Are Na'vi Placental Mammals?

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archaic:
I have started this topic because the "arguements-against-avatar-and-james-cameron" thread had derailed totally.


Quote from: Tsuksìm atsawl (KaPTan) on October 20, 2010, 11:45:18 pm

Quote from: Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn on October 20, 2010, 11:19:01 am

Quote from: Vawm tsamsiyu on October 20, 2010, 10:04:57 am

Quote from: Human No More on October 18, 2010, 09:46:12 pm

Great thread.

Another (usually) anti-Avatar thing is the misconception over tsaheylu with people saying it is sex isntead of a joining of minds... skypeople need to try and find some equivalent they are familiar with for everything even when there is none :(



Don't they stop and think that even though the na'vi are different looking from us there still baisicly the same 2 arm 2legs 2 eyes ect.. And it's all in the same place as us then what you don't see due to clothing is probably basically the same so sex is probably basically the same?


I recall JC saying himself that the act of mating was really similar to mammals. I also remember the phrase "hung like donkies" being tossed around.



Yes JC was quoted saying that. also if you go to his Wikia(yes i know that they can't always be trusted) it says the na'vi reproduce in the same maner as earth mammals(sex).


Quote from: TunVrrtep on October 21, 2010, 05:52:02 am

Quote from: Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn on October 20, 2010, 11:19:01 am

I recall JC saying himself that the act of mating was really similar to mammals. I also remember the phrase "hung like donkies" being tossed around.



LOL they'd almost have to be.  They are quite ... big.


Quote from: Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn on October 23, 2010, 11:49:28 am

Quote from: archaic on October 23, 2010, 11:27:27 am

Na'vi are placental mammals.
The females have breasts, so mammary glands, so they lactate. Therefore they are mammals.
If you watch closely, you'll see the Na'vi all have a belly button, or umbilicus.
So logically they should reproduce in a similar way to mammals on earth.


I'm pretty JC said that they aren't placental, he never really explained any farther than that. They may look mammal but they certainly can't be just because of the fact they they don't use DNA as genetic material.

Anyways I'm pretty sure this topic has been starting to stray so I should try to get it back on track.

Something I hate haters saying is how "anti-American" the movie is based on the "American military" in the movie. On the off-chance that they actually try to defend their point that it is military you can refer to this;

Quote from: BenevolentMind

Fatigues are worn by military personnel, security personnel, game hunters, and even civilians. Citing the wear of fatigues as any sort of determining factor is like saying any guy with a tattoo is obviously a criminal. In the case of Pandora, they are a security force in a hostile environment. Use of the fatigues was because of the many benefits they offer over black slacks and blue button-up shirt with a tie...

The use of weapons isn't restricted to military, either. You may have noticed that they are available for purchase by just about anyone. In the case of Pandora, we are talking about an extremely hostile environment where humans could easily end up on the menu of any one of the native species. Weapons, especially large weapons (to include incendiary and explosives), were needed to protect human life...

Ranks are used by many security forces, not just military institutions. Its an extremely useful way to establish a needed chain of command, especially in a hostile environment (such as Pandora). Ranks, such as corporal, sergeant, major, etc, are common throughout military organizations. The use of these in the future is not a determining factor in the origins of the mercenaries as they are so common throughout the world...

The mention of "Marines" does not identify a nation, either. England, France, and other maritime nations have marines in the military. Marines are a common part of many militaries. The only mention of anything somewhat US Armed Forces specific is a mention of Force Recon which is a specialized part of the US Marine Corps. However, that is only the lead character that makes any mention of his origins. That same lead character is the one that "saves" the Na'vi...


excerpted from:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/board/thread/172350679?d=172550940&p=7#172550940

Here's another handy link about an interview with Cameron on the subject.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2010/01/marine_cameron_questions_011410/


Quote from: Ekirä on October 24, 2010, 09:42:33 am

Quote from: Carborundum on October 24, 2010, 07:28:38 am

Quote from: TunVrrtep on October 24, 2010, 06:57:00 am

Actually, if I remember correctly from the movie, the Avatars are created by mixing human DNA with Na'vi DNA.  At least that's what I thought they said in the movie when Jake is talking about how the Avatars are created.  If that's the case, they do have DNA.

But then maybe I misunderstood.

That quote is from Jake "I-dissected-a-frog-once" Sully. I'd take it with a pinch of salt.


I'm guessing someone told him about the DNA thing; I don't think he would have just come up with it.

"Norm and I are here to drive these remotely controlled bodies called avatars. They're grown from human DNA, mixed with DNA of the natives."



