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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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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. ...
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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? ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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Could a predatory semi-sentient species survive, in the long run, without the emotion of fear?

I was thinking of an idea for an alien species in a hard sci-fi universe, and I wondered if a species, with the same amount of emotions as bottlenose dolphins (Except for fear), survive as a species. ...
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How does a mimic move?

Alright, so take your basic (not DnD or any other universe specific) mimic: an unassuming treasure chest that turns out to secretly be a monster as soon as you open it. This particular creature is one ...
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10answers
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Genetic structure of a trait with six discrete phenotypes

In my world magic is conferred genetically. Their are five "types" of magic, which never mix. You either have one type, or you have another (or none at all, the sixth option), you never have a mix of ...
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Designing a creature with jaws to crush iron bones

In my most recent question, I asked for a material other than calcium and collagen that could form skeletons in alien creatures. My favourite answer was bio-steel; "Iron with a small percentage of ...
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Is it possible to ride a carnivore species?

Humans have been domesticating carnivores for over 10 000 years. And there are certainly carnivores big enough to ride. The former is the biggest feline ever to exist. They certainly can carry a human ...
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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, ...
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Humanoid Race with Surpressed Myostatin Gene - Appearance?

I'm thinking about using this as a sort of meta explanation for how Orcs (and possibly other things as well) are different than humans (in muscularity), but I'm not entirely sure what the result of ...
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What is the most plausible ancestor for tool-using, sentient, bipedal reptilians?

A classical trope of fantasy is lizardfolk, or a similar species by another name (see for instance the Argonians of Elder Scrolls fame). In general, though, we're dealing with: Bipedal, often ...
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Magivore - designing a magic 'eater'

Yes, magic means I can say 'make it so' and it is. But I see too many options and not sure which ones would make more sense. I'm picking one idea that I've never seen in a book. So a Magivore is ...
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Evolution of ophidian sapience and caudal tool use

What natural environmental pressures or opportunities might drive an alien ophidian species to evolve sapience and caudal tool use? Conditions The species should be lacking limbs prior to the ...
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Evolution of giant floating mammals

Whales are majestic creatures of the sea, as they glide more gracefully through the water than their size should seemingly allow. What kind of evolutionary path would it take for whales to glide ...
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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, ...
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How would an ocean of jello evolve

I watched a youtube video on the Darwin IV probe mission to this planet has lower mass than the earth, about the size of Mars, and has a single sea. According to the movie, the microbes that resided ...
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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 ...
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9answers
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Tactical Cooling of a Predator

In a world inhabited by small grassland herbivores, night-time is a very scary time indeed. With no moon or other substantial light-source to illuminate the plains, they are in great danger of ...
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9answers
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The Marksman Dragon

One of the deadliest species of dragon is the dreaded Marksman Dragon. This beast has immense physical power and a bad temper, but its most potent weapon is its breath. The Marksman Dragon can shoot ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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Anatomically Correct Carnivorous Blankets

There is a website called the SCP Foundation which features a variety of creatures, objects and phenomena that border on the horrifying to the just plain weird. This one straddles the boundary between ...
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Does a mind-reading thought-implanting beast have to be conscious?

The Mind-Wolf is one of the more dangerous foes in my world. It can read minds, it can plant thoughts in the unwary, slowly warping senses until pushing the victim into the equivalent of a full blown ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Most effective way to camouflage a visible physical connection on a creature that uses part of its body as a lure?

I have toyed with the idea with a certain creature in my head for quite some time, and with the creature design challenge, I thought this would be a great time to ask about it here. The basics of the ...
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Can humanoids be reborn from a tree?

Details: A culture of dryads has a strange death tradition. When a dryad dies there's usually a medic, or better say a "shaman" that rips a strange looking organ or gland off their head. The gland, ...
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Is it possible to detect a flying creature hiding inside a cloud with our current technology?

In my story, flying creatures rule the sky. These creatures are usually tiny like an eagle or a vulture compared to huge (cumulus/cumulonimbus) clouds and these creatures always hunt and hide as ...
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What else is involved in “silicon based” life?

