Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [creature-design]

For questions regarding the viability of a life-form design. These questions should focus on biologically plausible creatures.

14
votes
4answers
4k views

Just how big can I make this dragon?

For over a thousand years, the dreaded dragon Lohebrand has roamed the plains of the east. His breath melts mountains, his shadow blots out the sun, the earth trembles beneath his talons – or so the ...
10
votes
2answers
376 views

Why (else) would an animal species be polymorphic?

I'm inspired by the comments discussion on a (now deleted) question by XandarTheZenon. We're preconditioned to think in terms of a 2-sex lifeform, which is natural with diploid genetic material, and ...
39
votes
8answers
8k views

What would a Giant’s voice be like?

As per my previous question on giants, if the average human is 5′10″, and he is scaled up to 50 feet whilst remaining proportionately correct, would this have any effect on what he sounds like? I'm ...
26
votes
8answers
5k views

Creating wood actually as hard as granite

Would it be possible, with genetic engineering, to create a form of tree which produces wood with the same strength/hardness as granite, capable of being used in place of stone for castle-style walls ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the Armatae Bestia evolve studded plates?

Meet the following specimen of Armatae Bestia. I'd describe it, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll just put one here instead (Feel free to drag it into browser window to get a much ...
15
votes
1answer
814 views

Could this Very Specific Dragon Fly?

For starters, allow me to define more carefully what I am asking. For now I am not worried about any of the following, as if this question is answered they will be covered in later questions: Bones ...
15
votes
12answers
4k views

How could an animal run fast using blade-like feet that sink into spongy ground?

In my fictional planet, forests grow not on soil, but on vast spongy mats of fungi. Traditional Earth-like feet would struggle to get grip on the squishy ground, so most megafauna taxa have feet like ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
5answers
610 views

What kind of animals are my trolls?

Edit: I've written an answer of my own now, and I'd appreciate it if any of you informed on the subject of evolution could review it, then inform me of its plausibility, via the comments (Of the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Anatomically Correct Xenomorph

Xenomorphs are one of the most dangerous, deadly aliens in movie history. They breed in massive numbers, live in an ant-like society, and have blood that doubles as concentrated acid. Most of those ...
7
votes
3answers
466 views

What factors would allow this caninoid species to evolve successfully?

There's not much on this, so I'm winging it. Plus, I'm curious to see if this species could actually succeed in advancing to the Stone Age. Basically, a species that I have created (the Verrisirs) ...
7
votes
1answer
847 views

Maximum size for an ant?

The Worlds largest ant is around 1 inch long give or take. I wanted to know how large an ant could grow assuming conditions are perfect. Below are the conditions of their environment; 1: The ...
24
votes
8answers
8k views

Why would orcs have tusks?

Ever since Tolkien most, if not all, works of fiction including orcs portray them with tusks. Though this achieves the effect of portraying them as animalistic, what would the real world applications ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How small can humans be before weird stuff starts to happen?

In the world I'm making I want to have very large creatures that will later be used in organic architecture as housing for the human equivalent in this world. In order to make this world realistic I ...
13
votes
4answers
663 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
357 views

(Porcu)pine tree needle firing system?

Info I've created a pine tree that stabs its needles into people. Here's the way I did so: Using genetic engineering, my fictional scientists inserted keratin-producing genes into a pine tree (...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

What would be the proper latin terminology for half-human anatomy configurations?

Many half-human mythological creatures follow a few common anatomical schemes. Some consist of an animal with a human face, such as the sphinx, naga and manticore. Some consist of a human anterior ...
12
votes
6answers
750 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 ...
12
votes
18answers
6k views

How can I explain why my race has genders but can't reproduce?

I'm inventing a race for a roleplaying campaign, and I thought about making them live really long lives (or even be immune to ageing) and not be fertile, but I still want them to be male and female in ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Celebrity Super Soldier - How Strong Could a “Realistic” Humanoid Be Designed to Be?

Background: Recently I have been working on a story that features a pop star who is actually an alien super soldier raised by human parents. That is to say, she was genetically engineered to be a ...
10
votes
10answers
891 views

Would evolution ever favor eye stalks on vertebrates?

A common feature that we consider to be alien is the eyestalk and rightfully so. To my knowledge the only vertebrate that even comes close to having eyestalks is the hammer head shark (if you can even ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Hoofed carnivores?

Let's assume that somehow a hoofed creature became a carnivore. Since hoofs are inferior in every way for hunting animals, it make sense that the species would need to evolve to hunt better. Thus, if ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

What aspects of a creature's hand would make it good for climbing but not good for tool use?

I'm trying to design a mammal that lives in trees. I'd like its hands to be good for climbing, but not good for using tools. What aspects of the hand would make it good for climbing and not good for ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

If wyvern like creature evolved naturally what would its ideal habitat be?

In fantasy literature wyvern’s often have their habitat set as extreme mountains. Sometimes even depicted as needing to drop from a height in order to take off. Evolutionarily speaking this does not ...
7
votes
5answers
673 views

Evolution of a predatory antlered cat?

