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Wolfram Bane (wolfram_bane@hotmail.com) writes...

Gargoyle Biology

Gargoyle females may only lay an egg every 20 years, and it takes the eggs 10 years to hatch. Eggs generally hath on the spring solstice. A few questions regarding theis process.

1/ Are the female gargoyles reproductive cycles tied specifically to Earth's cycles, or does it just happen to coincide with Earth's cycles upon a specific date for all females. ei - If a female who to be was fertile in 2008 was removed from Earth's standard timeline (ie time travel, journeying to Avalon, age acceleration or such), would her fertility be influenced by Earth's natural cycles/forces or her own biological systems? Would she become fertile when her body becomes physically as old as it would be in 2008, or is her fertility governed by Earth's natural forces in the year 2008, regardless of her biological age?
2/ Is a male's fertility governed by the same cycle. Ie - Griff was transported from 1940 to 1995. If he remained in 1940, his next mating cycle would have been in 1948, 8 years in his future. After being transported to 1995, would he enter his fertility period in 1998 alog with the rest of Earh's gargoyles, or would he still have to wait 8 years (ie 2003) and be out of synch with the rest of Earth's gargoyles?

Greg responds...

1. They are tied to the Earth cycle. Removing her from the Earth and its timeline would have less of an effect if, say, you removed her an hour before she became fertile. The longer she's been away from Earth, the more likely her cycle would shift.

But keep in mind that removing her from Earth only to put her back on Earth in a different Era would cause her (eventually) to match back up with the Earth cycle.

Having said ALL that, a garg who was biologically too young or too old to conceive is still going to be biologically too young or too old to conceive.

2. Given years to adjust, both males and females would make that adjustment. Given days or hours or perhaps even weeks, probably not.

Response recorded on October 14, 2003

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Wolfram Bane (wolfram_bane@hotmail.com) writes...

Gargoyle Biology

I have read that gargates (gargoyles and gargoyle beasts) are descended from dinosaurs. I was curious as to what species of dinosaur that gargates descended from. If no specific species of dinosaur, it is several species, an as yet unknown species, or just undetermined as to which species it is.

Greg responds...

The notion that gargates descended from dinosaurs was a merely one of many possibilities.

Response recorded on October 14, 2003

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Proofreading/Apologia...

I just received the following e-mail from my brother:

Subject: proofreading
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 13:56:49 -0700
From: "Weisman, Jon"

Just my two cents, but I do feel you're a little strident about the proofreading. I'm completely sympathetic to the annoyance/frustration, but your discussion of your own errors undermines your argument. You misspelled a word in the very sentence about proofreading being good training. Then you say there's no point in identifying errors that you make, because you're dyslexic and because you make an effort. Who's to say that your reader isn't dyslexic or doesn't make an effort, either? All "Dan" did in his first sentence was leave out the word "have."

Personally, I think it's fine to ask your readers to proofread better, but I simply think you could be nicer about it. Since your replies do contain errors, good intentions or not, it just doesn't make sense to me to cop an attitude.

- Jon

Jon is, of course, correct. And so I apologize for my rant. In particular, I apologize to "dan" for taking my frustrations out on him.

My only defense is that all the lousy proofreading -- and there really is a lot of it -- creates a kind of cumulative frustration. I really do ignore it most of the time. I make fun of it (I hope in a good-hearted way with a smart-ass response) occassionally, and I only rarely blow a gasket. But that's not much of an excuse.

So let's all try to proofread a bit more, including me -- hell, especially me -- and I'll try to keep my temper.

Again, dan, sorry.


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dan writes...

hey greg i was wondering if the gargoyles most of the problems humans have? like eyesight, deafness etc? Is there any gargoyles that actually wear glasses?

Greg responds...

dan, reread your first sentence and tell me if it makes sense. Proofreading is a courtesy and good-training for just about anytyhing in life.

Seriously, why should I bother composing an answer to a question that you couldn't bother to read over yourself, just to make it intelligible.

