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Old May 18 2015, 11:51 PM   #1
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Default Tubberman's Big Cats

Cheetahs, or lions? Or both? In the US version of Dragonsdawn, they say cheetahs, but in Dragonseye/Red Star Rising (no idea which version) they say lions. Cheetahs would make more since if Ted had control over them for awhile, since cheetahs can be tamed as hunting animals, but they don't live in prides like lions, and the big cats seen clearly hunt in groups. As to their coat patterns, I've heard spots, and tawny, but that can easily change over time and generations. Or did he experiment with both types of cat?
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Old May 19 2015, 05:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I can't remember exactly where now, but isn't there a passing mention in Dragonsdawn or Red Star Rising that Tubberman genetically modified the cats in the physical sense? I know he messed around with Metasynth and Kitti's Eridani Technique

Something about taking genes from several types of big cat and creating a hybrid, which he then applied Metasynth/Eridani stuff to.

It does say in Dragonsdawn they had spots, and someone assumes cheetah. And RSR they speculate lions.
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Old May 19 2015, 05:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I suspect he was trying to tweak their genetic coding, a la Kitty Ping, so heaven knows what he landed up with: could have been totally unique.
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Old May 19 2015, 09:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

So for all we know he could have ended up with something that was a mix of both?
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Old May 19 2015, 09:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

On that note, how did big cats manage to get all the way over to the Western Continent during Second Interval/Third Pass?
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Old May 19 2015, 01:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I put forward a theory about the Western Continent cats a few months ago.

Short version:
There were people still living on Ierne Island (Southern Continent) for 18 years after the move to Fort. Some of them may have got hold of a few litters of wild Tubberman cats and bred them for their fur, then set off by sea towards Fort or South Boll with their breeding stock when the rest of the colony moved north. They got swept off-course by a storm and stranded on the Western Continent. Any human survivors got eaten by the hungry cats (or consumed by Thread), leaving no traces behind.

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Old May 19 2015, 01:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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Cheetahs, or lions? Or both? In the US version of Dragonsdawn, they say cheetahs, but in Dragonseye/Red Star Rising (no idea which version) they say lions. Cheetahs would make more since if Ted had control over them for awhile, since cheetahs can be tamed as hunting animals, but they don't live in prides like lions, and the big cats seen clearly hunt in groups. As to their coat patterns, I've heard spots, and tawny, but that can easily change over time and generations. Or did he experiment with both types of cat?
He may have tried the lions first, found them not amenable to Mentasynth control, and abandoned his test subjects somewhere far from any settlements. There's a reference in RSR to 'those sport animals that were let loose'.

BTW K'vin (in RSR) had a tiger-skin that Zulaya coveted.

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Old May 19 2015, 01:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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I put forward a theory about the Western Continent cats a few months ago.

Short version:
There were people still living on Ierne Island (Southern Continent) for 18 years after the move to Fort. Some of them may have got hold of a few litters of wild Tubberman cats and bred them for their fur, then set off by sea towards Fort or South Boll with their breeding stock when the rest of the colony moved north. They got swept off-course by a storm and stranded on the Western Continent. Any human survivors got eaten by the hungry cats (or consumed by Thread), leaving no traces behind.

Eriflor.
That sounds very likely, since, if I remember right in DD or CoP:FF they did mention that people were staying behind on Ierne Island.
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Old May 19 2015, 01:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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He may have tried the lions first, found them not amenable to Mentasynth control, and abandoned his test subjects somewhere far from any settlements. There's a reference in RSR to 'those sport animals that were let loose'.

BTW K'vin (in RSR) had a tiger-skin that Zulaya coveted.

Eriflor.
O_O a TIGER skin?! I haven't read RSR yet, only bits from google previews. I guess Tubberman really did go nuts. Cheetahs are understandable since you can train those. Lions and tigers though? I mean sure, you CAN train them, but doesn't mean it's a good idea if you don't know what you're doing!
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Old May 19 2015, 03:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

Actually... could you please quote how the book says the cats looked? Given that coat colors can change, we can probably tell what kind of cat they are from body shape better.
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Old May 19 2015, 06:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I'm surprised the original settlers took big cats with them (in embryo, but they must have had live ones in order to reproduce them). They weren't running a Noah's Arc, they wanted useful critters surely? There's mention of a wild cat hunt in Skies too
CuriousFlit - you must read RSR! How could you resist!!!!! It helps keep things tied together.
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Old May 19 2015, 07:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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I'm surprised the original settlers took big cats with them (in embryo, but they must have had live ones in order to reproduce them). They weren't running a Noah's Arc, they wanted useful critters surely? There's mention of a wild cat hunt in Skies too
CuriousFlit - you must read RSR! How could you resist!!!!! It helps keep things tied together.
They may not have been running Noah's Ark, but than again, they didn't know what all they would need, so it would make sense for them to bring the whole zoo. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it, as the saying goes. According to DLG, they revived other sport animals too besides the farmstock. Doves, pigeons, and deer to name a few, but those quickly died off and/or got eaten by Pern's native life.

