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A Species Discussion

Well-Known Member
Writer
Pretty soon here after she gets out of Republic custody @[member="Triam Akovin"] will be going on an exploratory expedition across the galaxy. The two worlds that will be at some point included in this expedition will be Kad V (home of the Dalek Beast species I created with it) and the Collucterren Nebula.

I have a question though about an idea I had a long time ago that I think now would be an interesting to time to employ. An alien from one of these planets will be accompanying Tri, and I have an idea for their culture, but the biology behind it could be potentially skeptical.

Basically I want to see the general opinion of everyone around the site to this question:

Can two non-sentient animals of different but similar species, mate to create a sentient mule?
 

Veltraa

Member
Writer
I guess it depends on how different they are. In the real world inter-breeding can naturally occur with two very similar species (two different breeds of dog, cats etc. as well as lions and tigers I believe as well). In the Star Wars universe a number of humanoids could inter-breed as well. But I think the likelihood of them being able to successfully create hybrid offspring lowers with how different they actually are, probably due to biological restraints like embryonic growth and stuff or stuff.
I'm no biologist, and I'm no huge member of the community, but you may need to tell us the two species you had in mind before anything can be discussed
 
Well-Known Member
Writer
Two totally unique species. I'm planning on creating a culture in which in the wild, two wild creature packs encounter each other and little bit of breeding goes on due to their similarity. Then a mule is created with the gift of sentience. So, being intelligent, the Mule would be the one to parent, train, name, etc. the parents.

Civilization that can't reproduce unless they have two herds of two specific animals to breed into new Mules. I was wondering on the feasibility of such a situation to occur.
 
Salvage Empire
Character
I think the problem I'm having is non-sentient into sentient creature. Most examples are of course humans and humaniods/near-human species creating a hybrid like offspring, but they are all of course sentient.

What is the logical and evolutionary jump to create a sentient creature from a non-sentient?
 
Well-Known Member
Writer
My idea would be that the two animals would semi-sentient, and have two totally different survival thought processes that when combined in hybrid form create a sentient individual. I'm thinking that the two animals would harbor a common ancestor, that got slit up in some natural event like an ice age. The two terrains they had to live on had different survival rules and thus went on to two different evolutionary paths, but not for so long that when the ice age receded the two creatures would still be able to consider the other as a potential mating partner.

Also, they would be sterile. You see though, they would be herders and breeders, they'd care for two herds (one for each creature) and breed them to make more mules. They'd force reproduction without reproducing themselves.
 
Well-Known Member
Writer
@[member="Kaine Zambrano"], you are a scientist. To you, science never goes to far...
 

Nyxie

【夢狐】
Writer
TLDR, sorry. Assuming they're both DNA-based, then they'd need the same exact amount of chromosomes to mate, and passing that, they'd need to share the right amount during mating (usually 50/50). Failing all of that, no, it's entirely impossible save perhaps with extensive genetic engineering.
 
Well-Known Member
Writer
@[member="Ayña Kottos"], your logic doesn't make any sense. How do mules form in the first place if this were true?

For example, it is said that Mules are actually brighter in some ways than their parent species (horse and donkey respectively). With this logic alone, if you have two extremely smart animals to me it would be conceivable to have a new creature brighter than them both, and thus possess the possibility of sentience.

If you can accept my theory of a single race of creatures that separated several thousand or a million years ago that met again afterwards having evolved on a certain path of opposing survival patterns without so much deviation that they are unrelated, it would make sense that the combination of two different thought processes along with the assumption the Mule is likely to be more intelligent than the parents it could make an individual capable of sentience.

Of course this would not be a sure probability, not every genetic combination between the two species could create a sentient individual, but once that combination IS reached, it might be possible that after several generations of Sentient Mules they could effectively learn how to alter each parent species to breed with one another with most optimal genetic combination matrix to have a greater chance of creating more intelligent sentient Mules.

So part of it would be chance and luck, and once the luck is got and the chance allows it, the rest of it is in the hands of the Mules to ensure that their existence continues... by learning how to breed the species that made them in the most effective manner possible.

In case my theory wasn't understood, here's a bullet list:

  • In real life, Mules are said to be in some (or most) ways more intelligent than both parent species (Horse and Donkey): http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/news/newsRelease.asp?newsPk=1188
  • The parent species would have a recent ancestor allowing mules to occur in the first place once contact is remade
  • If the species evolved with opposing life strategies due to environment (Life on the plains as opposed to life on the mountains), the combination of these processes could create an even more aware individual
  • If the parent species in question are on the verge of sentience anyway (I.E., Semi-Sentient) it would make sense that with the proven increase in cognitive function of mules could make them sentient.
  • If even by chance a few Sentient Mules occurred at all, it would be likely that they'd breed the two parent species in the most effective way possible to ensure more Sentient Mules occurred as often as possible.

