The Limited Breeding Phenomenon: Data Collection and Hypothesizing on Wyrms, Ornamental Penguins, and Arkai

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The Limited Breeding Phenomenon: Data Collection and Hypothesizing on Wyrms, Ornamental Penguins, and Arkai

Post by faedemon »

AUTHOR'S NOTE wrote:Hi there! I took the competition prompt creatively, so below please find said creative interpretation. It takes the form of a first draft student paper, the three authors being student magi undertaking a... contentious group project, which they are varying degrees of invested in. Enjoy!


The Limited Breeding Phenomenon: Data Collection and Hypothesizing on
Wyrms, Ornamental Penguins, and Arkai
Caiman R. Geul, Jewel T. Weiss, and Gil D. Locks Nursery Studies, The Keep BIOL 3090: Field Research in Extremist Environments Lady Alua
At present, the phenomenon of limited breeding—in which certain magical creatures reproduce a finite number of times before procreation ceases—has been observed, documented, and to the best possible extent confirmed as truth (as opposed to magi simply not observing further breedings). In nonmagical creatures, semelparity and iteroparity (the characteristic of an organism to either reproduce once and then die (semelparity) or reproduce multiple times throughout its life (iteroparity)) have been described, and the vast majority of magical creatures can be called iteroparous. However, limited breeding does not neatly fit under the umbrella of semelparity, because such reproduction, and the cessation of that reproduction, does not coincide with death. Limited breeding, then, as its own distinct reproductive strategy, has not yet been adequately described. Additionally, the benefits of its manifestation have not been researched. The extent of what magi know definitively about the phenomenon can be summed up as: limited breeding is observed in two wyrm species, ornamental penguins, and all arkai; the nominal limit can range from 1–3 offspring depending on species; and only successful breeding attempts count towards the limit. Thus, this paper seeks to explore the question: why does limited breeding occur?

In researching arkai, over the past semester we (Are you even supposed to use the word we if only one of us researched each creature) observed 13 breeding pairs of various arkai species, encouraged them to mate, and recorded the results. We recorded: time of initiation, time spent mating, gestation period, time of laying, time of hatching, and the vitals of mother, father, and child before, during, and after each of these periods. If breeding was refused, refusal and vitals were recorded. We also made note of behavioral trends and changes across this research. Finally, the following variables should be noted when considering the forthcoming data: A) all 13 breeding pairs were separate arkai species, B) all 13 pairs are captive creatures belonging to the same magi family (please. continue to flex your family’s access to resources on the rest of us. we don’t mind.) (Gil, what? Stay focused.) (i am always focused.), and C) the experiment was conducted outside of the normal arkai breeding season.

To research the two wyrm species (coal and tinsel wyrms) I joined a field trip to the Alasre mountains with one of the junior magi classes, and then left them to go meet a local guide who could show me the nesting grounds of the coal and tinsel wyrms. (Jewel, this needs to be written professionally, not like a story. See my paragraph above.) We wandered around for a while until we found the place and once we did, we stayed and made camp for 1 week and watched the coal wyrms. They were hard to see especially when they sat down and didn’t move for a while so we used magic to make them easier to pick out, so that’s an external variable to consider. I wrote down notes on how they acted, how they interacted with each other, how they protected their eggs, and I counted the number of eggs versus how many wyrms were around (3 eggs vs. like 18 wyrms) (Jewel, this is not data we can use. You can’t just guess, it needs to be a hard figure, and anyway just counting eggs doesn’t actually tell you anything about the breeding habits. Plus, aren’t coal wyrm eggs extremely hard to accurately pick out against the rocks? How do you know you got the count right?) (The guide pointed them out so I just wrote down those) (Jewel...). Then after that me and the guide went to the tinsel wyrm nesting grounds and we stayed there for another week and observed. I also wrote down their behavior and counted the eggs and adults.

Arkene holds populations of exactly 5,038 ornamental rockhopper penguins and 5,464 ornamental blue penguins. Ornamental rockhoppers can each breed three (3) times in their life and blues can breed two (2) times. The current proportion of eggs to hatchlings to adults is an insignificant figure. (That’s definitely a figure that would be helpful in this paper, first of all. Second—Gil, where are you getting these numbers? No one can know the exact population for sure.) (i do.) (Well, even if you did, which you don’t, this is the methodology section. You need to explain how you collected the data.) All of this is known. (Gil.)

Of 13 breeding pairs, 5 pairs successfully bred offspring. The other 8 breeding pairs resolutely refused to be encouraged into breeding. Behavioral trends indicate that the pairs which bred seemed to have been showing signs of agitation prior to breeding, and relaxed afterwards. In contrast, the other pairs showed normal behavior. (You’re not going to talk about the fire arkai incident?) (That was an outlier and they didn’t breed anyway. No.) (so much for accurate data.) Further observation will be done to confirm, indeed, that the 5 bred pairs will not produce further offspring, but for now this will be assumed. None of the new hatchling arkai showed any sign of deformity or health issue, and numbered 4:1 female:male.

Coal wyrms: 3 eggs, 1 hatchling, 18 adults. Tinsel wyrms: 4 eggs, 0 hatchlings, 20 adults. Both wyrm species mostly laid around and growled if you went near eggs or hatchlings (didn’t matter if they were their kids or not) and slept a lot. The tinsel wyrms played sometimes if they thought you weren’t looking. (Caiman if you say anything about what I wrote you had better go and collect the data for me ok this is what I got) (Whatever. At least we’re scored individually.) (do neither of you actually want to help Lady Alua’s research?) (I want to go into creature care, not breeding research, alright? This class isn’t even supposed to be about that, but since some of the limited breeding creatures live in extreme weather areas like Voltar and Arkene, I guess it’s related enough.) (No I don’t care I just want to pass) (you’re both animals.)

