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I imagine that, thanks to a mysterious magical element, multicelular life has been able to survive and diversify on an Earth sized planet which is only composed of solid and molten rock. This planet is so hot, it would be lethal for any Earth life, but this magic element lets life tolerate this heat. My question is, how would animal life on this planet be?

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    $\begingroup$ If "magic" is in the tags, the general answer is "whatever you want it to look like". If there's no water, the life would be utterly alien to us and even describing it as "multicellular" might be a misnomer. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ How would life on a magma planet be? - hot. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @FranzGleichmann Maybe for saps living on worlds mostly covered by water. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ Time to jump in with the hot take 'Ice is technically a mineral, therefore water is technically a molten mineral, therefore we are all technically lava monsters'... $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 7:45

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Animal life on your planet would need to be a number of things.

  • It would need to be able to withstand immense heat... this you've already solved with the magical element, but likely with the "element" it would still be quite hot on your planet. Creatures with fire- or heat-resistant skin would do well in this environment.
  • Creatures that do not require a lot of water that they cannot get from their prey or food source of choice. The biggest problem with any planet like the one you describe would be obtaining water or liquid as everything would likely evaporate in the heat of the planet.
  • This concerns plant life, but to have animal life on your planet, you would need plant life, or at least some food source and food chain, however rudimentary so that species could survive and have natural selection. So a problem you would have to address is how plants and other life would be able to survive. (A solution for this could be greenhouses or some sort of irrigation system, but most creatures are not civilized and would not be able to use or maintain a complex system such as this.)
  • It would require a suitable habitat. This may be harder to create than you might think because heat resistance doesn't grow on trees (literally). Anything that you would use to surround your animals would have to be able to withstand the heat of the planet and provide shelter, protection, and sustenance for the creatures on the planet.
  • Aliens that have not yet been discovered. If you are unable to create or find creatures that follow the above, you would likely have to design an alien that could survive without an environment (other than rocks), water, or a food chain. A tall order, but presumably a possible one.

Your magical element presents a bit (or rather a lot) of a problem.

  • If the magical element lets life tolerate this heat, what are the exceptions to the rule? What is not affected by the magical element?
  • And if the magical element does affect everything and it affects every aspect of the planet and creatures' lives, wouldn't it just make the planet a second earth albeit with a different composition?
  • I don't know whether this is something you want to or intend to fix, but in order for there to be life on a planet (at least known life) water is a must. And if this magical element makes it essentially like Earth (just without humans) and you add water, would it really be unique at all?
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Not my area of expertise however a thought; if you have magic involved already, why not make a life-from that makes energy from magma and/or fire. like instead of animals on our planet using water, they used fire. You could look online and see what magma is composed of and what are its byproducts and have an organism convert those to energy

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Extremophile life does exist on Earth in a variety of seemingly inhospitable environments. However, they are all microscopic so realistically I don’t think that animal life could evolve. Since we have a magical element which can protect animal life, then it would probably have creatures which use heat and turn it into energy for biological functions and the predators which consume them. The creatures which turn heat into energy may even act more plant-like since they shouldn’t need to move around much.

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You can always resort to traditional SF idea of silicon-based life.

Other than this, Earth is actually a magma planet with some solidified surface layer.

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