Quote from: Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn on October 24, 2010, 10:32:32 am

http://www.pandorapedia.com/human_operations/rda/the_avatar_program
Quote from: Pandorapedia

Since Na’vi don’t use DNA or RNA to carry their genetic information, producing a ‘translation table’ that matched DNA with NVTranscriptase closely enough to allow a level of morphic resonance strong enough for communication to occur required months of computer time and multiple failed experiments, some of which caused irreparable trauma to volunteer subjects.




http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Na%27vi
Quote from: james-camerons-avatar.wikia

Reproduction mechanics (e.g. physical coupling) are similar to humans and other Terran mammals. However, it should be noted that although female Na'vi have breasts similar to those on female humans, they are not placental mammals and, as such, the actual internal reproductive biology is quite different from Terran mammals.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mammal
Quote from: Definition of mammal

Any of various warm-blooded vertebrate animals of the class Mammalia, including humans, characterized by a covering of hair on the skin and, in the female, milk-producing mammary glands for nourishing the young.

They do fit most of the definition of a mammal so I understand why someone would think that but as far as I can tell from what I've seen of extreme close up shots of the Neytiri; they only have "hair" on their head

A few examples.
http://blog.ronhsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/neytiri_beautiful_warrior_in_avatar-wide.jpg
http://www.wallpaper4me.com/images/wallpapers/neytiri-865007.jpeg
http://a0.typepad.com/6a0120a7e55e7c970b013484720ee0970c-pi

I'd like to find good close-ups of other Na'vi but they're a lot more scarce than Neytiri pics for obvious reasons.



I might as well put in an on-topic tidbit as well. People that bring up the argument of how they didn't do any sort of research on physics and biology for the movie. The only thing that didn't follow physics was unobtainium (obviously), it is of course a fictional element and it has been admitted on numerous occasions by JC that any amount of magnetism that could lift mountains would rip iron from your blood and you would die. Other than that I can't think of what else doesn't follow physics.

One more.

To people who ask "won't they run out of oxygen for their masks after the humans leave?": The masks do not supply the oxygen, which the atmosphere already has, they only filter out dangerous elements which would otherwise kill the humans.


Quote from: archaic on October 24, 2010, 02:28:59 pm

Please read this in a quiet, thoughtful way, as that is how it is meant, not a shouting rant.

Whales and dolphins are mammals but they do not have hair. It is not an absolute defining characteristic.

"and, in the female, milk-producing mammary glands for nourishing the young"
This is what defines a creature as a mammal, nothing else. Na'vi have them, therefore they're mammals.

If they are non placental mammals then what is the explanation for the apparent umbilicus?


I don't know who wrote the article, but they should have checked their facts first, or provided credible alternative explanations for what is presented to us on screen. Surely it is the movie that is cannon.


Quote from: Tsuksìm atsawl (KaPTan) on October 24, 2010, 04:21:31 pm

may i redirect you guys to the na'vi biology section perhaps?


Quote from: archaic on October 25, 2010, 02:14:42 pm

Mmm, If you hit the edit button it gives you the sources.
Quote from: james-camerons-avatar link=index.php?title=Na%27vi&action=edit&
Quote

Reproduction mechanics (e.g. physical coupling) are similar to humans and other Terran mammals. However, it should be noted that although female Na'vi have breasts similar to those on female humans, they are not placental mammals and, as such, the actual internal reproductive biology is quite different from Terran mammals.
<ref name="ASG30">[[James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide]] pg 30</ref>


And here is  A S G, page 30.
Quote

NA'VI MATING PRACTICES
   The Na'vi are monogamous creatures who mate for life. The me-
   chanics of reproduction are similar to that of humans and other Ter-
   ran mammals. But their unique physiology provides the Na'vi with
   a level of intimacy unknown on earth. Cultural anthropologists be-
   lieve that when an appropriate mate has been selected (which can
   take many years), the male and female Na'vi will connect queues
   to create an emotional bond that lasts a life time. The intertwining
   of queues is both highly erotic and profoundly spiritual, but does not in
   itself  lead  to  reproduction.



But it doesn't say that the Na'vi aren't placental mammals.


Quote from: Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn on October 25, 2010, 07:21:32 pm

I give in that they could* be considered mammals based on what you've shown me but I disagree with the placental part yet. I found a quote from James to show.
Quote from: James Cameron

"Right from the beginning I said, 'She's got to have tits,' even though that makes no sense because her race, the Na'vi, aren't placental mammals,"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/24/james-cameron-explains-wh_n_475156.html

I'll put up an on-topic post as soon as I find the time but for now I found an article that talks about people who see racism in Avatar.
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/02/04/james-camerons-avatar-is-many-things-but-not-racist/

Side note:Typing in "arguments against james cameron" on google has this thread come up as the #1 result.  :D

Other search listings:
"arguments against Avatar" - #2
"arguments and avatar" - #4
"arguments against cameron" - #4
"arguments avatar" - #10

^just thought that was pretty cool, I've never had anything that high up on google



Quote from: archaic on October 26, 2010, 06:42:01 am

Cool!