Arkene holds populations of exactly 5,038 ornamental rockhopper penguins and 5,464 ornamental blue penguins. Ornamental rockhoppers can each breed three (3) times in their life and blues can breed two (2) times. The current proportion of eggs to hatchlings to adults is an insignificant figure. (This is just the same thing you wrote in Methodology?) The number of spatial portals an adult ornamental can open in quick succession varies between 3–5, depending on individual variation, and assuming that the penguin in question is at full energy level. The number of portals opened by all penguins at any given instant generally number under 10, but a maximum has not been recorded due to lack of observational data and the brevity of a portal’s existence. Ornamental penguins have no breeding season and instead seem to come to group societal consensus on when breeding may occur, and how many new offspring to admit into the population. (What? You can’t just say that and not back it up? Also, how is this portal “data” relevant…?) This is known. (It is not known!)

Based on observational data, I (Oh so now it’s “I”) would present the hypothesis that arkai are, technically, iteroparous creatures—rather, that they only tend toward producing a singular offspring in order to maintain their ability to draw solar energy. It seems that the arkai pairs which were observed breeding had become agitated due to overfull energy stores (in deliberate preparation for breeding?), and utilized both the excess energy and part of their own original energy reserves in procreation. I hypothesize further that arkai, in part, pass their own personal ability to draw solar energy on to their offspring, and as such cannot afford to procreate further lest they endanger their own lives (given that their exclusive sustenance is solar energy). Additionally, my research indicates confirmation that captive arkai can be inclined to breed outside of their normal breeding season, but that they disdain doing so. (the data you collected is not significant enough to decisively indicate any of this. why do you act like you know everything.) (Not going to lie I think Gil is right probably. How did you get this from the arkai being a little shifty before breeding) (Neither of you would know decisive research if it hit you over the head, and we are all being scored individually, so stop criticizing me and write your own discussion portions.)

Coal wyrms are magically animated stone, so they can only breed a couple of times in their life because their bodies aren’t actually made to organically grow eggs and after a few times of doing it the magic stops being able to work so complexly. They also sleep and lay down so much that they probably eventually just stop moving and go back to being rocks. Tinsel wyrm eggs are made up of the material of their parent (so the parent gets smaller every time they have an egg) and so tinsel wyrms can only breed a couple of times before they get too small to have another. Then they return to the earth to mix with more rocks and things so they have big enough bodies to have more eggs when they come back out. (There is no way you’re judging my discussion when this is your conclusion. All of the points you’re citing here are mythic, not factual, not to mention it doesn’t connect to your data at all.) (Well SORRY. Maybe if you wanted it to turn out good we could have helped each other with the research but NO you just wanted us all to work on our own parts alone. I’m not good at this ok I’m doing my best) (also she’s right.) (She’s not right. There is no proof of any of this.) (she’s right.) (Thanks I guess Gil)

The reason that ornamental penguins breed in a limited capacity is due to both species’ innate understanding of and ability to tap into extraspatial tradeways. (What.) (What are you talking about) The transportational magic ornamental penguins make use of is not merely instantaneous travel between locations, but the ability to create gateways in and out of extraspace—a separate planar location through which the penguins travel in order to reach a secondary location. Travel on the tradeways is short, but due to time dilation still seems instantaneous on our plane. (Where are you getting any of this?) (WHO came up with this Gil who lied to you) (this is known.) (It’s definitely not) The issue with having two species with the ability to tear into extraspace is that too much tearing at a given moment could damage the planar boundary beyond repair, and perhaps lead to some catastrophic melding of the two—thus, portals must be opened sparingly and never with too much coincidence. As such, the penguins have developed a system of communication and concession—new penguins are to be sired only when an adequate population has become deceased, so that hatchlings involuntarily coming into their powers don’t accidentally coincide with too many adults opening portals as normal and overwhelm the boundary to ruin us all. (Should I go to a counselor about this?) (Hey Caiman don’t be rude. He’s probably just messing with us) (How was that rude? Have you seen what he’s writing?) (Yeah but don’t call people delusional if you’re not actually gonna help them) (I did not say anything of the sort.) (You implied it though) As such, ornamental penguins can actually be accurately described as iteroparous—they simply choose to breed in a limited capacity, for the preservation of themselves and us all. (Kudos Gil cuz at least this actually connects to the data you wrote down) (He did not collect that data.) (Not what I said) (both of you. cease. as caiman has pointed out multiple times: we’re being scored individually.) (Fine, sure. Go ahead and fail.) (I don’t think this is what Lady Alua had in mind when she assigned a group project :/ ) (at least my research will be useful to her.) (Will it?) (STOPPP)

Given the conducted research, our conclusions are as follows: arkai breed in a limited capacity due to restrictions on energy transferal between parent and progeny, coal and tinsel wyrms breed in a limited capacity due to restrictions based on their composition, and ornamental penguins breed in a limited capacity due to (Do I actually have to write this?) (i can do it and spare you the agony.) restrictions based on safe use of their innate transportational magic. The limited breeding phenomenon happens because of different reasons depending on different species, and not one reason for all of them. This is an example of (What is it again) convergent evolution, as described in nonmagical species—perhaps in these magical creatures it is genuinely convergent evolution, or perhaps there is a more base magical reason for the similarity. Further research into the matter is required. (that’s the only smart thing you’ve written in this paper.) (I am never taking a class with you again, Gil.) (agreed.) (We literally have our political magic class together next semester) (ugh. great.) (What?!)

Image hey. looking for gender swaps.

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