Good thing they didn't bring rabbits. O_o That would've been a nightmare.

Quote of a quote from this other Pern fan site: http://annemccaffreyfans.org/forum/s...ead.php?t=4339

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Vermin were not included in the colonists' manifest - save for a few laboratory mice. Of course, some of them could have escaped in the manner of such creatures...but I've had no occasion to mention them since tunnel snakes, a genus with an immense number of examples, do the same work as scavengers.

"No rabbits, considering the damage such could do without predators as the Australians discovered. And no Terran birds since the E&E folk noticed avians and did not care to jeopardize the life form with unnecessary competition. Most Pernese avian life forms did not make it past the first few Passes of Thread, not being sensible enough to find refuge or develop a defense as did the fire-lizards and wherries.

"Have a good new Year. Ciao"
Oddly enough, Todd had this to say about Terran birds after getting a fan letter with that question http://pernhome.com/tjm/?p=963:

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(Apr 20, 2008) Question from Paul

Dear Mr. McCaffrey,
I have been reading the Dragonrider’s series for the better part of the last 20 years. When I found out you would be taking over for your mother I was extremely pleased because Pern would be continuing, but also because someone would be taking over who has an emotional reason why they would keep with your mother’s original vision. Anyhows, I have a question for you about Dragon’s Fire.

In it, Tenim has a bird of prey called Grief. I am just curious how this is possible, as I remember your mother stating that Terran birds didn’t take root on Pern because of competition from local wildlife and (I think) something about nutrition. I could be wrong, but I was just curious.

Sincerely,
Paul

Dear Paul,

Not all birds failed to take root. Chickens are present, for example. Doves and pigeons failed to make the cut. But some predator birds, like Tenim’s Grief, did survive and compete with wherries and other indigenous Pern winged beasts.

Cheers,
Todd
So I guess Anne changed her mind about the birds during the making of DLG.

And yes, I'm well aware of the feelings towards Todd's books, but considering Anne read DragonsBlood three times on three separate occasions before publishing and doubtless you guys know better than I how protective she was of letting others write about Pern, (Todd has said that he never did anything new without running it by her first) personally, I'd like to believe that between the two of them they knew what they were doing with those books. (interesting tidbit: it seems that "blooding" whers was Anne's idea and Todd originally thought it was too weird to put in until they got further along in plotting the stories and she showed him why it was important).
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Old May 19 2015, 07:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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CuriousFlit - you must read RSR! How could you resist!!!!! It helps keep things tied together.
Because I can't find it in our home library. And I can't drive, nor can I find it on ebook in the local library yet. I'll get to reading it one of these days. I just need to get around to asking someone to pick it up for me from the library.

Speaking of Pernese birds... Do you think they have six limbs too? Maybe a pair of feet and two pairs of wings?
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Old May 20 2015, 07:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

Taking DNA coding wouldn't take up much room.
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Old May 21 2015, 04:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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Because I can't find it in our home library. And I can't drive, nor can I find it on eBook in the local library yet. I'll get to reading it one of these days. I just need to get around to asking someone to pick it up for me from the library. Try Dragonseye that is the United State Title. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/177927.Dragonseye

Speaking of Pernese birds... Do you think they have six limbs too? Maybe a pair of feet and two pairs of wings?
'Snort' They have two feet, two arm and pair of wings. On the other hand there is https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21753300-draconia Bird with two sets wings one white and one
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Old May 21 2015, 07:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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'Snort' They have two feet, two arm and pair of wings. On the other hand there is https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21753300-draconia Bird with two sets wings one white and one
colored
Well, it seems like all the flying bugs on Pern have two pairs of wings (according to DLG anyway), so would it really be that much of a stretch for Pernese birds to have two pairs of wings?

But now that you mention it... They probably would take after wherries and only have one pair of wings, a pair of arms, and a pair of feet, huh?

