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Looking to how I can make Nagas and Mermaids able to exist and evolve in my story, I came across this post which explains how Nagas could evolve from humans: Anatomically Correct Naga

In the top answer by Renan, it mentions that the genes for sirenomelia could give Nagas an evolutionary advantage. Since they're close to each other, I was thinking that my Mer and Naga evolved from the same evolutionary line close to humans; the Mer staying in water, and Nagas evolving to climb trees and eventually live on land.

But regarding the Mermaids, I was wondering if they would also develop fins as well, if their sirenomelia didn't completely erase their feet. Would they be closer to cetacean fins, or seal fins? And how could this not change the appearance of the Naga?

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  • $\begingroup$ Fins and fused legs are exactly what happened to Cetacea. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn this is true. I should've added earlier how it shouldn't disrupt the appearence of the Naga as well. $\endgroup$
    – TGCF
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ Cetaceans didn't fuse their legs, they lost one pair and turned the other into flippers. $\endgroup$
    – SealBoi
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 8:39

2 Answers 2

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Mermaids traditionally bask on rocks, sandbanks and, in some stories, spend extended time on land. These behaviours are consistent with seals. Seals even give birth on land or in very shallow water.

Seals' flippers have a well-defined skeleton that allows them to move on land however clumsily.

enter image description here

On the other hand a cetacean out of the water or even in the shallows is helpless. Its flukes are completely boneless. At the most it can only flap about. Perhaps the only exception is among killer whales when attacking seals on the shore line. Even then they rely on catching the next wave to get back into the ocean as soon as possible.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ The issue with seal-like mermaids going on land is that "hands-free" movement would be much harder. Seals use their front flippers to move forwards on land, so these mermaids would have to use their arms, like a normal human crawling. $\endgroup$
    – Karst
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 21:06
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The mermaids could keep their flukes off the ground while on land and only lower them in water. Just a thought.

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