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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7
votes
4answers
403 views

Anatomically Correct Whomping Willow

The whomping willow is a fictional tree from the Harry Potter series of books. It is a magic willow that can move its branches to punch people who come close to it. Small animals such as cats and ...
3
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2answers
51 views

Novel Alien Bacteria / Fungus Causing Rapid Mutations

We've seen it throughout media before, a crazy mutation that creates zombies, rabid people, giant spiders, etc. I'm spot checking how crazy I can get with this short story I'm writing about a bacteria ...
7
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5answers
164 views

Why would a blind creature evolve display features?

I'm thinking of a predatory creature that lives deep inside large caves. Because this environment is so dark, the creature's eyes have disappeared through evolution since the creature relies on ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

What is the maximum equilibrium temperature that a mammal could evolve to tolerate?

Mammals live in some fairly extreme environments, but the most heat-tolerant ones all seem to cheat: e.g., they dig burrows to stay cool during the day and come out at night, avoiding the heat, or ...
10
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3answers
293 views

What would a Pegasus actually do with its legs while flying?

The question is just as simple as it sounds. Would it tuck them under like a bird? make running motions like it does when running on the ground? some other movement that actually aids in flight ...
4
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3answers
106 views

Size of a litter for a carnivore with a high rate of death

So, I'm designing an alien race/civilisation of carnivore. I was thinking of a very aggressive specie, who is both the alpha predator of his world and his own main cause of death. Basically, a lot ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Pros and cons of having digitigrade and plantigrade legs?

I have created a humanoid that can switch between digitigrade and plantigrade legs. It is able to do this via special bones in its legs that it can lock in place without hindering its movement but ...
13
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8answers
428 views

Plausibility Check: Kite Trees?

Disclaimer: This question, unlike my other tree related question, was brought about by pure whimsical daydreaming. I also threw the term "evolve" around a lot, I should clarify that what I asking is ...
21
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4answers
5k views

Would a carnivorous diet be able to support a giant worm?

In my fantasy world there is a large valley. At the northern end lies the 'endless desert' called the "Sea of Glass" due to its shimmering sands. Within these deserts live great wyrms that swim ...
3
votes
4answers
154 views

Why would a venomous snake squeeze its threat non-lethally?

This is a key part of my snakebite mystery story, which I am thinking of making part of a medical mystery series. I have been told that it actually is more life threatening to the snake for it to ...
4
votes
4answers
174 views

Alien Mammal-Like Ears

So I’m trying to design my alien life around the pressures they might face just like earth’s wildlife, and most things I’ve made plausible life that is similar to ear but not giant dinosaur cats. The ...
11
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3answers
209 views

Anatomically Correct Slinky Worm

Despite the wide variety of movement strategies employed by Earthling animals, up to an including curling their bodies into circles and rolling, there is one mode of locomotion that is glaringly ...
4
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1answer
124 views

Anatomically Correct Modular Body Plan Animals

The fixedness of body plans varies widely across different types of Earthling organisms. At one extreme, you have things like tardigrades, for which every individual of any given species has exactly ...
7
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2answers
307 views

Anatomically Correct “Stranger Things” Mindflayer's Monster

Background, with potential spoilers: In the Netflix show Stranger Things... If we skip the psychic stuff, there's still a pretty interesting creature there. To qualify as a Mindflayer monster, an ...
1
vote
5answers
306 views

Anatomically Correct Monsters, Incorporated

In the world of Monsters, Inc., the titular monsters have wildly varying morphologies and abilities, but they nevertheless all seem to be members of the same species; after all, if it was a multi-...
5
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3answers
163 views

Anatomically Correct Hunter from Needle

Hal Clement's novel Needle was revolutionary in featuring a non-parasitic alien lifeform capable of inhabiting a human body. Specifically, the Hunter in its independent form is a gelatinous mass ...
12
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9answers
4k views

Would evolution select for mermaids without breasts?

