• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
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FanOfMostEverything


Forget not that I am a derp.

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  • Today
    Friendship is Card Games: d20 Pony, Ch. 6

    This week, we return to Trailblazer and company, and a day of seaside fun in the town of Amblerta before going a-questing to Yggdrasil.

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    0 comments · 12 views
  • Wednesday
    Animate Well

    I'd put a "Contest!" in the blog title, but I'm not running this one. I'm just helping judge it. Pick your favorite classic cartoon and throw them into ponies, because it's time to ask a question that's been echoing about the site practically from the day it went up: Who Crossed Over My Little

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    3 comments · 159 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash Presents: Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla

    This week, we’re putting ourselves four degrees away from the source material. It’s a card blog based on a video based on a story based on a song based on FiM. Let’s get going.

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    10 comments · 202 views
  • 2 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: Generations #2 & #3

    This week, we return to the union of modern ponies and 80’s villains. Well, the daughters of 80’s villains. Well, the minions of the daughters of 80’s villains.

    … Let’s just get started before I take this any further.

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    9 comments · 189 views
  • 2 weeks
    Alms Collection

    A friend alerted me to this situation, and so I'm sharing the news: Eponafest, an Italian pony convention set for May, is running crowdfunding to get some operating funds... and they're about halfway to their goal with a week left. See here for details.

    0 comments · 79 views
Oct
2nd
2019

FoME Thinks Too Much: Regarding the Mungtooth · 10:48am Oct 2nd, 2019

"The mungtooth is proof that Discord loves us and wants us to be entertained."
—Sea Note, hippogryph philosopher

The mungtooth (Sarcophilus tempesta, pl. mungteeth) is a semi-material marsupial endemic to leyline intersections, soft places, naturally occuring interplanar portals, and other regions where magic is strong and the fabric of reality wears thin. A typical adult is a hoof long and weighs twenty milliponies. Their fur comes in a variety of colors and indicates the power they command.

As semi-material life, mungteeth are as much living magic as they are conventional biological organisms. Unlike changelings, their magic is elemental energy rather than emotional. Furthermore, their metabolism works in opposition to that of changelings, taking in matter and producing magic. Mungteeth are consummate omnivores, happily consuming insects, seeds, fruits, roots, shoots, and carrion. They are perhaps unique among scavengers in that much of the carrion they consumed is not the leavings of predators but the collateral damage of them defending themselves.

Mungtooth roils typically consist of six to eight mated pairs, along with young at various stages of development and a few unattached adolescents. When not nesting, the roil will wander the forest, prairie, chaos terrain, or other habitat, foraging, grooming, and bonding with one another. Mungteeth are incredibly social animals, mating for life and socializing with one another to the extent that some hypothesize that they contain manifestations of the Elements of Harmony as much as they do the elements of nature. However, when predators approach, they present the common counterargument to that hypothesis: The Elements of Harmony are strongest together, while mungteeth are strongest apart.

When a roil of mungteeth is threatened, they scatter in all directions. A combination of adrenaline and separation anxiety triggers a terrible transformation in each mungtooth, causing it to summon a storm of elemental energy that drives away most would-be predators almost instantly, and those that brave the initial display are at least likely to feed the roil as feed on it.

Ponies have, naturally, decided that these fluffy little dynamos are ideal pets. The urge to contain and control that chaotic natural power is the same one that drives them to make weather into an industry and celestial mechanics into a royal duty.

Raising a mungtooth is a tricky business to say the least, beginning with the weaning process. As marsupials, mungtooth kits rely on the mother's pouch after birth, whereupon their first bonds form. While the kit cannot manifest its power for almost a year after birth, the pouch also provides it protection from the mother defending it, leaving only a few months of vulnerability for potential predators or mungtooth fanciers to exploit. It is unclear how the first would-be mungtooth breeders performed the process, but their modern successors have the would-be owner bond with the mother and kit almost from the latter's birth, building enough trust that the mother accepts them as her substitute. This process takes that same year, and leaves the newly adopted mungtooth even more heavily dependent on its owner than most wild ones are on their roilmates. Naturally, separating the two leads to truly dire consequences.

The exact nature of those consequences depends on the mungtooth. The most popular and least dangerous breed—though being the least dangerous breed of mungtooth is akin to being the lightest elephant on the savannah—is the purple-furred whirling mungtooth, which expresses its panic through wind vortices capable of sucking in full-grown cattle. They can also walk on clouds, making them especially popular with pegasi, particularly those in cloud cities, where pet-sized thopter harnesses are much harder to come by than ground towns populated by absurdly powerful unicorns.

