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3 sexes in danpyr
Posted: Posted February 21st by linguistcat
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Danpyr are a constructed species I have worked on (and changed many times) for many years. They are currently gray skinned, many-eyed and relatively humanoid otherwise. But instead of one sex, or two sexes like is common in complex creatures on Earth, they have three sexes: One that I would classify as female-like, and two that are male-like. I would like to make native terms for these sexes, as they are all seen as separate by the species themselves, but I have not yet.

I had a thread about them on the old board that I'm sure I could find with time, but I think for now I might use this thread to just flesh out how their sexes affected their society in the past and the present in their universe, how they view gender as a social construct and gender roles in their society.

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The obvious burning question is how does reproduction work?

Also it's worth pointing out that bees / ants / other hive creatures actually have three sexes:

  • A female queen who gets really big and has all the kids

  • Female workers, who don't reproduce and do most of the work (I think they might even be sterile)

  • Males, whose job is to reproduce with the queen

  • Posted February 21st by Xhin
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    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    I read a sci-fi novel a while back (Player of Games by Iain M. Banks) where there was a race that had three sexes. There was a male, a female and an "apex" that facilitated the actual fertilization as an intermediary. The apices also had the benefit of sexual dimorphism in that they were the larger and stronger sex. The apices were the dominant class in society both because of their literal strength and because they controlled the reproductive direction instead of the males.

    Edited February 21st by nullfather
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    Interestingly with ants, the males control not whether the queen will reproduce or not, but what gender it will be -- if they fertilize an egg it'll turn into a female, if they don't it'll become male.

    Posted February 21st by Xhin
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    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    @Xhin:
    Worker ants are conditionally-sterile females, who never mate.
    They’re sterile just so long as they care for a Queen.
    If a colony’s last Queen dies and is not replaced, the workers eventually each lay an unfertilized egg, from which a male ant is “hatched” (if that’s the right word?).

    There are some species of ants who have gamergates or “working wives”, that is, fertile workers.

    —————

    @nullfather:
    I really liked that book, too! Actually I like the entire “Culture” series.


    Edited February 23rd by chiarizio
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    Yeah, ants and other eusocial insects have multiple sexes. Tho I don't think any of them have more than two at any given time involved in reproduction. In many cases, like the example with some ants, one sex doesn't reproduce at all except in very specific circumstances.

    I don't think there are even insects (or species on Earth) in which three different sexes would mate with each other even sequentially to produce offspring. Let alone members of 3 sexes mating at the same time or near simultaneously to produce viable offspring. Maybe multiple members of one sex with a member of another sex, but often that's not NECESSARY to produce offspring and only in rare conditions does this result in individuals with multiple fathers (and I'm not sure how multiple "mothers" would occur but I'm not ruling it out just that it would be vanishingly rare).

    I will say that not accounting for any deaths that would increase or decrease the numbers of certain sexes, females and one type of male are about as likely as each other, and the third sex is a bit less common, but still common enough to not be an issue.

    Danpyr on the other hand, do require all three sexes to reproduce. I've considered a few options:
    1) A "female" danpyr can mate with a "male" of either type, and then within a certain period (days or maybe weeks?), a male of the alternate type, to have a viable pregnancy. Females might be more particular about staying with one or the other male sex unless she specifically wants to become pregnant.
    2) A "female" must mate first with a "type 1 male" and then a "type 2 male" in order to have a viable pregnancy. It might produce a viable pregnancy for a longer period after the first mating. But a female who would prefer not to be pregnant could decide to only mate with type 2 males.
    3) A "female" must mate with both other sexes near simultaneously. On the negative side, it would be literally impossible to have more little danpyr if you have one member of each sex but not together at the same time. However, it might be more interesting from a cultural pov, since the two "male" sexes would have good reasons to bond, or females would have good reason to make a social construct like marriage that would keep triads (or at least a female or possibly a set of sisters and the rarer of the two other sexes) together as a unit.

    The first two would be easier evolution wise, while the last wouldn't be impossible but might have coevolved with the danpyr as they started to use tools, language and creating cultures that brought many proto-danpyr into closer knit groups.

    Posted February 22nd by linguistcat
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    I don't think there are even insects (or species on Earth) in which three different sexes would mate with each other even sequentially to produce offspring. Let alone members of 3 sexes mating at the same time or near simultaneously to produce viable offspring.


