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Great Posts and Interesting Discussions

Why weren't firelizards discovered earlier?

Sariel's comments about posts are added in green.

Glynn, 11/14/98

Does anybody else think that it is odd that that fire lizards escaped "capture" for so long. Consider the following:
1.    The original relationship to Dragons.
2.    Little boys (and girls) who explore.
3.    Big boys (and girls) who have a natural feel for the environment.
4.    The dragons themselves.
5.    The very nature of fire lizards. (I'd love to take care of one).

Lioness, 11/14/98

Firelizards can go between. They are also more common on the southern continent. It would be relatively easy for them to avoid capture.

François, 11/15/98

Escape capture but not witnesses. They survive until the 9th Pass, but only in legends.  In the series, very few (too few) people see them, and nobody believe their stories.  Tell me why nobody found some eggs on a beach and impressed a firelizard for... how much? 2300 turns!!! That is difficult to believe. Yes they are more common on the southern continent, but there are some at the Half-Circle Seahold. And I am pretty sure you must find them on the Ista island, since it is in a warm area too.  [Yes, they are found these places, and also in South Boll (according to MoP)]

Sue Anne, 11/15/98

I think the reason for nobody seeing firelizards in the 9th pass is because the northern continent is too cold for the firelizards. In the Chronicles of Pern the firelizards started leaving because it was too cold for them. So I pressume that firelizards migrated back south or only stayed in the warmer southern parts of the northern continent. [Yes, that is why they disappeared, but still doesn't explain why they weren't rediscovered for so long.]
Most of the places that the firelizards hatch may be out of the way, like when Menolly found the firelizards it was on a cliff face. So maybe the little kids were unable to climb as high, etc. [She found them on the beach, and moved them to the cave in the cliff.  They should be readily findable on beaches.]
Also if a child did say they saw a firelizard, I don't think that the adults
would have believed them. After all firelizards were supposed to be a legend.
It's like saying you saw an fairy in your garden I suppose. *grin* (wish I
did). [I think this is a key point.  Children are assumed to be making things up.  Grown-ups are conditioned to not believe what they see, because they're so sure there are no fire-lizards.  And those adults who saw fire-lizards as children have probably since decided that they were hallucinating/imagining things.]

Shelia, 11/15/98

Fire lizards impressing belonged so much in the days of the original Landing - an event which appears to have been forgotten by even the second or third Pass. [This is another key point--forgetting that they're Impressable.  It leads people who do believe in them to go about capture in the wrong way.]
> 2.    Little boys (and girls) who explore.
On Pern, I'd say they don't get much chance even between Passes. Especially the girls. From an early age they seem to have responsibilities around the Hold - cf children on Earth until... heck, just about this last 50 years.  So the kids wouldn't have that much time to explore more than a little, little way around where they lived. [Yup, the concept of a "childhood" is a modern invention.   I think that kids did get some free time, but not enough for a thorough exploration; rather, each generation of kids duplicates the previous one's efforts, without going any further/deeper.]
Even the kids in the Seaholds were living in cliff environments, and of course the fire lizards needed sandy beaches to lay.
And I've yet to see kids who explore quietly.
> 4.    The dragons themselves.
Who didn't volunteer information - they probably didn't think it important. [Remember that dragon memories are atrocious.  It's more likely that they simply forgot, rather than they didn't pass on the info.]

Sariel, 11/15/98

It seems a bit improbable to me, too.   But here's how I try to explain it to myself: Once people "forgot" that fire-lizards were real, they also forgot their attributes that made them like the dragons--most notably that they are Impressable.  Because of this, the few people who did try to spend what little free time they had looking for them, were looking for hatched fire-lizards, which they had no hope of catching.  I would think that people would have come across clutches of f-l eggs before (they are found on the sandy coasts of Nerat, Ista , Igen, South Boll).  However, they either
A) didn't know what kind of eggs they were and therefore didn't hang on to them for Impression;
B) Even if they figured out what they were, they still didn't make the connection that the hatchlings would be Impressable. Think how many holders there are who are now kicking themselves for not recognizing the value/use of a fire-lizard clutch!

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