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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22
votes
8answers
2k views

What is plausible biology of ocean-dwelling, tool-using, intelligent creatures?

I want to develop a water-dwelling, intelligent species that could ultimately reach space.1 My question here is about the biology of such creatures. I want my creatures to live in the water, not ...
18
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8answers
2k views

Magivore - designing a magic 'eater'

Yes, magic means I can say 'make it so' and it is. But I see too many options and not sure which ones would make more sense. I'm picking one idea that I've never seen in a book. So a Magivore is ...
26
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18answers
6k views

How could ghosts be explained without an afterlife?

I've always loved well-done ghosts. However, I've always hated the afterlife-speculation that they engender if used in a story. So I need a way to get ghosts without the fluffy spiritualistic bits. ...
17
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7answers
12k views

Is it possible to ride a carnivore species?

Humans have been domesticating carnivores for over 10 000 years. And there are certainly carnivores big enough to ride. The former is the biggest feline ever to exist. They certainly can carry a human ...
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
27
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8answers
4k views

Dragons that eat gems—digestion

Heads up—this is a pretty gross question. The dragons in this world are not reptilian, but rather resemble huge borzois. I've not sure how large I want them to be yet, but they are capable of mining/...
10
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4answers
584 views

What is the botanic equivalent to muscles

A plethora of previous questions have queried the existence of botanic (plant) intelligence and they all have created good solutions, but their still remains a even bigger problem to even the dumbest ...
12
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1answer
3k views

Centaur anatomy help

If a centaur were to have one set of organs, how would they be placed and what sizes would they be? What limits would there be on the centaur's body?
6
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1answer
928 views

Wing surface area for large flying creatures

These creatures are a few feet longer and about a foot thicker than your average cow. Their skin is covered in densely packed bristles to trap air, and thus heat, close to the skin in cold climates. ...
21
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6answers
6k views

The Physiology of people living on a world with 9 year days

I have a world with days lasting 9 years. The inhabitants of this world have taken to migrating across the globe to avoid the deadly night, keeping themselves in a sweet spot. One of the biological ...
19
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4answers
2k views

How to make my Beast-Of-Burden work?

Disclaimer: This question is the first of a new series of questions of mine about introducing hexapedae to the fauna of my conworld. There are/will be other questions addressing i.a.: ecosystems, ...
13
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2answers
718 views

Planet of the Aves: Aquabirds

In my world, instead of mammals, birds have become the dominant order. Similar to how Quadrabirds replaced the grazing mammals; Aquabirds will take up the niche cetaceans occupy. My goal is that the ...
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3answers
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Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, part 7: Hearing

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-...
16
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4answers
1k views

How to justify digging claws and opposable thumbs in the same being

The fantasy creature I am imagining (planning a short story or two around) satisfies the following analogy: Human is to Chimpanzee as "This Thing" is to Badger. That is, the creature has a clear ...
12
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1answer
446 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 ...
9
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1answer
681 views

Life at faster than light

Tachyons are a hypothetical particle that constantly move at speeds in excess of the speed of light. We haven't yet proven their existence, but neither have we disproved their existence (which is, as ...
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6answers
914 views

How could mammals evolve to resist damage from fire?

In a story I am writing, some animals (including sentient ones) can touch fire without being harmed. Not any kind of fire, though. They can caress the fire of a candle with a finger, and they can ...
7
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1answer
239 views

What is the botanic equivalent to the circulatory system?

There have been a few questions on mobile plants on this site and even more on their intelligence, but one that has not been asked so far is related to the lifeblood of creatures: blood. Inside of ...
83
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19answers
20k 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 ...
35
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7answers
10k views

Anatomically Correct Succubus

The succubi are popularly represented as women with horns and bat-like wings. They feed on the vital energy in myths, but could a humanoid creature resembling a woman evolve and feed only on human ...
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7answers
4k views

Intelligent Cats With A Serious Attitude Problem

Ligers tend to grow to near 1200 lbs (550 kg). As if that weren't bad enough, that mad tree-hugger xenobiologist, Deirdre Skye, grafted just enough human-derived genetic material to make them a heck ...
16
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5answers
3k views

How would a two thumbed hand work

If our hands had 2 thumbs and 3 fingers how would they work? I mainly concerned with the bones and how they would interfere and interact with each other. But the muscle work would be helpful as well.
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25answers
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Lifeform - resistant to gunfire but vulnerable to melee

Is there a plausible makeup for a lifeform which is highly resistant to even very advanced firearms (or any ranged weaponry for that matter), but can be injured more readily (albeit still a major feat)...
16
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6answers
3k views

Plant based lifeforms: brain equivalent?

In lots of science fiction works that visit other planets we are often introduced to intelligent plant based lifeforms, be they humanoid looking or potted plant looking. I'm curious as to what part ...
49
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9answers
10k views

Could an organism have evolved to kill its prey by shouting at it?

I've recently been replaying Skyrim (for about the fifth time now), and I've stumbled across something I thought would make for an interesting question. The Greybeards are a group of extremely ...
44
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20answers
6k views

How expressive is a color-based language?

In the answers to this question I learned that some cephalopods communicate via color: Some cephalopods are capable of rapid changes in skin color and pattern through nervous control of ...
35
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10answers
8k views

Is it more likely that merfolk would evolve with horizontal or vertical tails?

