Questions tagged [anatomy]

For questions about the physical structure of an organism.

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149
votes
7answers
15k views

Anatomically Correct Strange Women In Ponds Distributing Swords

Chaos plagues the land. In the West, the King in Orange blusters and bloviates endlessly in barely comprehensible gibberish. Perhaps he is attempting to call forth the Elder Gods? In the East, the ...
60
votes
12answers
8k views

Justifying why a troll's skin would turn to stone in sunlight

It's a fairly common legend that trolls turn to stone when exposed to daylight, and I was thinking about using such a creature in a story. I'm searching for a plausible way of justifying such a ...
55
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7answers
13k views

How fast would a sword need to be to avoid getting blood on it?

If a sword were to be swung horizontally, through the torso of a human being, how fast would it need to be to not have blood on it after the swing? Assume the sword and its user are together able to ...
48
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11answers
15k views

Given immortality can animals become intelligent?

The animal in question starts off with reptile like intelligence, classic gecko and is a singularity, the only individual of his species to be immortal. It can die and be killed but for the sake of ...
48
votes
2answers
6k views

How tall can a humanoid creature be without alerting the rest of the planet with earthquakes?

Planet is earth sized. Fantasy medieval setting that takes place on Continent A, which is on the other side of the planet from Continent B - about as far as South America is from Asia. Continent B ...
43
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8answers
15k views

Could a plant grow on a restrained, living human?

My question is: Could a macroscopic (e.g. visible) plant grow on a living human, provided that the human is completely immobilized?
40
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23answers
13k views

Make slimes great again, but how?

Slimes are seen as merely base-level enemies which don't really challenge the heroic main character, the Chosen One. My question is how to make slimes incredibly powerful without using magic. They ...
40
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3answers
5k views

How large can a water bear become before it loses its abilities?

Water bears are about the most impressive organism on our planet. They can withstand extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), can survive for a time in the vacuum and cold of space, are resistant to ...
34
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6answers
8k views

How many years before enough atoms of your body are replaced to survive the sudden disappearance of the original body’s atoms?

A magician summons a person to the material world to be their servant. Their body is not made from true atoms per se, but is some kind of force projection. In most ways though, they act as a person ...
29
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17answers
22k views

A method to cause maximum pain to a human

I am currently searching for a new execution method to be used in my fictional psychotic dictatorship. After introducing methods such as decompression, boiling, surgical torture (being dissected alive ...
26
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5answers
5k views

How big is my Giant?

The hero saves the captured giant, and as a reward, the giant presents the hero with a magic ring... However, the ring is made for giant fingers, so the hero decides to wear it as an armband instead. ...
26
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7answers
10k views

Anatomically correct multiarmed humanoids

Humanoids with more than 2 pairs of arms weren't an unknown concept in human culture. From ancient mythology, there are the hundred-armed Hekatoncheires (who have their own thread here) and six-armed ...
25
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12answers
8k views

How can a mortal woman successfully carry a demigod to term?

Demigods are special humans that are born partly divine. These individuals have been extremely rare throughout history, and always have various significant effects for the world around them, leading ...
25
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8answers
5k views

Where to place an artificial gland in the human body?

An artificial endocrine gland is cultured in the lab and is to be inserted in a person. This gland functions by secreting special substances in the blood stream. It needs to be placed in a position ...
25
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8answers
7k views

Would this winged human/angel be able to fly?

I take no credit for the image below. All artwork and information belongs to Blue-Hearts on DeviantArt: (click on image for a higher resolution) I'm personally very impressed at her level of detail ...
24
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13answers
10k views

How would deafening as punishment be carried out?

Blinding, amputation and other punitive mutilations have been used effectively in the past; however there are no accounts of deafening, e.g. removal of one's sense of sound, being carried out. How ...
21
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7answers
5k views

Anatomically Correct Vampire Teeth; Location, location, location

In pop culture Vampire teeth are often assumed/shown to be just like human teeth except that they have fangs instead of canines. After spending way too much time in front of the mirror, making weird ...
19
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6answers
4k views

How would human anatomy differ if humans almost always had 2-4 children at a time?

