My first question, so I am hoping this satisfies the criteria for acceptable questions. I am trying to build an amphibianesque species and have a few questions regarding some plausibility and possibly classification.

Firstly, I was wondering if structural colours would select for eyes that could capture faster movements (I am not sure of the technological terminology), my reasoning being their iridescence would make them more sensitive to swift changes. [can ignore this question if you wish]

Secondly, I read something interesting about hot blood in Nick Lane's Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution. On page 211, he cites Bennett and Ruben regarding the advantages of hot blood, and essentially it involves greater stamina, and thus greater ability to defend its territory, and greater success in courtship or mating; I am not the sure if the last is due to the effects hot blood would have on offspring, they requiring frequent feeding to sustain their temperatures, but if that is an advantage of hot blood, would it lead to greater parental care, or both acting on each other? And that is where I am having some trouble with classification.

They would lay eggs, have moist skin, and be a mixture endothermic and ectothermic, leaning more towards the former. What would their biology and behaviour make them?

Edit: This species is sapient and I am ultimately asking if this species' capacity for endothermy could provide a plausible foundation for parental care and the behaviour for sapience; in other words, is endothermy necessary to evolve sapience (I want to avoid suggesting yes solely because we did it), and if it would disqualify them as amphibians, which I now realize is broad. [I am now less concerned about classifying them as amphibians]

Clarification on their temperature regulation: they are mesotherms.

They can produce an internal temperature but would still have to mind their external temperatures, which could affect growth rates and other metabolic functions: too hot, slower metabolism, too cool, faster, if I am reasoning correctly. Their temperatures would also be dependent upon the biome, by extension the seasons.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi @PrettyNEgotistical, Welcome to worldbuilding. If you're worried about a question's suitability then the sandbox is the best place to go. As it stands I'm genuinely not sure what you're asking. You seem to have three questions: one about eyes, one about hot blood, and one incredibly broad question. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jan 13 '16 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe Bloggs "Welcome to worldbuilding" Thanks. I did not want to chance it by asking two questions that could have been answered in one thread. Admittedly, the first question seems out of place. My main concern is whether a species that has parental care and a capacity for endothermy could be considered a species, and now that I realize, I forgot to include this species is sapient, as humans define it. Have to edit some things :/. $\endgroup$ – AllGhoulsMustDie Jan 13 '16 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ OK. Next question. How are they both endo and ectothermic? Is it a cyclical thing? Is half the population one and half the population another? $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jan 13 '16 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ @PrettyNEgotistical, you can edit your own question already. It is better to focus on a single point, and expand it later with follow-up questions (we recommend to wait for some time --one or more days-- before asking the follow-up). So you should edit your question with those points in mind: just one question, and it should be objectively answerable (a priori). As Joe mentioned, the sandbox is a good place to start if you're unsure, but while you're in the water, try swimming :-) $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin Jan 13 '16 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe Bloggs I think mesotherm — just recalled where I got the idea — would be a better term for what I have in mind. They can produce an internal temperature but would still have to mind their external temperatures, which could affect growth rates and other metabolic functions: too hot, slower metabolism, too cool, faster, if I am reasoning correctly. So, in a sense, yes, their temperatures would be cyclical depending on the biome, i.e. dependent on the seasons. $\endgroup$ – AllGhoulsMustDie Jan 13 '16 at 11:57

If these creatures had warm blood, they would not be amphibians. But why consign yourself to classifying a species based on human standards? I mean look at the platypus. An egg laying mammal. So, your creature would have no definite classification on earth. But they probably don't care. Also, any living creature is part of one species or another.

These creatures might develop better parental care compared to amphibians, because not only do they need to remain warm, they are sapient. They would undoubtedly care for their children, or at the very least, understand that the survival of their children means the survival of their species.

Edit - I would consider making the infant creatures more exothermic than endothermic, and be able to heat themselves better as adults. Then the parents would have to take greater care of the infants and young children. These creatures would then instinctively know they need to protect their young. This line of thinking would help them to evolve to be able to better protect their babies, eventually leading to sapience (according to my reasoning). After all, love makes the world go 'round.

  • $\begingroup$ "But why consign yourself to classifying a species based on human standards?" A fair question. I did not want to do something along the lines of tossing in an organism with scales and serpent shaped heads, for example, and deem them reptilians. I wanted to properly classify them for the sake of worldbuilding. $\endgroup$ – AllGhoulsMustDie Jan 13 '16 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ "These creatures might develop better parental care [...] they are sapient" I was wondering that if greater parental care and greater success at courtship or mating (a result of hot blood as asserted in the page) are interconnected, would it be plausible for this species to be sapient, or should I say a sapient species descending from this species... yet another edit I need to make. I also found this link that suggests that warm bloodedness brought about pests, leading to grooming. How valid that is, I cannot say. earthlife.net/mammals/warm.html $\endgroup$ – AllGhoulsMustDie Jan 13 '16 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ I'm reasonably sure that these things are connected, so my answer kind of went from an A = B to a B = A $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Jan 13 '16 at 16:38

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