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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22
votes
15answers
6k views

What organs or modifications would be needed for a life biological creature not to require sleep?

I mean literally not sleeping for the rest of their life, not like giraffes that only require short rests, or dolphins that can sleep with half of their brain at a time, or like otters and sharks that ...
7
votes
3answers
240 views

How could a charge-type breath weapon work?

Charge-type breath weapon: Creatures with this type shoot singular, high-damage, high-precision "charges" of (insert dragon's element here) that explode upon contact. Examples: Toothless from the ...
6
votes
2answers
91 views

Would it be possible for my fantasy creature to have black blood?

A friend of mine has a race of creatures in her headworld and has been wondering about a biological answer to justify the color of her race's blood even though magic is a bit sprinkled in there. One ...
23
votes
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 ...
15
votes
7answers
6k views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
119 views

How Would Weightless Creature Steer Itself In The Air? (Can It Sail?)

Gravity does exist in this world, and so does air and clouds. But this creature only has enough weight to stay in the air without falling or being lifted up. It's big like a whale and it does have ...
4
votes
2answers
179 views

Anatomically Correct Dreel

The Dreel are a parasitic alien hive-mind from The Return of Nathan Brazil, book four in the Well of Souls series by Jack Chalker. Specifically, they are described as viruses which induce ...
8
votes
1answer
115 views

Can a feathered wing be also compliant?

So, to quote pterosaur.net: Unlike the wings of birds, the wings of pterosaurs would have tended to change shape under aerodynamic load - something often referred to as 'passive cambering'. ...
3
votes
3answers
273 views

Bioluminescent microorganisms in everything

Is it possible for a bioluminescent organism to be so pervasive in an environment, that creatures who eat it (because it's in plants for example) also start to glow? It doesn't have to be a bright ...
6
votes
4answers
175 views

Anatomy of a chinese serpentine dragon?

In our world there are two species of dragon that took different evolutionary paths due to environmental pressures. The first of them, called smaugs, are as large as a quetzalcoatlus, with a wingspan ...
7
votes
4answers
233 views

The right size for dragons

Note: size here denotes the physical dimension(s) taken up by the creature in a natural, idling posture One of the many fantasy tropes that make me want to Fahrenheit 451 contemporary fantasy ...
9
votes
4answers
171 views

How would a quadruped walk with one limb longer than the rest?

I have a (digitigrade) quadrupedal alien creature with one of it's front limbs having a longer metatarsals, I'm trying to visualise how it would walk with this deformity for an animation. I'm having ...
4
votes
3answers
223 views

Is there a reason that females passing on more than 1/2 of their genetics to the child would be unlikely to evolve?

On the earth today most animals use a two sex mating system where male and female provide the same amount of genetics to the resulting offspring, despite the fact that in many cases the female ...
17
votes
13answers
7k views

What would a biological creature need in order to see into the future?

Inspired by the Paycheck and Minority Report movies. So far as I can tell, physical time travel is impossible for humans, and so I searched to see the future possible scientific or theoretical ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

What is the maximum equilibrium temperature that a mammal could evolve to tolerate?

Mammals live in some fairly extreme environments, but the most heat-tolerant ones all seem to cheat: e.g., they dig burrows to stay cool during the day and come out at night, avoiding the heat, or ...
9
votes
2answers
141 views

What metals other than calcium can be used to create alien bones that won't also engender a human-toxic environment?

Edit: Okay, truth be known that this question was part of a set of 5 related questions that I was recommended to break up into individual posts (in their original form, the comments had no trouble ...
10
votes
2answers
645 views

Could a hexapodal bat actually fly?

Sequel to this question. Basically, I've been designing an intelligent avian race based on bats. After reading through some of the answers for the linked question, I've decided that these bats will ...
2
votes
6answers
500 views

Could a tetrapod evolve from a hexapod?

I'm thinking of an alien alien world that has a vast biosphere. Now the creatures of this planet have evolved to be hexapods though there are a few creatures that are tetrapods (only have four limbs). ...
8
votes
8answers
642 views

How could a creature get off a planet without technology?

Imagine a spacefaring creature, one that colonises star systems, and then shoots some of its kind on to another system (the mechanism for doing this doesn't matter). The question is, how could this ...
22
votes
13answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Would the diet of a human have to adapt if he suddenly had a ~1 metre long foxtail?

If I genetically modified a human to have a foxtail of roughly 1 metre length through the use of handwaved genetical engineering - would this have an effect on his diet? Of course an additional ...
23
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

what the aquatic creature need in order to live or survive in my acid water?

inspire by xenomorph acid blood from alien movies. so the water either rivers, lakes, and oceans in my world or some of the regions is highly acidic because some of the dirt or stone minerals content ...
8
votes
2answers
234 views

The Biology behind a slime that uses hydrofluoric acid to disable and digest prey.

So I've been working on a low magic world where magic is actually just another form of energy that can be actualized, similar to alchemy in Full Metal Alchemist. Although development has taken a ...
3
votes
3answers
329 views

Could a self-aware bacterial supercomputer start its own ecosystem?