Thanks for the link. I've never heard of that series before. Will check it out.
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Old May 21 2015, 11:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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So I guess Anne changed her mind about the birds during the making of DLG.
More like Anne just forgot when answering the question that in the very first thing she ever wrote about Pern there are references to cocks crowing and chickens. (Weyr Search/the part of "Dragonflight" that was originally WS.) Given they're cheap, easy protein and multi-use animals, makes a lot more sense than bringing the big cats. There's really no justification for bringing embryos of species that would be as destructive if not more so than rabbits which don't make good eating and aren't needed for population control.
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Old May 24 2015, 12:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I just reread Dragon's Dawn I wish I had it with me but I am at work being sneaky. When Bay and Pol asked Sorka and Sean to go rescue Mary Tubberman and her young kids the firelizards went to investigate the surrounding vegetation. The humans heard a growl or a yowl and When the lizards reported back they reported that they saw something big but silent lurking back there. Also Petey Tubberman told Pol that his father was working with cats that had spots. I figure that Tubberman created cheetahs and Lions. Lions are much bigger than Cheetahs and if they are scared some cats tend to hide and be quiet. I am not sure how Lions react to unknowns but that could explain how there are Cheetahs in Dragon's dawn and Lions in Dragon's Eye and Sky's of Pern.
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Old May 25 2015, 02:04 PM   #19
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I just reread Dragon's Dawn I wish I had it with me but I am at work being sneaky. When Bay and Pol asked Sorka and Sean to go rescue Mary Tubberman and her young kids the firelizards went to investigate the surrounding vegetation. The humans heard a growl or a yowl and When the lizards reported back they reported that they saw something big but silent lurking back there. Also Petey Tubberman told Pol that his father was working with cats that had spots. I figure that Tubberman created cheetahs and Lions. Lions are much bigger than Cheetahs and if they are scared some cats tend to hide and be quiet. I am not sure how Lions react to unknowns but that could explain how there are Cheetahs in Dragon's dawn and Lions in Dragon's Eye and Sky's of Pern.
Sounds reasonable enough. I think there were cheetahs in Skies of Pern too. During the part where the dragons were hunting the cats to stop a stamped of herdbeasts, Zaranth mentioned seeing "a tawny spot, one of the fast ones". So the cheetahs' coat patterns have certainly changed over the centuries, though that's to be expected, it happens even today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetah. The second cat she catches has stripes on it's legs, and both are said to be "big brutes". That group was clearly hunting as a pride, but that can be explained by their exposure to Mentasynth, since cheetahs here on Earth aren't normally that social (females aren't anyway).
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Old Aug 7 2015, 05:41 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

The settlers were willing to introduce herd beasts into the south, to have wild herds as a food source and there would need to be predators in order to control the population. The settlers would not want a repeat of the Australian rabbit.
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Old Aug 8 2015, 03:26 PM   #21
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Herdbeasts don't breed like rabbits. And if wild herds got to be a problem, why not just send in a few dragons every so often?
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Old Aug 8 2015, 03:50 PM   #22
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

It doesn't take "breeding like rabbits" to become a problem. Feral pigs have wrecked many an ecosystem where they've been carelessly introduced -- and they're dangerous to humans, too. A herd of wild hogs will kill you as quickly and messily as a pride of big cats would.
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Old Aug 9 2015, 03:19 PM   #23
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

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On that note, how did big cats manage to get all the way over to the Western Continent during Second Interval/Third Pass?
Not unless Tubberman could have sledded them just before he was shunned?
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Old Aug 9 2015, 11:37 PM   #24
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It doesn't take "breeding like rabbits" to become a problem. Feral pigs have wrecked many an ecosystem where they've been carelessly introduced -- and they're dangerous to humans, too. A herd of wild hogs will kill you as quickly and messily as a pride of big cats would.
Pigs have large litters. Herdbeasts generally have only one or two offspring per litter, and only one litter per year (unless the Pernese geneticists changed that too).

However, I think the settlers would keep their valuable breeding stock fenced in, and let the food-animals forage outside the fence till it was time to cull them --- meanwhile keeping a close eye on them. The First Pass dragons hunted for food in the South whenever possible, and would have kept the numbers down.

BTW I've lost track --- are we talking about First Pass or Ninth with these feral pigs? and other livestock? I didn't get the impression there were many Earth animals roaming loose in the South by the Ninth Pass, apart from the big cats and a few lost runner-beasts.
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Old Aug 12 2015, 03:51 PM   #25
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We are talking about the early colonists, correct? There are no dragons yet, so there would need to be introduced predators to control the size of the introduced species.
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Old Aug 12 2015, 08:41 PM   #26
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In the first 10 years they wouldn't have any large herds, except the breeding animals and their young at Landing, which would be closely supervised.

