The setting of my story is a harsh desert land, with temperatures consistently exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. There are small ponds that exist, though very rarely. Water is in tight supply.

The flora population comprises of sparse desert shrubbery such as cacti and other typical arid plants. Oases are few and far between.

For the purposes of this world, life has been evolving for millions of years, to a point that there are dominant (bi-pedal or otherwise) sentient beings that have discovered things like fire and wheels.


Based on the comments, I've narrowed it down to the kangaroo (or marsupials in general). The question, then, is two-fold:

  1. Can kangaroos evolve and become the dominant sentient species of my imaginary planet?
  2. What would be the evolutionary route taken by the kangaroos?

The requirements to qualify as "dominant sentient species" for my question are: 1. Human level or near-human level intelligence 2. Ability to discover and interact with technology 3. Social cohabitation and ability to live with others of the same species in sufficiently large groups

Presumptions and pointers: 1. There has been sufficient time for evolution to take its course, 2. Some degree of hand wavium is not a problem but magic can't be the reason for evolution.


closed as off-topic by AndreiROM, bowlturner, James, Mikey, Shalvenay Dec 23 '15 at 15:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about Idea Generation are off-topic because they tend to result in list answers with no objective means to compare the quality of one answer with the others. For more information, see What's wrong with idea-generation questions?." – AndreiROM, James, Shalvenay
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ This is not a question so much as idea generation. If you had asked us to debate which of two or three creatures is more appropriate that would be fine, if opinion based. But this is far too broad, as well as opinion based. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 23 '15 at 14:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Consider that you still have basically the same variety of animals in a desert as you do a forest - just less of them overall and adapted for massive heat, conservation of energy, and low water. Plants still exist, so insects can still exist which feed on plants. Larger insects or small mammals or reptiles can feed on insects. Slightly larger mammals (such as dogs, dingos, or coyotes, or some version of cat) and reptiles, or birds, can feed on those. Mid-size game such as goats who can eat nearly anything may be able to get by on less-eaten plants.. and then all the scavengers and recyclers. $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Dec 23 '15 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ There are a lot of different deserts and a lot of creatures that live in deserts, perhaps narrowing it to a single desert would be enough to narrow the scope? I think listing a trio of creatures is probably a better bet though. $\endgroup$ – James Mar 1 '16 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Is this question not edited enough to be un-closed? Or is that not an option here? $\endgroup$ – Ambarish Sathianathan Mar 14 '16 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ "Is this question not edited enough to be un-closed? Or is that not an option here?" I know this is an old one, but questions are automatically entered into the reopen review queue when edited during the "on hold" grace period only. If you are still interested in this question, you can bring it up in Worldbuilding Chat or perhaps on Worldbuilding Meta, maybe in the question sandbox, asking for how to improve it and/or reopening. The community can then review the question to see how it holds up to our current standards, which have changed over time. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Apr 11 '18 at 16:37