# What would creatures look like if they lived on a planet where the weather is constantly hostile, i.e. hurricanes, thunderstorms, etc?

first time here.

I have a book I am wanting to write but I need some creative help.

There is this planet where it constantly rains, the sky is lit up with thunderstorms, and hurricanes are a dime a dozen.

I don't want to give too much away, but what would a race of aliens look like if they lived on this planet?

I picture them having umbrella-like heads, their bodies have an exoskeleton to protect against the harsh climate. I guess picture like a Kabutops' head from Pokemon. Just the head, but a bit more rounded. They take shelter in the mountains and in caves.

There is a lot more to these creatures I am creating than I am saying but I don't want to give too much away.

• Can you embelish on hostility? If you look into a mirror you will see a creature that live in a planet of hurricanes, tornadoes, vulcanoes, thunderstorm and lightnings (very very fritghtening). And from time to time we get meteor showers. – SZCZERZO KŁY Jul 1 at 8:32
• I'm not sure these need to be much different from your typical rainforest inhabitants. I'd probably look at amphibians and other creatures that don't mind being out in the rain. – Matthew Jul 1 at 14:27
• If there is a lot wind, then an umbrella or Kubutop like head might be a disadvantage due to the forces, unless there is some way you can take advantage of it. In a rocky windy world the creature might look pretty different than a windy forested world, I think you have a lot of freedom with what your character could look like. – UVphoton Jul 1 at 20:41
• What would creatures look like if they evolved on a more clement planet? You can't describe the appearance or form of all life on Earth in a few sentences, so how could we answer this question? VTC needs focus. – rek Jul 2 at 0:26
• @rek You can easily explain what features would and wouldn't be useful on a planet, which would inform what life would look like. For example, on a more stable planet, there would likely be many ectotherms which cannot endure a variable body tempurature, while on a less stable planet, there would likely be endotherms that could endure a body tempurate as variable as Earth's insects – Ichthys King Jul 2 at 10:09

Most creatures would likely live in caves or deep in the ocean. These caves might be filled with diverse life if the caves have some way of getting food, such as holes in the cave that allow light in, or perhaps something like long lakes filled with hydrothermal vents

In the first case, the creatures would look similar to life on earth. They would likely have eyes. However, the life-forms would likely be quite small and simple, as the constant cloud-cover would limit the light that plants would get. The animal life would be further limited by the fact that much of the larger plants' energy would go to forming shells or other means of protection against damage from outside

In the second case, the creatures would be quite different. More of the cave would be explored, and so there would likely be many creatures with sticky pads or suckers, in order to climb on the walls and ceiling of the cave. There may be many secondarily aquatic creatures, as there would always be pressures for creatures to return to water, as there would be no producers on land. There would still be predators on land, which would feed on amphibious creatures and other land predators. Most animals would not have eyes, and would instead use vibrations and echolocation. There would likely need to be some sort of opening, to allow oxygen produced by terrestrial plants to enter the cave. Or perhaps instead there could be oxygen-producing microbes in the water, which would allow the cave to stay sealed. The cave would likely be warm, and so endothermy would be unlikely

• Thank you! Not quite the answer I was looking for based on my question, but this does gives me a very solid idea of how I will build the world and it's other inhabitants. – Seldomseeen Jul 2 at 10:00

If these creatures of yours evolved on a planet fraught with constant lightning storms, they probably wouldn’t merely attempt to protect themselves from the weather, but rather to take advantage of it.

Frequent hurricanes and lightning storms means that there’s a huge amount of free electrical and kinetic energy flying around. If organisms can somehow figure out how to harness these energy sources, they’ll occupy a niche that gives them access to huge amounts of energy. Here are some possible ways in which creatures might use this volatile environment to their benefit:

• You might have a creature whose body contains a lightning-rod-like organ that attracts lightning and harvests its energy. A lightning bolt transfers about 5 gigajoules of energy. Given that a calorie is about $$4.2$$ joules and a BLT sandwich is about $$344$$ calories, that’s like $$\frac{5\cdot 10^9}{4.2\cdot 344}\approx 3.46\cdot 10^6$$ or 3.5 million BLT sandwiches being dropped into your mouth at once! Even if this creature can only harvest a fraction of the energy, it’ll still be a considerable “meal.”
• If some animal manages to evolve enough body armor to survive outside for extended periods of time, then it can feed on the carcasses of other animals that have wandered out of their caves and perished due to the harsh conditions.
• Imagine a creature like a flying squirrel, but much less fragile. It could live near the mouths of caves and feed on whatever everything else living in caves eats. However, if any predator comes too close for comfort, all it has to do to is step outside and let itself be whisked away by the wind in order to make a quick escape.

By the way, have you ever tried holding an umbrella during a windstorm? You might want to reconsider giving your creatures umbrella-heads, unless you don’t mind if they’re randomly pulled in every which direction by the erratic winds.

• Even in serious storms lighting isn't very common. Lake Maracaibo, the "lightning-iest" place on Earth, still gets less than one lightning strike per square kilometer per day. Maybe a more advanced civilization could figure out how to capture the lighting for technological use? But I don't think that lightning could be common enough to drive adaptation without making life untennable in the first place. – Sol Jul 1 at 23:22
• Like I said, I really don't want to give too much away but you guys basically hit the nail on the coffin or whatever the phrase is haha! These creatures have learned how to harness the energy from these storms. They can see energy sources around them and use it to their advantage. – Seldomseeen Jul 2 at 10:01

It might be worth looking at adaptations present in intertidal organisms. They, like the inhabitants of your planet, regularly deal with overwhelming amounts of kinetic energy delivered via motion of water. The biomechanics is interesting, but some general guidelines might be -stay small -solid anchors to footholds (don't rely on gravity, have some sort of suction or mechanical attachment) -track weather patterns, and have behavior to match. (maybe they forage during calms, or within the eyes of storms?) -hydrodynamics (you want the water to move past you, not hit you full-force)

• Thank you! This gives me a good idea on how to make their legs look like! Also their body when it's hit with wind! – Seldomseeen Jul 2 at 10:07