remember me
Register | Forgot Login

Forums > RP Discussion > Questions about animals (LIZARD PERSON NEEDED!!)

"CONTEXT"
I have two weirdo characters (Shandy and Nathaniel), and they sort of... amass a family over time. They don't mean to. It's just that they didn't have the heart to tell them to go away (Shandy), and became deeply emotionally attached to them (Nathaniel).

Exhibit A is a large and very intelligent octopus named Mordecai. He uses his tentacles to move around the house. Mordecai can't speak, per se, but he and Nathaniel have formed a system of communication involving vigorous limb-waving, odd noises and occasionally, thrown items. He is able to do certain household chores, and Shandy is teaching him how to play poker.

Exhibit B is Elise, a literal bipedal lizard. (fantasy setting.) She is a mustard yellow color, and was left on a rock by her lizardy parents because of her weird coloring. She was found by Nathaniel mewling and squeaking and chewing on a large pebble. She will be around 12 or 14 years old in roleplays.


OCTOPI
1. Can they survive on dry land? Could they flip-flop around on their tentacles?
2. Do you think there could be any weird species of octopus that could, if not?
3. Any things that octopi must consume to survive? Anything that is deadly to them?
4. Could octopi be intelligent enough to play catch?
5. Can octopi be short-sighted?
6. Can they stick on glass?
7. Are they slimy? What texture do they have?
8. Do you have anything else you think might be helpful, or just generally think is interesting?


LIZARDS AND OTHER REPTILES
1. Any things that lizards must absolutely have to survive? Any special vitamins, foods, etc.?
2. Do lizards abandon their young if they're not "perfect" - e.g., if they're runts, or have a weird mutation?
3. How affectionate are lizards?
4. Will lizards accidentally drop their tail if they're surprised, and are there any consequences they have to deal with for it to grow out again?
5. Do they have to be near a wet environment to survive, or is that just some types of lizards?
6. Any foods they can't process?
7. How loud are they? Can they cry tears?
8. Anything else you wanna tell me?

I know tons about octopi, they are my favorite animal!

1. Can they survive on dry land? Could they flip-flop around on their tentacles?
Yes to both, but not for very long. They use gills to breathe.

2. Do you think there could be any weird species of octopus that could, if not?
Some octopi don't move very well because they have short, stubby tentacles so they may have trouble moving on land.

3. Any things that octopi must consume to survive? Anything that is deadly to them?
They are carnivorous and I'm not sure what is deadly to them that wouldn't already be obvious.

4. Could octopi be intelligent enough to play catch?
Yes! They also know how to solve all kinds of puzzles (even pill bottles) to obtain food and they are very intelligent. Supposedly they're as smart as cats.

5. Can octopi be short-sighted?
Not sure what you mean. They have pretty good vision though, and they can rotate their eyes like a para-scope. They cannot see color.

6. Can they stick on glass?
Yep! The one at my local aquarium hangs out in the top right corner of his tank.

7. Are they slimy? What texture do they have?
Slimy with no scales. They're extremely squishy and soft so you could flatten them like a pancake if they're not flexing.

8. Do you have anything else you think might be helpful, or just generally think is interesting?
Octopi are very hard to keep in captivity because they can squeeze through impossibly small spaces. This is because they don't have a shell or skeleton, the only hard part of their body is their beak.

Another reason they're hard to keep in captivity is because they're so intelligent, they need constant mental stimulation. Without it, they sometimes resort to eating themselves!

They can taste with their tentacles and they're very tactile. They're curious so they'll often touch things to learn more about them.

They know how to use tools like rocks to break things open and shells for cover/protection.

Octopi are mollusks (more specifically cephalopods), not fish! They're more like snails than fish and have a three-part body plan.

Their blood is blue, they have three hearts, and nine brains.

They swim like a jellyfish by "filling" with water then forcefully squeezing it out to propel themselves forward. However, swimming is exhausting. They prefer to "walk" along the ocean floor.

They have amazing camouflage that can not only change the color, but also the texture of their body.

They all have ink sacs but only some of them have poison (like blue rings).

They can regrow their tentacles.

Bunny wrote:
I know tons about octopi, they are my favorite animal!

1. Can they survive on dry land? Could they flip-flop around on their tentacles?
Yes to both, but not for very long. They use gills to breathe.

2. Do you think there could be any weird species of octopus that could, if not?
Some octopi don't move very well because they have short, stubby tentacles so they may have trouble moving on land.

3. Any things that octopi must consume to survive? Anything that is deadly to them?
They are carnivorous and I'm not sure what is deadly to them that wouldn't already be obvious.

4. Could octopi be intelligent enough to play catch?
Yes! They also know how to solve all kinds of puzzles (even pill bottles) to obtain food and they are very intelligent. Supposedly they're as smart as cats.

5. Can octopi be short-sighted?
Not sure what you mean. They have pretty good vision though, and they can rotate their eyes like a para-scope. They cannot see color.