Other mungtooth breeds tend to cause both more immediate and more lasting damage than a whirler's windstorms. Blue-furred torrential mungteeth, while theoretically harmless in arid regions, also quickly sicken in such areas, and can only thrive in the coastal and lakeside environments where they have plenty of raw material for waterspouts. Mountain-dwelling, gray-furred seismic mungteeth are the most common cause of earthquakes with epicenters above sea level, though given that this is Equestria, far from the only one. Orange-furred conflagratory mungteeth might have devastated the planet if they didn't share their preferred habitat with dragons, who consider being bathed in flames a pleasant prelude to the meal. (Rumor has it that one of Celestia's recent personal students adopted such a specimen as her own pet. It would certainly explain the scorch marks in several disused rooms of the palace, though other rumors claim the student herself was responsible for those.)

Rarer breeds have been known to occur, usually because of mungtooth fanciers with more curiosity than sense. (Indeed, mungtooth hybridization is one of the main routes earth ponies take to supervillainy, or at least was before Fluttershy first met one.) All breeds are interfertile, and while some hybrids rarely survive to term, other combinations can be even more dangerous than their parents. Yellow-furred tempestuous mungteeth have escaped into the wild, where their ability to summon thunderstorms has been the cause of much seemingly inexplicable wild weather manifesting in regions long thought tamed. White-furred boreal mungteeth have lived in the Frozen North for so long that isn't clear whether they evolved there naturally or were the product of crossbreeding in the pre-Sombran Crystal Empire. And black-furred igneous mungteeth thankfully can't survive long on the surface, though that doesn't stop some from trying to make tunnels to more comfortable climes.

In short, the mungtooth is a reflection of the pony mindset. By all rights, it should be feared and reviled as a monster worse than the timberwolf or cragadile. However, it is cute, especially with a long-haired, brushed out show coat. As such, ponies are more than willing to welcome it into their homes, no matter how bad an idea that may be from an objective perspective.

Princess Twilight Sparkle has dubbed this cognitive peculiarity "the Cozy Glow fallacy."

Comments ( 26 )

:trixieshiftleft: I am uncertain of what I just read.

A roil of mungteeth. How appropriate. A group of dragons should be called an inferno or something.

5131331
The end result of asking three questions:
1. Why in the name of sanity would anypony want a mungtooth for a pet?
2. How do mungteeth work outside of the dramatic circumstances of "Growing Up is Hard to Do?" (e.g. what evolutionary advantage is there in such a drastic defense mechanism being triggered by separation anxiety of all things, how does that social dynamic work in the wild, etc.)
3. If Bloofy is specifically a whirling mungtooth, what other varieties are there?

This blog is a FoME Thinks Too Much for a reason. :derpytongue2:

You should think too much more often. >_>

5131334
It is very rare for dragons to cooperate long enough to be considered a group, but when it does happen everycreature else calls it a problem.

As time and space leaks out of canonical Equestria as we approach the canon Schwartzfoal limit, fanon worlds inflate accordingly. Theory suggests that fanon worldbuilding will accelerate asymptomatically as we converge towards the finale horizon, but we will lose view on the infant worlds as their narrative cones are drawn into the vortex directly or spagettify so finely they become invisible to the reader eye.

As a biologist who enjoys reading species descriptions, I approve.

In short, the mungtooth is a reflection of the pony mindset. By all rights, it should be feared and reviled as a monster worse than the timberwolf or cragadile. However, it is cute, especially with a long-haired, brushed out show coat. As such, ponies are more than willing to welcome it into their homes, no matter how bad an idea that may be from an objective perspective.

Princess Twilight Sparkle has dubbed this cognitive peculiarity "the Cozy Glow fallacy."

The Cozy Glow fallacy, eh? Sounds appropriate.

5131339

After reading this blog post, I understood that those were the questions being answered, once I learned what a Whirling Mungtooth was.

Whooo! New FOME Thinks Too Much! Soo good!

Nice Epigraph! Discord being valued! :heart:

We need a Happy Fluttershy Emote...

5131365
:yay:

Though I will note that Sea Note meant that rather ironically. Consider, after all, what Discord considered entertaining for much of his existence.

