Lets have a go at pulling some thoughts together.
Asexual, either natural or artificial,
where there is no (sexual) contact between sexes. Motivation
personal survival and species preservation. There could be
allegiance to a group, or competition if the survivors get to pass on
Display. Females are usually much
larger (as they have the extra reproductive bits) and longer lived,
males are disposable and selected by display of objects or dance. In
an intelligent species that could be achieving a level of income
and/or academic achievement.
Competition. The majority of higher
life forms on Earth compete. The female is much smaller than the
male, anything up to 33% smaller. The males aggressively compete for
female(s), who select, or are selected, on physical bulk and ability.
Curiously, of all primates human females are large, 80% the
size of males as they compete with each other. You hardly need to be
told that as we get bigger as a species, this gap seems to dwindling
as a result of better nutrition for women. (My Gran still had a 20”
waist when she died in the 60's, hardly topped 4ft. She left the
contents of her handbag and a few items of clothing. For most of her
life she did not legally own even that.)
Doesn't matter. A very advanced
species may combine any of the above in a simple process that does
not interfere with the adult(s). I'm thinking of Honor Harrington
where the majority of pregnancies are bottled (incubated) until ready
After sex comes food. How
important once a species grows from “natural” food to processed?
All my mothers family were “chattels” and grubbed in the dirt
for other peoples enrichment. Gardening for me is a swear word. I
will take, even kill or be killed, but I will not dig.
Vegetarian. The bottom of the
food-chain, just above plants. Unless a pollinator, all other
species are a threat and/or competition to be removed. On earth the
most dangerous animals are herbivores. An intelligent veggie will
think nothing of dropping a few dinosaur killers then coming back
later to seed a once-inhabited planet.
With the exception of the mosquito, the most dangerous animals on
the planet are herbivores.
We also know that without predation herbivores usually over breed
and suffer from other effects due to the lazy selection processes of
every other hunting species but us.
If we all went veggie, how many species would survive? The
first immediate mass extinction would be all pet and livestock
species. However, the bee would be secure.
Omnivore. Us again. If you cannot eat
one thing, you find another. So no single species is of overriding
value, unless there is a cultural imperative as with African herdsmen
and their cattle.
Carnivore. A true carnivore hunts its
prey, as such is at the top of the foodchain. This is natures nature
conservator. It is in its best interest to maintain a healthy and
robust ecology. Less fussy would have large ranches of well
maintained livestock, something like the Australian ranches where
competing species are controlled.
There are some
interesting documentaries on Orca's. Each pod seems to specialise in
one prey species. An interesting model if taken into industrial
times, a pod, clan or family specialising in one technology. If you
meet an alien called Smith or cooper-.
Doesn't matter. Once
the bulk of individuals become separated from the process, the
concerns become abstract, political and socio-economic rather than a
matter of personal experience.
This is the interesting one. You have to balance the environment
the species was designed for compared to that which any one group or
culture now finds itself living. Here's a few examples:
Jerry Pournell's Moties are worth looking at. The original
3-armed was a radical mutation. Spaceborn wiped out the planetborn.
Population has to be controlled as individuals die if not made
pregnant. Subspecies abound.
Larry Niven's Kzin. They were Samurai-clones in the original
stories but changed to a genetically modified carnivore who's females
are barely sentient with two sub species, one telepathic and the
other who's pure black dominant genes make them telepathic resistant.
Their homeworld seems to have avoided mass extinctions and has some
very nasty mega-fauna that they evolved to hunt.
Predators work, they have internal logic. We have rich hunters
who will go anywhere and kill anything.
Aliens don't work. No internal logic. Once the alien goes
through all these processes the wrong way. Caterpillars are the
eating machines, massing much larger than the adult, who can manage
on a very frugal diet. How does the alien maintain its high
metabolism and growth without constant feeding?
So, on with the show.
Space Raptors (need a better name) are pure pack hunting
carnivores What if they have dominant females (much larger) who
select mates who are able to demonstrate desirable skills, competing
against other males. Female offspring may be raised to command,
either taking over their mothers clan or another by alliance or
conflict. Spare girls may be cast out to form their own destiny.
Likewise the males are trained in useful skills until they are
ritually traded or cast out.
For such a race getting over the stone age would be the problem.
Naturally equipped with weapons, early metalworking would be slow to
develop when stone is easier and quicker. The answer may lie in
jewellery and art, being able to produce such items would be highly
desirable trait. Iron working may be skipped altogether with
printing and electricity, ceramics and glass coming through such a
I hope this gets you thinking and constructive criticism very