Quote from: Human No More on October 26, 2010, 05:23:26 pm

The 'not mammals' comes from a single remark in an interview, which I do not take to be canon, especially when the survival guide (as well as general observations from the film and images) go against those. The Na'vi certainly don't lay eggs anyway :P


Quote from: ExLibrisMortis on October 26, 2010, 06:25:14 pm

You may not take it as canon, but that's your opinion to have. It's from cameron and it is his conception on why the movie and the world it contains is. Also, regarding the ASG, Caneron's input in the book didn't even come until the end of the book's creation, and even then it was more of a "look over and approve" thing than major input. It was written and compiled by some peoplethat fox commissioned to do it.

You may choose to not accept what is, but it is as Caneron said.


Quote from: Tsuksìm atsawl (KaPTan) on October 27, 2010, 12:32:03 am

again, SUPER THREAD DERAILMENT!!!!  yes, i love this and this is interesting, but it truly belongs in the biology section.  it really isn't arguments against avatar, it arguments on their BIOLOGY!!!


thank you,

love you all,

TA (KPT)


Quote from: archaic on October 27, 2010, 03:02:07 pm

Is there a way that this part of the topic can be teased out and made into a separate topic?


Quote from: ExLibrisMortis on October 27, 2010, 04:08:41 pm

Yup, it can.  *Glares at the moderators*


Quote from: Txur’Itan on October 27, 2010, 04:23:22 pm

On topic or not.  JC probably has this concept clear in his mind.

Non-Placental Mammal

The class Mammalia (mammals) is divided into two subclasses based on reproductive techniques: egg-laying mammals (monotremes) and mammals which give live birth (therians). The latter subclass is divided into two infraclasses: pouched mammals (marsupials) and placental mammals (eutherians).

This list is, as yet, incomplete. However for reasons of space, it has been broken into two sections:

List of placental mammals
List of monotremes and marsupials (non-placental mammals)

I give you the following link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals


Quote from: Vawm tsamsiyu on October 27, 2010, 06:02:55 pm

Is there even a biology section on this site? I didn't see it but Simone could create a thread in the science section for this discussion  ;)




Quote from: Tsuksìm atsawl (KaPTan) on October 28, 2010, 04:03:35 am

http://forum.learnnavi.org/navi-customs-and-culture/navi-biology/  

please, post in here.


Quote from: archaic on October 29, 2010, 02:02:47 pm

Necroposting, last post was may 24th.


New topic started here .....


Carborundum:
I completely agree with you that all the evidence points to the Na'vi being placental mammals. In a piece of fanfiction I am/was/will be writing I also treat them as such.
However, I voted "no", because ultimately what Cameron says, goes. Until he comes up with a plausible alternative I'll keep thinking of them as PMs though.

archaic:
OK, so I think Na'vi are placental mammals.

Quote from: Txur’Itan on October 27, 2010, 04:23:22 pm

On topic or not.  JC probably has this concept clear in his mind.

Non-Placental Mammal

The class Mammalia (mammals) is divided into two subclasses based on reproductive techniques: egg-laying mammals (monotremes) and mammals which give live birth (therians). The latter subclass is divided into two infraclasses: pouched mammals (marsupials) and placental mammals (eutherians).

This list is, as yet, incomplete. However for reasons of space, it has been broken into two sections:

List of placental mammals
List of monotremes and marsupials (non-placental mammals)

I give you the following link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals



Well there's nothing in the movie that hints that the Na'vi lay eggs, and there is no sign of a marsupial pouch, just an unexplained belly button.

And as for what concepts JC probably had clear in his mind, many things are known to have been in his mind yet fell by the wayside before the final cut was completed.
(Several rewrites, and ruthless editing to bring the movie down to it's final 162 minutes.)

archaic:
Quote from: Carborundum on October 29, 2010, 02:14:49 pm

I completely agree with you that all the evidence points to the Na'vi being placental mammals. In a piece of fanfiction I am/was/will be writing I also treat them as such.
However, I voted "no", because ultimately what Cameron says, goes. Until he comes up with a plausible alternative I'll keep thinking of them as PMs though.


I wrote them as placental mammals in my fanfic too.



Hang on isn't there something about Neytiri being obviously pregnant in the script at the end?
Placental, but not mammals, a newborn lemon shark.
Spoiler

Found here .....




Edit:- the above link still works, but the pic doesn't show, so here's a Youtube vid instead .....
Spoiler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfQgRCg1bNA


ToktorGrace:
Interesting thread.. definitely one of the questions Im continuously pondering.

I think it's quite likely that the Na'vi are a type of "mammal" (or maybe not mammal... though considering the females have mammaries, I'd find it difficult to determine what else they'd be) that does not exist on Earth. Who knows evolutionarily where they derive from, though I would really love for Cameron to hire a biologist and have them design exactly what mechanism is used for conception and birth...

For now I will go with "placental mammals" as the Na'vi have belly buttons, breasts and nipples. Maybe Cameron wishes it were different, but with so many similarities its difficult to distinguish them differently. Unless I think of some cool creative alternative (or he does) this is all we really have to go with.

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