Imagine that the average number of children born per birth without any artificial intervention was three (i.e. triplets were the norm) and that 98% of pregnancies gave rise to 2 to 4 children, with a ...
18
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3answers
3k views

The effects of tearing the wings off an angel

The backstory for a key character in my story involves him receiving a harsh punishment for becoming corrupt. The tearing off of the wings themselves is easy to write. It's the state he's left in ...
17
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6answers
3k views

Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 1: How Can It Fly?

More posts from this thread will be linked here: Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 2: Best Wing Shape? Info I'm designing a macaw that has metal feathers, claws, and a metal beak--to be ...
17
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9answers
5k views

How does a mimic move?

Alright, so take your basic (not DnD or any other universe specific) mimic: an unassuming treasure chest that turns out to secretly be a monster as soon as you open it. This particular creature is one ...
17
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8answers
3k views

Designing a creature with jaws to crush iron bones

In my most recent question, I asked for a material other than calcium and collagen that could form skeletons in alien creatures. My favourite answer was bio-steel; "Iron with a small percentage of ...
17
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2answers
3k views

Humanoid Race with Surpressed Myostatin Gene - Appearance?

I'm thinking about using this as a sort of meta explanation for how Orcs (and possibly other things as well) are different than humans (in muscularity), but I'm not entirely sure what the result of ...
16
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6answers
2k views

Digestive system of the “Ultimate Omnivore”

I'm designing a creature that is supposed to be able to eat "basically anything", within the realm of plausibility for what is essentially an organic creature. Its digestive system can be as ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Anatomically Correct Trolls

Considering there are at least several thousand depictions of trolls in the media, we’ll be talking about the traditional trolls from Scandinavian folklore. They’re usually described as being tall ...
13
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13answers
4k views

What type of food might an organism that lives its entire life in interstellar space eat?

I was thinking of an organism that lives its entire life in interstellar space It eats, defecates, moves, grows, ejects eggs, attracts mates, and has sex in interstellar space. It has skin that ...
13
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5answers
2k views

What are the design implications on firearms when they will be used by a race without opposable thumbs?

I have a race in my world that in most respects is comparable to a human, perhaps not in form but certainly in function. One of the key differences between humans and this species is a lack of ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Plausibility Check: Armored Birds

How plausible, or implausible, would it be for a lineage of birds' feathers to evolve into sharp, hardened plate-like scale armor (and/or blades), comparable to that of pangolins? And if it is ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Is it inevitable for tiny humans to have very high pitched voices?

Let's say there's a humanoid species that are essencialy humans but tiny, around 13cm tall. As their vocal chords are smaller they would have high pitched voices, but could that effect be minimized in ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Centauromorphs: Anatomical terminology for duplicate body regions/parts

Consider centaurs, mermaids/mermen/merfolk, driders/arachne, lamia/naga, and other half-human creatures with similar bodyplans, which I will henceforth refer to as "centauromorphs". They all have a ...
13
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2answers
454 views

What would a hexapodal skeleton look like?

Having looked at some of the questions regarding creatures with more than four limbs, I've found some useful info, like the idea that additional limbs increase stability while requiring more brain ...
13
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2answers
263 views

Designing venom glands for an elephant: misting

Laugh all you like, you won't be laughing when it sprays you with its jade trunk of death. Info I figured out that I wanted an elephant that sprays poison (not acid) out of its trunk a while ago (...
12
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6answers
1k views

What might an angel's knapsack look like?

The Angelic Host is going to war. It's a long journey, requiring flight over the highest mountain ranges and long trudges through the fiercest blizzards. As with all large scale military marches the ...
12
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5answers
3k views

Plausibility of squid whales

I am considering the possibility of having massive cephalopods evolving on my world and having them fill the niche of whales. I've heard about how whales have evolved to increase in size for the ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Would the diet of a human have to adapt if he suddenly had a ~1 metre long foxtail?

