Strength sports and world records seem to not be relieable measurments for upper limits of humanoid strength since in most sports what was back then a world record level amount of strength and endurance is day by day becoming less and less impressive, even ''just good enough'' some times. Back then you were considered a steroid user if you had X amount of strength, nowadays random kids pop up on the daily with X*2 strength and world records increase every 2-5 years.

And when it comes to ''calculating'' the strength of various animals, there are some studies examinig and predicting the possible strength of extinct animals but I have no idea how they do it.

What are the rough and scuffed methods and parameters to make realistically strong fictional creatures?

The question is limited to real types of cells and mechanisms that could work in a fictional creature, so no such thing as; robots, silicon based life forms with crystal muscles or creatures with titanium muscle cells.

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    $\begingroup$ Not really a world building question. But as a rough-and-ready compare similar sizes and mammal to mammal, reptile-to-reptile, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Boba Fit
    Dec 1, 2022 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder how you are measuring "strength"? You can measure work done with something like horsepower or kilowatts. I don't think you can use those units to quantify how much weights you can lift, or how high your vertical leap is. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Dec 1, 2022 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


Decide weight and size first

You have a calculation in mind. Keep in mind the absolute strength of an animal is a function of weight and size.

Smaller animals are relatively strong

The function determining the strength is not a straight line: an elephant can move tree trunks around, which are about a quarter of its own weight, while an ant manages to lift a leaf only 2 grams, which could be 20 ants. But if you would scale up an ant, its strength would not go up that quickly.

Warm-blooded or cold-blooded

As a rule of thumb, warm-blooded animals are stronger than cold-blooded animals of the same size. The more energy-effective the metabolism, the stronger the animal will be.

Living environment

Air: don't let dragons fool you, it is an ancient design. With modern physics in mind, flying dragons can't exist. Quite difficult to design a strong, flying animal.. unless the atmosphere of your planet is very thick and allows heavy animals to fly.

Land or water: on land, the animal will require much more strength to carry its own weight. Water does not require much lift, so the strength will have a certain role, the energy facilitates predators that put all their strength in sprint muscle and jaws.


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