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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 to justify digging claws and opposable thumbs in the same being

The fantasy creature I am imagining (planning a short story or two around) satisfies the following analogy: Human is to Chimpanzee as "This Thing" is to Badger. That is, the creature has a clear ...
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How far can blood spray?

A creature has evolved to protect the herd. Its blood contains chemicals that act like pepper spray, burning the eyes and throat of anything around it. However it wants to be able to get a decent ...
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Characteristics of the Ultimate Predator

A certain evil genius wishes to create his own army of super-killers to wreak havoc. He has a base in the jungle, and wishes to make a super-predator that will defend him (not to replace the predator ...
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Biophage: A creature that kills all other creatures

Concept: For some twisted reason, a xenocidal space-race living somewhere in our vicinity decides that nothing deserves to exist. So they make a species. Any feasible size, any kingdom. It eats ...
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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 ...
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How would a tail affect fighting styles? Or would it have basically no effect?

There are several varieties of tails that I am interested in: Fully Prehensile Tails, able to manipulate objects, carry weapons/ shields (though note they may not be able to wield them effectively) ...
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Are four lungs possible and what would their effects be?

I'm working on a planet that has very similar conditions to earth. Now, I had the idea of animals having four (or even more) lungs. Would that be possible (I imagine there must be a possibility to ...
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Feasibility of a Crystal Ecosystem

In my Fantasy world there exists a crevice. Plants and animals made of glittering, iridescent crystalline structures in abundance. The crevice can contain any arbitrary materials that might make the ...
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Evolutionary pressure leading to mammals with scales

The pangolin is a fascinating creature. Belonging to the only group of mammals with scales, they are arboreal and are not hindered by them in any way. However, these animals have a very complex ...
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What evolutionary pressures would lead to giants?

Somewhat similar questions have been posed before, but what I'm really interested in is what selection pressures would be necessary to produce a subspecies of giant humans, about three meters in ...
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How can I figure out the territorial needs for my Werewolves?

There are lots of different creatures that are loosely based on wolves. The most prominent one is probably the Werewolf, a mix of a human and a wolf. But there are also others, such as Dire Wolves or ...
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Anatomically Correct Naga

Nagas are a half-human half-snake hybrid, similar to centaurs in that the beast has a human torso and a snake lower body. This question provides an overview of probable physical characteristics of ...
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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 ...
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Music Dragonfly via Perforations in Wings

Info I'm designing a prehistoric-dragonfly that has little holes or perforations in its wings. When the wind flows through them, they make music (the viability of flying with these wings will be ...
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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 ...
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Best strategy against anti-material monsters [closed]

For my story the inhabitants of the setting find themselves fighting against endless hordes of monsters. But these monsters have several traits that will require unique strategies against them which I ...
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Can a plant evolve to give off CO2?

In my alternate history (1800s), I have troop hiking through tropical sub-Saharan Africa. For plot reasons, I have man-killing mosquitos, but I also have a plant that exudes CO2 and other attractants....
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Is there any set of circumstances in which having 3 hearts in an organism would be beneficial in a species?

As a school project, I am designing an extraterrestrial animal, and I would like to include a multiple-hearted mammal-like organism. Is there any set of circumstances in which having 3 hearts would be ...
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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 ...
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Where would a vampire-like creature get its energy from?

My main character is based on the basic concept of a vampire. That she needs blood to survive. She was genetically engineered to digest ‘blood’ instead of eating. She still needs to drink water. ...
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Dragon covered in flames

Based on a local legend, this species of dragon can't fly, but instead covers itself in flame to protect itself from hunters. With as little magic as possible, would something like that be possible? ...
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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....
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Is the Idea of a Collective Consciousness Realistic?

In how smart can I make ants, an idea was suggested, to instead of making each ant individually sapient, make the 'anthill' as a whole sapient; a kind of unconventional hive mind. Just as a familiar ...
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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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What would a Collective Consciousness look like?

The idea of a collective consciousness (Or Anthill) is pretty simple: instead of cells you have small sentient animal that make up a larger creature. This is different from a hive mind in that the ...
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Anatomically Correct Trolls

Considering there are at least several thousand depictions of trolls in the media, we’ll be talking about the traditional trolls from Scandinavian folklore. They’re usually described as being tall ...
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Anatomically Correct Mokèlé-mbèmbé

The Mokèlé-mbèmbé (meaning "one who stops the flow of rivers") is a legendary water-dwelling creature of Congo River basin folklore, loosely analogous to the Loch Ness Monster in Western culture. It ...
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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 ...
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Complications in a Blue-Skinned Race of Elves

I have been designing a species of elves with blue skin as one of their most striking features. I'm drawing inspiration from primates that also have blue skin. Think the scrotum of a vervet monkey, or ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How to Strengthen Bones

This is inspired by our third fortnightly challenge, but a question I've had for a while anyways. Bones are seriously complex structures. Far more complicated than most structural materials humans ...
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Anatomically Correct: 4-legged sapient creatures (“centaurs” etc.)

This is a part of the Anatomically Correct series. If a magic-free fantasy/SF world were to have naturally evolved hexapods as humanoid as possible, living among bipedal humanoids, how would they ...
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Turtle world : landmass edition

We love turtle worlds. We already have a question about turtle planets : How do I prevent my turtle from collapsing under its own gravity? but let's scale it down. I would like to have a waterball ...
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How does animal size affect individuals' agility and speed?

This question is a bit of an outgrowth of Can you simply scale up animals?, but it does approach it from a different angle. "All else equal" (which it of course never is, but we're good at pretending ...
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What if our planet had only daytime?

What if our planet was always lit so that there would be no nighttime? Assume that the scenario is like this, where A is the planet and B and ABb are the stars. And they are all aligned so that it ...
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How to justify rare item drops from monsters from a video game perspective? [closed]

I'll give a little background for those who don't play video games. In most role-playing video games, you kill monsters for a lot of reasons. Oftentimes, these monsters yield "drops" ranging from ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Would it be possible for mammals to evolve blue blood?

Ever since I found out about the green blooded skink, I have wondered if it's possible for other blood colours to evolve among vertebrates, specifically blue in mammals.
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Why would a creature need to eat hair?

In a story I'm working on, there are some creatures that eat hair, wool, fur, and anything similar. They're not mites or insects, but are (very roughly) the size of humans. Is there any realistic ...
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What type of feet should semiarboreal humanoids have?

My semiarboreal humanoids have a build quite similar to humans, apart from some more specialized arboreal adaptations. They live in rainforests quite similar to the Amazon Rainforest. Though trees are ...
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Why would a body plan with multiple eating mouths evolve?

Aside from very simple or colonial organisms, all animals on Earth have only one mouth for eating. Many organisms have multiple spiracles or even multiple anuses, but not mouths.
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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 ...
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Would a giant Pogona (bearded dragon) be a good desert mount?

By saying giant, I mean something roughly around 2-3m long from nose to rear legs (not including tail) and 1m tall at the withers. How would such a creature fare as a mount used by humans/humanoid to ...
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Plausibility Check: Armored Birds

How plausible, or implausible, would it be for a lineage of birds' feathers to evolve into sharp, hardened plate-like scale armor (and/or blades), comparable to that of pangolins? And if it is ...
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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 ...
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Egg Geometry--Shape of Eggs in Oviparous Humanoids

What shape would the eggs of a species of oviparous humanoids be? Eggs are common enough that you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't seen one. While birds' eggs are often thought of more ...
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Full-body bioluminescence

A creature I am imagining is a small mammal about the size of a domestic cat which - through symbiotic bacteria which live in its fur - is covered its whole body over in blue-white bioluminescence, 24-...