After 13 years of long waiting, the second part of the sci-fi movie “Avatar” “The Way of Water” finally meets us in the winter of 2022. When the camera passes over the dense forest of “Pandora” again, we are once again immersed in the mysterious world in the film. This experience as if roaming in an alien star is largely due to the “stage” carefully built by director James Cameron and his team-they created a set full of wonders for this planet, and the Ecosystems that conform to biological laws.
Ecosystem with “each in its place”
The Pandora lemur is above the forest, using the dense branches to climb forward; the hammer-headed thunder beast wanders in the forest. Its huge size makes it not have to worry about confronting predators head-on, but it still needs to beware of the lightning thunder beast’s surprise attack… Although the Na’vi people who are the protagonists of the film have not yet appeared, the alien jungle, which is as beautiful as a nature documentary and looks quite real, is enough to fascinate people.
More than 10 years ago, when the first “Avatar” started filming, Cameron and his team faced a difficult task-they needed to create a set of existing strange characters for the “Pandora Star” where the movie story took place. sense, but also appear authentic and credible ecosystem. According to the setting of the movie, Pandora is a satellite of a gas giant planet, so its gravity is lower than that of the earth, which means that local animals and plants may grow taller. On the other hand, the night of Pandora is not illuminated by moonlight like the earth, but only the bluish light reflected by the gas giant planet, which makes many life have the ability to emit light, which is used to find the same kind at night, cooperate with predation or It is to deter the enemy.
Based on this “underlying setting”, Cameron’s team conceived a series of animals with different habits and made them occupy their respective positions in the alien ecosystem. We know that almost all animals on earth can be connected through food chains and food webs. For example, rabbits eat grass, foxes eat rabbits, and wolves may eat foxes and rabbits. The solar energy stored by the grass flows in the biosphere of the earth through such predation relationship. If we imagine the biosphere as one giant corporation, each type of animal will have its own “station” within it. The extinction of a certain type of animal is like it “leaves” from the company of nature, and new species will soon evolve to fill the ecological niche left by the extinct animal, just like a company will recruit people because someone leaves Like newcomers. In the long history of the earth, such succession has happened countless times.
And in the fantasy world of “Avatar”, all kinds of life based on the animals on the earth also form a simple and reasonable food web-the flash thunder beast with a big mouth and muscles, just like the animals on the earth. The lion is at the top of the terrestrial food chain; below it are small carnivores such as viper wolves that hunt in groups.
Animals that feed on plants have their own way of survival. The hammerhead thunder beast is twice the size of the African elephant on the earth. Its image combines the rhinoceros on the earth and its “relative” in prehistoric times, the extinct ancient mammal thunder beast, and it is matched with something like a double bun The “hammer head” of the shark forms a mighty and violent monster.
“Avatar: Way of Water” stills. Picture｜Sohu.com
The docile peacock deer chose a strategy similar to some butterflies on the earth, using mimicry to survive in the dangerous dense forest. This kind of animal looks like a deer. At the position where the head and neck are connected, there is a skin membrane similar to that of a frizzled lizard. When it is fully unfolded, the two huge black spots on it resemble the eyes of the lightning beast. Let the small carnivores quit.
Hexapods play the leading role
If we look closely, we can find some shadows of earth animals from every animal that appears in “Avatar”. This is because there are about 1.5 million species of animals currently living on the earth, and there are several times more prehistoric animals.
Whether it is the beasts in the jungle, the stinging bats flying in the sky, the ecaran And Phantom, or the sea animals such as Iru, Pterosaur, and Tukun that appeared in “The Way of Water”, all have 6 limbs that have evolved into different forms to help them adapt to different environments.
If we look closely, we can also find some interesting details. Both Icaran and Phantom are animals that need to fly at high speed over long distances. Their two pairs of wings are more like the wings of bats on the earth. The thick skin is supported by each “finger”, making their wings flexible and powerful. In contrast, the wings of stinging bats are closer to the extinct pterodactyls. They are just skin membranes picked up with a little finger. Although they can conveniently wrap the body, they are not so flexible when flying. Therefore, the stinging bats in the movie often can only wander at low altitudes, or use abandoned buildings to take shelter.
