ok so i want to make a creature with a retractable spike in its body, (like it just comes out from its flesh)

can this be biologically plausible, if yes, please explain and which part of the body is best (I'm suggesting on either the side of tail (not the tip) or its back abdomen)?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Here, kitty, kitty, kitty. Nice kit...OW! (Practical demonstration of creature with retractable spikes :-)) $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Apr 11, 2020 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas his question is valid for this forum, as he's asking about the plausibility of his creature's trait. Designing the entities which which inhabit your fictional world is part of the world building process. Also, apparently the Sci-fi stack exchange focuses on already existing universes. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2020 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf That can be put in an answer. $\endgroup$
    – rytan451
    Apr 11, 2020 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas I see $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2020 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


Retractable spikes are biologically possible, and are found in many felines, including the common house cat (the spikes are the claws).

In aquatic environments, retractable spines can be found in filefish, in a formation around the head (they have two: one is larger, and the other is used to hold it in place). It is also possible for spines to be just laying flat until the creature is threatened (pufferfish are an example).

In theory, there is no reason that these traits cannot be found in the locations you want.

  • $\begingroup$ but a pufferfish (porcupinefish) spines are clearly visible (inflated or not), I want my creature to do something like this: i.pinimg.com/originals/a8/ea/f0/… $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2020 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ I also reference cat claws, which are not clearly visible. Using a mechanism similar to cat claws in place of pufferfish spines is theoretically possible (though evolutionarily, what advantage is there to hiding the spines, anyways?) $\endgroup$
    – rytan451
    Apr 12, 2020 at 8:34

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