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I asked a similar question on Lizalfos, and now it's time for Bokoblins. Bokoblins in Breath of the Wild seem to combine apes or hominids with pigs, which is more than a little odd as I've seen boars in the game as well as Bokoblins hunting boars.

My question is, Could Bokoblins Conceivably Exist? I suppose they could have evolved from pigs, but as ordinary (wild) pigs still exist, and Bokoblins are among those who hunt said pigs, this seems unlikely. There are also no apes in the Legend of Zelda, so it's hard to see how Bokoblins could have naturally developed.

My question, restated, is therefore How can a race of somewhat pig-like hominids exist when there are still pigs and no apes in their environment?

Some more on Bokoblins:

  1. They are piglike: Bokoblins have a round, almost disc-like head with the ears and nose of a pig, as well as beady red eyes. They are also omnivorous, eating meat, fish, fruit, and perhaps even veggies.

  2. They are intelligent: Bokoblins wield weapons such as broadswords, and they seem to live in camps. These camps include watchtowers, each topped with a bow-wielding Bokoblin sentry, and these same camps hold armed Bokoblins, food, crates of items, and cooking fires. Bokoblins can also be observed riding horses.

  3. Humanoid appearance: Going off of 2, aside from their pig-like heads and colored skin, Bokoblins look an awful lot like people. They're sort of hunched, short, and seem to possess claws, but the resemblance is there.

  4. They come in different colors: namely, red, blue, and black. Reds are by far the dullest, while blues are smarter, realizing Remote Bombs are dangerous and acting accordingly. Black Bokoblins are at least as smart as Blue Bokoblins, and they are tougher than Blues to boot.

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  • $\begingroup$ "There are also no apes in the Legend of Zelda". Ook the leader of the Monkeys of Faron Woods applauds your discerning eye, for after all no monkey is an ape! $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:19
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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it's asking about an already existing world rather than asking about building a fictional world. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Oct 19 '21 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ Whats wrong with convergent evolution? Pigs are omnivores and actually very smart. Having a more humanoid creature with pig abilities would not be a stretch. Looking at the overall hunched position of these creatures they seem to be evolving away from 4-legged walking towards bi-legged in favor of tool-use with their claws. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Oct 19 '21 at 8:09
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Pigs and Bokoblins fill different niches

How genetically similar two species are is not nearly as big of a deal when it comes to coexistence as it is the niches they fill. A niche is basically a role in nature that an animal is well suited for. Because Bokoblins have evolved to fill the same niche that humans hold in our world, and we know that humans and pigs coexist in our world, then we know that Pigs and Bokoblins can also coexist.

As for Bokoblins hunting Pigs, that is not that big of a deal either, there are plenty of animals in this world that hunt genetically similar animals. Chimpanzees for example hunt bushbabies and baboons despite having a common ancestry that only goes back a few million years. So from an evolutionary standpoint, nature takes no issue with this whole setup.

The hardest part to justify is actually how the Bokoblins became an intelligent tool using species in the first place. In our world, pretty much all animals that are good at grasping things with their hands started off as tree-dwelling: humans, monkeys, apes, racoons, squirrels, etc. So for an animal with such specialized feet as a pig's hooves to go from terrestrial, to tree dwelling, and back down as terrestrial tool users would take a pretty long time. So long in fact that they would likely loose a lot of thier pig like secondary features. That said, there are plenty of animals throughout history that have evolved tusks, and not all of them from the same common ancestors. This is called convergent evolution where multiple genetic lines evolve similar features despite not being related. Animals we would all call crabs for example come from 5 distinctly different ancestries depending on the species. So an alternate solution (instead of having pigs and Bokoblins related at all) would be for Bokoblins to have started off as some kind of tree climbing rodent, and then as they came down from the trees, maybe they developed pig like heads because of what ever immediate niche there was to fill on the ground.

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  • $\begingroup$ Chimanzees hunt Chimpanzees too, unfortunately. Gave me the shivers to learn about it, but apparently all the Apes and many of the Monkeys can resort to competitive cannibalism. $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ Great, thanks for your answer! It really expanded my perspective. However, if it wasn't clear from the OP, and if it isn't I'm sorry, but answers should include how Bokoblins could have evolved.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias I was already adding that when you commented :D $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, that's funny! In this case, what niche would explain pig ears and noses? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias Pigs use their tusks and snouts for locating and digging up buried food like bugs, mushrooms, and roots. So, it's possible your Bokoblins have the same need. Eventually the evolution of advanced tool use would make the tusks vestigial, but they may keep them anyway if they are a major health indicator and they become important in mating selection. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:43
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Pigs are very smart but there's no way to develop. Here's why:

Pigs are highly intelligent, clean and mostly nice animals. They are smart enough to solve puzzles and try to use tools, but just like dogs as an example they don't have the means to use them very well. Being even-toed ungulates doesn't help in that regard. They DO have little useless tippy toes in the back, but that serves for grip while running (I think).

Now onto the theory:

According to the laws of evolution evolution (or adaptation as I'd rather call it) doesn't occur unless there's some sort of benefit or drawback. Immediate benefit! Considering the pig is perfect at what it does in the wild there's no reason to believe they will become bipedal and sapient. Mutations DO occur, It's an inevitable fact of life. However changes in physiology on that scale, if incomplete, will be a detriment to the animal. It will also potentially affect their health and chances at mating (The Hunchback of Notre Dame never got the girl).

Regardless, changing niche like this too dramatic. But who knows, perhaps one day pigs will stand up and reveal their scheme, using their little useless toes to operate our technology. It all checks out, their genus is called "Sus". They called me crazy but they'll see...

You're forgetting Hylian gods and worse the creators of the Zelda series!

The Zelda series has its own mythos, gods and lore. There's not really a point to applying Darwinian reasoning to a fictional world, made by real people, made by a random and unspecified god. I personally find it a little irritating when people start asking how a creature I worked hard to design has evolved. It makes me feel like a deity. Gosh I wonder if this is how god feels. Have we been rude? What a world.

Instead of thinking how something (you made) came to be, think of it more as a simulation where you mercilessly make things alive and see how they adapt. Afterall it would be foolish to design a creature that can't adapt to a changing environment. At least that's how I like to think of it.

I acknowledge I haven't answered the OP but this answer was more about an approach to writing.

This answer was probably not helpful and will get downvoted to oblivion... or not. It depends. I don't deal in absolutes.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting perspective, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ ranting aside, "evolution... doesn't occur unless there's some sort of benefit or drawback. Immediate benefit" is a good point worth considering. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Oct 18 '21 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki It's a head scratcher. I stand by the neutral approach to science (as it should be). Also I tried not to make it sound like a rant... guess I failed. $\endgroup$ Oct 18 '21 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ No, Nosajimiki is right. You had good points. I just like to apply natural laws to almost everything. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Oct 18 '21 at 20:00

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