    Nope, to do that you'd need to be an earth plant:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_reproductive_morphology
    Females might be more particular about staying with one or the other male sex unless she specifically wants to become pregnant.


    Pair bonding seems to be based on the amount of mates available, so I imagine your danpyr (who actually *require* multiple mates) would be around both of them preferentially.

    A "female" must mate first with a "type 1 male" and then a "type 2 male" in order to have a viable pregnancy.


    Couldn't she also mate only with type 1 males?

    3) A "female" must mate with both other sexes near simultaneously.


    That would definitely turn "pair bonding" into "triad bonding".

    . On the negative side, it would be literally impossible to have more little danpyr if you have one member of each sex but not together at the same time.


    That's no worse than single human mothers (or fathers) being unable to have children by themselves. While they absolutely can in other species.


    Posted February 22nd by Xhin
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    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    I should mention again, I don't have "native terms" for these sexes. I am only using "female", "type 1 male" and "type 2 male" because the "females" produce egg-like gametes (big, less mobile) and carry the pregnancy, and the two "male" sexes produce "sperm-like" gametes (smaller, more mobile, less costly) and only directly care for offspring that have been born if at all.

    Also those three options are different possibilities that I will not use together.

    In any case, equating it to a single mother or father still having kids without a dedicated partner is wrong. Humans can hook up with one member of the other sex once, and possibly produce a pregnancy. A danpyr, if I went with things needing to be simultaneous, would NEVER be able to produce a pregnancy with only one other danpyr. A female danpyr who only had sex with "type 1s" in any of the possible mating strategies I suggested would also NEVER get pregnant. The same would be true if ve only had relations with type 2s. Or in the second possibility, if ve had sex with a type 2 and a little later, a type 1.

    I should go to sleep before I try to explain a different way, if it's still confusing.

    Posted February 22nd by linguistcat
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    There are sexually-reproducing RL animal species with more than two mating types, and/or more than two total-outcrossing classes.
    But none of them require, or even allow, more than two parents per individual offspring.
    I am not sure that calling these types or classes, “sexes”, is completely appropriate, unless there are different reproductive roles for mothers and fathers.

    I’ll have to look at Xhin’s “plant” article.

    (Edit: I looked at it, and it seems those plants still have at most two parents per specimen!)

    Edited February 25th by chiarizio
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    I can use the term out crossing classes or mating classes, but regardless, all three are necessary and no two are interchangeable.

    I'm thinking that simultaneous/near-simultaneous mating would be too constricting from an evolutionary POV. So I'm taking that option off the table. So the only issue now is if the mating needs to occur in a certain order to be viable or not.

    Posted February 22nd by linguistcat
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    Edited February 22nd by chiarizio
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    I can use the term out crossing classes or mating classes, but regardless, all three are necessary and no two are interchangeable.
    Thus it is like no RL terrestrial species ever, neither plant nor animal nor fungus nor protist.
    It’s all your creation.
    You are not infringing on any other Creator’s intellectual property.


    I'm thinking that simultaneous/near-simultaneous mating would be too constricting from an evolutionary POV. So I'm taking that option off the table. So the only issue now is if the mating needs to occur in a certain order to be viable or not.
    Do they have to occur in a particular order? If so, what do we call the 2/3 -fertilized thing?
    Gilgamesh was 2/3 god and 1/3 man.
    This thing might be considered 2/3 zygote and 1/3 gamete.
    Maybe that’s what “Gilgamesh” means in your Danpyric conlang?

    BTW shouldn’t there be a time-limit or expiration date on the Gilgamesh? Would about six weeks be reasonable?
    The mother (?) would have to mate with the type-1 “male”, thus conceiving the Gilgamote or Gilgamete; then ve has six weeks to mate with a type-2 “male”, thus completing the zygote, which will start turning into an embryo.
    Would the Gilgamete implant in her womb before that second, completing fertilization, and just wait for it? That would give it a better chance of surviving 45 days or however long.


    Posted February 22nd by chiarizio
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    Do they have to occur in a particular order? If so, what do we call the 2/3 -fertilized thing?
    Gilgamesh was 2/3 god and 1/3 man.
    This thing might be considered 2/3 zygote and 1/3 gamete.
    Maybe that’s what “Gilgamesh” means in your Danpyric conlang?


