contrary to popular belief, Ents are not actually plants but are actually a species of animal which resembles trees as a technique of camouflage. some basic characteristics of these Ents include:

  • have 1 in thick skin, which resembles bark
  • have twig like hair
  • are scavengers but will occasionally act as ambush predators
  • males range in height from 9.11 to 14 feet tall, and are 15% larger than females
  • are quite stocky with proportionally longer arms
  • have orangutan level strength and intelligence
  • are erect bipeds
  • have a average lifespan of 300 years, and have a slow metabolism
  • hibernate in the winter, and are capable of standing still for long periods of time
  • are solitary
  • have a excellent sense of smell and hearing, but relatively poor eyesight

Given these characteristics, what species could they have evolved from, and what evolutionary pressures would lead to them?

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    $\begingroup$ Something cold-blooded no doubt. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jul 29, 2020 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ The biggest difficulty would be explaining how they walk. Moving so slowly as a bipedal would mean either very small shuffles, occasionally strides with long waits in-between, or balancing for long periods on one leg needing large feet to help balance. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ @DarcyThomas fair enough. is still intend for them to be quite slow though. is 5 mph more reasonable? $\endgroup$
    – icewar1908
    Jul 29, 2020 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ @icewar1908 When tramping through woodland I think you are meant to budget an average speed of 3kph. Your Ent is twice as tall as a human, so has a stride 2-3 times as long (depending on how lanky they are) So scaled up that would be a walking speed of 6-9kph if they were as limber as a human. So if they moved at 5kph that would be like you walking ½ to ⅓ your normal speed. Go walk around the block timing yourself. Now try again but make your self go ⅓ speed but with a long stride. How does it feel? Do you think your Ent could keep that up? Try with snow shoes & see if that makes it easer?! $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2020 at 10:01
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    $\begingroup$ Sounds a lot like an intelligent giant tortoise. $\endgroup$
    – Fels
    Jul 30, 2020 at 14:38

2 Answers 2



Could easily evolve from the only slightly shorter Gigantopithecus.

You don't ask for a reality check, but in all honesty, 1 mph is pretty slow. Though you could mix in a bit of sloth for good measure, at about 125 feet per day. Not much of an ambush predator, unless your beasty starts its ambush last week.

On the other hand...

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Agreed: An ambush predator with poor eyesight and a top speed of 2mph isn't going to catch much more than a passing lettuce. I think the rest is believable. $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2020 at 18:47

Maybe, but a few things to consider

  1. Really big scavengers can be highly-susceptible to extinction. So make sure that there's plenty of food in your world to go around. The Short-Faced Bear is an excellent example of this. They were the biggest, scariest scavenger running around and then the climate changed and bam they're extinct. This is why obligate scavengers are rare and most of them only supplement something like hunting. If they were mostly ambush predators and secondarily scavengers that'd be different.
  2. They need to be able to either eat stuff other animals can't eat (like a vulture) or scare predators away from their prey (like a Short-Faced Bear). Now if I'm the second-scariest thing in this world, this doesn't really sound scary enough to get me away from my well-deserved meal.
  3. Scavengers need to be able to access enough carrion to support themselves, so they need a very large range. Unless there's so many animals in #1 that this isn't an issue. If they don't move around much they either need a different food model or there needs to be dead bodies everywhere.

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