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Old November 11 2013, 03:47 PM   #16
Reverend
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
We have eight legged spiders, six legged insects, etc... It's just on our planet that the ratio of 4-legged animals to multiple-legged animals is pretty high. Maybe that whole evolutionary branch of 4-legged animals on Pandora just got eaten up by all those 6-legged freak creatures. And the Na'vi survived because, well, they learned how to throw spears.

Or they have leftovers of the other two legs in their pants. And they get cut off in a weird cruel irrational religious ceremony just after birth.
Yeah, but again, the ancestral divergence between humans and arachnids is MUCH more significant than humans and other mammals, or even reptiles in this case. If memory serves, spiders are descended from some kind of cambrian period arthropod.

Hell, the eight legged things is the least of the differences. Spiders don't even have skeletons.

The point most of you appear to be missing is that the Na'vi are so outwardly similar to most of the other species we saw, but there are a few pretty fundamental differences that makes it look like something screwy is going on.

It'd be like if there exists on Earth a species that looks just like a centaur. There's just no logical place for it on the evolutionary tree. Ironically the creationists would love such a discovery.
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Old November 11 2013, 06:14 PM   #17
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Reverend wrote: View Post
Yeah, but again, the ancestral divergence between humans and arachnids is MUCH more significant than humans and other mammals, or even reptiles in this case. If memory serves, spiders are descended from some kind of cambrian period arthropod.
Many species of monkeys have tails. Humans don't appear to. There's tons of five-limbed monkeys, yet humans only have four?! OMFG, how can this possibly be?! They're clearly related, yet five > four?!

Most mammals are covered head to toe with fur. Humans have very, very little. OMFG!

Dolphins are mammals, yet... they live in the water?! And have fins instead of arms and legs?!?! AHHHHH!!! MY BRAINZ!!!

Also, alien world with zero -- that's zip, nil, zilch, nada single bit -- of genetic information, evolutionary paths, or biological history available to the audience. Just a few random animals you assume to be closely related to the na'vi (no matter how wrong you are) from a tiny and completely insiginificant sampling of that alien world.
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Old November 11 2013, 06:25 PM   #18
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Yeah, pretty much. I even posited the theory that the Nav'i come from a different part of the planet originally so things that might look similar aren't there (although that monkey-like thing could be closely related, in which case I would likely be wrong about that theory, but that doesn't mean we have enough knowledge of their species to make an informed decision).
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Old November 11 2013, 06:40 PM   #19
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

The Na'vi, or any other 4 limber, could have also came from the other planet in the system during a period of close orbit and unobtanium upheaval.
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Old November 11 2013, 09:11 PM   #20
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
Yeah, but again, the ancestral divergence between humans and arachnids is MUCH more significant than humans and other mammals, or even reptiles in this case. If memory serves, spiders are descended from some kind of cambrian period arthropod.
Many species of monkeys have tails. Humans don't appear to. There's tons of five-limbed monkeys, yet humans only have four?! OMFG, how can this possibly be?! They're clearly related, yet five > four?!

Most mammals are covered head to toe with fur. Humans have very, very little. OMFG!

Dolphins are mammals, yet... they live in the water?! And have fins instead of arms and legs?!?! AHHHHH!!! MY BRAINZ!!!

Also, alien world with zero -- that's zip, nil, zilch, nada single bit -- of genetic information, evolutionary paths, or biological history available to the audience. Just a few random animals you assume to be closely related to the na'vi (no matter how wrong you are) from a tiny and completely insiginificant sampling of that alien world.
First off sunshine, calm down before you strain something.

Secondly, we *do* have vestigial tailbones along with a number of other vestigial organ structures. Just like dolphins have distinctly mammalian features, like for example lungs and a forward bending spine. Incidentally we have just as many hair follicles as our simian relatives, they just don't all grow as long any more. A species may be adapted for it's environment, but it's form of adaptation tells the story of how it got there.
Now while it's certainly possible that the Na'vi's forelimbs fused, I have a slightly harder time believing that a pair of eyes would just disappear leaving behind no vestige that they were ever there.