5131363
"Parasprite fallacy" would be better.

Remember that one time Cozy Glow tried to use the concept of false vacuum to take over the world? That was something.

And yes, this was a fascinating exploration of the Mungtooth.

Did earth ponies stop using them for world domination because they know Fluttershy exists?

5131334
Everyone knows the collective noun for dragons is a drive. A flight if you’re being informal :p

5131378
It WAS the parasprite fallacy. Now Parasprites are an example of the Cozy Glow fallacy. Parasprites never almost ended the nation.

Delightful. :pinkiehappy: I love the pack word "roil" and the earth pony supervillainy mechanism.

Your FOME Thinks Too Much on Chromelanin is still one of my favourite pieces of fan-reasoning ever.

5131357
Nah, any grouping of 2 or more dragons is an army.

Heh, nice. :)

"Indeed, mungtooth hybridization is one of the main routes earth ponies take to supervillainy, or at least was before Fluttershy first met one."
...What happened there? :D

Alternative suggestion: different types of mungtooth elements are tied to different emotional reactions. For example, the whirling mungtooth creates wind when it gets overstimulated (which still fits with canon), a torrential mungtooth is prone to sadness, which causes it to cry massive amounts of liquid (far more than its body should be able to hold), and the conflagration mungtooth is like the kirin; great when they're calm, but if they get mad...

I can't seem to be able to upvote this. Why can't I upvote this?

And I love everything about the Cozy Glow fallacy.

I love this. Are you secretly plagiarizing from texts of the Unseen University or something?

"The mungtooth is proof that Discord loves us and wants us to be entertained."
—Sea Note, hippogryph philosopher

I thought that was the Winterchilla?

Indeed, mungtooth hybridization is one of the main routes earth ponies take to supervillainy, or at least was before Fluttershy first met one.

Not sure who it is Fluttershy is meeting in this sentence, but it sounds like it reveals a dark side to Tree Hugger.

5131395 I hope they sent a letter to her in Tartarus telling her a fallacy has been named after her. Cozy would love it.

5131361
The trick, of course, is to expand the individual universes, possibly through a combination of negative energy, magnetic monopoles, and making sure to write down ideas so no one forgets them.

5131363
Glad you liked it! My own degree is in physics, so knowing I can write one of these well enough for a biologist's seal of approval is quite gratifying.

5131392

Did earth ponies stop using them for world domination because they know Fluttershy exists?

Not quite. They stopped once she knew they existed. See also my response to Reese in the next post.

5131409
Thanks! I'm still very proud of the concept of chromelanin, especially how it also explains the hair and eyes of anime characters.

5131497

...What happened there? :D

Let's just say it was the first time Discord had to tell Fluttershy she'd gone too far.
And it wasn't the last... :unsuresweetie:

5131511
Ooh, that does also work. Nice.

5131378 5131395 5131544
Perhaps the best part about the Cozy Glow fallacy is that it's so deeply ingrained into the pony psyche, it spans across generations. In G1, it was seen with the Flories, cute little flower creatures pursued by enormous, ogrish crab creatures... who turned out to be multiversal police pursuing a race of planetary parasites.
Also, the leader of said Crab Nasties was voiced by Peter Cullen, who used his Optimus Prime voice for the role. It is every bit as surreal and wonderful as it sounds.

5131559

Perhaps the best part about the Cozy Glow fallacy is that it's so deeply ingrained into the pony psyche, it spans across generations. In G1, it was seen with the Flories, cute little flower creatures pursued by enormous, ogrish crab creatures... who turned out to be multiversal police pursuing a race of planetary parasites.
Also, the leader of said Crab Nasties was voiced by Peter Cullen, who used his Optimus Prime voice for the role. It is every bit as surreal and wonderful as it sounds.

Oh Gaia, I forgot about that.

Princess Twilight Sparkle has dubbed this cognitive peculiarity "the Cozy Glow fallacy."

You know, I'd laugh if it weren't for the fact that it's been shown repeatedly that human beings have the exact same issue. In the sapient mind, no atrocity or danger exists that a sufficiently cute face cannot absolve.

5131559
I love that plot whenever I remember it exists. I wonder if any of the Crab Nasties have a Green Lantern Ring. Or get recruited for Starlight's Time Patrol. Or both.

5131559
...Part of me insists I still want to know, but other parts are dragging that one towards the door. :)

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