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I’m working on a third-person shooter game within my sci-fi Safespace setting. The plot isn’t complete, but basically this training robot named Obby is reprogrammed to be a Mechanid (robot with free will) and sent to rescue a group of miners on the planet Abaddon, who have been captured by its native organisms, the Apollyon. The Apollyon are part of a hive mind, but that’s irrelevant here. What I’m asking about is the “grunts” of the Apollyon: the Skliks, AKA “Scorpalemurs”. They resemble scaly sifakas with segmented, venomous tails. Native to Abaddon’s leafless forests, Skliks eat whatever they can fit in their mouths that doesn’t kill them. Their faces are unnervingly blank: they look unfazed by anything until they attack, when their face splits into the wide, sharp-toothed grin all Apollyon share. So, I’m wondering, are Skliks possible based on our understanding of biology?

Extra information about the planet:

  • Abaddon is Mars-like in some ways, such as large rust deserts and cryovolcanoes, but is very different in several ways, like its average temperature of 63.5º C, its large leafless forests, and its scalding ocean of water that’s slightly more like blood than our water.
  • There are around 6,700,000 different species of Apollyon overall.
  • Abaddon has only one moon, but like the planet it orbits, this moon is slightly larger.
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  • $\begingroup$ PSA: Abaddon means "doom" in Hebrew. Apollyon is Greek, meaning "destroyer". In the Book of Revelation appears a supernatural being called Abaddon, which, the anonymous author says, means Apollyon in Greek. (And in the Latin Vulgate, it is added "latine habens nomen Exterminans", "in Latin his name is Exterminator".) If the Greek word Apollyon had a plural, it would be Apollyones. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 5, 2023 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ My off-the-cuff 2 cents would be "does it matter?" Science-fiction is chock full of aliens with no explanation given of their origins or evolutionary process. If you were writing a full novel set in the life of the Apollyon, maybe it would be important, but for a game? Probably not. But I'm also thinking of Starship Troopers or the Ender's Game series. We get little to no information on the evolutionary path of the aliens because it's not relevant. (Also, I don't think Ender's Game style hive minds are possible, so there is already substantial handwaivium in play.) $\endgroup$
    – JamieB
    Jan 5, 2023 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I didn’t know about the plural form, I will use that in further works involving the Apollyones. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2023 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ There's no real information here that indicates whether they'd be scientifically possible or not. If you're asking if scaly sifakas with venomous tails and a voracious appetite could exist, the answer is "for sure". If you're asking if hive minds are realistic, the answer is "no", as that's already sliding into the softer side of the Sci-Fi Hardness Scale. I don't know why the moon would ever come into it. $\endgroup$
    – Aos Sidhe
    Jan 5, 2023 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ @HomegrownPotatoes I suppose it depends on what you mean by "hive mind". I took it to mean that all members of the hive have a shared consciousness/sensory input, i.e. that they're in some sort of telepathic connection with each other. If instead it's just that they operate as a superorganism and act eusocially, then that's completely reasonable (c.f. insects, as you mentioned). But then we start getting philosophical about what a "group intelligence" is and whether humanity as a whole possesses group intelligence and whether human societies can be classified superorganisms or not. $\endgroup$
    – Aos Sidhe
    Jan 5, 2023 at 21:54

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The short answer is yes

Within the restrictions you have given us, all check out as we can find examples of such here on earth. Although the complications come when sorting out details such as how and why your species all came to be.

The main problem I can point out is the ocean of your planet, it seems it would be very difficult for complex multi-cellular land dwelling life to evolve in such conditions. Hive minds are also a debatable subject, although basic ones as seen in ants do exist, it is still a slippery slope.

So all in all your life forms as is seem plausible but when it comes to these evolving, it seems much harder to explain.

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