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Questions tagged [creature-design]

For questions regarding the viability of a life-form design. These questions should focus on biologically plausible creatures.

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No Iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 1)

Excuse the broad question but I couldn’t resist making a metal pun. So in my universe the Fair Folk encompass a large group of creatures. They live in their own little pocket universe, in which ...
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Making a scientifically accurate fire-breathing dragon [duplicate]

I came up with a concept for how a dragon could breathe fire. However, I haven’t figured out some crucial details, which I need help with. The dragon would capture the methane gas produced by its ...
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Anatomically correct Guivre

The Guivre is an amphibious dragon from French mythology: Many of its aspects are typical of Western dragons, but there are two which distinguish it from others: Its breath causes disease It cannot ...
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1answer
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Using sound to swim through sand

Subarenaceous animals are those which can move long distances through dry sand - like sandfish lizards, or Dune's sandworms. The main problem they have to tackle is turning the sand immediately around ...
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2answers
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Let's make a thunder creature!

Let's create a creature with the ability to create a loud boom with only its body. We'll start with a terrestrial predator, that gives us a good reason as to why it needs to do this. It uses the ...
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18answers
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Would a 'World Tree' be feasible in real life?

A livescience.com article claims that trees can reach a theoretical height of 400 to 426 feet (122 to 130m). This is due to the tree being unable to carry water up to the top at that certain point due ...
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6answers
326 views

Why would a bird have split wings?

On my world there is a creature that has a 'split' in the plumage of its wings and tail. Instead of having a singular D-shaped surface (when viewed from above, the bird facing to the left), it is ...
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2answers
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Would advanced Plantoids be plausible? [closed]

Could it be plausible that if enough time given and favorable conditions are met, the dominant species of an alien planet could be a species of plant and by dominant I mean achieving sentience and ...
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4answers
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How could a 10m tall giant swim across a freshwater lake?

Suppose we scale up a human to about 10m in height and their skeletal structure have evolved to ensure they won't succumb under their own weight. Due to their unique blood circulatory system they can ...
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Anatomically Correct Carnivorous Tree

How might a carnivorous tree look or work? The following conditions must be met: Consumes members of the biological kingdom 'Animalia' Possesses something resembling a trunk or stem of any kind ...
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2answers
180 views

Brain Micromanagement

Imagine a creature much like ourselves that can control the usage of their own mind. For example, a dying ancestor may tell some parting words which are so important that the individual explicitly ...
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3answers
179 views

How could a marilith evolve?

Mariliths are these D&D creatures that are basically nagas except with six arms. OK, technically this image is from Final Fantasy, but you get the point. What environmental factors could cause ...
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2answers
179 views

Anatomically Correct Pinocchio

Pinocchios are known to be mischievous creatures, but why did they evolve that way and how do they survive? The creature has the following properties: Appears to be made of wood Not taller than a ...
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3answers
759 views

Anatomically Correct Demons

Demons have been a staple of multiple religions for thousands of years, just like angels. While some of the points brought up in the Anatomically Correct Angels post (and other posts on flying ...
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What sort of qualities might a tortoise-like animal the size of an argentinosaurus need to support its own body?

I am wondering what kind of physical qualities (E.g. Short, thick pillar-like legs) a creature such as this would need to support such an incredible size. The world that it evolves on in almost ...
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2answers
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Speculative Biology of a Haplodiploid Humanoid Species

In haplodiploid sex-determination system, female/diploid individuals are developed from fertilized eggs by means of sexual reproduction, while male/haploid individuals are developed from unfertilized ...
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2answers
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How would a race develop specific adaptations in an area with hard, rocky soil and sturdy trees? [closed]

In my world, one of the races is from a part of a continent with dense, rocky soil and large, hardwood trees. Their whole culture is structured around establishing sturdy foundations and permanence ...
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2answers
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Could bio-luminescent plants survive in total darkness for ~3 months annually?

If a three-month dark period was a normal, recurring, part of a 15-month calendar, and plants had evolved to be bio-luminescent, could they survive? Would only some survive and, if so, would it be ...
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Advantages of being covered in taste buds? [closed]

On my conworld, I am developing a creature that is covered externally in taste buds. What would be the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of having this adaptation?
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What would an animal that absorbs nutrients though its skin be called? [closed]

Animals that eat meat are carnivores, animals that eat plants are herbivores, animals that will eat anything are called omnivores. But what are animals that absorb 25% of their nutrition directly from ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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How to convincingly explain Kaiju

This will be a companion question for How plausible is my monster?. My previous question dealt with a story treatment for a hard science and realistic take on Kaiju/ giant monsters. While that story ...
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4answers
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What sort of hip bone is required for quadrupedal animals to locomote on their hind legs?

I am designing a creature that is quadrupedal but can run after prey on its hind legs. What kind of hip bone would allow for the excess stress to be put on it during bipedal locomotion? The animal is ...
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4answers
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How can I make these feet spikes more sturdy?

The bone is three inches circumference at the joint and one-millimeter circumference at the tip. How might this bone support the front of an animal weighing one-hundred pounds? It runs with its legs ...
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7answers
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What can I do to make blood black?

In my world I find it simplest to have iron-based blood. The problem is that iron-based blood is red, and I want it to be black. Two things come to mind; one is making the blood denser, resulting in ...
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1answer
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Are there certain qualities needed for an animal to be tamed?

