Skitterology: Could They Be Killed by a Mouthful of Sharp, Pointy Doritos?
Posted Jul 17, 2011 @ 6:52 PM
I've got a question: have we seen the skitters do anything with those tusks they have near their mouths? What about their source of food?
I'd like to include the lobster-back harnesses which seem to be alive but are attached with steel spikes. Do they die after they're removed from their hosts? Because Ricky seemed to want his back on and it did seem to re-animate after he plunked it on his spine temporarily.
Then there's the telepathy thing. If they can mind meld with their brood of teenage chicks, are they also communicating with other skitters at a distance?
Posted Jul 17, 2011 @ 11:09 PM
Posted Jul 18, 2011 @ 12:22 AM
I don't think the skitters are the invading aliens. They act more like pets of the mechs
I know we often see the mechs and skitters in pairs, but I was under the impression that the skitters controlled the mechs and could call them in for support more like canine units. "Here, mech mech mech. Now attack!" Plus the mechs seem to lack individual personalities as well as actual faces. And we haven't heard them scream/sputter in pain when they "die".
Posted Jul 18, 2011 @ 5:46 AM
I'm also of the thought that the Skitters are probably not the Big Bad, but in spite of their maternal instinct, they obviously are not good either. The thing that leads me to not believe that the Skitters are actually former kids is that they are such an enemy (at least at this point) that the humans are dispatching of them left and right. To then have it turn out that the humans have been killing former kids all along - I don't think the show's writers have it in them to do that.
Posted Jul 18, 2011 @ 10:19 AM
I'm wondering if the true overlords are hanging out on those big structures that we saw in the first episode, the ones they said had appeared in all major cities. Those guys don't want to get their hands dirty, so they send out their Skitter slaves with the mechs for heavy support.
Given the apparent affection Skitters have for their kids, it makes me wonder how upset that one was to order his bunch to be executed. Seems like it could be as much of a threat to the Skitters as it was to the humans. 'You fuck up and let one of your kids escape, we'll kill the rest of them'.
Posted Jul 18, 2011 @ 10:33 AM
Posted Jul 18, 2011 @ 2:39 PM
As with the Mechs, I am thinking that the Skitters are controlling those things with their minds (the same way they can communicate with the humans and the harnesses kids).
Maybe, the Skitters are using the harnesses kids as food? Like, if they are sucking the needed nutrients via the harnesses and leaving the kids weak and pale like that little girl (or it could be, that ginger kids are really that pale and sickly looking, to began with). For what ever purpose, the Skitters want/are using the harnesses and the kidnapped kids for, they seem to want more of them (or it could be about replenishing the ones that were rescued by the 2nd Mass).
Edited by TVspectator, Jul 19, 2011 @ 4:28 AM.
Posted Jul 18, 2011 @ 11:40 PM
OK, they are from another planet, but what earth species do they have stuff in common with? Is that an exoskeleton we've been looking at? Or more amphibian/reptile? I thought I heard the general say that they had their top scientists working on this huge unknown, but then that plotline seems to have been dropped in favor of more hugs and family time. And killing off Dcotor Smarmy to boot. So damn frustrating...
Plus I have yet to witness anyone examining a downed mech, even for spare parts. Or perhaps they just conveniently vaporize themselves.
I want scifi, but mostly what I'm getting is schmaltz, a TV drama that the entire family can enjoy watching together with no really scary bits or only a few stretched far apart.
Posted Jul 20, 2011 @ 10:10 AM
Posted Jul 20, 2011 @ 11:40 AM
And just why haven't they autopsied Hermie? (Or did they, and I missed the reference to it?)
Posted Jul 23, 2011 @ 10:55 AM
Posted Jul 23, 2011 @ 12:08 PM
you don't necessarily kill a bug by trying to take off its legs, do ya? I'd say if you've got a shot or two on a Skitter, how about aiming for the huge head or thorax?
I assume the reference to taking off some legs was to slow it down so it couldn't scramble around so easily, not to kill it. From what we saw in the early eps, random shots don't seem to do much because you have to "get in close" for the fatal blow. Since we don't actually know if the skitters have a really tough exoskeleton, shots to the head or thorax may just kinda bounce off or not do much damage.
It seems like it took the fighters over six months to figure how to effectively off a skitter with a high percentage of certainty. I guess they just weren't paying much attention to which techniques worked since they were so busy hugging at home. Or else they were super afraid of the alien invaders and just took random shots from a distance. So they desperately needed the advice of the hardened ex-con with psychopathic tendencies to teach them a thing or two. Conveniently, all the hardcore well-trained military types were already wiped out with no stragglers who might have real skills hiding out in remote spots.
Or maybe that is exactly the premise -- how do everyday people fight off a foreign invader without the support of the military?
Posted Jul 28, 2011 @ 1:24 AM
Edited by QueenofCups, Jul 28, 2011 @ 1:58 AM.
Posted Jul 28, 2011 @ 10:59 AM
My theory is that slave kids turn into aliens. I think that Skitters are the result of the "other" aliens harnessing them on their planet and then ruling them...kind like the Borg. They are doing the same to us....
Posted Jul 28, 2011 @ 11:48 AM
Posted Jul 28, 2011 @ 7:48 PM
Posted Jul 29, 2011 @ 12:19 PM
With winter coming, I also have to wonder if they are warm-blooded. If not, the cold will slow them down. That could be an interesting plot line.
Posted Jul 29, 2011 @ 1:02 PM
I guess you could fanwank around this problem by positing a super-light but strong exoskeleton from a biological substance unkown to earth science.