And there's no point pointing out my own errors, of which I'm sure there are many scattered here and there. I do make mistakes, but I make every effort to proofread. My dyslexia causes me to miss a few things here and there, but nothing like the above.

Rant over.

Now, to answer your question, degenerative problems would be rare, as Gargoyles heal every night. They also are not prone to many diseases that might cause these problems, for the same reason. But it's possible that a gargoyle could become deaf and/or blind in a catastrophic situation that could not be healed in one night. Take Hudson's eye, for example. And gargoyles do get older, making healing more difficult and slower.

Response recorded on September 24, 2003

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taesaki writes...

Hello. Uh, well, this is a bit embarrassing, but I was reading the questions and I got a bit curious. I'm sorry if this is inappropriate. I hope it's not. Anyway, how DO the gargoyles make love, to each other and possibly to humans? I suppose you were trying to keep things clean, huh? *blushes* Well, I'm sorry! I really wanted to know! If you'd prefer not to post it to the whole world but you'd also like to take pity on a poor curious fan, email me at "taesaki@att.net". Thankies! =)

Greg responds...

Well, I'm not going to go into X-rated (or even R-rated) details on this site. And, as I mentioned recently, I make a policy of not answering people directly off this site.

The short answer is that Gargs don't do anything much different from humans, except that they have an extra appendage, and wings, which allow them to make love in flight.

After that, I'd say, "Use your imagination."

Response recorded on August 26, 2003

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Lisa- Mary writes...

what exactly is a gargoyle?

Greg responds...

If after 66 episodes you don't have the answer to that, then I'm not sure what I can add.

But, sigh, I'll give it a shot.

A gargoyle is a living creature. A sentient animal (as humans are) that happens to turn to a stone-like substance during the day.

Response recorded on August 08, 2003

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The Cat writes...

Hello Greg,

I am helping a few friends with their fan fiction and I thought I'd ask this. You know kind of do a research paper. Anyway, one of my friends wants to know if gargoyles evolved or were they just created by something or someone? I wouldn't know so I figured since you were one of the creators I'd ask you.

So,
1. Were the gargoyles created by a higher being than themselves?
Or
2. Did they evolve?

3. If they evolved, what did they evolve from?
Dinosaurs(that is actually my best guess)?
Dragons?
Komodo Dragons?

Well, thanks bye.

Greg responds...

I've answered this before. Research papers generally require research, so it might have been nice had you checked the archives. Even given its volume, the odds are that by now, 8-1-03, you'd have already gotten the answer to the question you posted back on 1-16-02.

But anyway, it all depends on what you believe. If you believe a higher power created life more-or-less as is, than that same higher power did the same for the Gargoyles. If you believe in evolution, so be that. Personally, I don't see evolution and creationism as mutually exclusive, so I believe in both, elegantly. But that's just me.

If you believe in Evolution, they evolved back in the era of dinosaurs, but I'm not going to say from what.

Response recorded on August 01, 2003

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Vanity writes...

Questions regarding gargoyle sex and sexuality.

1) Do gargoyles reckognize their own sexiness, do they reckongnize that they may or maynot be sexier than another gargoyle?

2) Do gargoyles just instinctively know (or practice) sex or are they taught in some manner?

3) What is/are the function(s) of the female gargoyles' breasts? (Milk, motor oil, chiefly sexual)

4) Do tails play a role in sexual activity? If so how?

5) Do gargoyles practive pre mate-bonded sex, or generally stay virgin up to chosing a mate?

6) Oral sex?

7) Is rape a problem for gargoyles? Either by eachother or by humans whilst they are young.

8) Which would you consider more sexually active male gargoyles or female?

9) Goliath told Elisa that when she was human he hadn't realized how pretty she was. What physical traits in humans can potentially attract the eye of :
A- A male gargoyle to a human female?**
B- A female gargoyle to a human male?**
**no need for great specificity here, merely general qualities that may be attractive to a gargoyle

10) Do they suffer STD's?

note: I am not trying to be cute, I consider these serious questions, I however realise that question (4) is somewhat well...wrong, but I believe in its legitimacy.

Greg responds...

