large group of animals

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The Oceanic Whitetip shark lives in the open ocean, far from land in tropical water. Their large pectoral fins allow them to glide through the water and take a break between tail beats, helping to conserve energy. Oceanic Whitetips are bold, opportunistic hunters; largely solitary animals, but are scavengers and will group together in a feeding frenzy if an opportunity of a meal presents itself. These sharks are known to follow pilot whales, researches believe this is because pilot whales are keen at finding squid, a favorite meal for these sharks. Although Oceanic Whitetips tend to lead lonely lives, they often don’t mind the company of pilot fish and remoras. The sharks protect the fish from predators and, in return, the fish clean parasites off the sharks’ skin.

What do schools of fish and clusters of neurons have in common?

The answer lies in a concept called ‘emergence’, or the spontaneous creation of sophisticated behaviors and functions from large groups of simple elements.

Like many animals, fish stick together in groups, but that’s not just because they enjoy each other’s company. It’s a matter of survival. Schools of fish exhibit complex swarming behaviors that help them evade hungry predators, while a lone fish is quickly singled out as easy prey. So which brilliant fish leader is the one in charge? Actually, no one is, and everyone is. So what does that mean? While the school of fish is elegantly twisting, turning, and dodging sharks in what looks like deliberate coordination, each individual fish is actually just following two basic rules that have nothing to do with the shark: one, stay close, but not too close to your neighbor, and two, keep swimming. 

As individuals, the fish are focused on the minutiae of these local interactions, but if enough fish join the group, something remarkable happens. The movement of individual fish is eclipsed by an entirely new entity: the school, which has its own unique set of behaviors. The school isn’t controlled by any single fish. It simply emerges if you have enough fish following the right set of local rules. It’s like an accident that happens over and over again, allowing fish all across the ocean to reliably avoid predation.

What makes emergence so complex is that you can’t understand it by simply taking it apart, like the engine of a car. Taking things apart is a good first step to understanding a complex system. But if you reduce a school of fish to individuals, it loses the ability to evade predators, and there’s nothing left to study. And if you reduce the brain to individual neurons, you’re left with something that is notoriously unreliable, and nothing like how we think and behave, at least most of the time.

Regardless, whatever you’re thinking about right now isn’t reliant on a single neuron lodged in the corner of your brain. Rather, the mind emerges from the collective activities of many, many neurons. There are billions of neurons in the human brain, and trillions of connections between all those neurons.3:28When you turn such a complicated system like that on, it could behave in all sorts of weird ways, but it doesn’t. The neurons in our brain follow simple rules, just like the fish, so that as a group, their activity self-organizes into reliable patterns that let you do things like recognize faces, successfully repeat the same task over and over again, and keep all those silly little habits that everyone likes about you.

As more and more neurons are connected, increasingly complex patterns of activity emerge from the network. Soon, so many neurons are interacting in so many different ways at once that the system becomes chaotic. The trajectory of the network’s activity cannot be easily explained by the simple local circuits described earlier. And yet, from this chaos, patterns can emerge, and then emerge again and again in a reproducible manner. At some point, these emergent patterns of activity become sufficiently complex, and curious to begin studying their own biological origins…not to mention the concept of emergence itself!

And what we found in emergent phenomena at vastly different scales is that same remarkable characteristic as the fish displayed: That emergence doesn’t require someone or something to be in charge. If the right rules are in place, and some basic conditions are met, a complex system will fall into the same habits over and over again, turning chaos into order. That’s true in the molecular pandemonium that lets your cells function, the tangled thicket of neurons that produces your thoughts and identity, your network of friends and family, all the way up to the structures and economies of our cities across the planet.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How do schools of fish swim in harmony? - Nathan S. Jacobs

Animation by TED-Ed

A party: TaehyungXreader (M)

Word count: 3.6K

Genre: Smut

Summary: You don’t like parties at all, but your sister does. So you are forced to go to the parties, simply because all the parties are held at your house. Boys mostly toy with you because you aren’t very good looking, just like Taehyung. But there is something different with todays party.

Originally posted by jimin-bts-trashs

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Assorted Lore Questions

A list of lore questions I should probably answer when I’m not so tired. Feel free to steal them if you wish! Most of these are focused towards fleshing out a clan’s culture.

