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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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How could I scientifically explain ice breath?

I'm sure there have been questions on here about fire-breathing dragons, and I recently saw a question about a lightning-breathing dragon, but back in fifth grade I wrote a 150-page story about a ...
54
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11answers
9k views

Why is this creature afraid of water but not of body or plant fluids?

I have a creature or more accurately creatures that I have a problem with. I can't figure out why it is afraid of water. They are landbased tiny tiny little piranha like organisms that work in unison....
29
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6answers
4k views

Evolution of species with separate sapient and non-sapient forms?

This question is inspired by the last paragraph of my answer here: Negating the negative effects of childbearing (A follow up question to this can be found here: Methods to ensure gene flow in ...
14
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5answers
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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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14answers
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Would a sentient species be able to thrive when mating means the death of the male partner?

There is a species that is quite sentient. Its members know about the world, they have hopes and dreams and great aspirations of what they might do with their lives. They are intelligent, creative, ...
9
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6answers
3k views

What would be the evolutionary adaptations of a subterranean fantasy race? [closed]

In typical fantasy novels, the dwarf civilization lives within mountains and is known for mining. But if a race of sentient people really did live largely underground in mountains, what ...
14
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13answers
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Would a society of simultaneous hermaphrodites have gender roles?

I'm trying to create an egalitarian society on an Earth-like planet, populated by simultaneous hermaphrodites. The hermaphrodites are similar to human women that have both male & female sex organs....
22
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17answers
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Evolution of a creature that uses light as a weapon

On our world we have any number of creatures that use: Noxious Chemicals Poison(Spiders and Snakes being the obvious examples) Sound Electricity as an alternative to their teeth and claws. One ...
14
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4answers
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How to let a Whale urh… fly? [duplicate]

I have read about flying sharks that hunt birds and great monstrous flying whales, so I would like to know how a whale could conceivably start 'flying' in real life. I'm gonna just set Blue Whales as ...
10
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8answers
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Quasi-creature plants

What is a quasi-creature plant? I define a quasi-creature plant as an organism that lives only through photosynthesis that moves with a speed in the same order of magnitude of that of an animal. ...
38
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10answers
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Suppose the Orcs are mammals, why is their skin green?

Most species of animal, especially mammals, have a special skin cell the produces melanin, which is responsible for the color of their skin, but orcs are generally depicted as green creatures and, of ...
22
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4answers
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Would white pupils/irises on an animal allow it to see properly?

I'm designing creatures with naturally occurring white or pale grey irises and pupils so that it looks like their eyes are all white. What effect could this have their vision (colorblindness, light ...
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6answers
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How would a massive space creature evolve?

It makes sense to believe life is more likely to evolve on the surface of large objects like planets, moons, and asteroids. However, a common fantasy trope is the massive space creature: some kind of ...
9
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5answers
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Anatomically Correct Hydra

The Hydra is a Greek mythological creature known for its many head that only increase in number as you fight it. Alcaeus was the one to solidly state the the creature started with 9 heads, a large ...
8
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2answers
346 views

Are my wing-walking griffins viable?

This is the third question in a series of such for my worldbuilding project that deals with plausible fantasy creatures. Previously, I have pondered cockatrices and hydras, but now we move on to ...
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6answers
3k 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 ...
15
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4answers
813 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 ...
13
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9answers
9k views

What would people with black eyes see?

Imagine if you will..a world where humans had large black pupils that covered most of their eye like the picture below The question: What would these humans see and could they see more/better/worse ...
13
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6answers
738 views

How would or could a creature with a crystalline sail evolve?

I recently came up with a lizard that had a sort of crystal-gem like attachment on its back. The problem was finding a way for such a thing to have evolved to have a largish crystal on its back. The ...
11
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2answers
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Does a sapient species have to be warm-blooded, and if so, can it still be a reptile?

So, as the title suggests, I have a reptilian alien species capable of human-tier thought. Anatomically, they are centaur-like (four legs on the ground, two manipulating limbs up top), standing ...
10
votes
4answers
964 views

How large a bioengineered mobile lifeform could exist on Earth?

In the movie Pacific Rim, we see the beginnings of an alien invasion using very large mobile lifeforms. Given that we want as large a lifeform as possible with the following traits: It must be able ...
10
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4answers
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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 ...
10
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1answer
307 views

How large could my sea serpents be?

