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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41
votes
9answers
10k views

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 ...
57
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11answers
10k 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....
30
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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 ...
38
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14answers
7k views

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, ...
14
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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.
15
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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....
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 ...
18
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4answers
867 views

movement of space animals

Animals on planets are so 20th century - let's herd us some space animals! In this story I have the need to move a herd of pesky space animals. They like Suns for their juicy solar energy and ...
22
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17answers
4k views

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 ...
19
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4answers
676 views

Physiological adaptation of life on a planet orbiting a red giant.

Let's say there exists an Earth-like exoplanet which orbits a normal star, with a similar process regarding the evolution of life on earth, yet the star became a red giant during said evolution. ...
16
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4answers
2k views

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
1k views

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
13k views

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
2k views

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 ...
19
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6answers
6k views

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 ...
12
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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 ...
10
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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 ...
10
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5answers
2k views

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
377 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 ...
25
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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
877 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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6answers
755 views

An enviroment where a bird-like creature can survive on passive feeding

The question about a diet of dust brought up a few creatures that survive on dust, however they were all insect sized or smaller. This got me thinking about the Blue Whale which survive on a diet of ...
13
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6answers
790 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 ...
13
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7answers
4k views

How can I explain alien skin being different colors?

In humans skin color varies slightly in shades of dark brown to a faded pink, which has the purpose of protecting the skin from sunlight. An idea used commonly by people beginning designing alien is ...
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 ...
11
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2answers
2k views

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
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4answers
1k 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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1answer
352 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
472 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 ...
8
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4answers
441 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-...
7
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4answers
683 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 ...
7
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3answers
676 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 ...
17
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13answers
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. ...
14
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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 ...
14
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2answers
391 views

What sounds would be common for both forms for a human/wolf shapeshifter?

Here's a world much like Earth, except it's inhabited by a race of shapeshifters. On one side of the appearance divide there is an appearance much like a large Earth wolf; on the other is an ...
13
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3answers
405 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 ...
13
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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 ...
11
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5answers
1k views

How much muscle mass would be needed for a genetically modified human to move his ~1 metre long foxtail?

I would like to genetically modify a human being in one concrete case like I did in other parts of my little series of How would it affect a human to suddenly... This time I would like to add a pretty ...
11
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1answer
1k 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 ...
9
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6answers
1k views

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
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4answers
458 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
285 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
713 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. ...
-1
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2answers
769 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
12k views

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
5k views

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 ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Consistency of Giant Spider Webs

Giant spider webs in fiction always seem very thin compared to the scale of the spider itself. (See: Hobbit 2) I would expect giant spider webs to be like cables, but that might not be the case. My ...
14
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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 ...
14
votes
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 ...