Are there certain qualities that animals need to be tamed? Let's say, for example, a quadrupedal omnivore with intelligence on par with Earth's ravens. It does exhibit opportunistic predatorial ...
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Feasibility of giant flatworm people

There are lots of examples in fiction of lizard people, bird people or beast people, but I'd like to expand my phylogenetic horizons in conceptualizing my world. To that end, I have conceptualized a ...
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Why do Ichisongas hate elephants and hippos?

In the mythology of the Lambas people of Zambia, there is a creature called the Ichisonga. It is a herbivore, and very rhinoceros-like in appearance. Upon hearing a hippopotamus, it allegedly sneaks ...
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3answers
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Switching between poikilothermic and homeothermic metabolism

I am designing a mammal living in a warm environment (like a warm desert) which has developed a switchable metabolism, so that during the day it is cold blooded and during the night (when it is colder)...
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1answer
181 views

Where would padding inhibit a limb's movement the least in a quadruped creature?

Of the six limbs of classic dragons, the forelegs always stuck out like a sore thumb. They're dead weight in flight, etc... However, since in my setting you can find any sort of armament, short of a ...
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4answers
469 views

How can a team of shapeshifters communicate?

There is a group of people who can shapeshift. They send out hunting parties, scout teams, etc. In a circumstance where a group of ten people can look like ten different species (one human, one wolf, ...
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6answers
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How to achieve cat-like agility?

In my world there human-animal hybrids. My protagonist is a snow leopard-human girl (outwards looks almost completely human, except for the tail). These hybrids have been created through experiments, ...
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4answers
389 views

Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 8: Communication

Previous parts here: Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 1: Skeleton Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 2: nervous system Creating a scientifically semi-...
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What is the botanic equivalent to ears?

As part of a series on plant animals, plantimals if you will, I am now asking about ears. All surface life has them or some sort of equivalent to them and with good reason. Other than sight, hearing ...
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11answers
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Biological Blimps: Propulsion

A while back, I asked this question about the plausibility of giant floating whales and received an excellent and high-scoring answer from Dubukay demonstrating that, given the assumptions that ...
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4answers
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Aquatic lizard: Is being warm blooded essential?

Now, I know that most likely this 50 foot long aquatic lizard I mentioned in a previous question of mine would give live birth because reptile eggs and in fact any eggs really can't keep saltwater out....
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3answers
807 views

Gastric acid as a weapon

The dragons in my fantasy world spit fluid from their mouths when threatened, which upon contact causes a burning sensation. I could have this liquid be standard venom, like modified saliva, but I ...
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127 views

How could somersaulting worms evolve?

In Wayne Douglas Barlowe's classic book "Expedition" he has many strange creatures. One that intrigues the most is this one, the flipstick. It has two feet on either side and uses them to flip ...
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How could chocolate be as addictive as heroin?

Most of us are well aware that chocolate is already a bit addictive to human beings... maybe it's the caffeine or the sugar? But what if there were a species to which chocolate was as addictive as ...
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Realistic fantasy slimes

Foreword: I'm aware of the limitations of the square-cube law involved in sizing an animal up, as these limitations have been relentlessly stressed in every discussion of realistic fantasy creatures. ...
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1answer
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Can a possible humanoid species capable of changing their sex in a crisis be the dominant species of an entire planet like us?

I had an idea of a concept a while ago. If a planet that for some reason or another had only one giant continent like Pangea, but bigger, for more distinct habitats and giant lakes assuring ...
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224 views

Anatomically Correct Huldra

Huldra are forest creatures from Scandinavian folklore, best known for their seductive natures. They are frequently depicted as beautiful women, with the additional traits of a cow-like tail and ...
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6answers
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Lethal sonic weapons

Sonic weapons are frequently used by military circles as non-lethal irritants to deter opponents. My question is; could a naturally evolved organism kill, or at least incapacitate, small prey using ...
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4answers
493 views

Uplifted animals have parts of their “brain” in various locations of their body. Where?

Looking at the case of Mike, I realized decentralizing the brain might not be infeasible. The idea is if Horus, the brown falcon, doesn't have enough room in his skull, then why not move various ...
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4answers
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How would tattoos for shapeshifters work?

So there is a species of shapeshifters who use a tattoo in a specific location on their bodies as a "belonging" indicator. Basically it is a symbol of group pride: it gives information about what the ...
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1answer
131 views

Anatomically correct Isitoq

This is the latest in a long series of questions I've asked on my fantasy world which contains many mythical and folkloric creatures. I won't link the other questions since at this stage the series ...
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4answers
801 views

Dragon forelimb placement

Most dragons (before Skyrim and GoT) had six limbs in total, four legs and a pair of wings. The question is how would a dragon's forelimbs be placed? It's obvious they have good terrestrial ...
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3answers
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Mutually beneficial digestive system symbiotes

On an Earth-like planet, an intelligent species evolved in symbiosis with another species that lives in their digestive system and act as the microbial gut flora in humans do. What implementations of ...
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6answers
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In what sort of environment might a species with biological wheels evolve, and what would they look like?

So for a thought experiment I came up with the idea of a species that uses wheels for locomotion, sort of inspired by a species shown in His Dark Materials. Under what circumstances would such a ...
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8answers
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Plausibility of Floating Whales

Ignoring the plausibility of their evolution and sources of food, could a whale-like creature which internally consists largely of hydrogen bladders/gasbags realistically stay aloft? If these ...