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I was recently playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and became fascinated by whether something like Lizalfos could develop, given the right conditions.

The idea is to create a realistic version of Lizalfos, something that could conceivably develop; I believe this is allowed under the rules of this site.

So...

1. Lizalfos are giant chameleons: standing at about 1.7 meters or around 5 feet 7 inches, with a length somewhere between 2 to 3 meters long (~6/7 to 10 feet), Lizalfos are either chameleons or a descending species (something that evolved from chameleons).

Thought-provoker:* What conditions could lead to a chameleon about the same size as a human being?

2. Lizalfos are bipedal: More or less. Lizalfos walk, run, and fight on two legs, even leaping up to close the distance between them and a victim (not to mention landing an instakill), but they rest on four legs.

Thought-provoker: Why would a chameleon become bipedal?

3. Lizalfos can hold objects: And, even worse (for those who have to deal with them), they can pick up and apparently use shields, spears, daggers, boomerangs, and even bows.

Thought-provoker: What could make a chameleon capable of tool use like this?

4. Lizalfos are intelligent: When one runs toward a Lizalfos with a sword, they leap back. They leap into the air to get the drop on you. After spotting you, they hop side to side in an apparent war-dance that makes it basically impossible to hit them, then they start attacking relentlessly. There are many other examples, including but not limited to their use of weaponry and apparent social behavior, but I believe you get the drift; they are smart enough to pose a threat to a sword-wielding human.

Thought-provoker: How could a chameleon develop this intelligence?

5. Lizalfos are amphibious: At multiple points in the game, Lizalfos can be seen swimming in water, and what's more, they never seem to need to come up for air.

Thought-provoker: Why would chameleons become amphibious?

6. Bonus Points: Lizalfos also exhibit elbow spurs, seem to change into stone in the same color as their environment when resting, and instead of running up for a melee attack, they will instead spit at you (with enough force to actually hurt, mind you) or whip you with their tongue. If you could explain these in your answer, I will definitely get you an upvote.

Summed up, my question is: Could Lizalfos Conceivably Exist as a Species Evolved From Chameleons? Or in other words, could something like Lizalfos have evolved from chameleons, given the right conditions? If so, then they could exist....which would be more than a little interesting....

*Thought-provokers are meant to inspire thought on different aspects of the summed-up question above, not to be taken as separate questions.

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  • $\begingroup$ I only changed the comparison to link for those who don't know the character's height by heart, but I suggest removing the questions at the end of each topic to prevent this question from being treated as unfocused. $\endgroup$ Oct 17, 2021 at 2:43
  • $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex: thanks for the edit! I'd like to keep the questions, as they are meant to add toward the question as a whole, basically being summed up into one question at the end. Is there a better way to put them in then? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 17, 2021 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'd say that simply requesting for a bit more depth on how each trait could be explained would be better. If you really want a very in depth answer about each topic, it might be best to just ask about them specifically in a separate question. $\endgroup$ Oct 17, 2021 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex: alright, thanks for your advice! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 17, 2021 at 2:49
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think the lizalfos can actually breathe underwater. Simply holding their breath for up to half an hour would be more than sufficient. $\endgroup$
    – Globin347
    Oct 17, 2021 at 23:40

1 Answer 1

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Alright, let's tackle these one by one.

Giant: I think there are really only two reasons to become bigger- to eat something, or to avoid being eaten by something. You need options along the way, so having many predators like hawks and snakes that can only catch a up to a certain size of prey helps. Additionally, there needs to be an abundant source of prey larger than arthropods and the smallest lizards(link), because otherwise maintaining such a large body mass is impossible.

Bipedal: Becoming bipedal in reptiles is not unheard of. The Basilisk Lizard sometimes runs bipedally for much the same reasons as the Lizalfos do, albeit much less frequently. Lizards' stance is not set up for consistent, fast movement, so the two-legged stance can make it easier to chase prey and avoid predators, including early humans with their endurance hunting strategy. You also need to have free hands in order to effectively use tools.

Hold Objects: Tool use has only so far been documented in crocodilians, not lizards. They use sticks as bait for nesting birds. However, if they are bipedal, the more intelligent Lizalfos could move sticks or even food around to lure in prey.

Intelligent: Holding objects is only possible with intelligent animals. The Lizalfos would probably have to live in groups for enough intelligence to develop, as hunting together will increase the value of strategy and planning. Eventually, the Lizalfos that use the best tools may become the only ones that survive, leading to a fairly constant increase in intelligence.

Amphibious: This one's hard. The Lizalfos would need to grow gills, and the gills are essentially gone from modern reptiles. If the largest Lizalfos population was situated near water, especially in a swampy environment where the most and best hunting was in the water, then eventually they could adopt a somewhat crocodilian lifestyle and eventually mutate gills.

Bonus: Elbow spurs could be used as a weapon against predators. Using them for prey seems unfeasible, so there needs to be some kind of enormous predator that could eat the Lizalfos at their current size and doesn't make weapons as humans or some other Zelda race like Lynels would. If they change to the same color as their environment, perhaps their new intelligence is used to change colors for camouflage instead of just for mood. Changing to stone is hard. Perhaps they simply are able to lock their joints in a certain position and stiffen for defense. If their spit is more acidic than most, perhaps it can be used to deal significant damage in an emergency. Real chameleons use their tongues as their primary hunting weapon, so using it for combat is simply the next step.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding Snorka. Please take our tour and refer to the help center for guidance to our ways. Nice first post BTW, enjoy the site. $\endgroup$ Oct 17, 2021 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ Really nice answer, thank you! One of the best I've seen, in fact. There are only two small things I'd like to see: 1, how would chameleons end up living in groups, and 2, could Link hunting for lizards explain how they got so big? I'm thinking while Link can catch or shoot small lizards, bigger, tough ones will A) be basically impossible to capture and B) can run away despite being hit by arrows. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 18, 2021 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias probably not. You're basically asking if Link, a single hyrulean, could serve as an agent of natural selection for a species, which would require him to be basically omnipresent, live for a few dozen millenia at least, have perfect aim and infinite arrows, as well as being almost impossible to tire or evade as a smaller animal. Unless you're considering magic, then maybe. $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2021 at 22:36

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