They'd start by distributing dairy-cows to any of the settlers who wanted milk and cheese, and other animals (beef cattle, sheep, chickens, etc) likewise as the barns at Landing started getting crowded, so the animals would be scattered in small numbers across the whole of the Southern Continent. Gradually some of the settlers would specialize in livestock breeding, but I think it would be a long time before there were enough to be a problem. When there were, selective culling would be the method of choice (followed, no doubt, by a barbecue).
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Old Aug 18 2015, 02:15 AM   #27
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In the first 10 years they wouldn't have any large herds, except the breeding animals and their young at Landing, which would be closely supervised.

They'd start by distributing dairy-cows to any of the settlers who wanted milk and cheese, and other animals (beef cattle, sheep, chickens, etc) likewise as the barns at Landing started getting crowded, so the animals would be scattered in small numbers across the whole of the Southern Continent. Gradually some of the settlers would specialize in livestock breeding, but I think it would be a long time before there were enough to be a problem. When there were, selective culling would be the method of choice (followed, no doubt, by a barbecue).
No kidding. Not to mention the colonists have even more means (genetic manipulation to cause some of the food animals to be born sterile, much more sophisticated methods of castrating, creating feed-based dependencies a la Jurassic Park, etc.) There are a myriad of ways you can control population of domestic animals that DON'T involve 'introduce sophisticated large predators alien to the ecosystem that also kill humans'.
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Old Aug 19 2015, 07:03 PM   #28
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

Red did say that he had sent out piglets just before the First Fall.
The Roma stakeholder, had a large herd to be milked, after the unsuspected fall over Macedonia,
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Old Aug 20 2015, 05:14 PM   #29
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There may be a myriad of ways, but the colonists brought the cats and released them to do control populations of other animals which they released into the wild.
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Old Aug 20 2015, 07:45 PM   #30
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The first, unexpected, Fall would have played havoc with the livestock
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Old Aug 25 2015, 09:05 PM   #31
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There may be a myriad of ways, but the colonists brought the cats and released them to do control populations of other animals which they released into the wild.
Where does it say that? Tubberman played God with some spare embryos but there's nothing (in Anne, anyway) that I recall saying they turned loose predators. There was concern about the dragons for the same reason and that was a major factor in Kitti's suicide patch where dragons can't survive without a human partner. It would be catastrophically ecologically irresponsible to turn non-native apex predators loose into an ecosystem.
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Old Aug 26 2015, 04:25 PM   #32
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I don't know if Anne or Todd says anything about the big cats. It is not ecologically sound to introduce animals without also introducing predators. The Australian rabbit is a prime example of this failing.
We do know that the cats are there, and they have prospered. Otherwise, they would not have been around to attack Zaranth. They do not seem to be indigenous, therefore they were introduced.
There has been some speculation on Earth regarding re-introducing mammoths and giant elk into Siberia. Sceptics point out that the sabre-toothed tiger would also be required to complete the ecological balance. The colonists would have been aware of the need for balance, and, prior to Threadfall and dragons, how else to achieve it?
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Old Aug 26 2015, 10:27 PM   #33
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...Prior to Threadfall? You mean, among the people ENTIRELY CAPABLE OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERING A NEW SPECIES? Did you even bother reading any other responses in this thread? There are dozens of options--first, they did NOT "turn loose" animals willy-nilly. They developed cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and dogs (that we know of, and if "Weyr Search" is taken at face value, chickens) which were genetically modified to be able to digest Pernese plant matter and presumably in the dogs, the flesh of animals that lived on Pernese plant matter. They tried a few other species (apparently turkeys and bees, among others, died out after being unable to adapt to Pern.) The cattle, sheep, and goats apparently ran feral, but AFTER Thread forced an evacuation north and not all the animals could be taken along. They were breeding useful domestic livestock, not randomly introducing feral non-native wildlife. As such, controlling breeding would have (without Thread) been incredibly easy--first, they'd be culling individuals (both for food, with the cattle, sheep, and goats, and defective offspring or sick or dangerous animals with all of them), they could very easily engineer a failsafe (as Kitti does in a much more complex fashion with the dragons), they could manually, chemically, or since they're far more advanced in biology than our era, genetically, control the number of fertile offspring in the modified animals. There's absolutely no reason to introduce large predators not under direct human control (as the dragons, a potentially devastating species if they were not incapable of surviving without humans) *any more than there would be to control Ice Age megafauna*, because no one who spent the billions required to do THAT would simply randomly release a breeding population into now-inappropriate habitats. Because far from overpopulating, they'd die. Modern climates and terrain won't support the Ice Age megafauna which is part of why they're now extinct.