Does that make sense now? I mean, I'm going to try and make a Sentient Mule regardless of what you guys say, as it seems perfectly feasible to me. Unlikely probably, but we're talking about star wars here.
 

Nyxie

【夢狐】
Writer
Um. Please don't take this the wrong way but I'm busy right now and I didn't read all of that. It's not about my logic, it's about genetics. It's just how it is. :/

Edit: If two similar species breed - I'm assuming that's what you were talking about originally - they are able to do so because of the similarities. Their genetics simply line up. But it's Star Wars and there is a crapload of geneticist stuff in its canon anyways so I say pursue your goals anyways.

Edit-Edit: How? Evolution and/or domestication (which is a form of rapid evolution). :3

Edit-Edit-Edit xD: I should probably be less vague. Horses have 64 chromosomes. Donkeys have 62. Or it may be the other way around, idr. The two that were discarded are the cause of their initial infertility, however the 62 between the two are similar enough where it is able to mingle and produce something out of it. Think of it like fitting a 4x3 lego on top of a 3x3 lego. They're both bricks so they both fit, even though there is a little excess, but the bases line up. It would not, however, fit on... say... a disc lego or a cylinder lego. Well, yes it would, because of those little holes on the bottom in the middle, but shaddup you know hwat I mean. xD
 
Well-Known Member
Writer
EDIT: Sorry it's so long :p

@[member="Ayña Kottos"], yes, it is genetics. But this is also a discussion about cognitive ability, and since mules most usually combine many of the strengths attributed to the parent species including mental strength, it should make sense that two highly intelligent animals of differing but similar genetics could produce a creature even more intelligent, possibly to the point of sentience, than both contributing species.

Let's get hypothetical for an example.

Let's suppose that horses and donkey's have the same amount of intelligence. To represent the level of intelligence, lets compare it to human sentience as being 100%

To make the number's easy, let's say that both Horses and Donkey's are 50% intelligent, and due to my research, Mules are 60% intelligent.

If this were true, then lets take two creatures for example who are 90% intelligent, and due to the intellectual increase of a hybrid, the resulting infertile Mule would achieve sentience equal to that of a human, while the parents are non-sentient.

You may be saying however, that those are fairly close numbers, 90 and 100. But lets say that every 10% is obviously an increment of 100%, and thus to achieve the next 10% it requires an exponential increase. This means, that although the parent species would be very smart and bright animals, they would be comparable to a prodigal monkey, while the Mule would be comparable to a dull human/caveman. Not a huge leap but enough of a leap to make the difference between being an animal and going down the road of higher intelligence and civilization.

The next item I brought up, was that if sentience is achieved by a mule, it will want reproduce regardless of it's infertility. Being just barely sentient, it would still be able to realize that it is different from the rest, and in addition to that, if it finds similar creatures of its kind (other mules produced in the same two interacting herds), it is likely that over time they could learn the science of breeding and domestication.

From there, they could breed the two species to create more mules. When something like a community forms, perhaps they'd even learn to breed the two individual species to grow into a specific trait, and thus pass it down to new Mules, making them even better. By existing in numbers due to the interaction of two different species they could effectively "evolve" themselves to a higher degree of sentience, and break the breach between near-animal to modern human sentience.

I will agree that the situation is highly unlikely, but I think it is within the real of possibility, maybe even under "real world" constraints.
 

Nyxie

【夢狐】
Writer
I actually had time to read it all this time. x3

And still, TLDR: Bottom line is, just have fun doing what you do, it's about RP fun, not details.

Though, I'd just like to point out that the first sign of sentience would actually be the use of tools to indicate a higher intelligence. Thousands of generations later would come the greater things like selective breeding and all that fun stuff, then civie.
 

Captain Larraq

Capitalist
Character
TLDR; But a brief statement... usually this sort of cross-breeding does not happen in the wild. Only when they are penned up due to the actions of humans can you expect this to happen. Even isolated pockets trapped in a valley or on an island will rarely cross-breed with another species also trapped on the island/valley. You have to really get them down to numbers like.... less than 5 in each herd survived some sort of tragedy that resulted in the two species being trapped together.

Granted... if both species are sentient to begin with... well... *cough* we all have our kinks.
 
Well-Known Member
Writer
Hmm, I suppose your right in that instance. I'll have to develop some reason as to why they are cross breeding to begin with. Thank you for that tid bit of information.

Also, if they were sentient to begin with it would defeat the purpose of the original argument, and I don't know what these "kinks" would be.
 

Nyxie

【夢狐】
Writer
Fatty said:
Hmm, I suppose your right in that instance. I'll have to develop some reason as to why they are cross breeding to begin with. Thank you for that tid bit of information.

Also, if they were sentient to begin with it would defeat the purpose of the original argument, and I don't know what these "kinks" would be.
Xenophilia.
 
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