  1. How to outsiders know when they’ve crossed you clan’s border? Marks painted or carved into trees or rocks? Glowing runes marking the edge?
  2. How do you identify dragons from your clan? Is there a mark or uniform? Especially for the kingdoms/empires out there. There needs to be a way to quickly recognize an ally when the group is so large.
  3. What about domesticated animals? Does your clan just go with the usual farm animals, or do they have something more exotic? 
  4. A community, especially a large one, needs a steady and reliable source of food. Where does you clan get its food? If they’re hunter-gatherers, what do they do when they can’t find anything?
  5. What is the local food like? Do your dragons have a penchant for spices? Or perhaps they enjoy sugar more. Also, there’s also the question of how they eat. What sort of eating utensils do they use? Some cultures have something like rice, noodles, or bread, and then have the side dishes out so everyone can pick what they want and how much they want. Some cultures just give everyone the same thing. What about your clan?
  6. What does your clan’s territory look like?
  7. A follow-up to #5: Based on that description, what does your clan produce and export, if they trade at all?
  8. If they don’t trade, then how does your clan earn money? Tourism?
  9. If they do trade, where are a few trade routes?
  10. What’s fashionable in your clan? Talk about the clothing, hairstyles, makeup, accessories, ect.
  11. What are your clan’s more unique social rules?
  12. What sort of symbolism is present in the clan? (For example, red roses=romance, 4-leaf clover=luck, swan=grace and beauty, ect.) Why?
  13. We’ve talked a bunch about what the dragons think about beastclan, but what about the other way around? What would each of the beastclans think about your clan?
  14. Talk about the clan’s social organization. It doesn’t have to all be about social classes!
  15. What about family? Are they nuclear (husband, wife, children) or extended (several generations in one home)? Something else?
  16. Are there any special customs or traditions?
  17. ART. LITERATURE. Are there artists or writers? What sort of things do they create? Realistic works, or more fantastical/abstract things?
  18.  Follow up to #16: What materials do they use? (Do the writers carve into tablets? Do they use brushes, quills, or pens? If they write, what do they write on? Where do they get these materials? (For example, there are several territories that can’t possibly have enough trees for everyone to have access to paper. They’d have to import or steal it.)
  19. What are your clan’s values? What’s considered “good” and what’s considered “bad”?
  20. RELIGION. Okay, seeing as the gods irrefutably exist, most clans worship one or more of the elemental deities. However, religion will differ. How does your clan interpret the deities? How do they practice their religion? Are there religious festivals or holidays? Do they pray often, or do they only seek the divines in dire situations?
  21. What are the luxury items? Why are they so expensive/rare?
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Mesopotamian Kudurru (Boundary Stone), 2nd Dynasty of Isin, 1157-1025 BC

The upper section of this finely polished black limestone kudurru is decorated in intricately carved raised relief with symbols and sacred animals representing a large group or “gathering” of Mesopotamian gods and goddesses. Kudurrus, sometimes referred to as “boundary markers,” were actually land grant documents used by kings to reward their favored servants. These monuments were set up in temples to record royal land grants. The full force of the Mesopotamian pantheon was utilized both to witness and guarantee the land grant by carving the symbols and sacred animals of the deities on the kudurru. In the shape of a cylindrical ovoid, this particular kudurru was not inscribed, perhaps because the person who was to receive the land grant died before it could be finalized, or because the king changed his mind and decided not to make the land grant after all. Each kudurru is unique; a good deal of variation exists in the number and choice of deities which appear.

Front: On this standing monument, the Mesopotamian pantheon is presented. The four great gods come first. Anu (“father of the gods” and god of heaven) and Enlil (god of wind, kingship and the earth), are shown as a multi-horned divine crown each on its own temple facade. Then Ea (god of water, magic and wisdom), is shown as a curved stick ending in a ram’s head atop a temple facade pulled by the foreparts of a horned goat. Above the first two deities, a female headdress in the shape of an omega sign, symbolizes Ninhursag (“mother of the gods” and goddess of fertility).

