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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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24
votes
3answers
3k views

Naming the forces of the Purgatory?

I'm trying to build a world loosely based on ideas about afterlife in Christianity. In my world God is nowhere to be found and supernatural forces are split into three factions: Hell, Heaven & ...
24
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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 ...
24
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4answers
14k views

How can I develop scientific names for my species'?

I'm building a fantasy world and I am building the animals that inhabit it. Now I am working on the animals that live in this world, and after building their anatomy, I wonder about their names. I'm ...
24
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1answer
2k views

Reality Check: Are these Honey Mouths and Thorn Shredders realistic?

On an hot planet at the wooded poles are two aliens species that coexist in a mutually beneficial relationship. The Honey Mouths use gecko-like feet to hang from the far larger Thorn Shredders, where ...
24
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4answers
2k views

Would this biological cooling system work?

I'm working on a class of tetrapods similar to mammals with warm blood. I am planning for their metabolisms to be quite high on average, among the carnivores especially. They range in size from two ...
23
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14answers
4k views

How could matings between two species produce only female offspring?

A race of complete female humanoids have DNA that is similar to humans but distinct enough to be consider a different species (think donkeys and horses). This species can mate with humans and other ...
23
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6answers
7k views

Anatomically Correct Griffins

As a series of anatomically correct myths, here we have the griffin. Is there a realistic way that griffins could evolve? Using Earth or near-Earth biology, how close could I get to the classic ...
23
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10answers
2k views

Earth, Wind, and Water: Naturally Navigating All Three

There are few things cooler than a fish that can walk on land, or a rodent that can fly, but despite all the amazing adaptations evolution has seen fit to create upon this Earth, I cannot think of an ...
23
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8answers
3k views

How do we create an Anemone Tree?

Those of you who have been listening to the new podcast will know that Andy came up with an idea for an Anemone Tree. The idea is that this "tree" would prey on small animals for some of its needed ...
23
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5answers
3k views

Creatures that intentionally blow themselves up

How could a creature explode itself? Why would it? We see example ideas of these all the time (Scourges, creepers, etc.) but nobody ever said how or why a creature would intentionally explode. I am ...
23
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8answers
8k views

Plausibility of the Japanese Nekomimi

So I'm creating a world in which humans have a close sister species very similar to the Japanese Nekomimi seen in anime and manga. Eventually, the humans turn on Nekomimis, perceiving themselves as ...
23
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7answers
4k views

Physical correctness of trolls with high regeneration ability

In my fantasy world there's the race of trolls, vastly inspired by the ones one encounters in Baldur's Gate 2 (see here). Millennia ago, they've been driven underground by orcs and elves, as well as ...
23
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8answers
2k views

Dragon script/writing system — how would it work?

Let us assume we have our prototypical European dragon representative over here, George. He has four ground-limbs with four clawed digits including an opposable digit on the forelimbs, normally is ...
23
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10answers
3k views

A Human Hunter with Sonic Powers?

As part of Fortnightly topic challenge #3: Creature Design I am looking for a realistic way to create a particularly nasty creature. What I would like: A creature that is capable of emitting a ...
22
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15answers
3k views

Symbiotic benefits for large sentient bio-machine

I’m working on a setting, and have a state I want to achieve but need to come up with a compelling reason for why it is the way it is (even if no one but me ever knows the ‘why’.) I’m after a reasoned,...
22
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13answers
7k views

How could a self contained organic body propel itself in space

How could an organic, plant-like, intelligent organism move around space? Assuming that the body is inside a small meteoroid and that outside of the meteoroid is covered in tessellating leaves to ...
22
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11answers
3k views

Biological Blimps: Propulsion

A while back, I asked this question about the plausibility of giant floating whales and received an excellent and high-scoring answer from Dubukay demonstrating that, given the assumptions that ...
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 ...
22
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14answers
5k views

Can we use science to explain a creature that feeds on emotion?

This is a magic world question, and we certainly do not have anything on this planet which feeds on emotion. But if we did, I'm wondering how it might work with a look at science for something ...
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 ...
22
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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 ...
22
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6answers
7k views

Maximum size of an exoskeletal creature

On a world I am building, I have a species of creatures that evolved from crustaceans. The problem is that while they have an exoskeleton, they also live on a world with the same gravity as Earth. I ...
22
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7answers
7k views

What can I do to make blood black?

In my world I find it simplest to have iron-based blood. The problem is that iron-based blood is red, and I want it to be black. Two things come to mind; one is making the blood denser, resulting in ...
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 ...
21
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23answers
6k views

How to differentiate between different races of shape shifters?

In my world I have a race of god-like beings who I've recently decided should be shapeshifters. However everything in my world comes in threes, and there are three races / clans of these beings. For ...
21
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14answers
4k views

Alternate uses for dragon wings? [closed]

So since there’s that pesky thing called the square cube law, it’s pretty universally accepted that large dragons have no chance at actual flight. However, all is not lost for the concept of giant ...
21
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20answers
6k views

How to enslave a species that can transport themselves anywhere on the planet instantaneously?