I am developing an antlered cat, and looking for some help determining the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of certain physical characteristics. The world is earth-like, and this particular ...
7
votes
3answers
643 views

Realism of Sub-humanity over half-humanity

A common feature in fantasy are half-human creatures such as centaurs, satyrs and merpeople. As much as the worldbuilding community wants these to be real, the evolution and anatomy don't match. The ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Creatures with weaponized tails

Note: This is for a game. However, players can't directly control the creatures I'm talking about. They have their own AIs that fight, and I'd like to make it look realistic. I've seen the idea in ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is my humanoid creature too far out there?

I am working on the development of a humanoid species. I figured they'd have split along the evolutionary chain around the same time as humans. They'd live in a warm climate, resulting in little hair ...
6
votes
4answers
502 views

How would a giant, living, flying island evolve?

Imagine if nature had evolved its own version of the modern blimp, or the old fashioned zeppelin. Picture a creature built like a huge hydrogen balloon, a thin tissue of living flesh and tenuous ...
6
votes
4answers
295 views

How can a lava-eater metabolism explained?

Inspired by A.C.A.C's comment, how can the metabolism of an animal that is harnessing the heat from magma or lava be explained? I'm thinking of conventional "eating lava or magma", but it could be an ...
6
votes
2answers
369 views

Adaptations of a Very Specific Dragon to this Combination of Large Size and Flight

For starters, allow me to define more carefully what I am asking. For now I am not worried about any of the following, as if this question is answered they will be covered in later questions: The ...
5
votes
11answers
811 views

Would Martial Arts be useful for an intelligent, powerful, quadrupedal animal?

Humans developed martial arts to give themselves an advantage in combat against untrained, but possibly stronger or better-armed opponents. Presumably, martial arts are one way of making up for the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What would be the biology of a vampire?

Assuming these vampires are genetically altered humans and not undead humans. What biological structure changes would you need to make vampires with the following parameters realistic. Abilities:, ...
4
votes
1answer
337 views

When creating a human-like cyborg, what 'hardware' and 'software' are critical for survival?

To all Evil Conglomerate Inc. interns, indentured students, and unpaid researchers, Congratulations! After being a nameless henchmen for far too long, you are finally ready for your thesis, to ...
50
votes
10answers
12k views

How can a fish that explodes by itself prosper enough to reproduce on a grand enough scale to persist as a species?

In the underwater survival game Subnautica there is a fish called Crashfish that, upon being too close to it, swims out of its plant to chase you and eventually explode. The explosion leaves no ...
28
votes
14answers
6k views

Creating a living currency

I'd like to implement a currency that is "alive". Picture a small, rat-sized animal that is: only found in a small geographic region, making it reasonably scarce. lethargic, or in hibernation most ...
17
votes
19answers
8k views

How to kill an energy being?

An energy being or astral being is a theoretical life form that is composed of energy rather than matter. We can kill a person by damaging his/her body physically. How about killing an energy being? ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a Giant's Diet?

If an average human is 5'10" (1.8m), when scaled to be roughly 50 ft (15 m) how much food would it need to remain healthy? Let's also assume there are three types of this giant; carnivorous, ...
16
votes
24answers
6k views

Why would a predatory creature capable of using telekinesis still hunt with tooth and claw?

Imagine a creature capable of telekinesis. This creature is also armed with sharp teeth and claws for hunting and eating prey. Given using telekinesis to move an object is about as energy-consuming as ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Can the fleshmoles breathe?

The bonegrass fields are full of other life, despite their dangers. Lots of insects, some birds, and even a handful of reptiles have adapted to the paralytic nature of the air in order to reap the ...
14
votes
2answers
384 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
votes
4answers
988 views

The evolution of neon kittens

Given the existence of neon kittens with: the internal properties and mentality of normal kittens bioluminescent fur. What evolutionary process outside of intentional human breeding/gene ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Dragon breaking sound barriers unaided

Taking several notable real life inspirations from the animal kingdom I like to design a realistic Dragon towering any creature ever lived but has a nasty habit of generating sonic boom every where in ...
12
votes
3answers
772 views

Microbe transforming humans to plants

Note: This question assumes an earth-like biology. Could a microbe (probably virus) be created that transformed humans into plants? What I mean by this is that the microbe would take human cells, and ...
12
votes
8answers
885 views

What would be the psychological differences between a human and an intelligent detrivore?

I am still working on my intelligent detrivore alien species and so far I have gotten some great help from you guys. But after searching online a lot about detrivore psychology I still cannot find ...
11
votes
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
votes
1answer
284 views

Best material for windsilk

I'm developing a silkworm that spins webs of a particular kind of "silk" and weaves thin, fragile webs. The magic part of this is that it also spins wind. The following addresses how this works and my ...
11
votes
10answers
2k views

Pack animals for forests

My setting takes place in a densely forested continent, with huge trees and rushing rivers. The problem is that this forest stretches on for thousands of miles, only occasionally punctuated by some ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

An alien that eats everything

I'm thinking about creating a creature that can eat anything. Perhaps a rock, if it looks "tasty", or a chunk of a spaceship, or even a piece of itself if it wishes. Of course, it seems silly, so ...
10
votes
1answer
282 views

Can a human-sized organism survive eating only textile fibers?

Since there are living beings (like moth larvae) which feed on textile fibers (wool, cotton, silk, et cetera), I was planning to introduce a human-sized creature with such feature, plus the ability to ...