Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Clement, Hal (1987), The Creation of Imaginary Beings, SIU Press, Retrieved on 2015-04-06
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    Memes

    06 APR 2015

     The Need for an Internal Skeleton

    The need for an internal skeleton stems largely from the nature of muscle tissue, which can exert force only by contracting and is therefore much more effective with a good lever system to work with. I belittle neither the intelligence nor the strength of the octopus; but in spite of Victor Hugo and most other writers of undersea adventure, the creature's boneless tentacles are not all that effective as handling organs. I don't mean that the octopus and his kin are helpless hunks of meat; but...
    Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
    Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
      1  notes
     
    06 APR 2015

     The Trick of Magnifying Normal Creatures

    The trick of magnifying a normal creature to menacing size is all too common. The giant amoeba is a familar example; monster insects (or whole populations of them) even more so. It might pay an author with this particular urge to ask himself why we don't actually have such creatures around. There is likely to be a good reason, and if he doesn't know it perhaps he should do some research. In the case of both amoeba and insect, the so-called "square-cube" law is the trouble. Things like streng...
    Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
    Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
      1  notes
     
    06 APR 2015

     Scent on an Airless Planet

    Scent seems to have all the disadvantages and none of the advantages, as a long-range sense. However, under special circumstances even a modified nose may fill the need. In a story of my own some years ago ("Uncommon Sense," Astounding Science Fiction, September 1945), I assumed an airless planet, so that molecules could diffuse in nearly straight lines. The local sense organs were basically pinhole cameras, with the retinal mosaic formed of olfactory cells. Since the beings in question were ...
      1  notes

    An species of space whale could smell over long distances, but scent would get swirled and pooled by gravity wells along the way.