If I genetically modified a human to have a foxtail of roughly 1 metre length through the use of handwaved genetical engineering - would this have an effect on his diet? Of course an additional ...
12
votes
5answers
838 views

Would female humans have more breasts if they had bigger litters?

Let's suppose regular humans (same intelligence and pretty much same features) but they usually have 3-6 babies at a time. To me, many breasts seem like an evolutionary disadvantage. Something you ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What would be the proper latin terminology for half-human anatomy configurations?

Many half-human mythological creatures follow a few common anatomical schemes. Some consist of an animal with a human face, such as the sphinx, naga and manticore. Some consist of a human anterior ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Are reproductive and excretory systems inherently linked? Could life evolve differently?

As far as I have been able to determine, the majority of life reuses the same plumbing for reproductive and digestive/excretory systems. In fact, the anus is believed to be derived from the male ...
12
votes
1answer
427 views

Possibility of bipedal mostly-aquatic species?

I'm trying to design a species that is largely aquatic and yet capable of walking / running (loosely) on land. I've already figured out a gill and lung type respiratory system to allow them to breathe ...
12
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2answers
3k views

How would black blood change a human's appearance?

Say they had pale skin, what would they look like? Would the lips be black? Would the vascular system show through the skin more? I'm not very interested in how or why their blood is black, just how ...
12
votes
3answers
623 views

How could an acid-cow make a barrier against acidic milk by synthesizing PTFE, and what would it line?

Info I'm designing a breed of cow that produces acid instead of milk. Part of the reason this is useful for my story is that the cows produce as much acid as a dairy cow would milk (through ...
11
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4answers
3k views

If quadruped mammals evolve to become bipedal will their breast or nipple change position?

As the title says, you know stuff like minotaur, lycanth or werewolf, cat or dog folk, etc especially for the female specimens. I want to know what happen if quadrupedal mammals which usually have ...
11
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5answers
1k views

How much muscle mass would be needed for a genetically modified human to move his ~1 metre long foxtail?

I would like to genetically modify a human being in one concrete case like I did in other parts of my little series of How would it affect a human to suddenly... This time I would like to add a pretty ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Could a unicorn species have the horn as its male genital?

I want to make my unicorns use the horn as their male genital. Is it biologically possible to put the genital on their head? I know there are many strange genital locations for animals, for example, ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it theoretically possible for the human body to not defecate?

Assume that I have some way to introduce nutrients into the body of a healthy human but I do not have any method of changing their biology. No surgical procedures nor special "drugs" that would affect ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Would it be possible for one organism to simultaneously exhibit two types of symmetry?

In particular, I want to know if a creature whose upper body displays bilateral symmetry and whose lower body displays tetramerism like a jellyfish is biologically possible.
10
votes
4answers
318 views

How to not hurt yourself with very sharp spikes on tail?

The creature I'm designing has a tail with spikes on the end of it. The material of the spikes should be strong/durable (not break easily), and very sharp (the edge as well as the sides, being able to ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Impact of Orcs ritually removing tusks at birth?

A sub-group of Orcs have settled into an area that is occupied by humans who culturally resemble the Greeks from the Hellenic period. These Orcs, who physically resemble Orcs from The Elder Scrolls, ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

How Can I Make A Bipedal Insect?

I've been conceptualizing a species of intelligent insects. They would have 6 limbs, they can fly, but they walk bipedally. I've been thinking of having them get down on all limbs of they need to go ...
10
votes
6answers
351 views

Reality Check: Plausibility of a new kind of sentient alien race: Split prehensile tail, quadrupedal, very floofy!

In building an sentient alien that is unique among the sea of humanoids, I aspire to explore quadrupeds. For a quick visual reference, this is what I have: proportions are definitely off, but in ...

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