Reverse: The leading Babylonian god, Marduk, and his son Nabu, appear next. A triangular spade pointing up and a scribe’s wedge-shaped stylus, respectively, each sits atop a temple facade pulled by the foreparts of a snake-dragon known as a Mushus (Mushhushshu). All five temple facades float on fresh, underground waters known as the Apsu or the Deep. Following these divinities, we find the mace, perhaps a local war god, the scepter with double lion heads of Ninurta (god of war), the arrow, a symbol of the star Sirius, and the two-pronged lightning bolt of Adad. This storm god is called by the similar name Haddad in the Levant. The running bird Papsukkal (minister of the gods, associated with the constellation Orion), is followed by the scorpion Ishara (goddess of oaths), the seated dog Gula (goddess of healing) and a bird on a perch, symbolizing both Shuqamuna and Shumalia (patron deities of the Kassite royal family).

Top:The top of the kudurru, representing the heavens, is surrounded and enclosed by the body of a large snake. Nirah (the snake god) encompasses four astral deities the crescent moon of Sin (the moon god), a multi-rayed circular sun disc of Shamash (the sun god), a star inside a disc for Ishtar (the goddess of love -especially sexuality- and war) and the lamp of Nusku (the god of fire and light). Ishtar, considered the most important Mesopotamian female deity, is associated with the morning and evening star, the planet Venus.

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Wow, look at that quality photography….
This is the Igni line,
Top image.
Ignitulus - This small cat is found in Stonewell Forest, legends say that it deceives children into playing with it, only for the ignitulus to steal the children’s souls.
This one is pretty young so doesn’t have a mask yet Middle
Ignifur - Said to steal the souls of the lost, this creature controls its masks to find its prey and lull them into a false sense of security(murdered Pierre in chapter 3)
Ignifelis - A large predator that targets large groups of animals and separates them, feeding off of their fears. They have grown beyond attacking humans and are seen as paragons of grace and elegance.

Why Undertale and Cave Story are the same game.

(This post is just for funzies. Don’t take it too seriously.)

• The title means “story that takes place underground”.
• The plot largely revolves around a group of fuzzy white anthropomorphic animals.
• It also has to do with a flower that is related to changes that the fuzzy little animals can go through.
• It changes them into beings without the ability to care about others, who want to kill those around them.
• The game has three main endings. A good ending, a bad ending, and a neutral ending.
• The good ending means making sure all your friends are alive.
• The neutral ending happens if not all your friends are alive.
• It’s also the run most players will get on their first run due to the very specific requirements of the good ending.
• The bad ending means going against what the game teaches you, and not caring about your friends.
• However, it does have pretty sweet music, and some interesting dialogue which compels some people to do it.
• The neutral route has a boss that seems like the final boss, but after he dies, the evil flower reveals that there’s one more fight you must do.
• The flower takes control of a powerful thing shown elsewhere in the game that’s revealed to be very important to why the game even happens.
• It also takes control of people who don’t want to hurt you but are forced to fight you anyways.
• You then help them come back to their senses and defeat the enemy.
• In one of the endings you’re a lot more powerful than before, so it makes it more difficult by revamping one portion of the game, and adding a whole new portion that’s well known among fans for it’s extreme difficulty.
• The new portion added in this run powers you down slightly, and if you die, you have to do this long fight all over again.
• The credits feature all the character’s you’ve met along your journey with text about them alongside them.
• It then gives thanks to people who helped make this game possible.
• However, it was mostly made by one man over the course of several years.
• The game stars a protagonist with a mysterious past, who you don’t know the name of.
• Along the way you’re helped by several characters, such as a scientist, a warrior who doesn’t particularly like you at first, and a man who’s shown to know the scientist and one of the fuzzy white animals. There are also a few you others who help you out as well.
• The battle system largely involves avoiding enemy attacks.
• You also fight a very powerful robot right before seeing the scientist in a situation that ends up being rather depressing.

If you have any others let me know and I’ll add them in!

(Also, I haven’t played Cave Story for a while, so if I got something wrong let me know.)

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Remember Moon Animate Make-Up, a project where a large group of animators re-animated an entire Sailor Moon episode scene by scene? Then check out Dragon Ball Re-Animate, where hundreds of animators are re-creating an episode of Dragon Ball. 

The trailer just went up a few weeks ago, and the project can be followed at sevenreanimate!

The full episode is due out this summer.