A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar

Taur Anatomy pt 1.

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By A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R   |   
Published: August 3, 2009
© 2009 - 2020 A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R
EDIT: I've adapted the image a little bit due to discussions in the comments and elsewhere, the main difference is that both torsos are slightly shorter, getting rid of excess room and mass.

I've been doing some thinking on one of my long time obsesions, taurs. I like them for their quirky anatomy, there is nothing quite like them in nature, the sheer amount of thought that can be put into them is astounding and you don't even have to go very far outside of the bounds of the mundane. Sure, some suspension of disbelief is required but we are still talking about fairly regular mammilian biology here.

One of the main principles I'm going off here is that I will be avoiding duplicating internal organs as much as possible. There are some very good reasons why all mammals have one heart and why it is located where it is. First off I wanted my taurs to be brainey, about as intelligent as a regular human. With that established I now have an organ I will not be compromising in the design, the brain. All other organs in the design will have to yeald to allow the brain to function at approximately human levels.

Because my taur has a large high performance brain I know that it will need alot of oxigen, thus I know that I want to place the lungs as close to it as possible, putting them in the upper body ribcage. Because the lungs don't function very well without alot of bloodflow and the heart doesn't function very well without alot of oxigen that organ joins them.

Now that I have put he heart and lungs in the upper torso ( which I shall refer to as the torso from now on ) that leaves the lower torso ( the barrel ) with a large amount of extra space in the ribcage because as I said before, I wasn't going to duplicate organs. This is especailly neciscary in the case of the circulatory system, getting two hearts on one circulatory system synced up is difficult and if they become desynchronized the entire system becomes very inefficient. Because of this I don't have to put any of the digestive organs in the torso and can put larger equivalents in the barrel in stead. This is very handy because once again I have multiple organs that I cannot split up. The digestive tract ( Stomach, panchreas, gall bladder, small intestine, large intestine ) and to a lesser extent, the liver operate best as a package. Thus in my design the digestive tract remains approximately where it is, shifting a little forward with the stomach tucked closer to the ribcage ( having the stomach inside the ribcage would be a very bad thing because it would not allow it to expand sufficiently when the taur eats ) with the liver sitting happily protected within the ribcage, still close enough for the vein running from the intestines to the liver to not be obstructed yet still giving the digestive tract more room. I have decided to sandwich the spleen in front of the liver within the barrel ribcage, giving it more protection than it previously had and freeing up room for the digestive tract.

Because of the relatively large size of the offspring taurs would likely only give birth to one or two infants per pregnancy. Thus allowing human style mammaries on the torso to suffice, mammaries would not occur on the barrel.

One area I want to pay attention to is the torso 'stomach' area. This is where the upper body connects with the lower and it is quite important and quite vulnerable. In my designs it has a large amount of sinews and muscle in order to keep the two body parts together when the taur actually decides to pull something with it's hands or lift a heavy object. There's nothing like your lower body coming off to ruin your day. Secondly the spine would have necklike vertibrae, allowing for a very large freedom of movement of the torso. These vertibrae can be easily reached and if damaged it would render the taur instantly quadraplegic. In addition a massive Aorta runs from the large heart carrying oxiginated blood under high pressure into the barrel, if this gets ruptured the taur would bleed to death in a matter of seconds. Less importantly a long Esophagus runs through this area carrying food down into the stomach.

A handy side effect of the torso waist muscles is that they allow the larger lungs to expand much further downwards because there are now digestive organs to get in the way, allowing the taur to take much deeper breathes than a human would, providing it with the extra oxigen it's larger body needs.

I'd like to add one last note on proportions. Because the upper body holds the heart and lungs it also has to be quite large compared to the lower body, larger than most designs I have seen so far. My best guess is that a taur with an upper body of the same proportions as a 180 cm, 80 kg person, would weigh approximately 120 kg and be about 150cm tall.