So ignoring all the other hydrodynamic inefficiencies associated with sticking a human torso on a fish body, let's just worry about those most distinct of human female features, breasts. The problem ...
-4
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0answers
182 views

Plants and Animals “Switch Places” - How Could This Have Happened?

Setting the Scene Say that you have a planet where, like on Earth, you have a taxonomic branch of its overall "Tree of Life" graph that has all the traits we associate with the "Plant" Kingdom on our ...
29
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19answers
10k views

Why do dragons like shiny stuff?

I like the classic trope of dragons loving gold and collecting it in their lair, yet it seems poorly justified. I know that it is often used as a metaphor for greed; "dragons disease" to show how ...
15
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5answers
1k views

Biophage: A creature that kills all other creatures

Concept: For some twisted reason, a xenocidal space-race living somewhere in our vicinity decides that nothing deserves to exist. So they make a species. Any feasible size, any kingdom. It eats ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

What configuration would provide the most protection for a male dragon's reproductive organs against mechanical and chemical attacks?

Dragons awesome (that's why sub-par writers and DMs use it as a substitute for an actually engaging story/setting) but they're still just animals, animals that reproduce. Besides it's painful to get ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

What aquatic creatures would evolve in a world with ripped apart/chaotic oceans?

In this world, a progenitor has created a mass of order out of chaos, with the possibility of entropic fluctuations increasing the further out from the center you get. What do I mean by entropic ...
23
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11answers
7k views

What clothes would flying-people wear?

If there were people with wings, who didn't want to be naked all the time, what clothing could they wear, without it interfering with their flying? Note: I am assuming arm-wings, like birds, but you ...
24
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7answers
4k views

Could mollusks become extremely large?

In a brand baby spanking new world I am building, appropriately named Escargard, punningly named by the AndyD273, mollusks have become the dominant form of life. Resulting in aliens similar to those ...
7
votes
2answers
460 views

What element would make up a creature if it used the weak nuclear force during its metabolic processes?

I was doing some research on how to design a scientifically possible alien, when I came across an interesting section on metabolism. I found it very interesting and read about the weak force, as ...
2
votes
8answers
498 views

How would Fair Folk-type elves deal with dietary iron?

One of the beliefs about the Fair Folk is that they are repelled or even damaged by iron. For purposes of this question, let's focus more on the latter: namely, how would an elf manage to live to a ...
6
votes
6answers
313 views

Can a machine benefit from stored heat energy?

Setting Overview My world suffers from an abundance of a particular type of energy. This energy can be safely absorbed and utilized by living cells, enabling, for example, a dragon's flight and fiery ...
9
votes
1answer
118 views

Creating an Anatomically Correct Lusca

The Lusca (its name meaning 'Octopus Shark') is a cryptid from the Bahamas, supposedly a 6-9 meter (or even 23 meter) long man-eating Octopus that lives within the blue holes, dragging victims down ...
1
vote
3answers
153 views

what is the proper physical build of a fantasy adveturer? [closed]

I am trying to make a game and I want the characters to look somewhat like they could actually be someone who goes around slaying monsters, fighting evil over lords and their henchmen, all while still ...
9
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4answers
659 views

What attributes and how big would a sea creature(s) need to be to tow a ship?

I'm trying to come up with ways as to how a ship could travel places with a very low number of people (like 4 crewmen). One of the ways I like for how to do this is to have large sea creatures ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Requirements for race that lives close to a sun [closed]

I have an idea for a race that lives on a planet that is extremely close to a sun (similar to ours), just far enough away to not be pulled in. So my question is, what would be the requirements for a ...
8
votes
4answers
640 views

How would thermophilic fish survive?

I'm designing alien creatures for illustrations, and I'm just sketching some that might live in areas with a lot of geothermal activity. So basically, animals that live around geysers and hot steam. I ...
5
votes
3answers
686 views

The plausibility of a pack-hunting carrion-eating snake

I was thinking of a hypothetical species of snakes that join together for protection called Ladôni, due to their habit of mobilising in massive beds which make them resemble a large multi-headed snake....
12
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9answers
2k views

How would my creatures handle groups without a strong concept of numbers?

