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What are Keropion?

In order to understand Keropion, you must understand Lamia. These are generally portrayed as like mermaids, but snake instead of fish below the waist. Keropion are my own variant on this theme; take a snake about the size of Titanoboa, give it three short necks, and instead of heads it has three identical (and female) human upper halves.

Yes, I know I could handwave it, but logic and natural laws still exist (for the most part) in my world, so I'd like to know what survival issues could arise with this type of organism.

Would cooperation be an issue, for example? Three identical girls fighting for control? Could a Titanoboa's body even support that kind of weight? Would the necks below each girl's waist be a help or a hindrance?

Specifically, I'm asking on the following issues:

  1. Weight bearing/locomotion-considering that the serpentine lower half has to bear its weight and three human upper bodies, this may prove problematic, especially once movement is considered.

  2. Calories-Powering three different upper bodies and a giant snake's body is going to take a lot of calories. Even with a snake's metabolism and ability to swallow large creatures whole, this is almost definitely going to be a problem.

  3. Coordination-Three different heads, three different potential ways of doing something, unknown chance of disorder. As close as triplets can get, and even assuming each triplet can communicate with each other using chemical signals and electrical impulses, like the brain does with the rest of the body, this could easily prove problematic.

  4. Distribution-Heat, nutrients, oxygen, and so forth need to be distributed through the body. Keropion may have problems dissipating heat and transporting aforementioned resources via the bloodstream.

  5. Flexibility-Each upper body will need space in order to function (ie. to minimize the chances of them getting in the way of each other), and to prevent issues with inflexibility and limited range of motion. This is what the necks are for, and it seems feasible that natural selection would adapt them to have the flexibility needed, but are flexible necks capable of holding a human upper body like this even feasible?

My question is, considering the issues above, could Keropion survive as a species?

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  • $\begingroup$ Straight up I could see a problem: it has a body the size of a titanoboa and 3 human brains, but these things must be sustained through 3 human mouths. Even if it would demand less food than a mammal of similar size, how do you plan on giving this thing enough to eat? Depending on what you want it to feed on (and how unsettling you want it to be), you might want to give it an extra mouth. $\endgroup$ Sep 24 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ You're asking for us to brainstorm an open ended list. Such opinion based questions are a poor fit for this site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Sep 24 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing Good questions ask for something more specific than "What problems would arise if this creature existed?". $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Sep 24 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing If it was clearly anything we wouldn't be having this conversation. I contend that asking for any problem than anyone can come up with is too broad and opinion based for this site. You're welcome to disagree, but this comment thread isn't the place to be having conversations. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Sep 24 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ Voting to close for a different reason - lack of focus in the question results in broadness and the potential for opinion-based answers. $\endgroup$
    – Enthu5ed
    Sep 25 at 0:33
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A Keropion is three lamia.

The constituent lamia are identical triplets, and they wrap their tails around one another to form the Keropion. At some places of contact their circulatory systems form a syncytium and they share blood - no big deal because they are genetically identical. This means that if one eats, all three benefit from the nutrients. They work together to accomplish their goals. They think alike. Sometimes they fight like sisters do. One is always awake.

Lamia which form a Keropion have longer tails and smaller human sections than individual lamia. Also their human portions are genetically distinct from the larger population of lamia - these creatures have been their own species for only a few thousand years.

If one of the three dies, the other two can unwind from their sister and go on together. Or not.

Occasionally there are Keropions with more than three members.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea...I still like the idea of them being one organism, but this is a good alternative. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Sep 27 at 13:56
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Movement

Titanoboa was actually an aquatic snake. This means that the keropion, with its Titanoboa body, should also be aquatic. This gives you all the drag problems of mermaids, but roughly tripled by the 3 human parts. This can be solved by making the Titanoboa slower, where drag is less of an issue. This could be achieved with a change in diet or feeding behaviour, which segways nicely into:

Nutrition

Three humans cannot support a Titanoboa with their digestive tracts. While they could have a duct to pass food into the Titanoboa's digestive tract, there is still the issue of actually getting the food in there; human mouths, even three of them, are two small for a Titanoboa. There is a solution, though it is a little ugly: Add an extra mouth in the Titanoboa's throat. It should be roughly the size of the real Titanoboa's mouth, for consistency. A similar problem and solution exists with breathing

Joints

Snakes don't have very good neck mobility, and so neither would the keropion. This would force the 3 heads to exist in a single forwards-facing plane. This doesn't really need a solution, but seeing as the keropion already needs some serious changes for basic functions, we could still try. The best solutions would be to either make the waists or necks longer and more flexible. I'd suggest the necks, as they aren't human and so are less likely to look uncanny

Joints Continued

This species is also more or less a classic centauroid, with all the problems that entails. Do some searching on this stack and you'll hopefully find some direction in this area

Conclusion

Other than these areas, there shouldn't be much different from real snakes / conjoined twins

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    $\begingroup$ I get this vision of three woman-torsos shoving a guy down into the maw of a giant throat positioned between them, cooing and smiling the whole time. It would fit mythology really well, very siren-esque. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Sep 25 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ +1, especially with the extra mouth for feeding mention. Its great when a certain feature makes a monster both more "realistic" and more dangerous. $\endgroup$ Sep 25 at 2:00
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Humans would try capture them and put them on stage for amusement

Your creature may run into the same social issues conjoined twins would, when not separated in time. The original "Siamese twins" were Chang and Eng Bunker, who got misused for circus shows, subject to violence in small villages.. They managed to escape their "owner". The Bunkers had the longest known lifespan (62 years) of any conjoined twins in history until 2012, when their record was surpassed by Ronnie and Donnie Galyon (1951–2020)

Psychological issues

Conjoined twins with separated brains and identities is also a favorite topic for some producers of Bollywood movies..

enter image description here

"The story takes it off showing the conjoined twins Charu and Latha (both played by Priyamani). Charu and Latha lived in Vizag as one body and soul until Ravi (Skanda Ashok) comes into their lives. Both sisters fall in love with him, however, Ravi falls in love with Charu, causing a rift between her and Latha. Finally, their mother (Saranya Ponvannan) plans to separate their attached bodies through surgery. The surgery, however, results in Latha’s accidental death. Mysterious events begin to unfold as Latha begins to haunt Charu."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaarulatha

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