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In ancient Mesopotamian mythology, Humbaba was an evil giant slain by the hero Gilgamesh in the famous Epic of Gilgamesh. In the epic, there was only one Humbaba, but for the purposes of this question let's imagine there's a viable population like any other species.

Accounts of his appearance differ depending on the translation of the poem, but I'm going to with the one described in George Burckhart's one.

(Picture potentially NSFW)

enter image description here

In it, Humbaba is described as having:

  • A face like coiled intestines
  • Paws for hands
  • Thorny scales
  • tail and phallus ending in a snake's head
  • horns like a bull's
  • clawed feet

Just like any giant, he is much taller than a standard man and has an overall humanoid body plan.

How could this organism plausibly evolve said features, and what would it descend from?

I don't mind if some of the more minor features are omitted, such as the paws, which are hard to justify in a bipedal animal.

Anatomically correct series

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    $\begingroup$ It is hard to see any successful path that leads to a non-functional phallus given its importance in reproduction. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ @GaryWalker Who says it's non-functional? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ @GaryWalker It needn't be non functional, it could just have a secondary purpose, like display or mimicry. $\endgroup$
    – SealBoi
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 20:06

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I won't suggest a single ancestor but just point out that real-life animals can have strange appendages.If such things can evolve separately then by fluke they could all evolve on a single creature.

Snake Like Penis

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Twin Penis

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Weird face

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Thorny scales

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I have to go so I'll add links tomorrow.

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Humababa is a bipedal reptile in symbiotic relationship with snakes. Or maybe the piped is the female, and snakes attached to its body are males.

In either case, snakes provide venom attacks, 360 vision, and ability to attack smaller & faster animals. In return, they get to eat leftovers from pidped's kills, and get warmth as its larger body stores heat better, and allows it to even generate it internally (some dinosaurs could do that).

Horns, scales and claws are common in reptiles. Snakes can attach to these scales. They prefer to be around the head for better vision and access to food, but some are relegated to lower body (and were mistaken for penis and tail by scared humans).

If biped is the female, then males fight for the right to be on the biped's crotch, as it enables them to mate with the female. Head-based snakes are younger males, or older ones resting between mating attempts.

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    $\begingroup$ Wait, so less a symbiotic relationship between snake and biped and more extreme sexual dimorphism akin to an angler fish?? $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ While this kind of sexual dimorphism is a really cool idea and would make for a great alien species, the question asked is about what it would evolve from which makes me think the question is more about how this could "theoretically" happen on Earth. Since reptiles tend to have very little sexual dimorphism, a symbiotic relationship seems much more plausible. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps the young are kept in pouches near the mouth a little like a catfish holding eggs in its mouth. I'm guessing it might evolve on a planet with a radical orbital swing so they need to take advantage of every mate they can get for as long as they can, so sometimes they double up and the young have to be kept near the mother for warmth and protection. Perhaps they get to bore into large prey once mature enough and get buried with it to rise mature in spring. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Smith
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 6:09
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If you assume the Phallus and tail are purely mimicry, I'd go with descended from dinosaurs. If the kosmoceratops were to continue to evolve to have it's faceplate curl over it could have over time created the two "bull horns" and wreathed the face in a bone plate that would resemble "coiled intestines". Paws for hands, claws for feet, thorny scales, and large size are all easy aspect of dinosaur ancestry. The bipedal nature and snake-like appendages would have been specifically evolved features, but again, the fact you are taking a species that would have continued to exist in isolation for millions of years, makes it pretty easy to justify.

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This species does not use penetrative sex for reproduction.

Phallus and tail are actually two tentacles, one of which the male uses to deposit the spermatic bag into the cochlea of the mating female.

They come in pair because the second one, not used for mating purposes, it just serves the scope of displaying the fitness of the male.

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the region has a concentration of raw plutonium under the mountain. This is why the region is thought to be cursed. Because all the creatures who live there are somehow deformed and strange. This is really because the radiation has affected their genetic structure. Somehow the creatures have become capable of cross breeding and the new species has taken certain traits from each of the creatures.

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  • $\begingroup$ This unfortunately does not answer my question, since it has the science-based tag and thus excludes magic. $\endgroup$
    – SealBoi
    Commented Dec 1, 2018 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ Revised with science $\endgroup$
    – Robus
    Commented Dec 1, 2018 at 18:17
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The humbaba could evolve from a reptiliomorph that evolved to stay in the water throughout its life. They may have gained an air-sack similar to the air-sack of snakes, in order to stay buoyant in the water. They may later become terrestrial again, but keep the air-sack. The environment might dry out, reducing the amount of water available for larval reptiliomorphs to live in. To account for this, the reptiliomorph might fill their air-sac with water, to allow the eggs to develop there. In order to get eggs into the water-sac, they may gain a long ovipositor and a long tongue. The tongue may become curved to allow the eggs to be more easily held. This would eventually lead to a tube-like tongue that can suck up eggs. The tongue may gain spines at the tip to ward off predators, which might allow the creature to use the tongue for feeding. The spines could fuse together into a single tooth, allowing the creature to cut into prey and suck out their organs, with less risk of diseases from eating exposed meat. Their tongue might grow, and eventually would crumple into the mouth when not in use. The jaws would be reduced, as they are not needed as much. The tongue may increase in lenght so much that it appears to comprise the entire face. In order to support this, the hyoid may split apart and fill the tonge, as a form of skeletal support. The creature might move to a more forested environment. This would give them access to more food, which could allow them to become endothermic, and to gain a more efficient erect posture. They might allow grow larger, and take on larger prey. Due to the larger amount of water in the environment, they might evolve to throw the water of their water-sac onto predators in order to startle them. In order to avoid being snuck up on, they may improve their hearing ability. This increased ability to hear might lead to the ability to produce sound, as a mating call. These features may then lead to the creature using echolocation, with less need for eyes. They may also evolve to produce venom, if they have no water to spare, alongside many fangs to inject the venom. Their important but weak tongue may also evolve to be covered in tiny stinging hairs, to make it easier to protect. They may also extend their scales into spines, in order to protect their body. Two of the fangs would likely extend into long tusks, in order to inject the venom more easily. Eventually, the fangs would be so large and strong that the venom duct, and the gland, would be lost, in order to make the tusks more stable. The other fangs might reduce, with the venom glands changing to produce a misty poison. One gland may move to the tear duct, and fill the duct with poison which is then violently sprayed forwards from the eyes. The other glands may fuse into a fire-producing system, allowing them to exhale flames. They may become more cursorial, and gain paws on their feet to allow greater strain on the feet, and therefore higher speeds. They might evolve to hunt more well-armoured prey, and so become better at ripping apart prey. They may at first use their ovipositor/penis, which might become more flexible, and gain 2 fingers. These fingers might expand and become serrated, until they resemble a snake. The ovipositor/penis may also evolve to contain a segmented pubis, similar to the hyoid in the tongue. The hindlegs may also become more bird-like, in order to help pull apart food. Their population might reduce due to some event, and so the males may start to rear up and fight eachother for females. Eventually, they may evolve to move only while reared up, as this is more efficient. In order to stay balanced, their tail might thicken into a shape similar to a serpentine head. This might become more snake-like, to scare off predators while sleeping. These changes would lead to a Humbaba

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Let's say a species with a weird face, twin, snakelike penises, paws for hands, thorny scales, and clawed feet was peacefully dwelling in a forest one day when radiation hit it and mutated it into Humbaba. Problem solved: you have an anatomically correct Humbaba!!!

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