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Feathered Ears/ Bird Ears


Dingorok
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I think it would be cool if there were an ear gene to make bird-like creatures feel even more bird-like. These are some of my ideas of what a bird ear could look like. Please let me know which design(s) you like the best if any, and feel free to chime in with more ideas if you have any. Ultimately if there were a bird ear gene implemented, I would likely only want 1-2 (if they offer a lot of variety, then 2; otherwise, just 1 would be nice) to be chosen as "the bird/feathered ear allele(s)", so to speak. These are just some possibilities I came up with on the fly. 😉

Gene modifiers by each design (some of them have either/ors because I can't decide which is better; that's where your input comes in):

a. No visible ear, covered by fur. Your classic, simple bird design. +3 hearing (normal hearing).

b. Feathered ear (kind of like dodomingo). +3 hearing (normal hearing), +1 cold resistance (due to the extra feathering), -1 heat resistance (due to the extra feathering).

c. Phoenix-like layered feather ear. Is much longer and fancier than the feathered ear. Either +3 hearing (normal hearing) or +2 hearing (less than normal hearing because of the thick feathering around the ear), +2 cold resistance, -2 heat resistance (more temperature differences than feathered ear just because of the length), -1 or -2 camouflage (because they're so noticeable). 

d. Tufted ear, a little like a great-horned owl's tufts called "plumicorns", which are not actually part of their ears, but I based this design off of them visually. This design also comes with the bird-of-prey "brow". +4 hearing (since it's based on a bird of prey, which is known for great hearing), +1 or +2 cold resistance (due to the extra feathering), -1 heat resistance (due to the extra feathering), -1 camouflage (because they stick up so much)  +1 camouflage in trees (changed because scientists currently hypothesize that owls with tufts benefit from their branch-like appearance), +1 speed (the thin, angled back design aids streamlining, which is important in fast movement). 

e. Ear hole visible. Certain bird species have more clearly seen ear holes than others, such as ostriches, which have less feathering on their heads than many other bird species. Even though this design is based on ostriches, this doesn't mean that the nicheling's head overall would appear to have less fur. It just means that the ear hole can be seen as opposed to letter a's covered ear hole. +4 hearing (ostriches have good hearing, and the bare ear hole likely helps), + 1 heat resistance (because less feathering), -1 cold resistance (because less feathering). 

 image.png.0a2e7beb1df25597f20d8dc9a9d0f54a.png

 

Thanks for considering this idea!

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3 hours ago, Pokestardragacraft said:

I like A, B, and D. Although for D, I would get rid of the heat resistance, camouflage, and speed stats to make more like a foil to the big ears.

Hmm, a foil is an opposite. Big ear is currently +4 hearing, +2 heat, -1 cold. Why would getting rid of heat resistance make d a foil? To make d a perfect foil, it would have to be +4 hearing, +2 cold (instead of the proposed +1), -1 heat. 

Regarding camouflage, I just read something that made me think I should change d from -1 camouflage to +1 camouflage: http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2008/07/14/owl-ear-tuft-mystery/

"Finally, there’s the camouflage hypothesis. Because some owl species erect their ear tufts when alarmed by approaching danger (while at the same time adopting a vertically elongate body shape different from their more rotund resting pose), it’s been suggested that ear tufts help break up the owl’s outline and make it appear more like a broken branch. Perrone (1981) noted that the camouflage hypothesis would only apply if ear tufts were present in those owls that roost during the day: diurnal owls roost at night and, in theory, shouldn’t require visual tricks to conceal themselves from predators. Tufted owls should also roost in places where the tufts might aid in concealment; presumably, in locations where the ear tufts might help break up the owl’s shape (like in trees, and not in cavities or on the ground). In other words, the hypothesis predicts that ear tufts should be restricted to tree-roosting nocturnal owls. And this does (mostly) appear to be the case: tufted owls are all forest-dwelling and nocturnal (though note that not all populations of all tufted species are forest-dwelling)."

So maybe it could be +1 camouflage under the condition that the creature is in a tree. A pretty limited use of camouflage, though, since only flying creatures could benefit. 🤣 

2 hours ago, Dazenith said:

I kind of like B the most.
Stats though I'm torn since I like the proposed Fluffy Ears with similar stats.

Which one is fluffy ears? Letter c?

Thanks everyone for the input so far!

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17 minutes ago, Dingorok said:

Hmm, a foil is an opposite. Big ear is currently +4 hearing, +2 heat, -1 cold. Why would getting rid of heat resistance make d a foil? To make d a perfect foil, it would have to be +4 hearing, +2 cold (instead of the proposed +1), -1 heat. 

Yea, I know what foil means and that must be a more recent change in stats. I’m so used to the +4 hearing and +1 heat resistance for the big ears. Due the the changes I was unaware of, I think that making D a perfect foil is still a good idea. I also like the idea of +1 camouflage in the trees. 

Also what I believe @Dazenith is talking about is this post:

https://strayfawnstudio.com/community/index.php?/topic/641-fluffy-ears/

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10 minutes ago, Pokestardragacraft said:

Yea, I know what foil means and that must be a more recent change in stats. I’m so used to the +4 hearing and +1 heat resistance for the big ears. Due the the changes I was unaware of, I think that making D a perfect foil is still a good idea. I also like the idea of +1 camouflage in the trees. 

Also what I believe @Dazenith is talking about is this post:

https://strayfawnstudio.com/community/index.php?/topic/641-fluffy-ears/

 

Okay, good to know. +2 cold instead of +1 cold for b could work, too, but I guess Dazenith's problem with b's stats is that they're too similar rather than differentiated. Unfortunately, both ears look like they could serve similar functions, although they look vastly different. I do think a bird ear is more pertinent to include in the future, though, since we already have bird beaks and wings. 

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