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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6
votes
3answers
203 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
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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
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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
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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 ...
5
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2answers
162 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 ...
24
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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 ...
7
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2answers
475 views

What element would make up a creature if it used the weak nuclear force during its metabolic processes?

I was doing some research on how to design a scientifically possible alien, when I came across an interesting section on metabolism. I found it very interesting and read about the weak force, as ...
2
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8answers
516 views

How would Fair Folk-type elves deal with dietary iron?

One of the beliefs about the Fair Folk is that they are repelled or even damaged by iron. For purposes of this question, let's focus more on the latter: namely, how would an elf manage to live to a ...
6
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6answers
334 views

Can a machine benefit from stored heat energy?

Setting Overview My world suffers from an abundance of a particular type of energy. This energy can be safely absorbed and utilized by living cells, enabling, for example, a dragon's flight and fiery ...
9
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1answer
159 views

Creating an Anatomically Correct Lusca

The Lusca (its name meaning 'Octopus Shark') is a cryptid from the Bahamas, supposedly a 6-9 meter (or even 23 meter) long man-eating Octopus that lives within the blue holes, dragging victims down ...
1
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3answers
158 views

what is the proper physical build of a fantasy adveturer? [closed]

I am trying to make a game and I want the characters to look somewhat like they could actually be someone who goes around slaying monsters, fighting evil over lords and their henchmen, all while still ...
10
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4answers
689 views

What attributes and how big would a sea creature(s) need to be to tow a ship?

I'm trying to come up with ways as to how a ship could travel places with a very low number of people (like 4 crewmen). One of the ways I like for how to do this is to have large sea creatures ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Requirements for race that lives close to a sun [closed]

I have an idea for a race that lives on a planet that is extremely close to a sun (similar to ours), just far enough away to not be pulled in. So my question is, what would be the requirements for a ...
8
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4answers
655 views

How would thermophilic fish survive?

I'm designing alien creatures for illustrations, and I'm just sketching some that might live in areas with a lot of geothermal activity. So basically, animals that live around geysers and hot steam. I ...
5
votes
3answers
704 views

The plausibility of a pack-hunting carrion-eating snake

I was thinking of a hypothetical species of snakes that join together for protection called Ladôni, due to their habit of mobilising in massive beds which make them resemble a large multi-headed snake....
12
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9answers
2k views

How would my creatures handle groups without a strong concept of numbers?

I'm thinking about a species that is at the intelligence level of proto-humans. They have limited language but can still discuss concrete things with a little bit of abstraction. For instance, their ...
13
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5answers
333 views

Where are all the non-aquatic mouthbrooders?

Some fish mouthbrood. Some amphibians mouthbrood. Crocodilians carry their babies in their mouths to water. Is there a reason why there are no instances (that I know of) of terrestrial animals that ...
2
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1answer
179 views

Anatomically Correct - (ONI) Hatch

My offering to the Anatomically Correct Series. I came across a curious creature, the Hatch! The Hatch is an adaptable creature whose wide-ranging diet allows it to integrate easily into most ...
6
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5answers
474 views

The Giant Roc and Pulse Jet propulsion

I am currently in the process of making a world, and am trying to ground it in scientific fact as much as possible. The world is a hard magic setting, and while fantastical creatures exist, they are ...
6
votes
2answers
367 views

Can one person do nearly everything to sail a 25 meter cog for a few hundred miles if that person is a tireless being?

In my fantasy world I have a humanoid species that can work pretty much non-stop. Assuming he has enough energy, can one of these creatures do most of the necessary things on a 25 meter long cog to ...
10
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7answers
3k views

How to evolve human-like eyes that can stare at the sun without protection?

Imagine a species that is very much like humans in shape, size and physiology. But they are able to stare at the sun for long periods without suffering any harm, and without needing any artificial ...
7
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3answers
246 views

Are pharyngeal and cutaneous breathing possible for an aquatic mammal?

I'm working on a setting with merfolk that I'd prefer to be fully mammalian. However, they have underwater cities and I find that hard to believe for a species that needs to surface every few hours ...
5
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3answers
351 views

What would humans look like if their blood were silver?

I have a species in mind that I want to write about for a book I'm planning, and they look exactly like humans (minus the 'unnatural' hair and eye colors they can posses). However, they have silver ...
8
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3answers
193 views

Sprawling climbers: how will they develop tools and civilization?

Say we have an intelligent species whose body plan is inspired by walking insects (ants, beetles, etc.) and reptiles (particularly lizards). More specifically, let's say they have four legs (I think ...
3
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5answers
242 views

How can I make these feet spikes more sturdy?

The bone is three inches circumference at the joint and one-millimeter circumference at the tip. How might this bone support the front of an animal weighing one-hundred pounds? It runs with its legs ...
2
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2answers
117 views

Segmented Endoskeleton

I have a primarily marine creature that needs to be able to move around effectively outside of water yet still be extremely flexible. My idea is having an anatomy based largely on bony disks similar ...
8
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4answers
511 views

What could a dragon tooth be made of to tear through tank plating made using reinforced depleted uranium?

