No, no, no, orcs like partners with experience.
Okay, I’m usually not very hypersensitive about broad statements about “male” and “female” not including trans* exemptions. In my personal dictionary, these two words indicate biological sex; things like “guys” and “girls” mean gender identity. So not all guys are male, and not all girls are female.
But today’s Sinfest strip drove me absolutely bonkers.
Words mean things: Diurnal vs. Nocturnal vs. Crepuscular
This is basically “when you’re awake,” and it’s primarily an animal thing. Like, there are nocturnally-blooming flowers, but your average photosynthesizing plant is not going to be too active during the sun’s off-hours.
Nocturnal, I have to assume we’re all pretty familiar with. We love our horror movies and our all-night creepy-crawlies and our cranky hamsters* who don’t realize that you’re like their perpetually-drunk friend who doesn’t understand why it’s not okay to call in the middle of the night when most sane people are sleeping.
Above: It’s the middle of the day, human. Go the fuck to sleep.
Calling an animal diurnal means they’re active during the day and sleep at night, which is a pretty familiar pattern for people. That’s how most of us roll, and that’s how most of our companion animals roll, either naturally or because that’s when we feed them. That’s also how most animals we really notice roll, because it’s hard to notice things when you’re asleep.
Crepuscular is the oddball that pretty much no one uses because you basically sound like you’re going “Oh helloooooooo, Lord and Lady Fancypants of the Fancypantsingtons” when you say things like “Actually, hamsters are crepuscular.”** It’s based on the Latin world for twilight (crepusculum), which is probably not going to help you remember it at all since there are like zero other words derived from it. But, all that aside, it means that an animal is active primarily at dawn and dusk.
There are extra descriptors for animals that are most prominently active during mornings and animals that are most prominently active during evenings, but the odds of you still caring at this point aren’t great because snnZZZZzzzzzzzzz***.
The thing about these terms is that they’re used to describe behavior more than they’re used to describe some unalterable animal state. So you can have animals hanging out in an untouched rainforest who are pretty solidly diurnal, but the populations that are running around disturbed habitat or human-ridden environments are equally solidly nocturnal. Or you can have animals that are preferentially crepuscular in the wild, but specimens kept as pets or in a lab environment will shift to account for the surrounding humans’ behavior or their feeding schedule.
Like most biological variables, this is usually the result of an arms race between things trying to eat other things and things trying not to get eaten. Animals will shift away from being active during full daylight to try to avoid predators that hunt by vision, or because fewer of their predators are active at night, or because their camouflage sucks and that’s less of a problem in lower light levels, and then their predators will start shifting away from being active during full daylight because there’s more prey available during other hours, and they have to be less cryptic themselves when hiding from them. Sometimes it’s a trade-off where it’s easier to get spotted by predators, but it’s way easier for them to find food, or they don’t have to compete with another animal for that food, so it’s worth the slightly added predation risk.
Basically, there are a lot of ways for this to play out, and everybody’s looking for that sweet spot where they get to eat all the things, but nothing’s looking to eat them, and nobody’s ever gonna fucking find it.
*Not actually nocturnal, but frequently misidentified as such.
**Probably not the real reason most people say they’re nocturnal.
***Matinal and vespertine, and practicing Catholics have a leg up on remembering which is which.
As a matter of fact, if you want to be very fancy, there’s also cathemerality, which means that an animal is sporadically awake or asleep during various times of the day and night. It’s mostly described in lemurs, but I’m pretty sure it’s the schedule a lot of cats follow as well.
Activity times can also be driven by temperature. If it’s really fuck-all hot during the day, you might just want to lay low and not do anything, and if you can sleep then, so much the better (in human terms, take a siesta). Or, conversely, if you’re a Marine Iguana, you’ll do your best foraging when it’s hot out and you can recover from the chilly water on some nice, sun-baked lava rocks. Obviously, animals exhibit anatomical adaptations to temperature, but behavorial ones shouldn’t be overlooked.
[This made me smile, and its not every day you see Skyrim animations]
[especially that of Khajiit]
it makes me happy to see anything Skyrim related where the Dovakhiin isn’t the one on the cover of the game
omg I WANT MORE!
Yet more evidence that I really, really need to find a way to play Skyrim, because I heartily enjoy so much Skyrim-themed stuff.
before i forget to do a post about this, here’s an information dump sort of thing about what distinguishes a seaworthy giant alien robot from the other, different giant alien robots.
Aww yeah, sexy worldbuilding!
Now I’m imagining one of them getting pinned down and having to lay low somewhere for a month (as sometimes happens), and just coming back with various ports choked up with zebra mussels. AAAAAAAA.
How about just “Red Evening”? Albeit, that sounds like something Natasha Romanov would put together. There’s also the rather lovely if archaic word “vesper”.
Glad to be of service! :D
slowly working my way through posting all the robot-related art i have on backlog…
another wide waters antagonist! meet red morning, the second in command of the aquatic decepticons. her name comes from the rhyme “red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” red morning’s vehicle mode is a tanker, she’s enormous compared to the rest of her team and her movements are unwieldy, though the heavy punch her artillery packs is worth the loss of agility. don’t make the mistake that she’s all brawn and no brains, she knows the importance of tactics and hurricane eye trusts her to get the job done when he can’t do it himself.
i wanted to subvert a few things with red morning, like the tendency for feminine transformers to be small and slim, and the tradition for decepticon lieutenants to be sneaky schemers (starscream in every continuity he appears, terrorsaur in beast wars, y’know). there’s a character like that already in the deshipticon ranks, but he’s not in such a position of power over the others. more on that guy later.
red morning wasn’t always a decepticon, at one point she was a formidable autobot front-liner until she was captured by the enemy and given the ultimatum to switch factions or be killed. afraid to die helpless and alone, she accepted the offer to become a decepticon, and over the years she’s grown to accept their ideology. the ends, a restored cybertron with personal autonomy for all, justify the ruthless means that she has to take. besides, now the autobots fire on her with the same prejudice they treat the rest of the ‘cons, she feels more than slightly embittered about it.
Aww yeah, sounds like a fine lady. I also have quite a fondness for characters who are brawn+brains, perhaps -speed/agility (in her case).
When she was with the Autobots, was her name Red Night (from the other half of the rhyme)?
firstname.lastname@example.org :) I will return to sender with commentary?