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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24
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6answers
3k views

Anatomically Correct Cyclops

As a series of anatomically correct myths, here we have the Cyclops. One of the most similar creatures to man but with 'one' noticeable difference, one eye. It seems that land animals love their two ...
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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6answers
646 views

Is petrifying vision plausible in an animal?

Note: this question is not a duplicate. The accepted answer to the question "Anatomically correct Medusa" explains the petrifying vision via calcifying toxins spat from the snake hair. This a) wouldn'...
6
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1answer
782 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. ...
22
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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 ...
17
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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, ...
12
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2answers
653 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 ...
2
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3answers
1k views

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-...
15
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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
401 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 ...
8
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1answer
545 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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3answers
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Alternate Elemental Bases for Life

Here on Earth, Carbon is the base of all life from plants to fungi to animals. The most common alternative that exists is Silicon, but surely out of the over 100 elements other than Carbon and Silicon,...
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6answers
595 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
220 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 ...
31
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6answers
6k views

Anatomically Correct Gods

This question may seem like an impossible challenge. What I'm talking about here is a biological explanation for limited (or, for bonus marks, unlimited) form shifting, immortality (at least in age) ...
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5answers
3k views

Why does my species tock like it ticks?

Starting with a creature and its environment, how does one create its psychology? Evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology attempt to explain attributes that we observe in our fellow humans ...
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17answers
12k views

How to defend when attacked by an avian species?

Bird people are humanoid creatures with a wingspan of 4 meters, they are as tall as humans and the fittest of them weight 72 kilograms or slightly less, so they are quite lighter than the average ...
31
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4answers
6k views

Anatomically Correct Khajiit

Behold the Khajiit; Born from the insanely popular game series, Elder Scrolls, the Khajiit are a race of cat people who live in hot jungles. From the moment I saw this race, I fell in love with them, ...
24
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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 ...
53
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25answers
8k views

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 ...
40
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20answers
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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
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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 ...
26
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9answers
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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 ...
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10answers
4k 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 ...
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6answers
952 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, ...
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15answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
12
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7answers
963 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 ...
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3answers
2k 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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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 ...
8
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3answers
246 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 ...
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3answers
469 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 ...
6
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3answers
351 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. ...
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3answers
577 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 ...
11
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3answers
434 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 ...
8
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2answers
595 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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3answers
295 views

What is the botanic equivalent to eyes

There have been many questions of moving, floral animals, most of these focus on their intelligence, but what about their sense of sight. I fail to understand how a botanic based alien would be able ...
6
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1answer
353 views

Creating a Scientifically Semi-Valid Pseudo-Arthropod Primate Part 1: Pseudo-Dragonfly Wing Rib Muscles

Background As a parody of the super soldier questions and as an efficient way of organizing these questions I will now start this series of questions about Pseudo-Arthropod Primates. Questions from ...
6
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2answers
232 views

What adaptations to a mammal's eyes would allow it to see large contrasts well, and what other effects would those have?

There is a nocturnal mammal, about the size of a common red fox, which has evolved (by way of some unspecified-at-this-point selective pressure) the ability to see well in situations involving large ...
3
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2answers
432 views

How would digestion work for an alien species with a diet of minerals?

If an alien species ate minerals (aka a lithovore species), how might their bodies differ from ours? How would they eat/digest the materials? Do those answsers change if they eat substances like ...
13
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7answers
547 views

What would be required for a large mammal to realistically throw its own kind a significant distance?

This is about the same species as in e.g. How can humans coexist with an intelligent carnivorous species? The culture of this intelligent, carnivorous, primarily quadruped species, in a sense despite ...
13
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5answers
614 views

Planet of the Aves: Quadrabirds

In the world I am designing, instead of mammals, birds are the dominant species. In this world, replacing the niche of deer gazelle and cattle are a group of animals known as Quadrabirds. These are ...
7
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3answers
470 views

What sea-dweller did my hexaped Beast-of-Burdern evolve from?

Disclaimer: This question is the third of a new series of questions of mine about introducing hexapeds to the fauna of my conworld. There are/will be other questions addressing i.a.: characteristics, ...
2
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2answers
273 views

Could a species develop the tech necessary to land on their own moon without comprehending light?

Inspired by a brief comment converstaion found here. I would like to investigate the design and development of an alien species whose technological development did not include an understanding of ...
82
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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 ...
60
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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 ...
44
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15answers
13k views

How could elves survive without any fat cell in their body?

Have you ever seen a fat Elf? I haven't, and I think there's an unexpected reason. You see, Elves aren't really the best workers or at least working the land and cultivating food is not something ...