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Tritons are aquatic draught animals used to drive boats

Externally, they appear quite chimeric. Their head is short, with many resemblances: Their jaws and teeth are like a carnivorous mammal, their nose is human-like, and they have gills. Their ears are external and above the gills. They also possess a green mane of leaf-like structures on the dorsal side of their head and neck

They have 2 legs, which resemble human arms, and have hooves and claws resembling shells. The abdomen and tail resemble that of a dolphin, except that they do not have a dorsal fin

Their skin and eyes are blue, with the skin being mostly covered in shark-like scales. They also have a few larger, shell-like scales on their shoulders

What could this creature have evolved from, and how could it have evolved?

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  • $\begingroup$ It evolved from cetaceans. $\endgroup$
    – Green
    Jul 6, 2021 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ The question is inconsistent and confusing. "They have 2 legs, which resemble human arms, and have hooves and claws resembling shells." hooves and claws on the same digits of limbs are inconsistent. Please not only clarify but take a good look at the specifications for "Anatomically Correct", and apply them. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2021 at 0:48

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All whales and dolphins evolved from a wolf like land mammal similar to (if not actually) Pakicetus that lived between 56 and 41 million years ago. Any number of evolutionary pressures could lead to the morphology that you've outlined, or they could have been selectively bred, considering the changes that we have artificially selected for in things like dogs, cattle, sheep, or any other domestic animals. I think that you could create a backstory that could use both to easily create this.

The leafy mane and lack of dorsal fins could have been an adaptation to living as a predator near the waters edge and trying to stay conceled or blend in with foliage. Front legs might be an advantage for leaping out at prey. Humans could have selected for larger and more developed ears to make it easier to train them, and blue eyes being an uncommon thing in nature, could have sprung up as a byproduct of a smaller gene pool. etc.

There are a ton of ways you could work this out.

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The triton could have originated from a seal-like animal. The dolphin tail could be an adaptation of the hindflippers into a form that allows better motion. The forefeet could be an adaptation to grab onto food underwater, similar to a raccoon, with the hoof being to allow it to walk on land without the need for said hands to be injured. The shell-like nature of the nails could be calcification, which would help strengthen them. The scales could be hairs adapted for defense, with fine, sharp scales over most of the body, and a few plates over the shoulders for extra protection. The blue colour could work as camoflague. The leaf-like mane could also be hair, formed into a green leaf as a mixture of display and camoflague. The gills could be the cervical sinus, which might be retained into adulthood as a simple gill to extract extra oxygen. Finally, the nose could be an adaptation to increase the length of the nasal passage, which would increase the sense of smell, which could be useful to finding prey near the surface

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