As for the lemur looking thing, I'm not assuming anything. I'm pretty sure the filmakers said it was designed specifically to try and bridge the anatomical gap between the Na'vi and the other Pandoran fauna. Do try and remember that we're talking about a fictional world, yes? If something is there, it's because it was designed that way and the filmakers have a reason for it being there, even if that reason is purely aesthetic.

Tyberius wrote: View Post
The Na'vi, or any other 4 limber, could have also came from the other planet in the system during a period of close orbit and unobtanium upheaval.
I'm not adverse to the idea, but it doesn't quite gel with what we see. As I've said already, it's not the differences that bug me, but the similarities. It's a bit of a paradox and I'm interested to see if Cameron takes it anywhere.

Just the very idea that human DNA could be successfully spiced with a Na'vi means that there's some very fundamental similarities that simply shouldn't exist between two species that evolved on separate planets. Put simply, we'd have a better chance of breeding with a tomato plant.

So either Cameron is going somewhere with this and it'll turn out Terran and Pandoran life share some common ancestry, or it's just made-up sci-fi mumbo jumbo and it doesn't mean anything. Probably the latter, but it's fun to speculate.
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Old November 11 2013, 09:50 PM   #21
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Except the lemur doesn't have more than two eyes either.
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Old November 12 2013, 12:02 AM   #22
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

^Yes, I know. I'm pretty sure I already said they're clearly meant to be related.
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Old November 12 2013, 02:01 AM   #23
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

The various Banshees also appear to only have 4 limbs. They're the only other species that do as far as I can tell. So apparently losing two limbs has evolved at least twice, assuming the monkey-lemur-squirrel-things aren't also related to the giant flying bird/lizard apex predators.

It makes no sense, lets just leave it at that. Someone didn't think that 4-armed Na'vi would be as appealing so they half-assed an excuse with the four-forearmed lemur and called it a day.
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Old November 12 2013, 12:56 PM   #24
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

^Did they though? I may be wrong but I thought the fore-wings had a second smaller wing. Again though, it's the eyes that bother me more than the limbs since that's the kind of thing that's established early on in evolutionary terms. The eyes themselves may change but it'd take one hell of a selective mutation to loose two without a trace and have it still be a positive survival trait. The closest terrestrial case I can think of are creatures that became subterranean or deep cave dwellers and went blind over millions of years...and even then they still have their eyes, they just don't work any more.

Anyway, yeah, as I've said several times I know it's just a production thing, but I find it interesting to speculate if something more can be inferred in light of Cameron apparently dead set on doing more films.

Say what you will about Cameron, but to date he's always done something interesting with his sequels...admittedly he's only done two and only one of those was to his own film, but nonetheless they're both considered among the best films of all time, sequel or otherwise.

Last edited by Reverend; November 12 2013 at 01:33 PM.
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Old November 12 2013, 01:40 PM   #25
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

All flying creatures had two sets of wings as far as I can remember. But yeah, the second pair of some was small enough, so that can suggest that the third set of limbs might disappear in certain species one way or another.
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Old November 12 2013, 06:06 PM   #26
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Another difference are the breathing/blow holes in the creatures chest area.
The Na'vi totally lack those, too.
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Old November 12 2013, 08:26 PM   #27
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
All flying creatures had two sets of wings as far as I can remember. But yeah, the second pair of some was small enough, so that can suggest that the third set of limbs might disappear in certain species one way or another.
The second pair of wings were their legs.
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Old November 12 2013, 09:13 PM   #28
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
Another difference are the breathing/blow holes in the creatures chest area.
The Na'vi totally lack those, too.
Could be worse, they could have one on their back, near a large fin. How alien would that be?
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Old November 12 2013, 11:06 PM   #29
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Not very, since it is a homologous organ adapted from one present on pretty much every animal it is related to, going back about half a billion years in the evolutionary tree.
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Old November 13 2013, 01:16 AM   #30
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Re: Na'vi anatomy

Well, I think all this is saying is that things happened differently on Earth. Things aren't weird because they're what happened.

If something different happened instead, that wouldn't be weird to us instead.
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