    I definitely like the pun "gilgamete" you came up with.

    Considering that there is at least one species on Earth Prime that pauses its pregnancy just so its young can be born at a better time of year https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-banded_armadillo#Reproduction and not even waiting for a second fertilization, I think holding onto a "gilgamete" for a while (6 weeks or the equivalent sounds fair) would be reasonable. It could be immediately or up to that time limit, after which time the gilgamete is gotten rid of or absorbed or broken down or the like.

    Posted February 22nd by linguistcat
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    I can use the term out crossing classes or mating classes, but regardless, all three are necessary and no two are interchangeable.
    Oh BTW: since in your Danpyr there are clear differences between mothers and fathers, I would think it entirely appropriate to use the term “sexes” for their mating-types (which are also total-outcrossing-classes).
    I’d also find it quite appropriate to call the mother-sex “female” and the father-sexes “male” and just say there are two kinds of male.

    (In case you were worried I might be criticizing your word-choice.)

    Posted February 23rd by chiarizio
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    I guess I'm just concerned that there will be further confusion like the kind Xhin had about "couldn't [a female danpyr] just mate with another type 1?" if I continue using the terms type 1 and 2 males. I should come up with native terms to talk about these, probably going along with the V, D, N scheme I had for the pronouns. (But not directly tied.)

    Posted February 23rd by linguistcat
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    I guess I'm just concerned that there will be further confusion like the kind Xhin had about "couldn't [a female danpyr] just mate with another type 1?" if I continue using the terms type 1 and 2 males.

    I’m not specifically confused anymore; and I doubt Xhin, specifically, is confused now.
    But for the sake of future repliers, that might be a likely concern.


    I should come up with native terms to talk about these, probably going along with the V, D, N scheme I had for the pronouns.

    I agree! And I look forward to them!


    (But not directly tied.)

    Why not?
    —————
    Didn’t you have native kinterms for mother and eggfather and spermfather?
    I’d think Danpyrs’ native terms for their sexes would be derived from, or clearly co-derived with (i.e. share a root with), those kinterms.


    —————


    BTW would the eggfathers be the type1 males, i.e. the one with whom the female has to mate first? (If, that is, you are still going with the “eggfather/spermfather” split between the two male-like sexes?)

    Edited February 23rd by chiarizio
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    (But not directly tied.)


    Why not?


    Just so they aren't TOO similar and it gets confusing. I think the first letters being shared would help set them up to be easily remembered. "Ah yes, ve/ver/etc are the pronouns for this sex which also starts with v!" Even the last vowel would be helpful, i's what many languages on Earth use too for gender systems in language. But make them too similar and it becomes an issue keeping them straight.

    Didn’t you have native kinterms for mother and eggfather and spermfather?
    I’d think Danpyrs’ native terms for their sexes would be derived from, or clearly co-derived with (i.e. share a root with), those kinterms.


    We worked some out yes, I'll have to find them again to be 100% sure I have them down.

    BTW would the eggfathers be the type1 males, i.e. the one with whom the female has to mate first? (If, that is, you are still going with the “eggfather/spermfather” split between the two male-like sexes?)


    I think I will keep this, and the gamete from the eggfather would still technically be more "sperm-like", in that it's mobile and still smaller than the true egg, but it would provide some of the nutrients for the gilgamete to help it stay around until the last fertilization.

    I also looked through the thread about the genetics of multiple sexes and realized that the system I had chosen had 2 less common sexes and 1 more common sex and at some point in this thread I'd said the reverse. So I'm clearing that up.

    Posted February 23rd by linguistcat
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    I also looked through the thread about the genetics of multiple sexes and realized that the system I had chosen had 2 less common sexes and 1 more common sex and at some point in this thread I'd said the reverse. So I'm clearing that up.

    If I remember our earlier discussion right, females and spermfathers were each about twice as common as eggfathers.

