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Re: The Potentials....



John M. Dollan wrote:
> 
> Chris Campbell wrote:
> >
> >
> > My guess is that it wouldn't happen at all.  Dinosaurs did very well for
> > well over 200 million years without moving toward sapience, and I see no
> > reason whatsoever why they'd inevitably move in that direction.  More
> > likely they'd tend toward more specialized forms, leaving sapience out
> > of the picture.
> 
> Ah...this has been a wondering point for me ever since I started this
> project.  But could not intelligence be a specialized form of
> specialization...kind of a runaway form of specialization?  

Yes, this is possible.  I'm not saying dinosaur sapience is impossibly,
just highly unlikely.  It was, IMO, highly unlikely with mammals as
well; primates just had the right set of conditions needed for it to
occur, which was a stroke of good fortune for us.

>Now, I'm not well versed on what factors might have lead to human 
>intelligence, but I had always thought it a result of climatic 
>pressures....the need to adapt to the Ice Age climate...the 
>adaption to open spaces rather than woodland...the change into 
>a cooperative manner of group living...and so on and such.

I believe it was a variety of things.  Climatic pressures was one, an
omnivorous diet (leading to scarce resources and the possibility of
intraspecific selection pressures) was another, new reproductive
strategies yet another, and an unstable environment yet another.  I
think all of these things combined to create a very specific set of
conditions conducive to the development of sapience in humans.  

> > However, since this is speculative fiction you're talking about that
> > answer doesn't help you much.  That being the case I'll say that IMO the
> > dino most likely to develop sapience would likely be a coelurosaur of
> > some sort.  This group has proven to be very very flexible, giving rise
> > to a wide variety of forms relying on more brainpower than your average
> > dino.  I think it definitely would *not* be a dromaeosaur or troodontid;
> > these are specialized forms, and I wouldn't expect sapience out of them
> > any more than a leopard or a wolf.
> 
> How about an Oviraptorid?  I'm not sure what type you mean when you say
> coelurosaurs, since they seem to encompass a wide variety of animals.

Yes, that's true, they do.  I'm not sure any existing group would give
rise to sapience, but something with a coelurosaur base would be a good
candidate since it's flexible enough to respond to the conditions which
would allow sapience to flourish.  Oviraptorids are as good as anything
IMO.

Chris