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 Describing smaller nagas

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PostSubject: Describing smaller nagas   Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:09 pm

Small Nagas

A much more common variant than their giant cousins but encountered less, 'small nagas' which are approximately human-sized, are very elusive. As the majority of them are loners, similar to their giant cousins, they prefer to avoid confrontations with groups, especially those consisting of humans. Their skins sell well in certain markets, and there are plenty of people harboring a grudge against their larger cousins to justify hunting them for such means. Most smaller nagas tend to give Negav a wide berth as a result of these bad relations, and so the humans living there are widely unfamiliar with them.

It is known that most small nagas are able to same-size vore or close to, and only attack human-sized prey when they are sure they have a place to safely digest without their movement handicapped by a bloated tail. To a giant predator, a small naga that's just eaten a big meal is easier to catch than even unwary humans, and more filling too. Therefore they are rather careful about attempting to eat such comparably large prey, and may consider for some time the circumstances before deciding to eat you or not, conversing all the while. Some clever small nagas are able to get away with eating humans often as long as larger suspects are blamed, but many more would pursue better relations if possible. Like nekos, they often prey on tinies. Small nagas sometimes form far-between villages, which are rather rare.

Sub-species: Gorgons

-----

Or something like that. I think a section of the Naga article explaining small nagas' place in Felarya and their relationship with humans would be of benefit to fleshing out nagas in general. Seeing as elves have a comparison between the human and giant sized ones, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:22 pm

/Fish/ wrote:
Sub-species: Gorgons

-----
Will Gorgons in any way be based off the Medusa myth?

/Fish/ wrote:
Or something like that. I think a section of the Naga article explaining small nagas' place in Felarya and their relationship with humans would be of benefit to fleshing out nagas in general. Seeing as elves have a comparison between the human and giant sized ones, after all.
Indeed, It is needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:34 pm

Anime-Junkie wrote:
Will Gorgons in any way be based off the Medusa myth?

Felaryan gorgons
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:15 am

Great work on that ^_^
I agree it's needed since the wiki essentially describe the giant nagas for now
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:43 am

I like the idea of nagas which are small, yet big enough to engulf a human.

When I've created small nagas, they've been human-sized - i.e., literally as tall as a human (except when they rear up on their tail). Too small to eat a human.

I call them "grass nagas". Here's how I described one of them, Shaan:

Quote :

She was entirely green [...]; the skin of her face and torso was the same grass-coloured green as her tail, with a small number of simple, pale yellow stripes. Her pretty, flowing hair was a blond-tinged green. Her appearance was suited for camouflage, but she had been nestling against a dark brown tree, and of course her scent gave her away.

Grass nagas hunt tomthumbs and other tinies, the same way as giant nagas hunt humans. Grass nagas are, in turn, prey to giant predators, including certain giant nagas such as Jissy.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:38 am

Karbo wrote:
Great work on that ^_^
I agree it's needed since the wiki essentially describe the giant nagas for now

Thanks. Now the secrets of this nearly mythical breed of 'pygmy naga' can finally be uncovered! : P

French snack wrote:
I like the idea of nagas which are small, yet big enough to engulf a human.

When I've created small nagas, they've been human-sized - i.e., literally as tall as a human (except when they rear up on their tail). Too small to eat a human.

Grass nagas hunt tomthumbs and other tinies, the same way as giant nagas hunt humans. Grass nagas are, in turn, prey to giant predators, including certain giant nagas such as Jissy.

Hmm.. What I kinda figured was one of the main points of nagas in general, is that being based on a snake, they would be justifiably capable of voring something of similar stature, or close to. Whatever the specific type's physiology allows of course, but big stuff nonetheless. Crisis, an exception being raised by fairies to only swallow prey that doesn't require unhinging jaws (and/or only having a stomach in her human half?). Possibly not Anna either I'm guessing since she's supposed to be 'semi-naga' (And taught by Crisis...), but for most others.. I can't think why they'd have a problem doing so if they felt like it.

