In my story, a member of the highly advanced alien civilization (let's just call them Annunaki) decided to make a species for his own protection, the Wingrays.

His proposal

The Wingrays are (just like their DNA origins) 1m in length, they all possess an in programmed intelligence, loyalty with some degree of freedom. Their main weapons is a 35 cm long barb that is "launched" into the target with a structure similar to that of a mantis shrimp, the tail appendage, would possess a sensory organ, that is naturally capable of producing x-rays infrasound to spot and avoid harder tissues, such as bones while attacking.

These species would also possess a naturally grown metamaterial, that is capable of concealing their presence for the naked eye, at their will. I wasn't capable of figuring out a way to enable them to change their altitude without losing some of the gasses that keep them in the air.


These creatures have to quickly move around in the Earth's atmosphere, without somebody else's help, How would this be possible?

Are there any other flaws in the concept?


closed as unclear what you're asking by Aify, James, JDługosz Mar 16 '17 at 6:31

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    $\begingroup$ How do they stay in the air? I assume some sort of lighter-than-air gas? $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Mar 15 '17 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon Of course, problem is the altitude changing. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 15 '17 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ Also, as @JoshKing said, x-ray's don't bounce back so it wouldn't work using your sensory organ. Something like ultrasound might be better. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Mar 15 '17 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @cobaltduck The story already has the clones Dylan and Eric as super soldiers, so I have nothing to lose. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 15 '17 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ It's up to you what you name your creatures. However, it's generally inconsiderate to make a jab like the one here. I'd recommend changing the name to something else. Additionally, I've removed the last addition. It's absolutely crass, and there's no need for it to be there. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mar 16 '17 at 13:30

Not 100% clear in your question but it appears from context that these creatures use a buoyant gas such as hydrogen to fly.

What your flying creature needs is a swim bladder that allows them to change their density and buoyancy.

Depending on the creatures makeup this could be incorporated into the gas bag construction. Muscles around the gas bag could be used to contract the bag raising the internal gas pressure and increasing the creatures overall density, making them sink or alternately release the muscle tension allowing the gas to expand to near atmospheric pressure lowering creature density causing it to rise. If multiple bags are used this could allow the creature to not only raise and lower, but also change orientation.

This could be used in conjunction with the ability to release gas or other bodily fluids for emergency rapid motion in either direction.

In addition the creature should possess fins or wing-like appendages that would allow it to exert force on the atmosphere for minor corrections in altitude as well as to allow fine control of orientation.

Other Possible Problems

Throwing a relatively large projectile from a flying platform is going to push them in the opposite direction from their strike (equal and opposite reaction) as well making them rise from the lost weight. This is likely to disorient them and make them vulnerable after any misses.

X-rays work by the rays passing through substances and are detected on the opposite side from the x-ray source. I'm not sure on the feasibility of using a reflective x-ray sensor, but either way this x-ray source should only energize for a short period or the creature would be easily detectable and give everyone in the vicinity cancer.


I thought of another interesting way this could be done. Most discussions of flying biological gasbag creatures use hydrogen as it is possible to produce it biologically (see Biohydrogen), but it is also possible for organisms to consume hydrogen (see Hydrogen Oxidizing Bacteria)

The creature could have a "stomach" adjacent to the hydrogen gasbag which could be vented into to allow bacterial colonies present in the stomach to consume the hydrogen gas, lowing the creatures gas content and buoyancy causing it to fall. To rise the creature would just generate more hydrogen gas.

The downside of this method is it would be relatively slow, not making it a good candidate for quick movement, but since the creature could "eat" some energy in the gas rather than just venting it, this makes it a definite advantage to the creature for handling longer term fluctuations in air density (like day night or seasonal cycles).


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