    —————

    I also had the idea that the “eggfather’s” gamete would be smaller and faster and more numerous and less long-lived than the female’s “actual egg”, but would be larger and slower and less numerous and longer-lived than the “spermfather’s actual sperm”.
    The female’s egg might stay accompanied by one to three polar bodies — the haploid products of meiosis that don’t luck out to become actual ova.
    When there is a yolk in RL, it’s usually the polar bodies that form it.
    In your conrace, they might start as soon as the ovum fuses with the eggfather’s gamete, and the “Gilgamete” so formed implants in the female’s endometrium lining her womb.
    In RL placental mammals, the formation of the placenta is citation needed mostly or entirely under the control of genes contributed by the father.
    Maybe the implanted Gilgamete can go ahead and get started on constructing, or at least laying out, the placenta, before the “real sperm” shows up?
    Anyway, if the Gilgamete has the beginnings of yolk and/or the beginnings of a placenta and/or is implanted in the endometrium, it should be able to survive a wait of a season or half a season or so; or that was my thought.
    Longer than a totally unfertilized ovum, anyway.

    If I recall correctly, in our former discussion, you hadn’t declared definitively that Danpyr females were viviparous.
    But it’s pretty clear you think so now. —— am I wrong?

    Do they have yolk?
    Do they have placentas?
    Do they do anything similar to lactating and nursing? If so which sexes? (Any one, or any two, or all three, are possible.)
    How about a marsupium —— do they have one? If so which sexes? (Any one, or any two, or all three, are possible. But if it’s more than one you might need to work out the logistics of moving an offspring from one parent’s pouch to another!)

    —————

    If they are oviparous, more than one sex of parent could brood and sit on the eggs.
    And any brooding parent might lactate even before the eggs hatch.
    if i recall correctly both sexes of RL platypus brood, and both start “sweating” colostrum onto the eggs before they hatch. (And both lactate milk for the hatchlings. But they don’t have nipples or breasts, so the little ones don’t suckle; they lick the milk off their parents’ chest and/or belly fur.)

    —————

    If you’re going to have 1 common and 2 rare sexes, how are you going to make that happen?
    We had a way to have 2 common and 1 rare sexes, explainable at the chromosomal level.
    Are you sure that’s not what you want?

    If you have 1 common and 2 rare sexes, maybe the younglings’ sexes are determined by something other than their chromosomes.
    It could be incubation temperature during some critical phase of incubation.
    But could that work if they weren’t oviparous?
    Or maybe, if they were marsupial, the young ones’ sexes could be determined (in whole or in part) by some environmental factor (e.g. temperature) during some critical part of their gestation(?) in the marsupium.

    —————

    Looking forward to a reply!
    I think this is interesting stuff!
    @linguistcat:


    Edited February 23rd by chiarizio
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    One of the simpler sex systems with triploid creatures, three parents per individual and two sex chromosomes was the one with AAA, AAB, and ABB individuals. In any given mating, 2/9 would be AAA, 2/9 would be ABB, and 5/9 would be AAB. So 1 common, 2 less common.

    This brings me to 2 options:

    AAA individuals could be female, and AAB could be one of the male sexes, and with a surplus of them naturally occurring, those could be the individuals who biologically compete the most and maybe have been seen as the obvious choice for warriors in times past.

    AAB individuals could be female. They would not be seen as "surplus" except in times that the population is already at or near carrying capacity for their environment. They might have to share husbands, or females might only look for mates if their older sisters had already formed triads depending if there was a need for the population to expand or stay about the same.

    Posted February 24th by linguistcat
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    @linguistcat:

    One of the simpler sex systems with triploid creatures, three parents per individual and two sex chromosomes was the one with AAA, AAB, and ABB individuals. In any given mating, 2/9 would be AAA, 2/9 would be ABB, and 5/9 would be AAB. So 1 common, 2 less common.


    Oh!
    I was thinking of the diploid system with two sex-determining loci, each with two alleles,
    in which the mother and the spermfather contributed nuclear DNA, and the mother and the eggfather contributed cytoplasmic DNA.
    AaBb Mothers
    Aabb Spermfathers
    aaBb Eggfathers


    1/8 AB + ab —> AaBb Mother
    1/8 aB + Ab —> AaBb Mother

    1/8 Ab + ab —> Aabb Spermfather
    1/8 ab + Ab —> Aabb Spermfather

    1/8 aB + ab —> aaBb Eggfather

    1/8 AB + Ab —> AABb Nonviable
    1/8 Ab + Ab —> AAbb Nonviable
    1/8 ab + ab —> aabb Nonviable

    So 2/8 Mothers, 2/8 Spermfathers, and 1/8 Eggfathers. (And 3/8 nonviable.)