1. Huh? I think self-esteem/ego/etc. issues aren't much different for gargs than humans.

2. I'd lean more toward instinct, but I'm sure there is some discussion.

3. Milk. Garg females breastfeed the hatchlings.

4. Use your imagination.

5. Generally they mate for life.

6. Are you offering?

7. Without getting into rape specifically, I think the series has made an effort to show that no species corners the market on either good or evil.

8. Equal.

9. Likely the qualities they have in common, I suppose. Elisa's hair for example, I think, is very attractive to Goliath. Her lack of wings, tail and horns of any kind is probably not so attractive until (a) his eyes are opened during "The Mirror" and (b) he comes to terms with the strong attraction he has for her soul. I would think that for a gargoyle female, there wouldn't be that much in human males to find attractive. But that might just be my bias showing.

10. Not likely, as they heal every day, no illness really has the opportunity to take hold.

I get that you're serious. I tried to answer as seriously as I could and stay in the ASK GREG realm of PG. If you're attending the Gathering this year, Thom Adcox and I will be hosting a late night "Blue" Mug-A-Guest, i.e. an opportunity to ask us adult questions about the series. Over 18 only please.

Response recorded on June 20, 2003

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Lex Cousin writes...

You can explain how is the reproduction of a gargoyle, you can specify times (hatch)?, it dont know if this contradicts the rules of the forum, but
seems me interesting. For example Angela's birthday. When it is when Demona put the egg or when breaks?

Greg responds...

I'm sorry, but I'm just not clear what you're asking, but I'll do my best.

I've talked about Gargoyle reproduction before; check out the "Gargoyles Biology" Questions answered archive for details. But basically, gargoyles lay a new generation of eggs every twenty years. Those eggs hatch ten years later.

Demona laid the egg containing Angela in the year 988.

However, because time passes differently on Avalon, Angela didn't hatch until 1078.

Response recorded on June 10, 2003

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matt writes...

kinda a follow up question here:

if two gargoyles were twins hatched out of one egg (and YES i know how extremely rare this is) would they look identical or not? since they come out of one egg, biology suggests that they would be identical twins (and YES, i know you are not a biologist) but i seem to recall that somewhere i read that no gargoyles, no matter how closely related, are identical, they all look different, as Lex says in Awakening. so, identical or fraternal twins?

thanx again Greg for humouring us on these nearly pointless questions...

Greg responds...

I honestly don't know enough about biology to answer this absolutely. But if what you're saying above is true, than I guess the answer is identical. If THAT is true, than I guess Lex's statement (which you're misquoting and/or misparaphrasing, by the way), is a reflection of the rarity of twins. He hasn't seen any. Neither have I.

Response recorded on June 05, 2003

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Artemis writes...

This isn't really a question, but rather a corrective comment.

Obviously Goliath wouldn't know, but I don't know about you, but Thailog is NOT Goliath's son. They are brothers. Until I went to a genetics seminar with my AP bio class, this would never have crossed my mind.

Anyway, to the point. The reason Thailog can't be Goliath's son is because of genetics. Thailog's genes came from Goliath, which in turn came from Goliaths parents. Now, therefore, technically Thailog has the same parents as Goliath (since all his chormosomes can be traced back through Goliath's parents).

There's more to it that, but I wanted to keep it it terms understandable. Another simpler way to make the argument is that since Thatilog has the same genes as Goliath, they're sort of like identical twins, born years apart (and of course identical twins are siblings of each other). It's the same with the labrynth clones as well, they are bothers of the gargs they were cloned from.

Delilah is a whole different story. I can't explain that one, but i guess she's a half sister to both Elisa and Demona, but I can't prove it genetically.

Sorry if I seemed to have a "you're wrong, I'm right" attitude, but I just wanted to let you know what the real world truth was. Now Gargoyles Universe truth, well, I can't tell you what's right and wrong, that's for you to decide.

Thanx for listening to my lecture :)

Greg responds...

Actually, I found this post very interesting and informative. It doesn't change the emotional reality of how Thailog and Goliath feel about each other. But it's good to know. And I appreciate -- greatly -- that you weren't trying to make me look foolish, just filling me in on an obvious gap in my knowledge.