So, I guess I'll ask for some clarification of your 'grass nagas' in regards that they can eat things larger than tinies (IE cats), or does their physiology keep them from eating anything but scaled-down prey? Do they lack tail stomachs or such to limit them?
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:44 am

I always wondered about the inconsistency of stomach-design. Does it depends on the type of naga, where its from, etc? I'd think human-stomach vs. tail-stomach would be a fairly extreme biological difference o__o
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:43 pm

Well, in the few stomach view pictures of nagas I can think of, it appears to be a human stomach designed for small prey. I think there was a theory that nagas have two stomachs - one small human like one and a longer one extending down their snake half.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:53 pm

Jætte_Troll wrote:
Well, in the few stomach view pictures of nagas I can think of, it appears to be a human stomach designed for small prey. I think there was a theory that nagas have two stomachs - one small human like one and a longer one extending down their snake half.

Yeah, I think that having two stomachs- one designated as the 'main' one by diet- works best for explaining this discrepancy, and that's what I've used for the design of Monty and this bastard.

Yet it doesn't appear that Crisis has a larger stomach. Menyssan's wiki bio states that in an eating competition, she defeated Crisis, whereas if she had a stomach in her tail she would have clearly had the advantage.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:51 pm

Hmm. Well Crisis never eats larger prey so I suppose we would never know. Either she doesn't eat them because, for whatever reason, she doesn't have a larger stomach, or she doesn't eat larger prey and has "forgotten" sort of how to use her larger stomach.

On the other hand, it is Menyssans she is losing to. Menyssan is able to gorge herself to where her stomach bulges to comic amounts. She probably has a few tricks up her... er... sleeves as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:07 pm

/Fish/ wrote:

Quote :

When I've created small nagas, they've been human-sized - i.e., literally as tall as a human (except when they rear up on their tail). Too small to eat a human.

Grass nagas hunt tomthumbs and other tinies, the same way as giant nagas hunt humans. Grass nagas are, in turn, prey to giant predators, including certain giant nagas such as Jissy.

Hmm.. What I kinda figured was one of the main points of nagas in general, is that being based on a snake, they would be justifiably capable of voring something of similar stature, or close to. Whatever the specific type's physiology allows of course, but big stuff nonetheless. Crisis, an exception being raised by fairies to only swallow prey that doesn't require unhinging jaws (and/or only having a stomach in her human half?). Possibly not Anna either I'm guessing since she's supposed to be 'semi-naga' (And taught by Crisis...), but for most others.. I can't think why they'd have a problem doing so if they felt like it.

So, I guess I'll ask for some clarification of your 'grass nagas' in regards that they can eat things larger than tinies (IE cats), or does their physiology keep them from eating anything but scaled-down prey? Do they lack tail stomachs or such to limit them?

I always thought Crisis was the norm rather than the exception, and that most Felaryan giant nagas have their stomach in their human half. As I understand it, Katrika is an exception because she's a Londorean naga, not a native Felaryan, which is why she can swallow larger prey and has her stomach in her tail.

On that basis, I've started on the assumption that small grass nagas can't swallow something larger than a tiny, and have their stomach in their human half, just like giant nagas.

Are your "small nagas" really not much taller than humans?
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:22 pm

French snack wrote:
I always thought Crisis was the norm rather than the exception, and that most Felaryan giant nagas have their stomach in their human half.

I thought it was pretty obvious with her backstory that she was meant to be more of an exception, not the rule.

Also: "Contrary to some other nagas, Crisis never unhinges her jaw to swallow large preys. She is not used to it and finds it painful."

Quote :
Are your "small nagas" really not much taller than humans?

Depends. This is just covering the 'smaller nagas' of the overall naga race, which could vary in size, but these just aren't the giant ones. And we don't have micronagas as a sub-species, so that leaves this size range.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:37 pm

Jætte_Troll wrote:
Well, in the few stomach view pictures of nagas I can think of, it appears to be a human stomach designed for small prey. I think there was a theory that nagas have two stomachs - one small human like one and a longer one extending down their snake half.
/Fish/ wrote:
Jætte_Troll wrote:
Well, in the few stomach view pictures of nagas I can think of, it appears to be a human stomach designed for small prey. I think there was a theory that nagas have two stomachs - one small human like one and a longer one extending down their snake half.