Another mermaid questions I'm afraid! Fish have tail fins which are vertical, whales have fins which are horizontal. My race of merfolk are: Very active (more likely to be warm blooded) Have gills ...
30
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10answers
3k views

Can a biological laser exist?

We know that Earth creatures can generate high-voltage electricity (your nearest electric eel can attest to that). We also know that ordinary air at Earth atmospheric pressure can be used as a laser ...
11
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6answers
1k views

How CAN we scale up living creatures to be giant sized?

Piggybacking on this question: Can you simply scale up animals? how CAN we scale up living creatures to be giant sized? What would need to done to make truly giant animals (Dragons, Kong, Godzilla, ...
27
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11answers
5k views

Anatomically Correct Werewolves

Could werewolves exist in a realistic world? All that is required for an accepted answer is the ability to change shape over night. Bonus points will be awarded if you can explain a bite spreading ...
26
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15answers
4k views

How would you design a dragon-like creature so it could sew?

I've been working on the setting for a science fiction novel where one of the questions that came up was: “How would you design a dragon-like creature so it could sew?”. Although I worked out a ...
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 particular, ...
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7answers
1k views

What would the chemical make-up of a silicon based life-form be like?

I've recently become interested in the possibility of silicon based life. Assume these creatures developed on a planet with zero carbon (don't question, just accept it), so they have no carbon in ...
11
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4answers
3k views

Anatomically correct pixie

I am thinking about the miniature kind of fae, like Tinker Bell. I think that class of faery would be the most likely to be able to fly realistically, due to the wingspan/body weight ratio. But would ...
8
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4answers
4k views

Anatomically correct Zerg Overlord

Zerg Overlords are flying alien creatures that aid their broods by managing lesser members of the swarm, transporting units within their carapaces, and alerting a hive about any danger they perceive ...
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3answers
1k views

Anatomically Correct Vampires

Part of the Anatomically Correct Series. I think we’re all familiar with the traditional vampire: pale skinned, blood suckers that drink blood through their fangs and have an aversion to sunlight and ...
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6answers
4k views

How can I Determine the Litter Size of a Species?

Litter size varies vastly even in just the world of mammals, from the single spawn of an elephant to the up to 30 children an opossum can have. Obvious, litter size will determine population, cultural ...
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14answers
5k views

How to make a viable flying mount?

In the real world, humans have tamed horses and use them as mounts. Horses have very specific characteristics that make them a viable mount, such as size, back-strength, stamina, diet, behavior, etc. ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Anatomically Correct Harpy

This is a submission for the Anatomically Correct Series How would you evolve a harpy? A harpy is defined by Wikipedia as a flying creature with: Long, human hair Human faces Feathered bodies Clawed ...
7
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4answers
731 views

What would life around a hydrothermal vent on Europa be like?

Hydrothermal vents are thought to exist on Europa. On Earth, these vents are surrounded by all manner of freakish and bizarre looking creatures, mainly various worms, crabs and octopodes. Europa's ...
14
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1answer
1k views

How does animal size affect individuals' agility and speed?

This question is a bit of an outgrowth of Can you simply scale up animals?, but it does approach it from a different angle. "All else equal" (which it of course never is, but we're good at pretending ...
12
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3answers
513 views

Hydras as parasitic-mating, polyandrous amphibians?

This is the second question in a series about my ongoing worldbuilding project, which seeks to explain the evolution and biology of various fantasy creatures. The first one was: Is petrifying vision ...
11
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5answers
2k views

Anatomically Correct Creeper

I am a huge Minecraft fan and just realized, this hasn't been asked before, so I wanted to ask a live-long (31. August 2009) question, and pay my obulus to the Anatomically Correct series. I have ...
8
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3answers
279 views

How would animals “see” in a superdense atmosphere?

The obvious hitch with a superdense atmosphere is that, even without being super deep as well, it absorbs light. Just as the bottom of the ocean is dark even just miles deep, an atmosphere as dense as ...
7
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3answers
498 views

How can I explain the evolution of my giants?

Note: this is not a duplicate of Anatomically correct Giants or What would be the tallest possible height for humanlike creatures in earthlike conditions? because my giants are far from humanoid. ...
6
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3answers
528 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 ...
4
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3answers
624 views

How smart can I make ants? [closed]

In the accepted answer to this question on ant size, it was suggested to give ants branchiostegal lungs, which taxonomically makes the ant a crustacean, rather than an insect. His suggestion was for ...
8
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2answers
647 views

Ideal short-term organic engine

In previous questions on this topic, I've devised a genetically-diverse creature that uses a cold fusion internal engine to provide tremendous amounts of short-term (sprint) energy. However, there ...
7
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6answers
1k views

Using feathers as fingers

Recently, I've been struggling to create an avian race that evolved hands to replace its wings. The consensus on that question was that it was not evolutionarily realistic for the bones of a wing to ...
7
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6answers
596 views

Species evolved to use a wheel-like object

This question is intended as a follow up to this one: Naturally occurring wheels - do the 'mech' vs. 'tank' comparison apply to organics? I agree with the arguments against wheels ...

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