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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12
votes
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
285 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
74 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
445 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
274 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
216 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
votes
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
580 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
256 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
157 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 ...
20
votes
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
5answers
224 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
votes
2answers
94 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
votes
4answers
497 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
125 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
145 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
342 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
422 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

How big would this creature be before it would collapse in on itself?

I am making a titan like creature, similar to godzilla, that lives in a swamp like environment. What I was wondering is, how big could it be before it crushes itself under it's own weight. Here is ...
6
votes
8answers
394 views

What limitations can I put on wings for more tense/risky action scenes?

This is my first post on Stack Exchange, so I'm not sure if this follows the right format. Let me know what I can change to make this more helpful on the site. Anyways, let's get to the backstory of ...
1
vote
3answers
245 views

How could can humans evolve to have reptilian attributes?

In my world, all of my demihumans have evolved from the same ancestor from modern humans. This conceptually includes my version of Reptilians/Lizardfolk. For the most part I would have them share the ...
4
votes
6answers
475 views

What could make a species evolve downward facing ears?

To give an illustration of what I mean with downward ear, here's an illustration taken from mtrakholisova's Pinterest. I want to make a species with downward facing ears. They cannot be moved facing ...
7
votes
2answers
324 views

Anatomically Correct Giant Spider

Fantasy and folklore has many instances of giant spiders,ranging from creatures like the J'ba Fofi to Aragog from Harry Potter. My question intends to ask whether a creature like the J'ba Fofi could ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Possible material for dragon wings

Most (quadruped) dragons are depicted as having two wings sprouting from their back, consisting of a limb structure draped with a leathery membrane as the way to create lift and fly, somewhat ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Explanation behind shape shifting

I’m writing a novella for a school competition. My main character is a shape shifter. I am trying to find a plausible scientific explanation for how shape shifting is possible. I tried finding ...
11
votes
2answers
432 views

Body plan of a 4D human-analog?

I am attempting to design aliens that live in a universe with a 4+1 space-time--i.e., a universe with four orthogonal spatial dimensions, rather than three, in addition to a fifth time dimension. In ...
3
votes
2answers
49 views

Order of Limb Pair Types for Amphibious Creature (Hexanewt)

I need to add a bit of descriptive detail on a species from a brief description. Essentially add a bit of finer detail to someone else's broad-strokes worldbuilding. An amphibious species' body layout ...
7
votes
2answers
388 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
238 views

Which hydrogen halide to have in blood to replace water?

So I want to have an alien creature on a planet with a halogen atmosphere. It will have to be at a temperature where the hydrogen halide is liquid or solid. This hydrogen halide I would have as the ...
8
votes
4answers
190 views

How big could a land-dwelling arthropod get if it wasn’t limited by oxygen consumption?

Insects and other land-based Arthropoda are stuck at the size they are due to how inefficient their respiratory system is. They were able to reach the size they did in the Carboniferous period because ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

What could be the physiological mechanism for a biological Geiger counter?

Some humans have been genetically engineered to be able to detect ionizing radiation to better survive the harsh environments found outside of earth's protective magnetosphere. What could be the ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

What animals would be most suited to a tidally-locked world? [closed]

Are there any species that would be able to sustain themselves on the sunlit face of the planet, the habitable Terminator-zone or even the freezing icy side of the planet? How would animals adapt to ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Anatomically Correct Ego Sword

I'm reading a comic set in a really unique fantasy game. One of the creatures that really caught my attention were a type of slime/sword called ego sword. In their normal form they're a blob but can ...
5
votes
6answers
277 views

How can I prevent the creation of fruit-salad chimeras?

A Chimera is a creature made up of two different animals that are fused together in a process known as polymerization. This spell can combine animals to create an entirely new animal which contains ...
146
votes
7answers
14k 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 ...
82
votes
19answers
18k views

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 ...
8
votes
6answers
830 views

What would prevent chimeras from reproducing with each other?

There exists a polymerization spell that allows distinct animals to combine with each other, creating an entirely new creature. The beasts in question are held in transumutation circles linked by ley ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

How to produce milk that's similar to blood?

How could a mammal produce milk which resembles blood? The blood milk should keep as many properties of milk as possible, curding for example, while resembling blood as much as possible. The mammal ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Traversal of creatures in space (hydrogen metabolistic processes)

For a space-based story I am writing, I was hypothesising about how to have organisms that can thrive the vacuum of space. Ignoring plausibility of such a creature evolving, I realised a few problems ...
7
votes
2answers
517 views

Anatomically Correct Swarm of Rodents

Rats are commonly associated with illness and disease due to the role they played in The Black Death. However, some works of fiction portray rats as carnivorous swarms, devouring people ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

If a person had control of every single cell of their body, would they be able to transform into another creature?

If a person had control over each and every single cell in his body, I.e: Cell growth Cell multiplication Shape and form of cells How cells bond/bind with each other Cell Function Would they be able ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 4: Silver)

Part 1 No Iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 1) Part 2 No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 2) Part 3 No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 3) Only two parts left to go! Now my fair folk ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 3: Iron)

Part 1 can be found here No Iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 1) And part 2 can be found here No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 2) So, my not so metal inclined Fair-folk are encountering ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 2: Radioactive metals)

For reference, here is part 1 No Iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 1) A brief recap. My fair-folk are weak to all metals, but each metal has their own specific effects. The last question resulted ...
6
votes
3answers
457 views

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

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

How can a soul sucker avoid the negative traits of its victims?

People are souls that inhabit and animate human bodies. The lifeforce of an individual is what powers the soul and allows it to excercise control over the body. Physical and mental attributes, such as ...
6
votes
6answers
393 views

Beak to teeth reverse evolution - how would the transitional forms be?

Acording to current scientific knowledge, birds descend from theropod dinosaurs. This evolution had, as usual, some transitional forms, like Archaeopteryx. Following this evolutionary path, we notice ...
34
votes
17answers
10k views

An underwater creature that could take down a boat

Imagine that when Christopher Columbus sailed West in his Carrack to travel around the world to reach India, he had never made it to land, because halfway across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and ...