The Dwarven lifestyle includes mountaintops and deep caves; neither have ideal oxygen levels. Dwarves function in these environments because their beards contain a vascularized tissue that works much the same way as a salamander's gill: allowing for exchange of CO2 with surrounding air. When dwarves enter areas of low oxygen or high CO2 the vessels that run through the hairy beards fill with blood. Beard breathing makes a difference when the air gets thin or sour, but a plump beard may also broadcast stress or excitement. The blood bladder, another unique organ, allows dwarves to deal with changes in blood volume.
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? Responses (17)-17
Sooo... Dwarven faces are like baboon butts? :D
This has got to be one of the most unique ideas I have seen, and after gaming for the last 28 years I have seen quite a bit
Now there is a new way of injuring a Dwarf. Cut his beard and watch him bleed!
I like it.
What Tuss and Stork said!
Blood bladder is interesting too, and makes me think of...what else? Four-chambered hearts? Double stomachs?
How many chambers does your heart have Muro?
When you said your father was alien, I did not think you were speaking so cosmically.
what? I'm referring to *other* potentially interesting Dwarven biological and/or physiological traits...but yeah, ok.
Okay I will bite; the mammalian heart has four chambers. So if a dwarf has a four chambered heart, that fact alone would not distinguish it from a normal mammalian heart. So when you mentioned four-chambered heart and a double stomach I assumed you made an error with regard to the number of chambers in the heart. Thus I thought it would be funny to mock you by lamely suggesting that perhaps what ever planet you called home had two or three chambered hearts. Got it. I was wrong. It was not funny.
Ah right. When I say 'four-chambered' I mean 'different number of chambers, not four' haha
The double stomach came from watching animal programs last night, where the langurs of Cambodia have an extra stomach full of fancy bacteria that help them break down the cellulose of leaves. Anyway, was basically contemplating Dwarven adaptations to the underground. How about this? An fish-like organ that regulates pressure/oxygen/something.. :P
Agree with Tusserk on this one. Completely. :)
Curious idea, but I would think having such a fibrous membrane for exchanging metabolic gases would render them much more vulnerable to airborne toxins and contaminants, like the toxic fumes and chemicals found underground. Of course that would be meaningless assuming they had much more impressive blood filtering systems than normal, which would be a robust liver I suppose. Which leads to the legendary stoicism of the dwarves, and their resistance to alcohol and poison.
Goes back and adds a point to the vote was about to give.
Indeed, I imagine beard veins with selective filters that could store CO2 saturated hemoglobin or recycle CO bonded RBCs. I also thought a exterior lung tissue surrounded by protective beard hair would be better for breathing in areas with lots of particulates that could damage lung tissue but would be filtered by the beard hair. Of course the chin gills would be less efficient than the lungs but it might make the difference in pinch.
I have a whole rant on this is my unfinished sequel to 'A Dwarf on the Water'. The new piece was to follow my nascent dwarven philosopher/teamster Gorn as he got on the wrong side of the God of fear. It was titled 'Dwen and the Art of Wagon Maintenance', but as it turns out I just don't know enough about wagons.
Hybrid system, combining both the chin gills and conventional lungs, the subterranean version of amphibious respiration.
thats the idea
What a great explanation! Since it is already a rather sensitive organ, doesn't it also slightly help with detecting changes in atmospheric pressure, helping especially in constrained spaces to find passages and sense movement? Yet another reason why dwarwes prefer to be underground!
So all we have to do is punch them in the beard and they can't breathe?Seriously 4/5
Only if you get them excited first. I hear some dwarves actually pay for that.