My version of a tank uses reinforced depleted uranium as armor plating, however it was recently attacked by a large dragon which managed to crunch, and chew off a piece of it in one big bite. What ...
7
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2answers
150 views

Odd-Toed Ungulates

I'm creating a large ungulate that is likely a part of the suborder Anclyopoda. Suspension of disbelief is expected, but there's a detail with the current design that's really bugging me. The ...
2
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3answers
153 views

Could a mammal procreate if it existed out of multiple sets of DNA in different cells? If so, how? [closed]

I was wondering about creating mammals that consist out of multiple sets of DNA and if they could procreate. I am talking about a singular being that isn't composed out of multiple seperate parts ...
8
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5answers
370 views

How would eyes that evolved in air differ from our own?

In one of the documentaries he's featured in, Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about the evolution of the eye. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SXHMm5I-68 The part that's always intrigued me is this: ...
9
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4answers
455 views

Would my horned theropod dinosaur- like creature be able to lift his head and/ or balance?

I'm in the process of designing a creature loosely resembling a theropod dinosaur that sports a number of horns/tusks on its head and face, and I'm wondering if anyone can help me evaluate its ...
60
votes
12answers
8k views

Justifying why a troll's skin would turn to stone in sunlight

It's a fairly common legend that trolls turn to stone when exposed to daylight, and I was thinking about using such a creature in a story. I'm searching for a plausible way of justifying such a ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

How big would this creature be before it would collapse in on itself?

I am making a titan like creature, similar to godzilla, that lives in a swamp like environment. What I was wondering is, how big could it be before it crushes itself under it's own weight. Here is ...
6
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8answers
498 views

What limitations can I put on wings for more tense/risky action scenes?

This is my first post on Stack Exchange, so I'm not sure if this follows the right format. Let me know what I can change to make this more helpful on the site. Anyways, let's get to the backstory of ...
1
vote
3answers
274 views

How could can humans evolve to have reptilian attributes?

In my world, all of my demihumans have evolved from the same ancestor from modern humans. This conceptually includes my version of Reptilians/Lizardfolk. For the most part I would have them share the ...
4
votes
6answers
485 views

What could make a species evolve downward facing ears?

To give an illustration of what I mean with downward ear, here's an illustration taken from mtrakholisova's Pinterest. I want to make a species with downward facing ears. They cannot be moved facing ...
8
votes
2answers
459 views

Anatomically Correct Giant Spider

Fantasy and folklore has many instances of giant spiders,ranging from creatures like the J'ba Fofi to Aragog from Harry Potter. My question intends to ask whether a creature like the J'ba Fofi could ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Possible material for dragon wings

Most (quadruped) dragons are depicted as having two wings sprouting from their back, consisting of a limb structure draped with a leathery membrane as the way to create lift and fly, somewhat ...
2
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5answers
2k views

Explanation behind shape shifting

I’m writing a novella for a school competition. My main character is a shape shifter. I am trying to find a plausible scientific explanation for how shape shifting is possible. I tried finding ...
11
votes
2answers
541 views

Body plan of a 4D human-analog?

I am attempting to design aliens that live in a universe with a 4+1 space-time--i.e., a universe with four orthogonal spatial dimensions, rather than three, in addition to a fifth time dimension. In ...
4
votes
2answers
62 views

Order of Limb Pair Types for Amphibious Creature (Hexanewt)

I need to add a bit of descriptive detail on a species from a brief description. Essentially add a bit of finer detail to someone else's broad-strokes worldbuilding. An amphibious species' body layout ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

Which hydrogen halide to have in blood to replace water?

So I want to have an alien creature on a planet with a halogen atmosphere. It will have to be at a temperature where the hydrogen halide is liquid or solid. This hydrogen halide I would have as the ...
8
votes
4answers
225 views

How big could a land-dwelling arthropod get if it wasn’t limited by oxygen consumption?

Insects and other land-based Arthropoda are stuck at the size they are due to how inefficient their respiratory system is. They were able to reach the size they did in the Carboniferous period because ...
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 ...
1
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2answers
140 views

What animals would be most suited to a tidally-locked world? [closed]

Are there any species that would be able to sustain themselves on the sunlit face of the planet, the habitable Terminator-zone or even the freezing icy side of the planet? How would animals adapt to ...
2
votes
2answers
282 views

Anatomically Correct Ego Sword

I'm reading a comic set in a really unique fantasy game. One of the creatures that really caught my attention were a type of slime/sword called ego sword. In their normal form they're a blob but can ...
5
votes
6answers
311 views

How can I prevent the creation of fruit-salad chimeras?

A Chimera is a creature made up of two different animals that are fused together in a process known as polymerization. This spell can combine animals to create an entirely new animal which contains ...
148
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7answers
15k views

Anatomically Correct Strange Women In Ponds Distributing Swords

Chaos plagues the land. In the West, the King in Orange blusters and bloviates endlessly in barely comprehensible gibberish. Perhaps he is attempting to call forth the Elder Gods? In the East, the ...
82
votes
19answers
19k views

Would a 'World Tree' be feasible in real life?

A livescience.com article claims that trees can reach a theoretical height of 400 to 426 feet (122 to 130m). This is due to the tree being unable to carry water up to the top at that certain point due ...
8
votes
6answers
869 views

What would prevent chimeras from reproducing with each other?

There exists a polymerization spell that allows distinct animals to combine with each other, creating an entirely new creature. The beasts in question are held in transumutation circles linked by ley ...