I'm working on building a species of wild animal, and I have several criteria in mind, and I'm looking for any glaring issues I may have missed that makes such a creature entirely infeasible scientifically. "Unlikely" is acceptable, and so is "evolutionarily impossible". I'm only concerned with "if such a species came in to existence through any means at all, could individuals survive their own biology long enough to reproduce, given acceptable environmental conditions?"
First, here are the criteria:
- Average healthy adult specimens will weigh 140kg-190kg
- Terrestrial, not aquatic (this is listed because later points involve a specific type of anatomical feature [water-vascular system] that is far more common in aquatic creatures than terrestrial, though there are exceptions)
- Legged locomotion. Bipedal, quadrupedal, hexapedal, etc., is yet to be determined, but will definitely have some form of legs or leg analogue appendages
- Movement will be accomplished by means of a water-vascular system rather than conventional muscles. EDIT: In conventional muscles, movement is achieved by muscle fibers contracting and causing the attachment points at the extremities of the muscles to be pulled closer together. Water-vascular types of systems still use some conventional muscle material, but rather than the direct contraction of muscles being used to move appendages, the muscle contractions instead power what is effectively a hydraulic system inside the body, so appendages are moved by extension of the hydraulics, which pushes the connection points farther away from each other, in contrast to the contraction of conventional muscles bringing them closer together.
- To provide anchor points for the water-vascular movement system, the main skeleton expected in a creature that would otherwise be driven by normal muscles will be augmented by numerous and densely packed micro-bones that extend from the primary skeletal structure out to just under the surface of the skin.
- Tightly packed micro-bone structure causes relatively low body-water/fluid content by mass
- This dense skeletal structure and water-vascular system allow automatic sealing of damaged tissues, and immediate shedding of any destroyed bones and cells. This, combined with the low body-fluid content, causes the appearance of body tissue crumbling like damp dirt out of injured areas, and little to no bleeding.
The crumbling characteristic is actually the main desired point. Inspired by things like Golems, Gargoyles (that 'turn to stone' during the day), and many other rock-based and earth-based fantastical creatures, I'm trying to come up with something living in and of itself (as opposed to golems that are traditionally magic powered rather than truly alive), but with stone and earth/dirt-like characteristics. EDIT: There are two main types of "damage" that I'm envisioning. The first are what would normally cause punctures or cuts on a traditional earth mammal, bird, reptile, etc. and could come from teeth and claw injuries from either predators of this species, or from rival individuals within the same species itself, as well as humanoid species hunting them with arrows, spears, and bladed weapons. The second type is crushing damage, such as from a club or thrown stone or a fall from a significant height, in which I envision the micro-bone structure acting like a crumple zone, preventing the blow from reaching deeper bones. For both types of damage I envision that within seconds or, at most, minutes, the micro-bones that are broken on impact or by cut or puncture, as well as some of the very close surrounding tissue, are shed off like grains of sand, damp earth, or small pebbles, or a mix of similar, leaving an appropriately shaped depression/hole/furrow where the now-missing tissue used to be (until it can be re-grown or scarred over)
Is such a creature biological possible?