Yeah, I think that having two stomachs- one designated as the 'main' one by diet- works best for explaining this discrepancy, and that's what I've used for the design of Monty and this bastard.

Yet it doesn't appear that Crisis has a larger stomach. Menyssan's wiki bio states that in an eating competition, she defeated Crisis, whereas if she had a stomach in her tail she would have clearly had the advantage.

So perhaps some of my ideas that I wrote down for a non-Felaryan naga species a really long time ago may be of some help here. But first, a really old sketch I did, to help explain things. Digestive track is filled with black.



My notes, from years and years ago:
Oldman40k2003 from before the year 2005 wrote:

"Naga's also have a human-like stomach. which is really just a wide spot in their throat shaped like a human stomach. When digesting small food this stomach is used to minimize the amount of energy needed to digest food. (No sense in using the 6.5 ft naga stomach to digest a hamburger). It will stretch just like the rest of the throat to allow a large meal to pass (although this empties the stomach into the larger naga stomach).

Once digested in the small stomach food is passed into the naga body for absorption. In the human torso the naga has no intestines, [...skipping a paragraph to get to the next digestive track based stuff...] The throat comes down from the human half and connects with the naga stomach. The naga stomach has two different "modes" of operation. The first mode is a sort of "pre-small intestine" mode, and it acts like a limited small intestine, absorbing some nutrients and slowly moving food along. This is the mode used if the naga is only eating small meals and using their human stomach to digest it. This is more efficient than using the large stomach to digest a small meal.

The second mode is the "stomach" mode, and it activates when the naga swallows something large, or the naga's body thinks it will be swallowing something large soon. In this mode the stomach widens a bit, becomes a lot more flexible and begins to produce acid. Once something is in the stomach it acts just like a regular stomach, kneading and using both mechanical and chemical action to break down the meal. Digested bits of the meal are moved by smooth muscle action (IE: little ripples in the stomach wall) to the end of the stomach and are passed into the intestine. The intestines in a naga are very similar to that of a humans..."



So as you can see I kind of have my cake and ate it too; these (Oldmanian, I guess?) nagas have both human stomachs and snake stomachs, for reasons of efficiency (also, because they're a created race and it was easier on the wizzard who did it to just modify the stomachs, rather than remove them entirely.). A naga that is only eating small foods would only use their small stomach, as it would be a waste of energy to "warm up" a larger stomach... you might use more energy getting the bigger stomach ready than you would get from digesting the food! In that case the food arrives in the large stomach already digested, so the large stomach just acts like an intestine and moves the food along to the intestines proper.

A naga that ate something bigger, however, would require the use of the bigger stomach, and so the smaller stomach was designed to stretch and let big meals pass through, as if it were simply a section of the naga's throat.


/Fish/ wrote:
Yet it doesn't appear that Crisis has a larger stomach. Menyssan's wiki bio states that in an eating competition, she defeated Crisis, whereas if she had a stomach in her tail she would have clearly had the advantage.
Well firstly, does Crisis have to have two stomachs? We could probably weasel out of requiring that of her if we needed to, by various methods. Even if we assume that giant nagas must/should have two stomach, a simple way effectively remove her snake one would be to give her a genetic mutation that prevents that stomach from developing very far. Felaryan giant preds aren't exactly genetic scientists, so they'd never know.

...!

Oh, an even better genetics based idea! Instead of giving just her the mutation, let it be a common one among the giant nagas of Felarya, which could explain why some giant nagas can eat large prey, and others cannot. I've even thought of a "reasonable" explanation for this genetic trait being common: no selective pressure against it.

