In Wayne Barlowe's book Expedition he has some creatures who have become monopods, or only having one foot. They use it to hop through the dense air. Since the author never really got into the details , how do you see something like this evolving? If you have some other way monopods might evolve, that's allowed too, with one exception. No high gravity sliding on one foot like a snail creatures. That's already been done on deviant art and I want to encourage creativity.


closed as unclear what you're asking by dot_Sp0T, elemtilas, JBH, Mołot, rek Nov 27 '18 at 1:32

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    $\begingroup$ mollusks have a foot. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mollusca#Foot $\endgroup$ – theRiley Nov 25 '18 at 5:50
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    $\begingroup$ This is an excellent candidate for our Anatomically Correct series and I encourage you to edit your question to meet the requirements of the series. $\endgroup$ – JBH Nov 25 '18 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't feel like you're trying to solve a problem or anything similar. Also how do you differentiate good and bad answers? What is your goal? $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Nov 25 '18 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ I could answer this in a lot of detail. However it would require quite a long essay. In short the factors that have to be taken into account are, Speciation, Sexual Selection, Mutation, Mendelian Genetics, Natural Gene Splicing and Survival. Maybe I'll have a go sometime but don't hold your breath! ;-) $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Nov 25 '18 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ I concur with JBH: a great candidate for the anatomically correct series! I would ask you to consider theReiley's question though: do you mean monopod in the mollusk sense, or do you mean a bipedal creature that evolved to lose one of its legs? $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Nov 25 '18 at 18:20

It is assumed, based on our scientific knowledge, that land animals have evolved from a species of fish which first ventured on the dry land in a distant past. Having evolved from this fish, all animals kept the structure with 4 limbs, deriving from the 4 fins of the fish.

Since you want to develop a monopode, look back at the fishes: do we have any fish which doesn't rely on 4 fins? YES!

The soleidae!


Soles begin life as bilaterally symmetric larvae, with an eye on each side of the head, but during development, the left eye moves around onto the right side of the head. Adult soles lie on their left (blind) sides on the sea floor, often covered in mud, which in combination with their dark colours, makes them hard to spot.

Starting from this genus of fishes, organism might evolve leading to a motion like the one of some caterpillars, which use their body like a spring to perform jumps.


I know, the caterpillars technically have more than one foot, but I am using them as an example to convey the type of movement.

  • $\begingroup$ mollusks, such as snails or even clams, move on their single foot: youtube.com/watch?v=0xBDwe1FD50 $\endgroup$ – theRiley Nov 25 '18 at 11:24
  • $\begingroup$ interestingly, just found this out, cephalopod tentacles are all derived from the foot of their simpler mollusk ancestors. $\endgroup$ – theRiley Nov 25 '18 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ If that catepillar is a 'monopod,' wouldn't a snake also be a monopod? $\endgroup$ – kingledion Nov 25 '18 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ catepillars are not monopods, they have several hundred or more legs $\endgroup$ – Joe Smith Nov 26 '18 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ How/why would a flounder convergent alien creature, which is supposed to hide on the sea floor, evolve to eventually hop across the land? wouldn't there be other species with more advantage? $\endgroup$ – Joe Smith Nov 26 '18 at 4:35

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