Silicon is often brought up in science fiction as being very similar to carbon, just below it on the periodic table. The silicon-based "organic" molecules are more tightly bound and thus would find a ...
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Would a species evolved for very high environmental pressure necessarily die in lower pressures?

I'm aware that deep sea fish don't actually "explode" when brought to the surface but any air sacs in their bodies would expand and cause them possibly fatal damage. However, what other physiological ...
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Is it possible for an organism to evolve to generate its own nuclear power?

Is it possible for an organism to evolve to biologically generate its own nuclear power? If so, how would this evolution occur?
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7answers
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Do mermaids lay eggs underwater or give birth to live young?

Let's pretend these magnificent and beautiful creatures are able to reproduce asexually so we can forget about their mating habits or their partners. I have yet to witness any hard shell eggs laid ...
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Creature with a non-centralized brain

I've always found animal intelligence to be fascinating, particularly that of the cephalopods, some of which show some pretty remarkable talents for tool usage, mimicry, and pattern recognition. ...
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Would there be any major disadvantages for a species to have six legs instead of four?

I want a world in which animals roam the wilderness on four legs, yet at least some of them are able to do the kind of carrying and fine handling of objects done by humans. The planet is superficially ...
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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 ...
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Living buildings

I imagine a biological creature, let's call it 'Marco' for now. Marco can vomit living slimes that survive by attaching to the ground and by doing photosynthesis, at first soft can be shaped and ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Anatomically Correct Boar Troll

I request some help with the design of one particular denizen of my fantasy world, tentatively named Boar Troll. It needs to be an ungulate or closely related creature with emerging sentience, and ...
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3answers
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Anthropomorphic Animal Head Support

So I have struck another snag in my draft involving my character's biology. It is an anthropomorphic animal related to the pantherinae subfamily. So far, its physical structure resembles that of a ...
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Can these trolls exist?

In a world I’m designing, one of the eldest extant intelligent species is the Trolls. These are not D&D trolls, but something else. I have a number of basic characteristics for these beings, and ...
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Creature-Design: Unkillable save by sacrifice

In my fantasy story, primitive humans are going up against a single powerful creature. They must kill the creature to gain their freedom, but they soon realize that the only way to slay the creature ...
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12answers
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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 ...
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10answers
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Could an animal species fire solid projectiles as a defense? [duplicate]

Projectile weaponry is not unheard of in the animal kingdom - cobra venom, venomous spider silk, velvet-worm slime, scalding water from bombardier beetles, archerfish spitting water, penguins ...
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How long can a preserved human body last before turning to dust?

Some Context The setting is a fantasy world with lots of magic where Liches exist. A Lich is "born" through a series of complex, dangerous and horrific rituals that a mage casts upon himself over ...
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5answers
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Anatomically Correct Siren?

I am interested in creating a reality based version of a creature from Greek mythology called a Siren. Sirens were believed to combine women and birds in various ways. In early Greek art, Sirens ...
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5answers
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A branch-mimicking snake?

Just out of curiosity, could a large constrictor such as a python or a boa evolve to rely on camouflaging itself as a branch, with the right colouration and positioning, in the jungle canopy and ...
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6answers
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What could make an insect race intelligent?

TL;DR: I want a society which behaves as a hive. Is it plausible and how to achieve this? The setup: Different planet in our universe. In other words: Normal, physical rules apply, there is no magic ...
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Bound for life humanoids

I'm creating a species of humanoid creatures that live their entire life in couples. From birth to death, they are bound emotionally, they work together as if they were only one individual but they ...
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6answers
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Evolution of a tree-based predator that threatens to kill/eat prey unless prey feeds it?

This is a very closely related question to my previous: Evolution of tree-dwelling species that will help predators find prey if prey species doesn't give it a bribe? The premise is the same, a ...
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6answers
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Anatomically Correct Pegasus

This is part of the Anatomically Correct Series. I've been wondering how an anatomically correct pegasus could evolve. Pegasus characteristics They are pretty obvious, but just in case: Horse size ...