Questions tagged [creature-design]

For questions regarding the viability of a life-form design. These questions should focus on biologically plausible creatures.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
32
votes
20answers
6k views

How could polycephaly evolve as a byproduct of natural selection?

Why this question is different from existing questions... The closest question to mine is Anatomically Correct Cerberus. It is clear from the answers to that question and indeed it's axiomatic to the ...
32
votes
2answers
6k views

Can a dragon be electrocuted?

This question uses the European dragon model where dragons have semi-metallic scales (may or may not have actual metal scales), like to hoard gems, and possibly fly around in storms for the heck of it....
31
votes
9answers
8k views

Why would shapeshifters choose to keep an original form?

In any modern story nowadays, shapeshifters always have an original form; Andalites from Animorphs or Mystique from X-men to name a few. It raises the question of why something that can change forms ...
31
votes
6answers
6k views

Anatomically Correct Gods

This question may seem like an impossible challenge. What I'm talking about here is a biological explanation for limited (or, for bonus marks, unlimited) form shifting, immortality (at least in age) ...
31
votes
5answers
9k views

Anatomically Correct Succubus

The succubi are popularly represented as women with horns and bat-like wings. They feed on the vital energy in myths, but could a humanoid creature resembling a woman evolve and feed only on human ...
31
votes
21answers
7k views

How could a species survive on just luring in and eating humans?

In a question about mermaids, it was proposed that they might have evolved to look like humans to lure them in and prey on them. How could a creature survive on a diet of nothing but lured-in humans? ...
31
votes
4answers
6k views

Anatomically Correct Khajiit

Behold the Khajiit; Born from the insanely popular game series, Elder Scrolls, the Khajiit are a race of cat people who live in hot jungles. From the moment I saw this race, I fell in love with them, ...
30
votes
13answers
6k views

Plausible reason for gold-digging ant

Medieval bestiaries describe a creature, a type of desert-dwelling ant that digs for gold. It was also said to be the size of a fox, but I'll ignore that in this question. Why would ants unearth ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

Could a creature have eyes that change color based on their mood?

In various fantasy stories I have read and seen there is a trope known as Eye Colour Change Warning: TV Tropes!. In many cases the person or creature's eyes change color as a sign that they are ...
30
votes
6answers
4k views

Evolution of species with separate sapient and non-sapient forms?

This question is inspired by the last paragraph of my answer here: Negating the negative effects of childbearing (A follow up question to this can be found here: Methods to ensure gene flow in ...
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 ...
29
votes
11answers
4k views

What qualities could a hominid evolve to make it a better farmer?

BACKGROUND I'm working on a medieval world in which homo sapiens domesticated several other species of intelligent hominids during their prehistory, at first enslaving them to take advantage of ...
29
votes
8answers
2k views

Plausibility of Floating Whales

Ignoring the plausibility of their evolution and sources of food, could a whale-like creature which internally consists largely of hydrogen bladders/gasbags realistically stay aloft? If these ...
28
votes
16answers
5k views

How do I dehumanize a humanoid alien?

In a world I am building, human and a plethora of aliens have met and they are meeting, but unlike many stories on the topic, this scenario focuses on the individuals; how does Conner interact with ...
28
votes
10answers
7k views

Psychedelic Death Birds

There is this very weird species of bird that just can't get enough of delicious human flesh. But the bird has a problem - humans are big, smart, and social, so this little birdie has a unique skill: ...
28
votes
14answers
6k views

Creating a living currency

I'd like to implement a currency that is "alive". Picture a small, rat-sized animal that is: only found in a small geographic region, making it reasonably scarce. lethargic, or in hibernation most ...
28
votes
9answers
5k views

Biologically sound reason why underground dwelling Drow have dark skin? [duplicate]

The Drow from Dungeons and Dragons are a race of elves with dark skin and pale hair that live mainly underground. How could these elves develop such a coloration when they live underground, away from ...
28
votes
11answers
7k views

Asymmetrical animals

Virtually all animals on earth ranging from insects through to swimmers, fliers, mammals and reptiles, have a symmetrical body plan. In other words legs and wings come in pairs, as do most sensory ...
28
votes
6answers
6k views

Are hoofed bipeds feasible?