6. Can they stick on glass?
Yep! The one at my local aquarium hangs out in the top right corner of his tank.

7. Are they slimy? What texture do they have?
Slimy with no scales. They're extremely squishy and soft so you could flatten them like a pancake if they're not flexing.

8. Do you have anything else you think might be helpful, or just generally think is interesting?
Octopi are very hard to keep in captivity because they can squeeze through impossibly small spaces. This is because they don't have a shell or skeleton, the only hard part of their body is their beak.

Another reason they're hard to keep in captivity is because they're so intelligent, they need constant mental stimulation. Without it, they sometimes resort to eating themselves!

They can taste with their tentacles and they're very tactile. They're curious so they'll often touch things to learn more about them.

They know how to use tools like rocks to break things open and shells for cover/protection.

Octopi are mollusks (more specifically cephalopods), not fish! They're more like snails than fish and have a three-part body plan.

Their blood is blue, they have three hearts, and nine brains.

They swim like a jellyfish by "filling" with water then forcefully squeezing it out to propel themselves forward. However, swimming is exhausting. They prefer to "walk" along the ocean floor.

They have amazing camouflage that can not only change the color, but also the texture of their body.

They all have ink sacs but only some of them have poison (like blue rings).

They can regrow their tentacles.

Oh my goodness, thank you!

(They eat themselves if they're bored? O_O)

A lot about lizards depends on species. I'll try to share info next time I sit down on my laptop, unless someone beats me to it.

Lizards:

3. That can range from species to species. Such as bearded dragons are quite docile, where as chameleons will actually try to "mate" with their handler if they are female. (might be a myth though, not sure you count that as affectionate anyways though.)

4. No. That is most definitely a voluntary only action. Lizards do that to pose as a distraction so they can get away from predators, in some cases it can do more harm than good, as a decent amount of flesh and fat are stored in lizards' tails.

5. That's only some types of lizards, and even then you're thinking more like salamanders which I think are just straight up amphibians.

That's all I got for now.

Not at a keyboard, but still might be able to share a bit.

OCTOPI (just real quick)
1. Can they survive on dry land? Could they flip-flop around on their tentacles? Only for short periods of time, but it's more of a dragging along situation. Something you might enjoy, though, is the far future part of either (can never remember which it is) The Future is Wild or Life After People. One supposes cephlopods, especially octopodes and I think squids, taking over the land.

4. Could octopi be intelligent enough to play catch? They're smart enough to sneak into neighboring enclosures, eat the fish, and sneak back, relatching everything along the way and thereby avoiding suspicion until a camera was put up to catch it. Researchers studying chromataphores and related intellect are coming to prefer cuttlefish for more consistent results though; the explain that octopodes will show absolute brilliance in mimicking specific patterns one day, then just decide they don't wanna the next.

5. Can octopi be short-sighted?
I would assume so. That's just a condition of eye/lens shape being a little off from the species norm/ideal.

6. Can they stick on glass?
Yes. Very yes.

7. Are they slimy? What texture do they have?
Anything that lives underwater is going to feel a bit slimy. If it's not, it's probably dead or dying of dehydration and/or suffocation.

8. Do you have anything else you think might be helpful, or just generally think is interesting?
Many, but not all, octopodes have chromataphores - special cells that can expand or restrict to show or hide a specific color. Chromataphores exist in layers of the skin. Basically, it's living pointalism.

Octopodes have no bones. They can fit through any opening that is big enough to get their eyeballs through.

Some species appear to have trouble differentiating male and female sex. That, or they just don't care. In other species, small males often pretend to be female to get past larger males to go mate with a present female. The females seem to totally dig the small males for this.

Despite their intelligence, octopodes have a very short lifespan. They basically live just long enough to hurry up and mate, then just kinda slowly disintegrate. :(


LIZARDS AND OTHER REPTILES
1. Any things that lizards must absolutely have to survive? Any special vitamins, foods, etc.?
This varies species to species. Heat is necessary for digestion and other bodily functions, but how much varies. Some lizards are herbivores, some carnivores or insectivores, many are some degree of omnivorous. Sunlight (or full spectrum lights) is necessary for most lizards to get them the vitamin D they need to process calcium (also important) or they basically development rickets). Snakes apparent don't need sunlight as much. I'm not sure if it's snake-specific, but I recently learned that because of everything that happens in a snake's body when they eat, it's better to give them a larger meal less often than a smaller one more often. Oh, and they all need water, even if they also need a dry environment.

2. Do lizards abandon their young if they're not "perfect" - e.g., if they're runts, or have a weird mutation?
Most reptiles lay eggs, some do live birth, but nearly all of them promptly leave once that's done. I think there's only, like, one or two species of snake that guards its eggs. Eggs are usually buried and left.

3. How affectionate are lizards?
This is actually under current study. They don't have the same bonding hormones that we do, but some of the smarter ones (tegus, iguanas) still show not just the ability to recognize and differentiate different people, but also display preferences, such as trying to hide from a vet with their owner. Supposedly, some monitors have been shown to thrive better with like company. I commonly hear about male tegus being protective of their females and getting ornery when separated. However, climbing on each other is usually a display of dominance (or mating), and "cuddling" humans is to hide by a solid thing and/or get warm.