Many thanks to :icontruebluejay: for his large amount of input on my taur designs and for coming up with alot of the principles my design is built around. Input is greatly encouraged. I'm curious to hear what you think of my designs, what you think I did wrong and why.
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anonymous's avatar
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Pokebreeder25's avatar
Pokebreeder25Student Traditional Artist
Kieth-Wolfe's avatar
Kieth-WolfeHobbyist Traditional Artist
very good! organ-wise, this is exactly how i think a taur would be planned out. i do, however, have some input: the aorta,while massive, travels through an area of thick muscle, which acts as a shield to keep it from rupturing too easily.
also, on a more skeletal topic, the pelvis of the forelegs is situated on the vertical area of the backbone, rather than the horizontal area leading to the barrel, which aids vertical support, so that the taur would be able to lift weights above it's head without injuring or breaking their spine. the pelvic bones there have to be thicker and stronger versions of the human pelvic to keep the taur strong and able.
Inkblot123's avatar
Inkblot123Hobbyist General Artist
i think your ideas are great. it makes sence and i can understand where your coming from. one thing i didn't understand is where a child would form in a female, is it in the upper body or the lower body? i would guess the lowed body, but i don't know for sure.
A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar
That would be in the lower body along with all the digestive organs, in contrast to the upper body there is plenty of room down there for a child to form. Usually one at a time, sometimes twins. Having the womb in the upper body would not make much sense as there isn't much space and nor is there a place for it to exit the body once it's matured.
Inkblot123's avatar
Inkblot123Hobbyist General Artist
ok thanks.
zxchriszx's avatar
yo creo que ese diseño esta mal ,todos los organos deberian ir en la parte animal
y la parte humana solo seria un cuello con brazos y nusculos y el cerebro ovio jjaja
A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar
Go go google translate!

The reason why I didn not go with that is because then you are trying to supply a human sized brain with blood from very far away. This works for giraffes with their relatively small brains but just does not work with such an extremely blood hungry human brain.


La razón por la que no ¿No ir con eso es porque entonces usted está tratando de suministro de un cerebro de tamaño humano con la sangre desde muy lejos. Esto funciona para las jirafas con sus cerebros relativamente pequeños, pero simplemente no trabajar con un gran sangre del cerebro humano con hambre.

Hecho con traductor Google, se trata de una traducción Awefull.
Regret-Comic's avatar
Regret-ComicStudent Digital Artist
That first sentence was the funniest thing I have ever read.
GJTProductions's avatar
Very interesting. Even if not everyone agrees with you on details, I like the effort to make it work. :clap:
Flexico's avatar
FlexicoHobbyist Traditional Artist
One thing I have thought of regarding multiple hearts - if there are two unlinked circulatory systems, the hearts wouldn't have to sync up. I imagine blood pressure issues if one heart has to pump all the way through that massive taur body. XD
A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar
I've actually been doing some calculations, and it turns out that if you get the relative size between the upper and lower body their bodies are not rediculously huge.

Though I think you are right, taurs would be more likely to suffer circulatory issues simply by dint of the fact that the blood is traveling through a much longer body.

One issue with two unlinked systems is how would these two circulatory systems exchange nutrients and gasses?
Flexico's avatar
FlexicoHobbyist Traditional Artist
They both go through the lungs and intestines, just not connected to each other. =P
A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar
If both systems go through the same organs, why not just use one system? Wouldn't that be simpler?
Flexico's avatar
FlexicoHobbyist Traditional Artist
But then synchronization is the problem. :XD:
conrislupus's avatar
conrislupusProfessional General Artist
But if both systems are going through the same organs, the blood in the systems are going to mix, and probably end up being one system anyway
stargliderx's avatar
Firstly, large blood requirements do not mean that you can't have long blood vessels. There's really no relation between the two; blood does not deoxygenate significantly while travelling along arteries. Plenty of dinosaurs had brains significantly larger than humans on the end of necks several metres long, and this was no problem for them.

Secondly, your lungs are simply not big enough to meet the aerobic requirements of the taur body running. The human brain takes a large portion of the blood supply /at rest/, but a relatively small portion when sprinting, and it will take an even smaller amount of a taur's blood supply. You need lungs at least twice, possibly three times the volume of human lungs, which your drawing does not show.

Thirdly, having a lower rib cage and then not having lungs there is a waste of mass.

