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Currently On Hiatus: Please Enjoy A New Reader Question Every Weekday!


If humans are animals and humanity as a species is currently thriving (much to the detriment of other species does that mean there are a whole bunch of human totems?
What about other “branches” of homo, such as the bigger brained but less socially adept Neanderthals, or the ancient Homo erectus, did they have totems? But Neanderthals crossbred with humans, and many Europeans still have some percentage of Neanderthal DNA, so if Neanderthals did have totems would they still have totems even though pure Neaderthals aren’t around any more, but they live on in some Homo Sapiens? Do modern non-human great apes have totems, like baboons or gorillas?
What if humans started cultivating a large, healthy population of a specific genetically engineered creature, not like what we do with dogs, horses, and cattle with cross breading, but a trans-genetic animal created using direct manipulation of the genome. Would such a creature get a totem, or would science have gone too far and now that creature is barred from having a totem? If that is the case could humanity start genetically engineering animals to outperform their non-genetically engineered counterparts so that for example, wolfs would still exist but wolf totems would not?

Just a thought experiment.

So do totem animals have ‘human’ lifecycles? Eg. living till ~80? Or are they essentially immortal until their species go under a certain amount and they start disappearing?

It was clarified back in Welcome to Dogpatch that individual totems are immortal (with those of ‘healthy’ animal populations manifesting strong and youthful, like Hank and Eustace), and begin aging and ailing as the animal populations themselves become weaker.

So cloning could solve any birth rate issues in the totem races. Can we see a non-canon jurassic world totem dinosaur?

Jim, I was wondering, are there any other past members of your family that inherited the “Finn’s curse” besides you, Colin and Phineas?

There is one other Finn we know of who had the Finn Curse, Phineas II, aka Phineas the Green.
She was the daughter of Phineas the Red, and she had the same version of the Finn Curse as Jim.
Illumination chapter 1, page 2 –

And yet this opens a door of curiosity to how a female griffin’s curse would appear on her. Would she look like a maned lioness with wings or just have a green tail tuft? The world may never know.

Now I wonder what happens when a species that has totems has an artificially created subgroup like how there are now domestic foxes that are their on subset of the species. Does that subset get a totem or just the original?

Though I guess it would have to if there are enough of them… but the wonder is at what point. Also what happens when a species with a totem goes extinct for the most part but is brought back (Though that stuff is new to science so that is likely an unkown for all.)

So… totems. DOGS. And CATS. Seriously, talk about healthy populations– and of course you have subsets, different varieties, but I can’t see those as separate totems, a Chihuahua is still capable of breeding with a Saint Bernard (though I can see how a stepladder would need to be involved and, dear gods, the mama better be the Saint Bernard!) And cats are cats are cats, they’ll even cross with wild-types if possible– I grew up with a cat who was 1/4 Florida bobcat, what we called a Bay Lynx, weighing in at 19 lbs. So, are there totems for cats and dogs?

I’m now curious if humans technically also get mystic ‘totem’ spirits. Would such a thing be excluded from the magical communities on principle?

I think Corey explained in another Q&A that Totems get their ‘Totemness’ by their proximity and appreciation by sapient beings. Human beings are the most plentiful animals in existence sure, but they aren’t being observed and spiritually celebrated by an adjacent species in a way that would allow Spirit humans to manifest.

It’s likely the mechanics would prevent an already sapient species to get spiritual versions, or maybe instead of manifesting into ‘Spirit Humans’ there are other Mythological magical beings manifesting for different parts of human culture instead. Ravi is a “Yaksa” aka an earth spirit according to the Character Bio for example.

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