And duh, we KNOW they're there long before Skies of Pern came out. Good grief, it's a massive keystone of the plague plot in "Moreta." We know who bred them--Ted Tubberman. It's in the story "Rescue Run". He appears to have been the only one to breed them at all, *after he's banished and left behind on the Southern continent.* The question isn't did the colonists breed and release them (as far as it's ever shown by Anne, they didn't--Tubberman took the embryos to use in a private project), the question is why did they bother bringing them at all? There is no ecologically responsible reason to have them to control livestock populations. They aren't naturally intelligent like the dolphins (who in the 'real' world would also be a bad thing to introduce, but in Pern's world, are so intelligent they can KNOW how to control their breeding and resource consumption.)
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Old Aug 28 2015, 05:35 PM   #34
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

Anareth - I agree with all of that, except one bit - "Rescue Run" is about Stev Kimmer, not Ted Tubberman. Doesn't Tubberman get killed by his cats in Dragonsdawn?

Maybe it's required to bring lots of extra genetic material to any new colony in the era following a devastating war, in case those species were to die out in their current home? They certainly wouldn't take up much space compared to the other supplies.
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Old Aug 28 2015, 05:52 PM   #35
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I just assume they brought everything they could get their hands on, when it came to building their gene banks. They're highly, highly unlikely to ever need big cat DNA, and in fact having it along turned out to cause a lot of trouble thanks to Ted, but it'd be a bugger to be 15 years from home and find out you needed something you didn't bring. The storage space for embryos or gametes is negligible, given the size of the colony ships.

I'd've also brought some human sperm and ova along, too, but then I would've had a lot much higher percentage of the colony be women of childbearing age.
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Old Aug 28 2015, 11:13 PM   #36
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

I'm probably thinking Rescue Run because it's Tubberman's widow and children Kimmer's sort of..taken over. And the cats are mentioned (but still no explanation what he was thinking.)

A "Noah's Ark" might make some sort of sense if they'd been intending to stay in contact, more or less, with the FSP, but in this case they were a bunch of, largely, troubled people (and some outright misfits like the traveling people) who were intending to not have much if any regular contact with the rest of the universe. Though it might fit with the more political goals ("We'll rebuild and make a better world!"), still, bringing completely useless animals seems like not just a waste of resources but an invitation to....well, exactly what happened. But then anyone who set up a colony with their basic philosophy would end up with, well, exactly what happened in general.

And I think bringing some unrelated human embryos might not have been a bad plan, pearldiver. However, having disproportionate numbers of childbearing women would screw up the genetic mix--bottleneck it on the male end. An idea case would have been 50-50 (or very slight edge, like 48-52) adults of childbearing age, no males unwilling to contribute, and women who didn't want to breed with any of the colony's males would be obligated to have at least two of the 'prefab' embryos. Arguments could be made for including children approaching childbearing age themseles, but cases of people who couldn't breed (for whatever reason) would really have to have been extremely outstanding exceptions with skills that can't be replicated (ie Kit Ping Yung, who's literally the only human with her skill set.)
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Old Aug 29 2015, 12:56 AM   #37
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

It was Kenjo's widow and children that Stev Kimmer took over --- and also their nice Threadproof residence, hydro-electric plant, and stakeholds.

Maybe there was a standard package of embryos offered to new colonies destined for any Earth-like planet. You'll notice they didn't take anything that wasn't from Earth, even though there might have been a few alien life-forms that would have fit nicely into Pern's ecosystem.
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Old Sep 7 2015, 07:45 PM   #38
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I have never understood why they would bring big cats in the first place. It makes no sense.
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Old Sep 8 2015, 03:18 PM   #39
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

Or why Tubberman would be experimenting with them when he wanted to find a 'better' way to combat Thread and be a hero. Bay suggested he was just practising [genetic engineering] on the ova he stole, his main project being the Thread-eating grubs. Possibly he took ova he thought the geneticists wouldn't want to use.

He did find a practical use for the cheetahs --- they hunted tunnel-snakes and followed simple commands. The 'something larger nearby' that the dragons heard may not have been a bigger cat --- Mary called them 'beasts', as if they were something unfamiliar even from books about Earth. Some kind of Earth/Pern hybrid, perhaps, that could break through the walls of their enclosure. The damage to the building from which the animals escaped is never explained.
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Old Sep 8 2015, 06:26 PM   #40
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Default Re: Tubberman's Big Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilluin View Post
I have never understood why they would bring big cats in the first place. It makes no sense.
I always thought it was a Noah's Arc kind of thing - for the future of the species.
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