Basically, I have a creature that is larger than an average human, and smaller than a bigger shire horse. So, size is adjustable. The bodyplan is similar to that of a horse, except for a longer neck and a powerful tail for ranged attacks.

This animal was supposed to be fighting humans armed with various firearms, basically anything that is less powerful than a .50 BMG, .50 BMGs can more easily be disabled by magic, so they're not playing.

This animal can only use its natural abilities, aka, no tool-making or calling Sly Marbo for assistance.

  • The combat zone is a flat plane.
  • The human and the animal are roughly 50 meters from each other.
  • The human is holding a firearm, available ammunition is assumed to be irrelevant (i.e: there is enough).
  • The human has a hazmat suit, ear protection and body armor (only on the torso, though).
  • Both the human and the animal catch each other by surprise.
  • There is some cover, they both start at least five meters from the nearest cover to them.
  • The animal wins if its able to neutralize the human, and the human wins if he's able to seriously injure the creature. (a gunshot near a vital area is enough).

These creatures, while biological, were designed by a great intelligence, so you're allowed to use anything a living creature theoretically could.

These creatures were designed to be able to handle a firefight and weren't designed soley for it.

What adaptation would be the most effective for these creatures to be able to defeat the human most of the time?


4 Answers 4


The human does not realize the creature is there until too late.

alligator snapping turtle


Your creature is very well camouflaged, in the manner of an octopus. It may have also acquired some items from the environment which are affixed to its body, ghillie-suit style. The human can see it but does not realize it is a living thing. The creature does have one very visible attribute, which can be used to attract attention and draw things near, like the alligator snapper in this turtle - its tongue looks like a red worm and fish come to investigate.

Even if the human is aware that creatures such as this exist, the humans are still often fooled. Like an octopus these creatures can mimic various environmental things, and their visible attribute can change too - they are creative and perceptive. The visible attribute might be a severed human hand, or part of a human weapon. The visible attribute might also be done in such a way as to not attract attention - for example it might be a plant, or a bird common to the area. The creature might be an expanse of ground, and the visible attribute might be a rock.

The creature is not bulletproof. They defeat the humans because the humans get close without realizing what they are getting close to, and don't get to fire their weapons.


In encounter with an actual bear in described situation shooter is doomed.

The reason is very simple (and also applies to, say knife, fight between humans): deadly wound is not a stopping wound. Deadly shot bear is cappable to fight in full strength (and even more due to rage) for several minutes (and even several hours). And in 1-to-1 fight human has no chances against bear in any gear (in described situation bear would just break person and eat off his head).

And it close to impossible to inflict deadly wound to bear with low-caliber weapons. Even shots from AK to head is not capable to penetrate bears skill. Most handgun shots couldn't penetrate its skin! Only very expirianced hunter with appropriate gun and ammunition can kill bear with 1-2 shorts. Soldiers guarding outposts at bear-intensive places are specialy instructed not to shoot bears in any situation.

So my answer: RL bigger animals like bears, tigers, large boars are already more than cappable to fight effectively against humans with firearms because of "rage mode" wich allows them to fight wounded and even deadly wounded

Bears still kill tens to hundreds of humans annualy. And a considerable parts of this humans were armed with firearms.

P.S. Running is not an option with a bear: it outruns humans on short and middle distances and can climb trees and other obsticals better than human, it swims better than human.

  • $\begingroup$ I recall reading an early account of settlers meeting a grizzly, iirc there were 100 of them armed with muskets, the bear killed 20 of them before it went down. $\endgroup$
    – jk.
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ Guess I'd only make things worse with graphene composites and scutes with similar micro structure to pistol shrimp claws $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ On the otherhand an unarmed man killed a grizzlybear, by choking it to death. $\endgroup$
    – Pliny
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 18:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @GarretGang it's an exeption - bear might be week, and human very strong and very luky. In most cases I know bears were unstoppable killing mashines. And not only bears. One of my coworkers bearly survived boar attack at a hunt (6 months in hospital). And that was not a large boar. $\endgroup$
    – ksbes
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 6:57

There are really only three possible adaptations that would make sense for the animal in this scenario:

  1. Extreme camouflage so the human is not aware of the presence of the creature or cannot take effective aim once the creature starts moving

  2. Blinding speed and reflexes. A human gunman is considered at risk if an opponent armed with a knife is within 7 m (21 feet) as a charging opponent can close the distance before the person can draw, aim and engage with a holstered pistol. A rifle will have similar limitations unless the shooter is carrying it at the ready, which is difficult and tiring.

  3. The creature is biologically like a starfish or similar creature, which has few "vital organs" that can be targeted. A starfish can be torn in half and the two halves can regenerate. Unless the weapon is something like a grenade launcher firing thermobaric grenades (which has obvious issues for the user as well), or flechette rounds, then an ordinary firearm, even on using full powered rifle ammunition (.303, .308 or larger calibers) isn't going to kill or disable the creature.

If the creature does have these sorts of attributes, the shooter will need to carry a suitable weapon, such as a Milcor grenade launcher, AA-12 shotgun (possibly with 12 gauge explosive rounds and a 28 round drum magazine) or MG-42 machine-gun with a 75 or 100 round belt carrier attached. The 1200 RPM firing rate will certainly do a number on whatever is hit. Whatever weapon is chosen should have a "reflex" sight for maximum speed of acquiring and engaging the target.

Games like this are never one sided......


Forget blindingly fast reflexes, but instead consider merely blinding. The human can only shoot you if they can see you, so, barf up a mixture of exciting chemicals capable of generating a very bright flash of light. There probably isn't a good biological mechanism for a reusable flashlamp organ, so limited reserves of light-generating chemicals are probably the order of the day.

These could be followed up (or replaced) by something that generates a thick cloud of black smoke, ninja-style. Fart out a big smokescreen, and circle round, flee, or wait for the human to run out of ammunition as you see fit.


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