I'm thinking of creating a story where a relatively peaceful species is capable of taking themselves apart and then putting themselves back together again in a different place. Because of this, a ...
21
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12answers
3k views

Multigeneration ship pet

Earth is dying. We mis-managed it and brought the whole ecosystem to the edge of total collapse. About 50 years ago, we decided to move humankind to another planet, and now we are almost ready. A big,...
21
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13answers
7k views

Under what conditions would humanoids evolve eyes in the backs of their heads?

Many creatures - humans among them - have binocular vision, where two eyes side by side allow good depth perception. There are quite a few other advantages over one eye, including a larger field of ...
21
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9answers
7k views

How to increase the efficiency of lungs

Humans (and mammals) have 2 lungs, one right and the another left. The right lung has 3 lobes and the left have 2 lobes because in the "third" there is the heart, so the right lung is bigger than the ...
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 ...
21
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4answers
5k views

Would a carnivorous diet be able to support a giant worm?

In my fantasy world there is a large valley. At the northern end lies the 'endless desert' called the "Sea of Glass" due to its shimmering sands. Within these deserts live great wyrms that swim ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Realistic fantasy slimes

Foreword: I'm aware of the limitations of the square-cube law involved in sizing an animal up, as these limitations have been relentlessly stressed in every discussion of realistic fantasy creatures. ...
20
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11answers
5k views

How could cats evolve toxic claws?

This cat looks like a normal Maine Coon to the unsuspecting victim. Except for one little detail: Red claws that inject a neurotoxin into the victim onpon scratching it. What would be the most ...
20
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5answers
2k views

The Biological Dullahan

On my quest to make pretty much every single fantasy creature biologically feasible I have come across a hiccup. It wasn't angels, no you people helped me with that. Demons are easy, we have plenty of ...
20
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8answers
3k views

What could be the physiological mechanism for a biological Geiger counter?

Some humans have been genetically engineered to be able to detect ionizing radiation to better survive the harsh environments found outside of earth's protective magnetosphere. What could be the ...
20
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5answers
14k views

Humanoids with digitigrade legs?

I've designed an alien race of bipedal humanoids with digitigrade legs. This race's advanced scientific progress means that they use traditionally human-associated technology, or similar (such as ...
20
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5answers
1k views

Sonar Jamming Squids

Context In the arms race of survival many animals have developed ways of evading predators, but the animal I am interested in for this question would be the tiger moth. So basically these guys jam ...
20
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9answers
2k views

Can an r-selection alien build a civilization?

Quick refresher ... I'm considering the two basic strategies of child-rearing. R-selection, meaning you have lots of offspring and don't care for them much; and K-selection, meaning you have a few ...
20
votes
1answer
456 views

How can I Determine the Caloric Intake of a Species?

Caloric intake varies vastly even in just the world of mammals, from the hundreds of pounds of leaves an elephant eats everyday, to the small amount a sloth eats. Obviously, caloric intake is ...
19
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9answers
4k views

What type of claws should my trolls have?

I have a race of trolls in my world, they looks mostly like these guys (the yetis from one of the Mummy movies) but with longer arms and a more gorilla like posture. I also imagine them to have very ...
19
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10answers
3k views

What might cause (physically) large predatory birds to form large (in terms of numbers) flocks?

I've got a reasonably large species of predatory bird; mostly inspired by falcons, but larger. To give an idea of its physical size, my current working draft (which may very well change) is for a wing ...
19
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8answers
6k views

The Nuclear Dragon

Alright so let’s say that we have a massive dragon about 2 miles long. This big guy needs a lot of fuel to power himself and since there is only so much food he can eat at one time, he decides to run ...
19
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10answers
4k views

Where to employ domesticated goblins in a fantasy world?

Goblins are small, diminutive humanoid creatures. They are approximately the size of a small child, they are short-lived, and they have very low intelligence. In my fantasy world, goblins have been ...
19
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7answers
5k views

What traits would a species need to survive in magma?

How might such a species evolve? How would they swim, navigate and breed? How big could they grow, and what complications might arise out of their growing very large?
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6answers
4k views

How can I explain the pokemon version of evolution?

In Pokemon, each individual Pokemon “evolves” into a new stage of its evolution. A lot people claim that this can be explained using mere metamorphosis, but there are no mammals that go through such ...
19
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5answers
4k views

Could crystals grow on living things?

A friend and I are creating a magical bird that eats gemstones then uses them to form a thin coat of crystal armor over its body. Is there any way for this bird (or any living thing) to actually have ...
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 ...
19
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4answers
685 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. ...
18
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10answers
6k views

How could an organism store a massive amount of water?

I want to design a creature capable of surviving long periods without drinking water, but I am not sure how that creature could store water. These are my ideas but I am looking for something more ...