The Earthlings lack of curiosity about the anatomy of the Skitter seems odd to me. Shouldn't they want to know their enemy, especially its physical limits?
Posted Jul 29, 2011 @ 1:33 PM
Do arthropods have soft palates? When I'm cracking crabs and lobsters, it seems like carapace [?] separates the internal sections which I stll have to poke thru with the little fork thingy or my trusty pocket knife. It may not be as thick as the outer shell, but it's not soft and squishy. Now that makes we wonder if skitters molt in season?
Posted Jul 29, 2011 @ 3:33 PM
I'm not sure they have palates at all, at least, not like us. Arthropods tend to do a good bit of their food processing out front, with mandibles and such, which probably means less risk of damage to the brain. We (and others like us) have combined the food crunching (if you're into that, plenty of animals don't) with the armor plate that surrounds our brains. The evolutionary logic seems pretty simple - if you're vulnerable to shock trauma to the brain, one good poke and chances are you lose it all. Selection has been pretty hard and consistent - protect the squishy thinking parts even at great cost. Long story short, no, arthropods protect their nervous systems just like everybody else, tailored to lots of other things like specific eating habits and body design. I will concede that their brains are usually in proximity to their feeding bits so maybe this is where the writers got the idea.
Do arthropods have soft palates?
One of many reasons I find the this show irritating. I applaud the modicum of writing that showed that the 2nd Mass is paying any attention at all to their sworn enemy's vulnerabilities but the skitter's weakness seems frankly ridiculous on the face of it. I can only assume skitters don't shove food in their 'mouth', else this makes no sense at all. I'm sure the skitters spring from a totally different tree than anything on earth but protecting one's good bits seems likely to be a pretty popular trend everywhere.
Too bad no evolutionary biologists survived the skittercost - a few minutes with any of my colleagues would tell us a lot about these guys. Not the least of which is how they reproduce, which can tell tons about the species and might be highly relevant for strategic purposes. For instance: if you're dealing with asexual clones they might be a hive species. If so, forget clipping the workers, they'll just make more. Take out a few breeders now and they might start to lose interest.
Edited by henriPootel, Jul 29, 2011 @ 3:42 PM.
Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 10:50 AM
Edited by Make It So, Aug 1, 2011 @ 10:51 AM.
Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 10:21 PM
Posted Aug 2, 2011 @ 6:24 AM
So now we get more insight into the makeup of skitters. I would think the existing skitters have to be from other worlds - the invasion just took place months ago, and the skitters have been here since the beginning (per the Crayola narration). The human kids are being transformed as well, apparently.
Given the healing and super-strengthening properties of the skitter-making biotechnology, maybe they've been here before. Maybe Dr. Moon will be able to reverse it and we'll be greeted by the likes of Amelia Earhart and Elvis.
I really don't think that the Skitters are actually mutated humans but another alien race that was subjugated by another alien race.
Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 12:14 PM
Since the harnessed kids are zombies completely under Skitter control, I wonder if that mental state will suddenly change after they are fully converted. The Skitters, while following orders, don't appear to be zombies. I'm sure the show has thought that far ahead and my question will be answered.
Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 1:49 PM
I mean if you look at the differences, that's a hell of a lot of flesh and tissue to grow.
Maybe (forgive me if this has already been supposed) the life cycle of the skitter is Ben will get ravenously hungry next. Because really if he is going to grow 4 more alien legs and turn the ones he has into alien legs, along with sporting a new head, he's going to need a lot of food.
That would be a spectacularly dumb plan on a planet where your attack would make survivors hoard food, and food isn't easy to find. Anyhow, Ben gets super hungry and then disappears. Next thing you know you see a chrysalis hanging from a tree or something like when Pope blew them up, and that's Ben headed to full skitterization.
It's still incredibly time consuming as a takeover strategy though. And Ben's going to need a lot of food - Doc Anne did a fair bit of digging to find that the skitter flesh had developed over the harness. I'd sooner believe Ben gets mind controlled into a playdoh facility where flesh is slapped around him, than he somehow consumes enough to realistically make the change.
The you'll never see it on this show alternative? He kills and devours Ricky or some red shirt, lays around all fat like, and then turns. Extra points if he eats his younger brother just to bulk up.
Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 2:36 PM
I can't see the two of them turning into skitters, it just doesn't seem like its going to happen. I still think the harness needs to be on. My guess it that the transformation has stopped now.
It was entire dumb that the MD didn't also check Ricky. He's doing nothing but sitting around in the clinic.
Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 2:51 PM
But Doc Anne felt around on Ben's back with the scalpel and he couldn't feel it. Seems like he's still going through "the change" aka skitterpause.
My guess it that the transformation has stopped now.
Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 7:06 PM
Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 8:56 PM
I just realized they haven't tried to see what the skitters' weakness is. What if skitters are afraid of fire!? This is how this fails as science fiction. Here they are with a skitter body - they take forever to dissect it, and all they get out of it is that it was a harnessed...uh....something or other. Does it crack easily? Does it burn? Is it flammable? For all you know it might have lighter fluid for blood and pee gas. Trial and error? A hypothesis or two? Do these dummies even understand the science part of science fiction? Someone please harness these writers. How do we get 7 or 8 episodes in and we have yet to find out anything substantive aside from the moronically obvious "stab it through the brain and you'll kill it" which just happens to work on 95% of animal life bigger than your toe. They've revealed a nugget or two, but nothing like what we should know by now. No, they've used up most of the time with animated hallmark card moments.