It's over a year since you posted this, so I don't have any idea if you're still hanging around. But Thank You, Artemis. It is appreciated.

Response recorded on June 05, 2003

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F7 Addict writes...

This one is purely out of personal curiousity.

Given the fact that Gargoyles are warm blooded, have mammatory glands (for those who fell asleep in Anatomy, look at Demona and Angela to figure out what the m glands are), and lay eggs, it's safe to assume that genetically they are closer to the infamous duck-billed platypus than humans. (another argument against the Goliath/Elisa issue)

Was this done on purpose or am I reading too much into it?

Greg responds...

I think "those who fell asleep in Anatomy" would have better luck looking up "mammary glands" than "mammatory glands."

I'm not sure what you're reading into it. What was done on purpose was the idea that Gargoyles are a separate species. Not specifically platypusian. Gargates, I think we've been calling them.

Response recorded on May 30, 2003

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Tukins writes...

Hey Greg
I'm not gonna bother you long, I only got one question

I was just wondering, since gargoyles see upon the entire clan as their family, and they concider them all brothers and sisters, how do they prevent interbreeding? I mean, they don't know just how closely they are related to eich other, doesn't that lead to problems sometimes?

That question has been bothering me for a while now, hope you can answer it for me

Greg responds...

It's been bugging you, but you chose not to check the archives for the answer. Instead you posted a question that I didn't get to for a year and a half.

Couldn't have been bugging you too much.

Within a generation, you're not going to get anyone mating with their biological brothers or sisters, because they don't have any among their rookery siblings. First Cousins are a possibility, I suppose. I have posited in the past that smell creates a natural anti-disposition for a gargoyle choosing a mate that he or she is too closely related to.

Response recorded on May 16, 2003

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Adam Carlson writes...

how many eggs can a gargoyle female lay at one time? during there life time?
And, if there are 36 eggs taken to Avalon, how many gargoyles lived at Castle Wyvern before the massacure.

Greg responds...

1. One. Two on EXTREMELY rare occasions, maybe. Maybe.
2. Three or four tops.
3. I've answered this before, and I don't remember what I said exactly. About forty. But nearly half the clan migrated to form a new clan sometime before the massacre. So there are more eggs than you'd expect from the small numbers that were massacred.

Response recorded on April 22, 2003

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Dragon7 writes...

Dear Mr. Weisman I find your posts on gargoyle physiology and culture very fascinating. Having recently read some of your earlier answers to the newly identified Loch Ness Clan a question came to my mind as to how this clan raised and cared for its offspring. It is widely known that gargoyles in the other clans in the gargoyles universe lay eggs is this also true of the Lochness Clan and if so do they put their eggs into caves until hatching as the Wyvern Clan did in generations past?

Greg responds...

Yep.

Response recorded on April 15, 2003

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Vashkoda writes...

I've never bother to question any of the following, and I still pretty much accept it as "just the way things are", but I figured I'd still ask about it just in case it led to any interesting revelations:

1) Why *do* gargoyles assume threatening poses while they sleep? You've mentioned that gargoyles have a similarity to scarecrows. Also, one explanation for building gargoyles on medieval churches was to scare away demons. But what's the "Gargoyles-Universe" explanation? Is it really that effective in scaring away predators (and what kind of animal would attack something made of stone, anyways?). Even scarecrows lose their effectiveness over time, once birds get used to them.

2) In Japan, where the clan said that they face inward as a sign of trust to the humans, they still strike frightening poses. Is this "pose-behavior" therefore something instinctual?

3) Similarly, why did the trio, Hudson and Bronx assume threatening poses as the Magus's sleep spell took place? I'm not sure the gargoyles even understood what was happening, or identified the Magus as a threat (Lex says, "What's he talking about?" and Hudson asks, "What's all this?" just before the spell). As they see the magic swirling around them, I think they get suspicious, but it still seems odd for them to assume attack poses at that moment (I would have expected them to be confused or afraid, but not violent, especially if they haven't had time to understand what's going on). I was wondering whether the fact that they were becoming stone had triggered their instinctual pose-behavior, or were they indeed getting ready to attack the Magus?

