Shoopuf anatomy question: do shoopufs have two pairs of ears?

Dionysos

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A couple of weeks ago I was studying images of shoopufs for Birthweek stuff.

Shoopuf.png


I noticed that shoopufs appear to have two pairs of ears.

One set sits above the eyes and externally protrude from the head. These resemble the outer ears of various mammals.

The other set are located further back on the head of the shoopuf, closer to the rider seat. They appear as holes a bit like you might find on birds, reptiles, aquatic mammals, etc.

Does this mean that shoopufs have two sets of ears? One active while submerged, the other pair active above the water? If so, the shoopuf might benefit greatly from these adaptations for its amphibious lifestyle.

But I am no biologist.

Can anybody tell me what else they could be? Could the external 'ears' be decorative crests of some sort instead? Do we ever get a good look at them? Could the ear holes further back in the skull actually be blowholes?

Has this been an anatomical mistake made by the creature designers at Square Enix?

It has been a while since I played FFX. Any thoughts?




#shupuff #shoopuf
 
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blakstang98

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If I had to guess, I'd say Square spent very little time thinking about the finer detail of the shoopuf species and it's need for 2 pairs of ears. I could be wrong, but of all the aspects that go into the game, I would imagine the design of an animal that you see once during the main storyline would be a low priority. But it is an interesting concept.

As for theories about the ears, I think one possibility is that maybe they're blowholes (or just one blowhole). It would be in an odd spot though if the case. And that feels like thinking too much about the species again.

And another, that could be logical, is that this is the shoopuf that Jecht stabbed. It never was specified where he stabbed it. I always imagined him standing next the shoopuf with a bottle of booze in hand and stabbing it, but who knows?
 

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If it was a blowhole I think it would sit more at the top of the head or flank than set a little askew, in order for it to function efficiently; something more akin to that of a whale in real life. Plus, with such a long trunk, maybe a blowhole would be redundant in this case.

Perhaps it is a second pair of ears seeing as the Shoopuff is such a large creature and would probably need all the forewarning it could get in order to evade predators - which given the nature of Final Fantasy flora and fauna, would be quite plentiful and vicious!
 

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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I was going to say it looks like a hole related to storing/exhaling oxygen for when it's underwater. Then I looked up what a blowhole is for, and...

So we're agreed, it's a blowhole? Lol.
 

Miko

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:lew: Just had a proper laugh today about this. Was looking through some of these FFX threads and came across this Shoopuf thread. Looking closely at our precious Shoopuf the holes reminded me of the holes that you see on Rays behind their eyes:

Taeniura-lymma-03-500x308.jpg



Which, after doing a quick google, you'll find that these are called 'Spiracles' :britt:

Anyway, another quick google search and you'll learn that sharks have these as well, though some are much smaller or non-existent. For Rays they're a little more developed because they spend most of their time under silt, but for sharks they're used to provide oxygenated blood directly to the eye and brain.

So, maybe not ear holes, but air holes? :lew: I realize technically a blowhole is also a spiracle but maybe with it being so close to the eyes it's function is more similar to that of how a shark uses them instead of how a whale uses a blowhole? 🤔 And maybe that means Shoopufs can't breath under water like people can. :O
 

Dionysos

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:lew: Just had a proper laugh today about this. Was looking through some of these FFX threads and came across this Shoopuf thread. Looking closely at our precious Shoopuf the holes reminded me of the holes that you see on Rays behind their eyes:

View attachment 11371


Which, after doing a quick google, you'll find that these are called 'Spiracles' :britt:

Anyway, another quick google search and you'll learn that sharks have these as well, though some are much smaller or non-existent. For Rays they're a little more developed because they spend most of their time under silt, but for sharks they're used to provide oxygenated blood directly to the eye and brain.

So, maybe not ear holes, but air holes? :lew: I realize technically a blowhole is also a spiracle but maybe with it being so close to the eyes it's function is more similar to that of how a shark uses them instead of how a whale uses a blowhole? 🤔 And maybe that means Shoopufs can't breath under water like people can. :O

Thank you for this fascinating information!

I wonder if anybody has ever attempted to drown a Shoopuf, or to cover these holes in some way, in order to test this theory. I guess Shoopufs are loosely based on elephants, and since some real-life elephants have been known to swim across the ocean to visit other islands (yes, really), maybe Shoopufs represent a creature which went all the way and became more semi-aquatic/amphibious?