Okay, so lets assume that in the ancient past, there was lots of prey of a large size, so all nagas could swallow large things, because any naga that had a mutation that prevented this would be strongly selected against as they would not have easy access to certain food supplies (instead of just swallowing whole, they'd have to chop it up, which is more risky and time consuming). However, as time passed this large prey became less and less common, either due to over-consumption, getting out-competed by differently sized animals, or something of that nature. Once the large prey became sufficiently scarce, there was no longer any real selection pressure against a mutation that prevented large scale swallowing. In nature, mutations that aren't selected against tend to stick around, spreading from the original carrier into the rest of the population, so by "current" Felaryan time the mutation could very well be widespread, and thus it wouldn't be unusual at all for a naga to be only able to eat small things.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:01 pm

Ah. I actually really like that idea. Makes a whole bunch more sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:28 am

Oldman, I read your tl;dr post anyway, and I must say, that's pretty impressive. I'm probably pushing it a bit more by trying to force more logic into a fantasy world, but here's another thing: the human torso isn't built to have a meal its own size go through it. Would the ribcage be able to open itself up to allow room for the prey? Would the internal organs flatten themselves against the ribs?
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:39 pm

AisuKaiko wrote:
Oldman, I read your tl;dr post anyway, and I must say, that's pretty impressive. I'm probably pushing it a bit more by trying to force more logic into a fantasy world, but here's another thing: the human torso isn't built to have a meal its own size go through it. Would the ribcage be able to open itself up to allow room for the prey? Would the internal organs flatten themselves against the ribs?

Me? Write a tl;dr post? Never! (though in my defense I did cut a lot of stuff out, and most of the stuff left in was important. Smile


As for your about the torso, the answer is that there were a lot of modifications done to the basic human torso... and this is just the stuff that I wrote down!


Keep in mind though that these are solutions I created for a naga species who was created as a warrior race. Naturally occurring nagas would probably not have some/most of these changes, or they would be done very differently.
Oldman40k2003 from before the year 2005 wrote:

Their human half has been modified from a normal humans. The jawbone is actually several parts, each connected by flexible cartilage and some muscle, and it can stretch to allow the naga to swallow things as big as 24 inches in diameter (although getting it bigger than about 6 inches in diameter takes practice). Their ribs are split in to two parts down the sides staggered with offsets of about 3 inches (that means that the ribs don't break in a straight line, every other rib breaks on the same line). The ribs are connected to the spine, their second part and the sternum with the same flexible cartridge and muscle as the jaws.
The point of this was to allow the ribcage to "float" when needed, and the staggered rib split lines are for structural reasons, preventing the ribcage from sliding up and down when it isn't floating.


Oldman40k2003 from before the year 2005 wrote:

Naga's have an "air line" that runs from the back of their nasal cavity (which does not connect with the throat like in humans) down their neck (connecting with the throat like in humans), connects with their human lungs then and into their naga half. This "air line" runs very close to the spine (inside the ribcage) and is protected by a cartlidge "shield" and strong muscles. Naga's have over-sized lungs in their human half, large enough and efficient enough (barely) to be able to run their entire body if they're not moving. Naga's have a regular sized human heart in their human torso, which is insufficient by itself to pump all the blood. Like the lungs and uterus (and unlike all the other organs) the heart "floats" on top of the nagas throat if it's eating large prey, protected by extremely tough cartilage.
The heavily protected air-line was my solution to "how does a naga not choke to death?". One of the other reasons I gave them over-sized lungs is because with no intestines in the human torso, there is a lot more free space (I also gave their human torso enlarge kidneys and bladder, plus two enlarged livers.). I don't know what I was smoking when I thought that the heart and lungs should float with the ribcage. I was probably trying to use the sternum as some sort of protective armor, but really the heart should not float and stay attached to the spine portion of the body, with a protective bone cover over the top of it (to avoid being crushed). The lungs should also be attached to the spine section of the body, though armoring them would probably be impossible. The uterus (on female nagas) would probably float, in order to avoid crushing the child.


So, to answer your question in a single sentence: yes, the ribs float and the organs are either crushed, protected by cartilage/bone armor, or in the case of the uterus, float with the rib cage.

(It's interesting to note that my nagas are not combat eaters, and in fact weren't made for the purpose of eating people at all, aside from the odd execution-for-terror purposes. The wizard who made them was solving a logistical problem: an army marches on its stomach. Food that can't move itself has to be moved, taking up valuable personnel. Food that can't move itself when a camp is under attack is food that will soon be captured or destroyed by the enemy. Worse still, people can only eat a little bit at a time, and so have to eat several times a day. Time spent eating is time not spent winning battles.

