Whenever people design aquatic humanoids (be they mermaids or other ''mer-folk'' type creatures) that do not breath water with lungs but through gills i often see those gills placed either on the neck (throat) or on the chest (often roughly spaced out between the ribs).

What would seems the most biologically logical (as far as the entire concept can be considered logical anyway) place for gills to evolve on a humanoid creature, the neck/throat, on the chest or between the back (joints) of the lower jaw and the neck?

  • $\begingroup$ Does it have a tail, legs, flippers, lungs? Could you give us more to go on? Most logical to me would be in a trunk in the hallway, only seeing the light of day when I go on a diving holiday. Could you clarify what you mean? $\endgroup$ Jul 30 at 9:04

1 Answer 1


External gills. Axolotl style!

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The problem with neck gills is that you need water flowing thru your mouth and out the gills. And is a bad look for little Ariel to be swimming about with her mouth gaping open.

Better to have external gills that will flow about in the undersea breeze. That would be a much better look for Ariel!

ariel wth glls

  • $\begingroup$ Until they get caught on something. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 31 at 6:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen - well, creatures with important dangling organs get good at keeping them out of trouble. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jul 31 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Willk Did you see that movie? Ariel and keeping out of trouble were mutually exclusive. The best thing about your design is that she might keep her mouth shut sometimes. Too harsh? Rewatch it! $\endgroup$ Aug 1 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ Giving troubled teenage girls with behavioural problems dangling organs to fix their problems is inadvisable $\endgroup$ Aug 1 at 7:01

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