Fourthly, why would any creature need such an enormously large liver? It's almost the same mass as the intestines! There's no conceivable need to spend so much mass and volume on that organ.

I am not sure why you are so keen to avoid duplicating organs in the first place. Humans are already long past the point where you get economies of scale by having one large organ instead of two smaller ones; multiple smaller ones are actually better for redundancy, which is why we have two kidneys. In particular there is nothing wrong with having two circularatory systems with only a low pressure interconnection between them.
A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar
Generally I try to compare creatures according to their relative proportions. While the dino in question may have had a brain larger than our own it had an even larger body to go with it. So relative to the body size ( and the heart size ) it is pretty damn small. And still, creatures like the contempoary giraffe have circulation issues related to their long necks.

Thus I play it safe in the case of cognitive function and take a decrease in physical ability for granted.

For the aerobic ability I refer you to the third paragraph of my previous response.

Having such an elaborate ribcage is a bit superfulous but the pectoral muscles of the forelegs need something to attach to and I like the way it looks.

Yeaah, the liver is rediculously huge. I'm fixing that now. I am shaving a bit off the length of both torsos, making it less spindly.

I prefer to avoid making elaborate solutions for problems and stick with systems that are tried and tested. I /know/ that the mammilian organ layout works, and it is much more fun to set yourself such limits, spending hours shuffling organs around and pondering the various issues that may arise, rather than simply say that they have two full sets of organs in both bodies.
stargliderx's avatar
> I prefer to avoid making elaborate
> solutions for problems and stick with
> systems that are tried and tested

Evolved designs are 'tried and tested', but they are also frequently ridiculous. The simple truth is that evolution is constrained to follow incremental paths; it is incapable of making any changes that require planning, simultaneous unconnected modifications, or a temporary decrease in survivability (to escape from a local optimum). Your design philosophy makes sense if you are trying to imagine a taur-shaped creature that somehow evolved naturally from existing mammals (although it would take an implausibly unlikely mutation to create extra limbs that are actually functional, in the initial divergence). It does not make sense for a mad scientist (or wizard) creating one from scratch.
A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar
The KISS principle really, I know that a single circulatory system works to an acceptable degree of 'work' so I resist the urge to invent all kinds of exotic new and unexplored systems simply because they theoretically might be better.

A creature, or a machine is rarely optimal, it is just good enough to do it's job, to make kids. This is not the best taur design, most efficient, nor the most elegant, but it does feel plausible, believable, simply because it is imperfect. It can be accepted without too much explanation.

And to be honest, in evolution there are many documented cases of decreases in survivability. The colourfull feathers of male birds of paradise are a shining example.
Arbarano's avatar
How can the lungs expand downward? They're limited by the diaphragm. And why do the spleen and the liver need to "breath", which is the function of the diaphragm, isn't it? And I'm not sure the upper torso lungs could provide enough oxygen to feed the muscles of a running taur.
A-E-S-H-A-E-T-T-R's avatar
Yeah, the term diaphram is a bit deceptive in the lower body, it isn't nessescary but as Arrow said it would prevent the digestive tract from expanding into the chest cavity, which is a bad thing. It itsself does not make any breathing movement, nor does the lower ribcage.

In normal human breathing the diaphram moves downwards when someone takes a deep breath the diaphram moves downwards forcing the lungs to expand in that direction. Because in the taur there are no digestive organs in the upper body to obstruct the lungs it can take deeper breathes than a normal human would.

For the oxigen issues I look towards MMA fighters. In the higher weight classes they reach weights at and over 120kg and this is not just fat, this is mostly organs bones and muscle, all stuff that needs lots of oxigen while active and yet the fairly normal ( if well trained ) human heart and lungs are up to the task. Thusly I recon that the slightly larger tauric lungs and heart are up to the task.
Arrow-Quivershaft's avatar
The lungs in the upper chest can be larger than normal, compared to in a human, as there's more available space due to the shifting of the digestive system to the lower body. And I believe the artist mentioned to me that the main reason for the diaphram in the lower body was to keep the digestive system from sliding into the lower rib cage. I could be wrong on this, however, and I expect a clarification comment from him soon. ;>
anonymous's avatar
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