He solved this in one fell swoop by attaching a larger stomach to his warrior creations. It's big enough that they can eat a lot of food at one time, meaning that they can spend more time fighting. It's big enough that they could simply eat whole animals at once; getting a group of pigs to march with your army, or to run away from an enemy attack, is *much* easier than getting a loaf of bread to do the same.

The stomach and rib changes were far from the only changes he made too: he compartmentalized their lungs and cardio-vascular system to such a degree that cutting a naga in half would not kill it outright, nor would it bleed to death from such a wound, and piercing just one of its several lungs would just piss it off.),
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:21 am

Ah, interesting. That sounds like it would work.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:04 pm

I think that Oldman' description is pretty much on spot Smile
Nagas have indeed two stomach : a smaller one in their abdomen for small preys, and a much larger one in their tails. However, in the case of some nagas such as Crisis, the second stomach act more as an actual intestine since they are used to eat small preys only and never have to use it.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:44 pm

Karbo wrote:
I think that Oldman' description is pretty much on spot Smile
Nagas have indeed two stomach : a smaller one in their abdomen for small preys, and a much larger one in their tails. However, in the case of some nagas such as Crisis, the second stomach act more as an actual intestine since they are used to eat small preys only and never have to use it.

Thanks for verifying that.

Now, I've got a question about Anna. She's stated to be a 'semi-naga', so did that ever have a bearing on a different physiology from other nagas? Just going by what Crisis teaches her in hunting habits, if she has a tail stomach, wouldn't its function atrophy in the same way as Crisis' ?
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:47 am

well biological functions never atrophe completely. atrophe, to my understanding refers more or less to something like legs you dont use and they get smaller. although im not sure about crisis, she's never expanded her jaw, but she should still be able to just the same. i would think though, that if she ever has kids their ability to use their jaws would be diminished.

still atrophing is a complicated subject i think ^^; because certain things atrophe, and certain things dont.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:41 am

I do try to not put too much logic into my fiction, but that has always been a concern of mine, with the breast bone, collar bone, what not, and all there are allot of reasons that a human sized naga swallowing a human don't make sense, but again, its fiction at the same time. The whole "tendons" and what not only go so far, there are down sides to such structures, such as with a detachable jaw a blow from a human first across a naga's jaw would do huge amounts of damage, if they chest can expand then a blow to the chest would be far more likely to be lethal etc.
Now excuse me I have to go kill a Neko.
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:56 pm

nekos hmm...?

Can I come? ^^
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PostSubject: Re: Describing smaller nagas   Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:30 am

Archmage_Bael wrote:
i would think though, that if she ever has kids their ability to use their jaws would be diminished.
That's not how real world passing on of traits (AKA: evolution) works, and I can't recall anything suggesting that Felarya is different in this regards. Unless there was a mutation in their genes, her kids would not be especially physically diminished in their ability to use their jaws., though of course they might never be taught how to do it.


asaenvolk wrote:
I do try to not put too much logic into my fiction, but that has always been a concern of mine, with the breast bone, collar bone, what not, and all there are allot of reasons that a human sized naga swallowing a human don't make sense, but again, its fiction at the same time.
Yes, there are many things to consider when trying to make a predator character resistant to violence from it's meals, or violence in general.


asaenvolk wrote:
The whole "tendons" and what not only go so far, there are down sides to such structures, such as with a detachable jaw a blow from a human first across a naga's jaw would do huge amounts of damage, if they chest can expand then a blow to the chest would be far more likely to be lethal etc.
I am afraid I have to disagree with you here. I don't see how having a flexible jaw would allow a punch to do more damage, because the flexible jaw would absorb the energy of a punch without breaking, unlike a bone based jaw.

I also don't see how a chest that "floats" is much more dangerous than fixed one, because any punching forces will likely be applied from the front towards the creatures spine, but this allows the forces involved to travel along the ribs in both fixed and floating rib cages. I also don't see how a more flexible chest (assuming that there is a "heartplate", a chunk of bone or cartilage protecting the heart) means that a punch is more likely to be lethal: as far as I am aware, all of the organs in the chest are rather flexible and thus would not care if they got squished.
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