    —————

    But you’ve chosen the AAA / AAB / ABB triploid scheme?

    So you’re still wondering which sex to make the AABs, who’ll be conceived 2.5 times as often as either other sex.

    Which sex will be out of the game the longest once they’ve successfully reproduced? The females, right?
    That might be a logical reason to make the ones who get pregnant and gestate, be the more numerous sex.

    If half of each male-like sex are in two marriages, and the other half of each male-like sex are in three marriages,
    while every female is in just one marriage; then every female can be pregnant every year.

    —————

    I hope that’s comprehensible.




    Posted February 24th by chiarizio
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    Did you guys do roleplaying on your old forum?

    Posted February 24th by I killed Mufasa
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    I killed Mufasa
    long live the king

    Did you guys do roleplaying on your old forum?

    Yes, but maybe only one thread.
    We had a “tavern” in which everybody could post as whichever (and however many) of their characters they wished.
    They’d mostly converse, but of course there’d be minor “business” like ordering drinks and drinking them, getting stuff out of purses and bags and luggage, and so on.
    (Edit: there was also some pointing things at each other, and some fear that those things were weapons.)
    That was one of my favorite threads. I was “Spacecabdriver”.

    We did do a lot of discussing of RPGs.

    We also had many story threads, where one of us would tell a story in their setting with their charactter(s).
    Those were also among my favorites.

    Linguistcat (as bloodb4roses) and elemtilas each had more than one storyline, and kept up the storytelling longest.
    Others did as well, but dropped off the group before the merger.

    Edited February 25th by chiarizio
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    @linguistcat:
    If the males were AAA and ABB, and the females were AAB,
    the adults could group into groups of four or five adults;
    one AAA male,
    one ABB male,
    and two or three AAB females.


    Posted February 25th by chiarizio
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    @I_Killed_Mufasa:
    This https://cbb.aveneca.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=4599&p=187292&hilit=Spacecabdriver&sid=a0a9ab49b77fe5bfe4195d868894a2ab#p187292
    was the thread I was talking about: “The Multiverse Inn”.
    It’s not a CWBB thread after all!

    (Hope I spelled your name right!)

    [@]I Killed Mufasa:[/@]
    [@]I_killed_Mufasa:[/@]
    [@]I killed Mufasa:[/@]


    Edited February 26th by chiarizio
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    @linguistcat:
    If the AABs have to compete, sexual selection would make them better at winning than at surviving, especially if they weren’t the mothers.
    Will they use a harem-keeping strategy like gorillas and elephant seals? (Do I mean tiger seals?)
    Or will they use a washout strategy like right (?) whales and chimpanzees?

    If they use a washout strategy, they’ll have huge testes and prostates and Cowper’s glands — or the equivalent.
    They won’t spend much time on foreplay.
    They’ll quickly start to ejaculate, but ejaculate for a long time and in volume. Probably high pressure, too.
    (If they’re the type 2s, they’ll evolve a way to wash out other type 2 gametes, without risking washing out the gilgamete.)

    If they use a harem-keeping strategy, they’ll be selected to physically dominate and intimidate not only their own sex, but both other sexes as well.
    They’ll be selected to know, very well, at all times, who is where, to keep their mates (or at least their females) away from other AABs.

    Either way, the type 2 males —— the ones the females mate with last —— will probably evolve spines, or at least horny patches, on their penes, to irritate the female’s intromissive canal during mating, so that ve won’t want to mate again for quite a while.
    I’m sure that’ll be especially true if the AABs are the type 2s.

    The type 1 males, OTOH, will be selected to mate in such a way that the female is left well-able to mate again fairly soon.

    —————

    The AABs will outnumber the sum total of both other sexes by 125 percent.
    So if they develop democracy and everyone gets to vote, the AABs, if they vote as a bloc, will always carry the question —— unless a supermajority of more than 55.5556 percent is required. I expect that if the other two sexes achieve suffrage, lots of questions will require a three-fifths (or two-thirds or three-fourths) supermajority.
    OTOH if the AABs also physically dominate both of the other sexes, especially if they use a harem-keeping strategy to win competition for female mates, they will never like the idea that any other sex can vote. In fact they might think that unmated AABs should also not be allowed to vote.