Greg responds...

1. Partially, it's just tradition. Keep potential enemies away. A reminder to any potential attacker of what they might face.

2. Possibly. You're in a state of relative vulnerability. The pose might lend some sense-of peace-of-mind.

3. That's possible too, although I always assumed that they were on the verge of leaping into action at the attack when they got caught in it.

Response recorded on April 11, 2003

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The Endless writes...

1) Are the Gargoyles and the Garg-Dogs (prolly not correct, please don't yell!) related evolutionarily to humans, animals, plants, and cells as are all other known denizens of the biological kingdoms? i.e. Did Gargoyles and Garg-Dogs emerge from the same kind of ancestral single-celled organisms that every other animal comes from and if so, what are the closest evolutionary relatives to the Gargoyles besides the Garg-Dogs?

2) Does a Gargoyle in stone form weigh as much as he does in flesh form?

3) Why is the humanoid form (arms, upright walking, opposible thumbs) most prevalent in the known sentient races? (Fae, Gargoyle, Human)

4) Are Gargoyles photosynthetic organisms? If not, how much food do they need to eat and do they actually produce some type of feces or is stone skin their waste product?

Greg responds...

1. Yes, but I'm not going to answer your question specifically.

2. It seems like it must, but I don't know.

3. I don't know this either.

4. Everytime I even try to answer these types of questions, I wind up digging a deeper hole for myself. Tonight, I'm shovel-free, so I'll demure.

Response recorded on July 22, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

2.Are there any viruses and bacteria within gargoylesthat can survive stone sleep? If not why? If nature can develop such a defense system as the stone sleep surely nature can develop something that can allow viruses and bacteria to survive (if theres a niche in nature waiting to be filled then it will be filled) unless gargoyles are fundamentally different from humans and other animals on this planet?

Greg responds...

Galvatron,

Again, I kinda feel like you're TRYING to stump me. To make me or the show look foolish.

If that's the goal, congratulations.

If not, I'm not sure how to help you feel comfortable. I've said time and time again that I'm not a scientist. I don't have all the answers. You seem much more well-versed in this then I am. So figure it out to your own satisfaction based on the evidence in the aired episodes.

Response recorded on June 10, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

Gargoyle diseases
1.Do gargoyles get cancer? If so can they die from it?

Greg responds...

1. Tend to think not, but I'm not ruling it out.

Response recorded on June 10, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

Stone Sleep
1. Do Gargoyles cells engage in mitosis/reproduction during stone sleep?
2.How can they be in suspended animation during stone sleep when many biological functions are still active? It doesn't make sense.

Greg responds...

1. I don't know what that means, so I cannot answer.
2. Makes sense to me. But I'm no scientist. How about you come up with an answer?

Response recorded on June 10, 2002

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Vanity writes...

I have a question. Relating to biology.

In the animal kingdom, animals(let's use chimps), chimps show a ratio in the wild and in captivity to be 50% right handed and 50% left handed. In the human population as a total about 75% are right handed and 25% Left handed. Some human societies vary of course some being 95% to 5% right to left up to 70% and 30% right to left. I couldn't find this in the archives so, do gargoyles have handedness, and if so of the gargoyle population are they like chimps with a 50/50 Right to left handers or more like humans with a heavy slant to Right handers?

Greg responds...

Some facts about animation "handedness..."

It's very hard to keep track of.

Storyboard artists like to have the freedom to allow characters to freely use either hand, depending on how they want to stage a scene.

To some degree, particularly in an action show, this might make sense. I.e. the heroes and villains all TRAIN themselves to be at least semi-ambidextrous, because their lives may depend on it.

So although I have no idea what handed our various human characters are, I'm going to say that Gargoyles are ambidextrous. Because visually, the series seems to confirm that fact.

Response recorded on April 16, 2002

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While I'm thinking of it....