I know A LOT of this gonna be a stretch and that I'm probably misunderstanding or exaggerating current real-life trends in science, but that's kind of why I'm asking the question. We know it's ...
11
votes
4answers
284 views

Anatomically Correct Slinky Worm

Despite the wide variety of movement strategies employed by Earthling animals, up to an including curling their bodies into circles and rolling, there is one mode of locomotion that is glaringly ...
53
votes
12answers
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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Can I use a living organism as exotic matter for interstellar travel?

Would it be possible to use a living organism as unobtainium for interstellar travel? Would it make any sense? The story I had in mind would use them as the main bad guys seeking vengeance on those ...
9
votes
4answers
520 views

Anatomically Correct Whomping Willow

The whomping willow is a fictional tree from the Harry Potter series of books. It is a magic willow that can move its branches to punch people who come close to it. Small animals such as cats and ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Novel Alien Bacteria / Fungus Causing Rapid Mutations

We've seen it throughout media before, a crazy mutation that creates zombies, rabid people, giant spiders, etc. I'm spot checking how crazy I can get with this short story I'm writing about a bacteria ...
8
votes
5answers
199 views

Why would a blind creature evolve display features?

I'm thinking of a predatory creature that lives deep inside large caves. Because this environment is so dark, the creature's eyes have disappeared through evolution since the creature relies on ...
10
votes
3answers
338 views

What would a Pegasus actually do with its legs while flying?

The question is just as simple as it sounds. Would it tuck them under like a bird? make running motions like it does when running on the ground? some other movement that actually aids in flight ...
4
votes
3answers
123 views

Size of a litter for a carnivore with a high rate of death

So, I'm designing an alien race/civilisation of carnivore. I was thinking of a very aggressive specie, who is both the alpha predator of his world and his own main cause of death. Basically, a lot ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

Pros and cons of having digitigrade and plantigrade legs?

I have created a humanoid that can switch between digitigrade and plantigrade legs. It is able to do this via special bones in its legs that it can lock in place without hindering its movement but ...
13
votes
8answers
431 views

Plausibility Check: Kite Trees?

Disclaimer: This question, unlike my other tree related question, was brought about by pure whimsical daydreaming. I also threw the term "evolve" around a lot, I should clarify that what I asking is ...
21
votes
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
163 views

Why would a venomous snake squeeze its threat non-lethally?

This is a key part of my snakebite mystery story, which I am thinking of making part of a medical mystery series. I have been told that it actually is more life threatening to the snake for it to ...
4
votes
4answers
200 views

Alien Mammal-Like Ears

So I’m trying to design my alien life around the pressures they might face just like earth’s wildlife, and most things I’ve made plausible life that is similar to ear but not giant dinosaur cats. The ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Anatomically Correct Modular Body Plan Animals

The fixedness of body plans varies widely across different types of Earthling organisms. At one extreme, you have things like tardigrades, for which every individual of any given species has exactly ...
7
votes
2answers
326 views

Anatomically Correct “Stranger Things” Mindflayer's Monster

Background, with potential spoilers: In the Netflix show Stranger Things... If we skip the psychic stuff, there's still a pretty interesting creature there. To qualify as a Mindflayer monster, an ...
1
vote
5answers
318 views

Anatomically Correct Monsters, Incorporated

In the world of Monsters, Inc., the titular monsters have wildly varying morphologies and abilities, but they nevertheless all seem to be members of the same species; after all, if it was a multi-...
5
votes
3answers
173 views

Anatomically Correct Hunter from Needle

Hal Clement's novel Needle was revolutionary in featuring a non-parasitic alien lifeform capable of inhabiting a human body. Specifically, the Hunter in its independent form is a gelatinous mass ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

Would evolution select for mermaids without breasts?

So ignoring all the other hydrodynamic inefficiencies associated with sticking a human torso on a fish body, let's just worry about those most distinct of human female features, breasts. The problem ...
29
votes
19answers
10k views

Why do dragons like shiny stuff?

I like the classic trope of dragons loving gold and collecting it in their lair, yet it seems poorly justified. I know that it is often used as a metaphor for greed; "dragons disease" to show how ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

What configuration would provide the most protection for a male dragon's reproductive organs against mechanical and chemical attacks?

Dragons awesome (that's why sub-par writers and DMs use it as a substitute for an actually engaging story/setting) but they're still just animals, animals that reproduce. Besides it's painful to get ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

What aquatic creatures would evolve in a world with ripped apart/chaotic oceans?

In this world, a progenitor has created a mass of order out of chaos, with the possibility of entropic fluctuations increasing the further out from the center you get. What do I mean by entropic ...
23
votes
11answers
7k views

What clothes would flying-people wear?

If there were people with wings, who didn't want to be naked all the time, what clothing could they wear, without it interfering with their flying? Note: I am assuming arm-wings, like birds, but you ...
24
votes
7answers
5k views

Could mollusks become extremely large?

In a brand baby spanking new world I am building, appropriately named Escargard, punningly named by the AndyD273, mollusks have become the dominant form of life. Resulting in aliens similar to those ...