I really want these holes to be spiracles now. It would really fit in with the world of Spira. In fact, it would make me wonder about the cosmology of the planet itself. Maybe ancient Spirans believed that the world was actually within the spiracle of a giant Shoopuf? Maybe the Hypello's refrain of "Shoopuf's waiting!" is actually another way of saying "One day you will die and your soul will be absorbed by the Spiracle to feed the brain of the cosmic Shoopuf."

It wouldn't be the strangest myth to be thought up.

My nonsense might have ruined your theory, but I do think your theory is probably the closest match to what might possibly be the truth. I guess they need a lot of oxygen in the brain, being a large animal which spends time in the water ferrying people across the Moonflow.

The only other idea off the top of my head right now is a place to store food, but that's ridiculous.
 

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Thank you for this fascinating information!

I wonder if anybody has ever attempted to drown a Shoopuf, or to cover these holes in some way, in order to test this theory. I guess Shoopufs are loosely based on elephants, and since some real-life elephants have been known to swim across the ocean to visit other islands (yes, really), maybe Shoopufs represent a creature which went all the way and became more semi-aquatic/amphibious?

I really want these holes to be spiracles now. It would really fit in with the world of Spira. In fact, it would make me wonder about the cosmology of the planet itself. Maybe ancient Spirans believed that the world was actually within the spiracle of a giant Shoopuf? Maybe the Hypello's refrain of "Shoopuf's waiting!" is actually another way of saying "One day you will die and your soul will be absorbed by the Spiracle to feed the brain of the cosmic Shoopuf."

It wouldn't be the strangest myth to be thought up.

My nonsense might have ruined your theory, but I do think your theory is probably the closest match to what might possibly be the truth. I guess they need a lot of oxygen in the brain, being a large animal which spends time in the water ferrying people across the Moonflow.
:P Perhaps instead of the World Elephant myth it could be more fitting for Spira to follow along with the World Shoopuf equivalent?


I don't see why the spiracle theory for Shoopufs wouldn't hold up. What were they doing before the Hypello started utilizing them? I imagine they probably spent a lot of time underwater before hand (and possibly during game!), and maybe because of their massive size & weight that maybe it'd be a relief floating weightless in people soul-juice where you don't weigh the equivalent of 4 elephants.

The only other idea off the top of my head right now is a place to store food, but that's ridiculous.

:O But what do Shoopufs even eat??
 

Dionysos

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:P Perhaps instead of the World Elephant myth it could be more fitting for Spira to follow along with the World Shoopuf equivalent?
Absolutely. Especially if Spira is considered a type of organism itself, like FFVII's planet. Therefore, just as people can be carried across the Moonflow on the back of a Shoopuf, the world of Spira itself is carried through the cosmos on the back of the World Shoopuf.

I don't see why the spiracle theory for Shoopufs wouldn't hold up. What were they doing before the Hypello started utilizing them? I imagine they probably spent a lot of time underwater before hand (and possibly during game!), and maybe because of their massive size & weight that maybe it'd be a relief floating weightless in people soul-juice where you don't weigh the equivalent of 4 elephants.

To evolve aquatic features like the little dorsal fins just above the tail, it does suggest that the Shoopuf had been heading towards (or from) marine life. I guess we're assuming that these are mammals that have spent a long time in the water and have adapted to it. I guess in Spira, it could be possible to be the other way around (being fish-type creatures which climbed out of the sea), but that would seem less likely to me (there should be more fish-like features than there are).

We'd need some natural historians and biologists on Spira to come forward and help us out. Sin probably killed them all.

Do Hypello keep records or anything? I don't know much about Hypello culture, besides the fact that they mirror Jar Jar Binks. Is their past told through oral tradition? Do they have records? Do they even know when they started to turn Shoopuf into the Spiran equivalent of donkey rides up a Greek mountain?

:O But what do Shoopufs even eat??

I did not know the answer to this question, so I looked it up. According to FF Wikia:

"According to Maechen, shoopufs never visibly eat. Some believe they feed on tiny organisms in the water (likely the Spira equivalent of plankton or algae)"

The trunk is very weird-looking. It is a bit like an upward-facing, curled up proboscis (like a Hummingbid Hawkmoth). So I would have been tempted to imagine Shoopuf eating from the flowers that float on the Moonflow, but I guess it must be plankton or something instead.
 
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