    —————

    I figure that everyone, regardless of sex, would like at least four offspring; and ideally, everyone would like at least two offspring of each sex (which, I know, adds up to more than four!).
    But suppose someone has no AAA child, and/or no ABB child; but keeps having AAB children. I think they’d probably infanticide the third and subsequent AAB children, rather than give up on trying to produce a first child of whichever sex they don’t have a child of.

    Or maybe it’ll be solved by just making life in general more dangerous for AABs than for either other sex.
    Kind of like a sexual dimorphism (or trimorphism?) of mortality.

    —————

    Possibly that won’t be true if the AABs are physically dominant; because maybe (or maybe not) that might lead to an inheritance system wherein the oldest surviving AAB offspring inherits everything.

    Or not. I don’t really know; I don’t have a RL culture to refer to.

    Anyway, those are my latest thoughts.

    I hope you have fun with them!

    Edited February 26th by chiarizio
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    No worries, most people just abbreviate it to IKM. :P

    Posted February 26th by I killed Mufasa
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    I killed Mufasa
    long live the king

    No worries, most people just abbreviate it to IKM. :P

    Thanks! That works? That’s what I’ll do from now on!

    Posted February 26th by chiarizio
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    @linguistcat:
    Previous few posts apply if Danpyr have the appropriate organs etc.

    They probably do have internal fertilization; they live “on dry land”, right? And breathe air, not water?
    And don’t, like amphibians do, return to the water to breed?

    Most such animals IRL (except for many microscopic ones) do have internal fertilization, and so do have intromission, and their males do have penes.

    Of course some purely aquatic and purely marine animals have penes, and so do some microscopic ones; and most birds don’t; so it’s a statistical correlation, not an absolute inference.


    Posted February 26th by chiarizio
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    @chiarizio These are all good points. I think, while counter intuitive to humans, I might make the females the AAB parents. "Eggfathers" would be AAA and "spermfathers" ABB. And I have an idea of how this would affect their evolution and early society.

    So, with this set up, females are by numbers alone the dominant sex. There would be competition for mates to some degree, but it would primarily be between matrilines (though this could vary by culture too). Early Danpyr would probably realize that any given family is likely to have a surplus of female children, and that it's easy to tell who someone's mother is but not who their fathers are. So, even when relatively settled, being "matriarchal/matrilineal" is easier than either of the other options.

    While I didn't say it on this forum, I had mentioned in one of the older threads that my reason for Danpyr and many species on their planet having three parents and being triploid is an ongoing evolutionary need for more genetic variation in each individual. So, it would be assumed that in ideal situations from this standpoint, any individuals' three parents are as unrelated as possible. On the other hand, genes are still "selfish". So female siblings from the same mother who share spouses of the other two sexes with each other would have the most related offspring, and it might be worth it for some Danpyr females to care for their sisters' offspring. With longish lifespans and child bearing years, younger sisters might not try to have children until their older sisters have had some number, whether with the shared spouses or taking their own where allowed.

    I'm not sure how this would affect either type of males.

    Does the above seem reasonable?

    Posted February 27th by linguistcat
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    Yes.
    Actually, until they reach the point where increasing population is a danger, I think it makes sense for the sex who has to put the most time and bioenergy and bio-resources into the early life of the offspring, to be the most numerous sex.
    If the AABs are the mothers, or they have much less cause to compete for mates, though they still have cause to recruit help from the children’s other parents.
    And the males still have reason to adopt a washout strategy or a harem-keeping strategy, and the type 2 males still have reason to evolve keratinous plaques on their penes, but much, much less.
    Males who compete will still evolve to try to dominate their own sex, but it won’t be as fierce.
    Males who use a harem-keeping strategy will still evolve to dominate the females, but again, much less pressure.

    At any rate, that’s my guess.

    —————

    Wouldn’t the unmated older (maybe adult) siblings of the offspring also want to help raise their parents’ young, especially when territory is in short supply?
    As would the unmated younger siblings of the parents.

    My guess.

    —————

    How would all this affect politics? Would it have any effect at all?


