• Bunny ears
  • Large eyes
  • Short height (3 to 4 ft)
  • Highly intelligent
  • Cat like nose

And for the gravity of their homeworld we can assume it's Earth range 0.90 G to 1.10 G, and has a similar environment to present day Earth.


closed as too broad by Aify, The Anathema, Thucydides, fi12, Frostfyre Mar 21 '16 at 22:01

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Sheer, random, coincidence? $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Mar 21 '16 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T Evolution is not random. $\endgroup$ – The Anathema Mar 21 '16 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ Actually it is the result of random mutations, what works remains the rest fail... $\endgroup$ – Erik vanDoren Mar 21 '16 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ Dear close-voters, when you vote to close, please make sure that someone left a comment explaining precisely what was wrong. See the rules of peer review. And try to be explicit about it. $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin Mar 21 '16 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ @ErikvanDoren / dot_Sp0T, no, mutations might be random but the survival after the mutation is anything but random, and there's also adaptation, natural selection, gene flow, genetic drift... Evolution is not random and thus that answer is incorrect and if posted as an answer, I'd downvote it. $\endgroup$ – The Anathema Mar 21 '16 at 21:21

Let's go one point at a time:

Bunny Ears:

There are a few primary uses of bunny ears, with hearing being the obvious function. Heat loss is a secondary function and reason for their size, but it requires a large amount of blood vessels and means they are also highly sensitive. Now it doesn't mean your new creation has to have all of these traits, but removing a trait makes it more difficult for it to occur naturally. For the bunny ears to happen, they need a situation that requires accurate hearing.

Large Eyes:

Even in humans, large eyes are linked to a need for better vision. Larger eyes are generally more vulnerable to damage, so excessive size becomes a negative with the largest eyes primarily being used for nocturnal vision. Larger eyes also assist with collision avoidance when moving quickly. (Credits to Saidoro for the collision info.)

Short Height:

I'm having difficulty finding anything that benefits a specific height. Depending on the diet and how much food they can obtain, your creature may find that height to be optimal, which is not an unusual feat at 3-4 ft.

Cat's Nose: (skipping intelligence for a moment)

This type of nose is highly sensitive, and useful for hunting, eating, and tracking. Much like dogs, it allows for tracking scents and marking territories as well as defending them. It also replaces a lot of the sense of taste and can be used to determine how edible a food is.

Taking all of these together, you're asking for a creature to evolve that has great senses of hearing, sight, and smell, potentially able to be nocturnal as well as very fast. Now if you want it to have intelligence, it needs a reason to develop it. As Cobaltduck mentions, either being hunted or being a hunter can provide that stress if the other is intelligent as well. The ones that best adapt to staying alive will survive and reproduce, as is natural selection.

As of now, i can't find any creatures that resemble what you're looking for. There's some weird stuff in Africa, but nothing large enough that has all the traits. So, you'll need some kind of stimulus to push one of those things to develop some brains. Considering it's not perfectly clear how we developed our intelligence anyway, you can take your pick.

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    $\begingroup$ sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502112606.htm It's worth noting that there are other major contributors to eye size. $\endgroup$ – Saidoro Mar 21 '16 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ That's very interesting. I'll update my answer. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – ChronoD Mar 21 '16 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ It sounds relatively simple to me. This creature lives in a very dangerous environment where it must always be aware of its surroundings, and outwitting predators, lest it be killed. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Mar 22 '16 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ Five fingers and toes would work for them then right? they should be walking upright unless walking on all fours is more beneficial, though I consider them being upright much better because they can master tools/technology $\endgroup$ – Stephanie Mar 22 '16 at 9:11

Bullet points one through three in the question bring to mind an existing animal, the wallaby. (Note: this was originally written before the question was edited to add cat nose as a feature. The comparison between wallaby nose and cat nose is debatable.) That just leaves number four- The wallaby is already slightly intelligent, why would it become highly intelligent?

We need one or both of two things- something it preys on, or something that preys on it, that is itself somewhat intelligent. The wallaby and this other creature cycle each other in an evolutionary arms race- putting pressure on each other to identify the best spots to hide and ambush, to cooperatively hunt or keep watch, even to create tools.

What results will be either a really awesome pet, or something you don't want to meet up with on dark night.


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