The heavily armored horses that run in the jungle and on the plains have slender limbs not much different from the horses on the earth; the strong hammerhead ultralisks, and the Stam, which is covered with thick leather and has a horn on the top and bottom of its head Beasts have thick limbs to support the body, and at the same time provide explosive power for fast running. As for the limbs of those marine animals that appeared in “The Way of Water”, they evolved into flippers suitable for paddling.
The Iru for teenagers is like a miniature plesiosaur; the huge intelligent creature Tukun is based on the humpback whale on the earth, with a tail similar to the hind legs of a seal, and armor from ancient times. The carapace of the fish is pieced together. When the human Tukun hunting ship shoots a hooked spear filled with high explosives to kill Tukun to obtain the elixir of life, the fierce sea battle is like the scene of a steam whaling ship chasing a giant whale in the 19th century on the earth. , reappearing on the alien ocean in the future.
Demonstrate the power of evolution
All kinds of animals on the earth have been shaped by the power of nature over a long period of time into the appearance we see today. And in the fantasy world outlined in the two “Avatar” movies in about 6 hours, we can also find the power of evolution.
In the film, most animals have two “interfaces” for neural connection on their heads; moreover, the breathing holes of many land animals appear in the animal’s chest. This may explain that in the ancient times on Pandora, many animals with huge differences, such as the heavy armored horse, the hammerhead thunder beast, the stam beast, the Icaran and the phantom, once had a common ancestor. In order to adapt to different living environments, its descendants have been molded into different appearances by nature, only the number of neural interfaces and the position of breathing holes have not changed.
But just like cetaceans on Earth move their nostrils to the top of their heads so that they only need to keep the top of their heads out of the water when breathing, Tukun, which is adapted to life in the ocean on Pandora, has undergone a similar evolution. When the hero’s son was accidentally rescued by a stray Tukun, he thought he was sent to the rocks by the sea, but when he took a closer look, he found that he was right next to Tukun’s breathing hole. This interesting detail became the starting point for him to establish a friendship and bond with this Tukun.
The Pandora lemurs with “one and a half” arms hinted at the origin of the Na’vi people. Unlike most land animals on Pandora, the Na’vi have only one neural interface, use the nose on their face to breathe, and have only two arms like humans, with only 4 fingers on each hand. Why they have such a “maverick” appearance may be able to find the answer from Pandora’s lemurs. This small animal, which is somewhat similar to the Na’vi, has only one nerve interface, and the breathing hole has become the nose in the center of the face; their small arms are divided into two “branches”, and the big arms are like humans and Ne’vi. Like people, two have become one.
Perhaps, in the ancient times of Pandora Star, Pandora lemurs and Na’vi people had a common ancestor. In order to adapt to the life of climbing trees in the jungle, their breathing holes were gradually moved from the chest to the head, and the original two pairs of arms were also mutated, merging into a more powerful big arm to drive the two flexible forearms , move quickly in the jungle. Then, at a certain point in time, Pandora’s lemurs and Na’vi people parted ways again, just like humans and chimpanzees on Earth “farewell to apes”.
The carefully constructed fantasy world of “Avatar” is like a projection of the biosphere in real life. It not only brings us a sense of wonder, but also allows us to re-examine the evolution of life on Earth. It is only an accidental event in the long evolution process that human beings can become intelligent life and stand at the top of the earth’s biosphere.
The carefully constructed fantasy world of “Avatar” is like a projection of the biosphere in real life. It not only brings us a sense of wonder, but also allows us to re-examine the evolution of life on Earth. It is only an accidental event in the long evolution process that human beings can become intelligent life and stand at the top of the earth’s biosphere. If we let the history of the earth start from scratch, will wisdom appear in the ocean? Will humans share the Earth with other intelligent life? Behind the magnificent imagination in the two “Avatar” movies, there are actually thought-provoking topics.