Behold the following exchange (then skip to the bottom):

Received from pc-17.di.uoa.gr on Monday, September 17, 2001 04:52:03 AM
Aris Katsaris writes...

'kay, you were in your Disney office and couldn't answer this the last time I asked it, so you told me to repost it... Here goes:

<g> Another timeline thingy - this time less of a question though and more of a possible correction (unless I'm missing something)...

You recently said that Tom, Katherine and Magus entered Avalon on September 28th 995. But we also know that the eggs would normally hatch on the spring equinox (about March 21st) of 998. This means that there normally remained 2 and 1/2 years for the eggs to hatch... This time they spent on Avalon.

You can probably see where I'm going... Multiply by 24, and we see that they had to spent 60 years (Earth time) on Avalon. This takes them all the way to 995+60 = 1055.

Obviously the closest "20-year circle of the earth" was 1058... Quite near by. So why did you have them hatch on 1078, 20 years later, instead?

I don't think I've made any errors with the math... :-)

Greg responds...

The eggs were laid in 988. From 988 until 995 (seven out of the normal ten years for gestation) time passed normally. That means they needed @three more years to hatch once they arrived on Avalon. One year on Avalon equals 24 in the real world, as you noted. 3 x 24 = 72. 995 + 72 puts us at 1067. Making the closest twenty year cycle at 1078, as I noted.

You're calculations assume two and a half years instead of three to hatch. And that makes sense given the dates listed. The obvious dopey answer is that I was not calculating to the month but to the year. And so I could acknowledge the mistake and redo everything. And maybe on my next pass through the timeline, I'll do just that.

But to be honest, maybe I won't. When dealing with Avalon's mysterious flow of time, I believe my calculations are close enough. If the eggs weren't ready until March of 1059 even, then I'm still correct -- so it's not quite as big an error as it appears at first glance. Four years passing in the real world represents only two months on Avalon. Perhaps all that traveling and magic, etc. set the eggs back just a bit. If it set them back two months, then I'm right, and they're just slightly late bloomers.

And yes, I'm making excuses. So I'll save this exchange and decide at a later date.

For now, I'm sticking with my current calculations.

recorded on 03-04-02

With all this in mind...

I know I've established -- both here and in my own head (particularly with regards to G2198) that eggs hatch on the Spring Equinox.

But does anyone remember whether (and where) I've established what month the eggs are laid in?

I can't recall if this has come up yet.

Anyone know? And would this solve my problems at all?


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Creamy writes...

Yeah I knowm, stupid questions but...

1)When Gargoyles hatch are they infant or toodlers?
2)When first hatched can they crawl right off?
3)At about what time(month)of the year do they hatch?
4)You said that gargoyles nurse. So do the females take turns nursing all the hatchlings or just one?
5)For how long?
6)What age do gargyles usually learn to glide?
7)What did gargoyles do with hatchlings that were deformed or were found to have a mental retardation later on in life?

Greg responds...

1. Right when they hatch? Closer to infants.

2. No.

3. Generally, around Spring Solstice.

4. It's communal.

5. I'm not sure.

6. I'm not sure of this either. Something I wanted to explore in the future.

7. The clan takes care of its own.

Response recorded on January 15, 2002

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matt writes...

if a female gargoyle not living or having ever had lived on Avalon happened to have 4 biological children, would you say it was more likely that she either had twins born from one egg, or was able to lay an egg for an extra season as her female rookery siblings? in short, whats more likely, 4 eggs or 3 with one egg being twins?

Greg responds...

Neither, really. Though I guess the twin scenario, barely.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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Jacob writes...

Like you, I'm not a biologist, but this thing about a garg's wings bug me. You said that there are bones inside the wings, though you were not sure. But if there are some, then they can't be like the ones inside the arms or legs. Just watch one episode and you should notice what I mean. To fold them over the shoulders with only two large bones, they must be made of rubber, but that seems pretty unlikely. I would say that either instead of two large bones there are many vertebras, or instead of bones something else like cartilage.

I hope you understand what I mean.

What do your thoughts about it?

Greg responds...

I have bones in my arm and it still bends at the elbow.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001


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