EDIT: (Important) M. A. Golding commented that the regalecid method of locomotion would be unfit for a constricting predator, so I have completely redone the taxonomy of the sea serpent. They are now ...
8
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4answers
402 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-...
8
votes
2answers
439 views

Napalm-Breathing Dragon

The Leopard dragon is one of the fastest and smartest dragons out there. With four eyes, external ears, four legs, two wings, a long tail, and sleek black scales, this dragon is quiet and nearly ...
7
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3answers
651 views

Phonetic features of human languages spoken by sentient cats

In my world I have a couple species of sentient animals, mainly cats, who among other things are capable of communication with human beings. While I am perfectly happy to resort to explanations ...
7
votes
4answers
666 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 ...
6
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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 ...
17
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13answers
4k 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. ...
13
votes
3answers
396 views

Are there physiological traits common to all tool-building species?

Alien and fantasy creatures can be designed in an infinite number of ways. But are there physiological traits that would be common among all tool-developing (technology-building) species? As an ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Anatomically Correct Harpy

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 feet Bird wings and (sometimes) tail From various ...
10
votes
1answer
935 views

Anatomically Correct Gnolls

Since we're dealing with cat-folk already with the question about the Khajiit, I figured we'd toss a different evolutionary lineage for furry humanoids around, that of the hyena. Ever since the early ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Anatomically Correct Hecatoncheires

The Hecatoncheires was the collective name given to three monsters; (Briareus, Cottus and Gyges) who were the children of Gaia and Uranus. They were not only known for their frightful enormity, but ...
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6answers
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What kind of animal could grow quickly enough and produce enough offspring to replace agriculture as a food source?

In my world, for reasons that are unimportant for now, there can be no agriculture. Because of this, civilization can not depend upon agriculture, as we practice it, for a food supply. A solution for ...
8
votes
3answers
274 views

Civilized Dolphins and their Record Keeping

On the Life Ball of my fantasy stories, a particular species of delphinidae- I call them black dolphins- have evolved and advanced at least as much as humans and other intelligent races. A prior ...
8
votes
4answers
438 views

Plausible reasons for evolution of humanoids with multiple pairs of eyes

I would like to have a humanoids with three pairs of eyes placed on the same horizontal plane like in Protheans not one below the other like Batarian. I was thinking of one pair being sensitive to ...
7
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7answers
695 views

Could a being made mostly of rock exist with any possible circumstances?

In some science fiction and fantasy settings (mostly fantasy) there are sometimes things like rock giants or rock golems. Basically, what I'm getting at is rocks forms with, sentience in some cases. ...
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2answers
668 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 ...
56
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21answers
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Why would merfolk have hair?

A classic image of mermaids are their long flowing hair that swishes in the water. But in the scientifically realistic sense this makes none. The hair would be nothing more than a nuisance to the ...
29
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11answers
4k views

What qualities could a hominid evolve to make it a better farmer?

BACKGROUND I'm working on a medieval world in which homo sapiens domesticated several other species of intelligent hominids during their prehistory, at first enslaving them to take advantage of ...
21
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10answers
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How can we have dragon-sized butterflies?

I'm writing a species of dragon-sized butterflies¹ as flying mounts into a low-magic fantasy setting², and would like to know if these creatures have to be imbued with magic, or if they could just be ...
14
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8answers
2k views

Movement for a spherical desert creature

Context I'm building/designing a set of creatures in a world I'm making. Currently the creatures I am designing will live in an extremely hot, dry desert. About the same amount of rainfall as the ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Anatomically Correct Cerberus

Cerberus was a three headed dog, commonly depicted with a collar and tail of snakes. Such an organism is quite difficult to justify, but how can such a creature appear that way? Is there a realistic ...
13
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5answers
869 views

Could a species evolve intellgence and technology without Love?

There are lots of posts speculating about a planet (or whatever) where life evolves intelligence and goes on to produce technology, under different differences lacking something or another that is ...
10
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4answers
1k 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 ...
10
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3answers
685 views

Using only molecules found in humans: How close can I get to creating a wolf?

There are many theories about how teleportation could work (warning: tvtropes). One of them is that the body is completely disassembled on a molecular level and reassembled at the target destination. ...
10
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5answers
2k views

How did the Booze-Rat evolve its defensive mechanism?

In a specialised organ, the Vesica Spirite, which in function and makeup resembles a cross between the Ventriculus and the Vesica Biliaris, the animal creates and stores potent spirits by the means of ...
9
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4answers
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Evolution bottleneck event leading to color changing humans

How to get humans that can change their skin color? Approximately 1.6 million years ago, hominids lost their hair and gained dark skin (so says the New York Times). Evidence shows several several ...
9
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5answers
585 views

Evolutionary Explanations for Dragon Firebreathing: Interesting uses of indigestion

This is a question I've been thinking about for a while now. Dragons are, by all observances related to the reptile family, (or maybe lizards) either way these are cold blooded animals. Common ...
9
votes
1answer
366 views

Where would my hexaped Beast-of-Burden fit into Linnaean taxonomy?

Disclaimer: This question is the second 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, ...