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In my fantasy world, which lacks a name currently, there is a race of what looks like a series of interconnected worms or maggots that is known for growing in and around skeletons using its own body to act as the skeletons muscles. Basically using the skeleton as both a shell and transportation (basically my, I think uniquish, skeleton hoard).

Now I'm wondering how would this creature reasonably bind the bones together? Bonus points for a way that would allow fluid motion.

Note: The feasibility of this race will come as a later question.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Now I'm wondering how would this creature reasonably bind the bones together?" Ever seen a videogame called Octopus Dad? Anyway +1. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jun 28 '18 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ You mean like the lekgolo in the Halo universe? $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Jun 28 '18 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ if they are acting like the muscles aren't they bonding the bones together? $\endgroup$ – John Jun 28 '18 at 3:58
  • $\begingroup$ How do the worms coordinate movement? And in response to what stimuli? Without coordination the bag-o-bones would seem to just sit there and quiver and writhe. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Jun 28 '18 at 4:44
  • $\begingroup$ Is this actually a colony of multiple worms or one creature that has the appearance of multiple worms? $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jun 28 '18 at 6:46
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More or less what you find in social insects, where there are the workers, the soldiers and the egg layer, in this species there are different specializations: some individuals are better suited to mimic the muscles, some other the tendons and ligaments, some other the skin. (At the end you don't want them to dry up in a sunny day, don't you?)

They know more or less how to arrange around bones to keep them in place, and then they mimic the organization of tendons and muscles to be able to enact movements.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... Well this would be a interesting skeleton indeed especially if the worms are only a thin layer on the skeleton. The image in my head is pretty scary, :P $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Jun 28 '18 at 12:22
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If the worms claimed recently deceased hosts, they could east up the muscle and other soft tissue and replace them, but keep the tendons, cartilage etc intact. This may also deal with the feasibility of how they know how to organise themselves - they just copy the old host.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this one and makes sense seeing as the initial flesh gives them time to feed and grow. $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Jun 28 '18 at 12:17
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It sounds like you could use some sort of specialized secretion. I get the impression you want the worms to be fairly small. With that in mind, something like mucuous or silk might work. Seeing as his muscles are normally attached to bone with tendons, you could have these worms use a silk-like material as a substitute for tendons. I suggest picking a natural base like one of these and tweak it to suit your needs.

(P.S. This is my first answer, so apologies if I missed any bits of etiquette.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I currently don't know about size, but silk like substance does sound good. Also no worries this was a good and we'll thought out answer (I'm newish too so no worries). $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Jun 28 '18 at 12:19
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You could say that the worms or maggots produce a gooey sticky slime which acts as an adhesive to bones. not only will it be bonded strongly but also will be very flexible. As for the control, there can be a main queen worm which acts like the head and is responsible for just control, while other worms take care of the other functions or you can even have a certain kind of neural signals with a feedback which can transmit over their skins, helping them in coordination and control.

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah I had the idea of a queen worm that would control the host. Honestly she could probably just hide in the skull. $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Jun 28 '18 at 12:20

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