Merfolk are a staple of mythology often having the upper half of a man and the bottom half of a fish (or other marine animal). enter image description here

Now (assuming these merfolk are mammals and apart of the great ape family) What would merfolk realistically look like? Would they have human like hair, ears, nose, eyebrows? Would they be more like dolphins or whales, and what evolutionary pressures would lead to them?

Part of the Anatomically Correct Series.

New contributor
Anmol Singh is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • $\begingroup$ Anmol Singh - thank you for posting here, and welcome to the group. You may want to consider revising your question to be more specific. This group tries very hard to find "right" and "wrong" answers to questions. Merfolk are identified many different ways throughout mythology and for anyone to attempt an answer, you will probably need to help out with what a merfolk means to you. $\endgroup$ – James McLellan Mar 24 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ I'm surprised we didn't have a question in the AC series for merfolk yet. $\endgroup$ – Renan Mar 24 at 19:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ At a guess? Dolphins or seals with arms and hands instead of flippers. That said, hands (and shoulders, particularly) are counter to streamlining, so I don't know how you'd get there "naturally"; trailing tentacles might be more plausible as manipulators, or at least they should be able to tuck the limbs away somehow. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Mar 24 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, one question per, well, question, please. There's a reason your second question was edited out. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Mar 24 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ ...aaaaand I'm not sure why this was closed. Since the aforementioned edit, sure, pedants can argue there are "multiple questions", but all of them are really just aspects of "what would they look like?". VTRO. (That said, it probably wouldn't hurt to specify what characteristics you are requiring them to have. For example, I assume "hands" would be one...) $\endgroup$ – Matthew Mar 26 at 19:38

Your Answer

Anmol Singh is a new contributor. Be nice, and check out our Code of Conduct.

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.