    Edited February 27th by chiarizio
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    Well, if we assume that female siblings* or possibly sibling-cousins** share husbands of both male types, then it would behoove them to share in child-rearing duties. So I could imagine that even danpyr-ancestor-species had female sibling groups that stayed together to get food and raise their children communally. This might even have been how society for danpyr got its start.

    -----
    Females are the most choosy, but most cooperative with their own sex, especially if those others are related. Each female wants both ver mates to be healthy and if possible, help to care for the offspring. Female cooperativeness and choosiness, along with type 1 male choosiness explored in the next part would nudge things away from brute force matings.

    Males of type 1 have an interesting balancing act: They don't want a female carrying their gilgamete to go without a type 2 mate for so long that the gilgamete becomes nonviable. But ne also doesn't want a type 2 mate who does not have good genes or is unhealthy and might pass those poor genes onto the shared offspring. Also, they wouldn't want a type 2 mate that might hurt or kill their female mates. They are moderately choosy, but also somewhat competitive. Lets assume they need to woo the females as the main way to get access to mating, so they could display in some manner to both warn off other type 1s and also gain the favor of the females around. They also would have incentive to protect their mates from or assist fighting off type 2 males that try to mate by force.

    Type 2 males likely wouldn't want to waste mating with females that are unlikely to have a gilgamete if possible, though with the least effort going into mating and possibly childcare, that might not factor in much. They also would want to mate with any females that do have a gilgamete, if at all possible. This might make them the most competitive among their own sex, and the least choosy.

    This isn't to say that violence or force would not be used in matings at all, but between females outnumbering males naturally, and one of the male sexes being more invested in the safety and health of their female mates, I think most violence would be between members of the same sexes.

    And again, if any of you notice any flaws in this thinking or alternate ways it would work, that's fine. I just think this is the most likely given we already know they develop sentience. Humans for all our violence toward each other are in many ways more gentle on average than some of our wild cousins, and there seem to be certain factors including our mate selection strategy that goes into this.

    *at least of the same mother
    **children born to one's mother's sisters* and their shared husbands and in effect 2/3 siblings on top of being cousins of a sort

    Edited March 5th by linguistcat
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    I'm going to assume no one has points to add or obvious issues with this to point out, and continue with some more thoughts.

    So I'm going to assume that proto-danpyr and early danpyr tended to live in family groups: A group of females, often siblings, and their children, either traveling or living in/near the territory of a type 1 male, or overlapping with a few male territories. Type one males could show they were healthy by displaying and tried not to directly confront each other. Type 2 males are completely nomadic at this point, though some might stay around longer if things are favorable and the females/type 1 male are amenable to it. They would be willing to compete physically and being able to survive alone traveling often showed physical strength and/or mental flexibility.

    As language developed and society became a bit more complex, males of both types might work together to woo groups of females, mothers would set up mates for their daughters from other groups for allegiances. In many places, things changed from type 1s holding a territory and winning over semi-nomadic female groups to females holding a territory and type 1s going to live with this group when they were married. Type 2s would also marry but might have some time to travel, "prove themselves" and then settle into a group marriage either chosen by their mothers and aunts or by being accepted by a group of females with no type 2 mate.

    Being more numerous, females had more societal power, but younger daughters often had far less than their older sisters, especially if a family had no male children, or there were more than 3 daughters for one each of the males. An ideal marriage would be 2-4 sisters and one of each type of male who are not closely related to each other. An ideal number of children would have 2-3 daughters for at least one of each male type, so a family with even more daughters might see the youngest ones as superfluous, especially after the 4th. They might still get married with their older sisters but not be expected to actually mate/have children until their older sisters had. Alternately, they might - along with type 2 males - spend time as hunters or in later times soldiers. This would be especially true in places where population should stay relatively stable.

    Posted March 5th by linguistcat
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    @linguistcat:
    About terminology.

    How about calling the type1 males, who can become eggfathers, egg-males or e-males or emales?
    And calling the type2 males, who can become spermfathers, s-males or smales?


    Posted March 17th by chiarizio
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    I like that all three would be derived terms in this scheme, and I can use these as the English equivalents to their own words for the three.

    Posted March 17th by linguistcat
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    @linguisticat: I can’t overemphasize how much I like your first-week-of-March posts!

    Posted March 26th by chiarizio
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