anonymous asked:

Ok, so, if you had to pick animals that represented each dai companion, which ones do you think would be best? I saw that mod Sarah had a zoology interest and was a bit intrigued.


Cassandra: Perhaps a cat (any member of the family Felidae, though specifically for Cassandra, Felis catus, AKA the domestic house cat). Cats come in many personalities, just like humans and many other living creatures (not limited to vertebrates, consider cephalopoda). People, however, often associate them with being graceful and powerful hunters, but with also being somewhat standoffish– which is not a trait that is granted to all cats, as any cat owner would know. Most cats are loving and intelligent, too, which makes me think cats (mostly domestic cats, but if any of you are thinking of a black panther, which is just a melanistic member of any of the Panthera species) then go for it.

Iron Bull: A tough one. The bull (defined as any uncastrated males of the species Bos taurus), is the obvious choice– but with now much Bull likes dragons (while unfortunately not a real creature, because they can’t have a spare set of limbs to make wings-reptiles are part of the supergroup tetrapoda, have only four limbs; to have wings, the front limbs must be wings or or they don’t have any at all. In that regard, Skyrim dragons are the more anatomically correct dragons if they were to exist but WHATEVER this is a fantasy universe) a drake is also a very possible choice for Bull.

Blackwall: A bear would be the obvious choice, perhaps Ursus americanus, the American black bear, which is the most wide-spread of bear species and often the ones that wander into human settlements looking for food.

Sera: While many of you think of the a honey bee, any bee that is a species under the genus Apis, I don’t believe this suits Sera. Perhaps a raven, or another member of the genus Corvus. The reason for this is that members of the genus Corvus (which contains such species as ravens, crows, rooks, and jackdaws) are highly intelligent– and known to be ballsy as fuck. They can be taught human speech, and are known to even play tricks on each other for shits and giggles. They are the pranksters of the bird world, and I feel this would fit Sera excellently. 

Cole: A mimic octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus. Bear with me on this; while all members of the order Octopoda, which are cephalopods, a subgroup of molluscs, are highly intelligent and capable of fantastic camouflage through the use of iridophores and chromatophores (to put it simply, they’re specialized dermal cells that contain pigment to rapidly change color), a mimic octopus is perhaps the best of all at camouflage. A mimic octopus is capable of changing its skin texture and shape to copy other species to blend in– sometimes called ninjas of the sea. Watch this TED Talk for further information: https://www.ted.com/talks/david_gallo_shows_underwater_astonishments 

ANYWAYS, GETTING OVER HOW RAD I THINK CEPHALOPODS ARE, Cole was a spirit who took the form of the mage Cole, in the White Spire. We have no idea what he looked like before then– as Dorian describes most spirits, they look “bizarre (and) monstrous” in their true forms. If a spirit is capable of such mimicry and such intelligence, I can think of no better animal to represent Cole than a mimic octopus.

Varric: A parrot. Parrots are highly intelligent and known for their speech capabilities, along with being v. pretty. There are MANY different members of the order Psittaciformes, which encompass all parrots. It is a very large clade composed of 393 species to date, but I I think Varric could best be represented by an African Gray Parrot, specifically the Congo African grey parrot, an Old World parrot of the species Psittacus erithacus. These birds are SUPER COOL because they’re among the best at mimicking human speech; one in particular in Japan was returned to his family after repeating the address of his home. They’re also known for hearing things in their surroundings and then repeatedly saying it, much to the ire of the humans they live with.

Dorian: This one is easy; a peacock, which comes in three species, though all are members of the family  Phasianidae, which is shared by pheasants, partridges, junglefowl, chickens, Old World quail, and peafowl. These are popular gamebirds, often poor at flying but PRETTY AS FUCK. For Dorian, I think I’ll go with the Indian peafowl, Pavo cristatus– notice the familiar ‘Pav’ in the name, anyone?

Solas: An ostrich A gray wolf, Canis lupus. No further explanation needed.

Vivienne: An orca, Orcinus orca. Orcas are among the most intelligent animals on Earth, known for being beautiful as well as the apex predators of the sea (being cosmopolitan species, like humans, they are found in a variety of environments, across multiple habitats. 

Josephine: A dove, any member of the family Columbidae, which encompasses 310 species. (Fun fact! Members of Columbidae are the only birds that don’t have to lift their necks up to swallow water. All birds except for them have to pull it into the mouths and pull their necks up to swallow). Doves are seen as an international symbol for peace and love, suitable for an ambassador. For her, I think I’ll go with the diamond dove, Geopelia cuneata.

Leliana: Like Sera, I think she would also fit as a raven, but for the sake of being a nerd and introducing another sort of animal, the next runner-up is the ferret, Mustela putorius furo. Ferrets were domesticated for their ability to ferret– that is, to hunt and catch prey, specifically rodents, which often reside in narrow holes and tunnels that humans can’t reach. Being an excellent spy, well, I feel this should explain itself.

Cullen: An African lion, Panthera leo. If anyone has seen his helmet, it should be sufficient explanation, but they are also famed by their beautiful, voluminous manes– just like Cullen!

