating - hope to see more of this interaction in the comic.

Offline Lhos

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2007, 09:58:15 PM »
0.o
@_<
Error Error Error...
.
.
.
  Unhandled Exception Local Address...
     Report Standard to Brunhidden's post.
      Supect problem lies in user; is only running a 386.
End of Report.



Not only do I agree in full, but there's no way I can beat that kind of a reply. You win the internet. XD

Offline Hrontore

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2007, 04:01:11 PM »
Thanks Lhos, lol !nt3rn3t5.
IM me for god sakes! im bored most of the day.
( not that im likely to reply right away.)

Offline Noben

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2007, 09:40:03 AM »
and here i thought a part of what gender an individual appears to be depended on lifestyle choices which change hormone levels- for instance take sasha and knock him up 3 or 4 times and he would have childbearing hips and a fine set of juggs, put someone flat chested to work as a nurse in a hospital and the caring maternal actions would eventually do a boob job on them too, conversely i had thought that you put CC to work as a construction worker or guard  eventually she would kiss her wonderboobs goodbye in favor of bulging pectorals and rippling biceps.

good to have it cleared up thats not the case, as funny as the mental imagery i had was

guess we have to accept that itll take a while for the concept of neutral gender to be fully understood

Yea..no, its not that drastic. XD
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Offline Tiggerjay

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2007, 05:32:48 PM »
This happened over on the new page topic.

And Sasha has no intelligence bonus... Because he dropped out of highschool after been caught naked in the showers on film.

Wait, don't kuvvies keep all their equipment on the inside except when in use?  So wouldn't getting caught nekkid on film be somewhat of a non issue?
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Offline Astrobia

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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2007, 06:32:11 PM »
I seem to recall Caz saying at one point that he was adhearing to good hygeine and washing certain body parts at said time. Though not in those exact words. Actualy the good hygiene comment was the ensuing debate... And yes, it is.
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Re: (Un)Official Kuvrahk FAQ [Updated 02/27/07]
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2007, 06:32:11 PM »