4. Will lizards accidentally drop their tail if they're surprised, and are there any consequences they have to deal with for it to grow out again?
Yes, though how likely this is varies both by species and individual. Some drop their tail at the slightest startle, some hang on unless trapped and it's absolutely life and death, some never drop it.

5. Do they have to be near a wet environment to survive, or is that just some types of lizards?
Just some. Desert reptiles can actually get sick if there's too much humidity.

6. Any foods they can't process?
This partly varies by species, but there is a lot they collectively can't handle. In many cases, it's just because for their tiny bodies, a little is a lot, and they can't handle it. We actually eat a lot of toxic stuff, we're just big enough that our livers and bodies can manage it.

7. How loud are they? Can they cry tears?
Most aren't very loud, even though some species bark. It's audible, but not especially loud or intense. Barking is mostly a mating thing, though. As for tears, I think they still have tear ducts to wet their eyes, but I don't think they get the moisture buildup that results in a tear? Should probably look that up.

8. Anything else you wanna tell me?
There is one species that is exclusively female and basically just clones itself. However, at least one other is usually still needed to start the process. They bark at each other, and I guess that signals their bodies to do the thing?

Scientists are trying to replicate komodo dragon blood as a new antibiotic to help deal with resistant superbugs. We may soon be treated with the blood of dragons!

There is a common myth that reptiles, especially Chinese Water Dragons, can't breath on their back. While thi's is pseudoscientific bs, it IS a bad idea to turn a lizard on its back. It causes them stress, and reptiles can literally die of stress.

Also regarding stress: when people are "playing" with lizards and the lizard appears to be having fun, or seems to be comfortably soothed by affection, probably 99.99% of the time, it's a misinterpreted stress/fear/aggression signal. Waving and headbobbing is aggression. Closing eyes is fear. Failing is fear and confusion. Turning dark is stress or aggression.

Males tend to be assholes. They'll fight other males, and in many species, will over-mate a female to stress and potential death if she's the only one. Males will also go through periods of being angry at anything that moves, and might even pop his junk out if he's too angry. My roommate's tortoise does it a lot.

Reptiles have individual food preferences. Some can be really freaking picky.

Reptiles are actually really prone to infections and parasites. A simple chill could lead to limb loss. They aren't nearly as tough as they look.

I'm enjoying this thread.

This is definitely something I am going to google later, because wow, that's wild.

Quote:
There is one species that is exclusively female and basically just clones itself. However, at least one other is usually still needed to start the process. They bark at each other, and I guess that signals their bodies to do the thing?

Abigail_Austin wrote:
I'm enjoying this thread.

This is definitely something I am going to google later, because wow, that's wild.
Quote:
There is one species that is exclusively female and basically just clones itself. However, at least one other is usually still needed to start the process. They bark at each other, and I guess that signals their bodies to do the thing?
You should look up the animal mating habits book from Humon. XD Lovely hyper-simplifications of all sorts of crazy (from our perspective) stuff in kinda a children's book format. Stuff like pregnant male sea horses and hyena matriarchy.

Novalyyn wrote:
Abigail_Austin wrote:
I'm enjoying this thread.

This is definitely something I am going to google later, because wow, that's wild.
Quote:
There is one species that is exclusively female and basically just clones itself. However, at least one other is usually still needed to start the process. They bark at each other, and I guess that signals their bodies to do the thing?
You should look up the animal mating habits book from Humon. XD Lovely hyper-simplifications of all sorts of crazy (from our perspective) stuff in kinda a children's book format. Stuff like pregnant male sea horses and hyena matriarchy.

Thanks, I will. Super interesting for...lots of reasons!

I'm both a lizardperson and a lizard person. Novalyyn beat me to the questions, so here's some random facts:

  • the ability of some lizards to drop their tails is called caudal autotomy; lizards that can regrow their tails, such as leopard geckos, are under study at the moment because they're technically regrowing sections of their spine and that's super cool. However, the regrown tail is always stumpier than the original
  • for the most part, even nocturnal or crepuscular lizards require some form of vitamin D3 or else they'll develop metabolic bone disease (essentially rickets)
  • most geckos don't have eyelids and have to lick their eyes to hydrate them
  • like snakes, lizards shed their skin, although often not in a single go
  • geckos, anoles, and chameleons have modified sticky scales on their feet called lamellae to aid in climbing
  • lizards smell using their Jacobson's organ (flicking their tongues like snakes)
  • iguanas and tuataras have a basal/third eye on the top of their head; it detects sudden changes in light level, possibly to help protect them from aerial predators
  • the temperature eggs are kept at tends to influence the sex of the hatchlings; lower for females and higher for males. Although, it's worth mentioning that chromasomally-speaking, some species of lizards deviate from our understanding of biological sex

Moderators: MadRatBird, Keke, Libertine, Cass, Auberon, Copper_Dragon, Sanne, Dragonfire, Ben, Darth_Angelus


Forums > RP Discussion > Questions about animals (LIZARD PERSON NEEDED!!)