The moral of this story is: don’t ask me about animals unless you are prepared for the info-dump, because I love the kingdom Animalia so much (I got OVER 100% in a college-level Zoology course, I could regale you for HOURS on Animalia, ranging from Porifera (sea sponges), the basal clade and taxa of Animalia, all the way to Mammalia. I meant to do chores an hour ago but got carried away. Thank you, and enjoy my fangirling.

–Mod Sarah

mrs---nicole  asked:

HC: hanzo has a soft spot for strays. Currently they own three cats and a dog. Jesse is on his way to adding to there little fur family. He found a baby ferret.

Awww, that is such a sweet headcanon! I can so see them living together with their little, fur-family! 

“So, hypothetically,” Jesse starts and Hanzo already knows that whatever comes next has already been decided. Because otherwise Jesse would begin his calls with ‘Hey Han, guess what?’. Well, he has been doing that for the last five years.

“Hypothetically,” Hanzo repeats, voice void of any kind of emotion even though he is quite curious what his partner has done again now. 

“Yeah, hypothetically,” Jesse drawls and then shushes something that squeaks. It squeaks and Hanzo feels his internal alarm bells go off. He turns around to see their dog, Diego, sleep in front of the fireplace. Their cats, Jumper, Chico and Himata are all curled up on the sofa. They are curled up so close to each other that they look like a very furry cushion. 

“Is it something that needs a lot of room?” Hanzo asks before Jesse has a chance to continue his hypothecial question. He already thinks about shifting their furniture around. Just in case.

“Not at first, no,” Jesse answers and the squeaking sounds again, weaker though. “We may need a big cage, though, and the tiny bottles we used for Himata. Ya remember where we put those?” Of course Hanzo knows. He was the one who put them away after all. 

“Of course I do,” he sighs. “What are we preparing for exactly.” It isn’t a question. Hanzo steels himself but he knows that there won’t be a ‘no’. He is just as bad at picking up strays as Jesse is.

“Well, the Wiki says it’s a baby Mustela putorius furo,” Jesse’s voice goes up at the end of the sentence. A question more than an answer.

Hanzo remains silent for a moment, digesting the information.

“You will arrive with a ferret then.” 

Send me your headcanon for a ficlet?

Fun Fact Friday: Ferrets

-Ferrets have been domesticated for thousands of years.  They’ve even been exhibited on Egyptian tombs.

-The Latin name for ferret, Mustela putorius furo means ‘smelly little thief’

-A group of ferrets is called a ‘business’

-They are the 3rd most popular pet in the U.S. (behind cats and dogs)

-Ferrets were primarily used as hunters and were often extremely savage.

-They are very difficult to wake up, even if you pick them up.

-They love their sleep and will often sleep 14-18 hours a day.

reproductive barriers!

a mnemonic for reproductive barriers:
Happy Turtles Bring Many Good Revelations Regarding Happiness

(Prezygotic Barriers)

  • Happy: Habitat Isolation
    • two species that occupy different habitats within the same area hardly encounter each other, even if there is a lack of physical barriers (mountains, rivers)
    • example: two species of garter snake (Thamnophis) are in same geographic area but one is aquatic and one is terrestrial
  • Turtles: Temporal Isolation
    • species that breed at different times of day/season/years cannot mix gametes
    • example: Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) mate in winter while Western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) mate in summer, but same geographic location
  • Bring: Behavioral Isolation
    • courtship rituals unique to species enables mate recognition, so breeding only occurs with same species
    • example: blue footed boobies mate only after certain courtship display
  • Many: Mechanical Isolation
    • morphological differences prevent successful mating 
    • example: two species of snail (Bradybaens) have shells twisting in opposite directions, genital openings not aligned, mating impossible
  • Good: Gametic Isolation
    • sperm of one species cannot fertilize eggs of another
    • example: sea urchins release sperm into surrounding water, only certain sperm can fertilize certain eggs

(Postzygotic Barriers)

  • Revelations: Reduced Hybrid Viability
    • genes of different parent species interact and impair survival/development of hybrid
    • example: salamander species (Ensatina) occasionally hybridize, but hybrids do not complete development/are frail
  • Regarding: Reduced Hybrid Fertility
    • hybrids are vigorous but sterile
    • example: mules (hybrid of male donkey and female horse) are sterile
  • Happiness: Hybrid Breakdown
    • first generation is viable and fertile, but next generations are not
    • example: strains of cultivated rice accumulate recessive alleles, and future generations are sterile

(Campbell Biology in Focus AP Edition 11)


The European Polecat (Mustela putorius). Indian ink on polyester sheet.

Apparently scientific illustrators use polyester sheets as a base quite a lot. I like it, but it’s far more comfortable to use ink on it rather than graphite. A 4H pencil marks like an HB pencil and every touch has to be alcohol cleaned or the oil from your fingers will mark the drawing.

The one on the left was a first tracing over my reference image while the one on the right was done separately and resized into a bigger image. Also, I used some stippling there since it was supposed to be a class about stippling techniques…

Cute little creatures the Latin name for ferret, Mustela putorius furo means ‘smelly little thief’, Lost your remote lately? Your car keys? Stealing and hiding objects is part of the Ferrets natural instincts. Ferrets love to chew, so should be supervised in the house to protect them and your power cords.

but these little fellas can be very affectionate and enjoy playing with humans. They do get bored easily and can lose focus, so when training them, it is best to teach them one task at a time and for short periods of time.