Another videogame monster, this time the bulborbs from the Pikmin series. Throughout the series, there have been multiple types of bulborbs, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ll be asking about the poster child of the entire species: the Red Bulborb.


One of the interesting things about the series is that the main characters give detailed log entries about the various enemies, plant life, and objects found throughout the game. This gives us a bit to work with:

They are nocturnal, often encountered sleeping.

While they look mammalian, they have an insect-like life cycle; growing up from grubs birthed by a giant termite queen-like Empress Bulblax.

They possess a set of mandibles (even though they look more like fangs).

They have eyestalks, leathery skin and a snout.

So, could these things evolve in nature?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The answer to your question is yes: if it’s not physically impossible then it can evolve. A more interesting question would be ‘How can I make it likely such a creature would evolve’ $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 7:43
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because Bulborb, by your own admission, is a commercial third party intellectual property. WB.SE isn't for satisfying idle curiosity about other people's work. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


Probably! Assuming an infinite universe, anything in the laws of physics is possible, so the bulborb likely could exist. But that's not a terribly interesting answer, is it? A more interesting question - with more interesting associated answer - would be "under what circumstances would a bulborb be LIKELY to evolve?" So I'm going to answer that one too.

First off, you're missing the presence of the Emperor Bulblax, who puts an entirely different spin on things. I propose that, rather than being insectoid, bulborbs are more like our fish. Given their rather bizarre body structure (tiny legs, large body, and eyestalks?), it seems likely that they developed from amphibious creatures, possibly swamp-dwellers - their large bodies are/would be somewhat buoyant, allowing them to maintain a neutral position in the water with their eyes above the surface. Their legs mostly served for limited propulsion, and also allowed them to lunge out of the swamp to seize prey - also a reason for mandibles that can grip quickly. The female and male Bulblaxes are simply alternate forms of the normal bulborb, which are taken for the purpose of mating - the female becomes immensely bloated in order to produce a large quantity of larvae, and the male (her chosen mate) takes on a larger form to protect her, as she is largely immobile while producing young. The male's strange hunting method lets it store food in a crop, which it brings to the female. The general bulborb form evolved during a time in PNF-404's history where there was (for some reason) less heat and light in the atmosphere, possibly due to a volcanic eruption or simply a wobbling of the planet; now that more radiation from the planet's sun reaches the surface, the bulborb swamps have receded, and more durable hides have become useful for staying on land. Their tiny legs are still not well-adapted for long-term action, though, and they are still more sensitive to sunlight thanks to their swamp-protected ancestors, so they sleep during the day to conserve energy and avoid the heat.


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