I'm thinking about a species that is at the intelligence level of proto-humans. They have limited language but can still discuss concrete things with a little bit of abstraction. For instance, their ...
13
votes
5answers
307 views

Where are all the non-aquatic mouthbrooders?

Some fish mouthbrood. Some amphibians mouthbrood. Crocodilians carry their babies in their mouths to water. Is there a reason why there are no instances (that I know of) of terrestrial animals that ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Anatomically Correct - (ONI) Hatch

My offering to the Anatomically Correct Series. I came across a curious creature, the Hatch! The Hatch is an adaptable creature whose wide-ranging diet allows it to integrate easily into most ...
6
votes
5answers
464 views

The Giant Roc and Pulse Jet propulsion

I am currently in the process of making a world, and am trying to ground it in scientific fact as much as possible. The world is a hard magic setting, and while fantastical creatures exist, they are ...
6
votes
2answers
279 views

Can one person do nearly everything to sail a 25 meter cog for a few hundred miles if that person is a tireless being?

In my fantasy world I have a humanoid species that can work pretty much non-stop. Assuming he has enough energy, can one of these creatures do most of the necessary things on a 25 meter long cog to ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

How to evolve human-like eyes that can stare at the sun without protection?

Imagine a species that is very much like humans in shape, size and physiology. But they are able to stare at the sun for long periods without suffering any harm, and without needing any artificial ...
6
votes
3answers
227 views

Are pharyngeal and cutaneous breathing possible for an aquatic mammal?

I'm working on a setting with merfolk that I'd prefer to be fully mammalian. However, they have underwater cities and I find that hard to believe for a species that needs to surface every few hours ...
22
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4answers
3k views

Creatures that intentionally blow themselves up

How could a creature explode itself? Why would it? We see example ideas of these all the time (Scourges, creepers, etc.) but nobody ever said how or why a creature would intentionally explode. I am ...
5
votes
3answers
299 views

What would humans look like if their blood were silver?

I have a species in mind that I want to write about for a book I'm planning, and they look exactly like humans (minus the 'unnatural' hair and eye colors they can posses). However, they have silver ...
8
votes
3answers
168 views

Sprawling climbers: how will they develop tools and civilization?

Say we have an intelligent species whose body plan is inspired by walking insects (ants, beetles, etc.) and reptiles (particularly lizards). More specifically, let's say they have four legs (I think ...
3
votes
5answers
231 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
103 views

Segmented Endoskeleton

I have a primarily marine creature that needs to be able to move around effectively outside of water yet still be extremely flexible. My idea is having an anatomy based largely on bony disks similar ...
7
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4answers
500 views

What could a dragon tooth be made of to tear through tank plating made using reinforced depleted uranium?

My version of a tank uses reinforced depleted uranium as armor plating, however it was recently attacked by a large dragon which managed to crunch, and chew off a piece of it in one big bite. What ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

Odd-Toed Ungulates

I'm creating a large ungulate that is likely a part of the suborder Anclyopoda. Suspension of disbelief is expected, but there's a detail with the current design that's really bugging me. The ...
2
votes
3answers
150 views

Could a mammal procreate if it existed out of multiple sets of DNA in different cells? If so, how? [closed]

I was wondering about creating mammals that consist out of multiple sets of DNA and if they could procreate. I am talking about a singular being that isn't composed out of multiple seperate parts ...
8
votes
5answers
347 views

How would eyes that evolved in air differ from our own?

In one of the documentaries he's featured in, Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about the evolution of the eye. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SXHMm5I-68 The part that's always intrigued me is this: ...
9
votes
4answers
431 views

Would my horned theropod dinosaur- like creature be able to lift his head and/ or balance?

I'm in the process of designing a creature loosely resembling a theropod dinosaur that sports a number of horns/tusks on its head and face, and I'm wondering if anyone can help me evaluate its ...