Satyrs, fauns, pan, and even the devil are commonly depicted as humanoid bipeds with goatlike unguligrade hooves for feet. However, common as such beings may be in fantasy and mythology, I have been ...
28
votes
9answers
9k views

How big could a living thing be?

Simply put is there an upper bound for the largest possible living creature in a scientifically rational world without incorporating anti-gravity, magic, the force, or other physical concepts we are ...
27
votes
23answers
11k views

A realistic explanation of a typical Plague-inc “infect everyone before you start killing them” strategy

In Plague-inc the most typical strategy is trying to infect everyone, while staying hidden by not harming infected people (when a virus, bacteria, fungus is found, people start working on the cure). ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

Living biological boats? (Jasconius)

There's this creature that swims over the surface of water and it's giant, almost the size of a whale and has thick scales as armor over its back. This creature almost never dives underwater so from ...
27
votes
15answers
5k views

In a world without obstacles, would life evolve wheels?

Imagine a planet whose surface is perfectly spherical, without any kind of obstacles anywhere. In such a world, it would be a competitive advantage for any lifeform to evolve wheels, as transport and ...
27
votes
15answers
10k views

Can telepathy and telekinesis exist in biological creatures?

I would like to create a sentient creature with telepathy and/or telekinesis. Can either (or both) of these concepts exist biologically? If yes, what would the biological mechanism be? Would a ...
27
votes
9answers
10k views

Side effects of having bulletproof skin?

In this world, there exist a race of humanoid people which, for simplicity, we'll call Rockfolk. Their skin is grey, and visually resembles stone. It is also exceptionally tough and durable, to the ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

If a person had control of every single cell of their body, would they be able to transform into another creature?

If a person had control over each and every single cell in his body, I.e: Cell growth Cell multiplication Shape and form of cells How cells bond/bind with each other Cell Function Would they be able ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

How realistic are living creatures whose skin burns when exposed to light?

I started playing one of the Metro games, and one of the common enemies is an armor plated Spider the size of a small dog that your character's flashlight causes its armor to boil as if the light is ...
26
votes
8answers
5k views

Creating wood actually as hard as granite

Would it be possible, with genetic engineering, to create a form of tree which produces wood with the same strength/hardness as granite, capable of being used in place of stone for castle-style walls ...
26
votes
11answers
6k views

How do I scientifically explain a specific type of wood piercing through armor when not even bullets can?

I've created a monster with three weaknesses: A soft spot in his belly that can be pierced through normally with objects, but the monster is so big and fast that hitting it is extremely hard and ...
26
votes
18answers
5k views

How could ghosts be explained without an afterlife?

I've always loved well-done ghosts. However, I've always hated the afterlife-speculation that they engender if used in a story. So I need a way to get ghosts without the fluffy spiritualistic bits. ...
26
votes
15answers
4k views

How would you design a dragon-like creature so it could sew?

I've been working on the setting for a science fiction novel where one of the questions that came up was: “How would you design a dragon-like creature so it could sew?”. Although I worked out a ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

Dragons that eat gems—digestion

Heads up—this is a pretty gross question. The dragons in this world are not reptilian, but rather resemble huge borzois. I've not sure how large I want them to be yet, but they are capable of mining/...
26
votes
9answers
3k views

Can a biological laser exist?

We know that Earth creatures can generate high-voltage electricity (your nearest electric eel can attest to that). We also know that ordinary air at Earth atmospheric pressure can be used as a laser ...
25
votes
13answers
5k views

How do genetically modified rodents cause the apocalypse?

The creatures escaped. We selected them to breed fast. Perhaps too fast. The customers were always hungry for the newest model. At first, it was just small beasts. Dog-sized. The kind a child ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I Determine the Litter Size of a Species?

Litter size varies vastly even in just the world of mammals, from the single spawn of an elephant to the up to 30 children an opossum can have. Obvious, litter size will determine population, cultural ...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Is intraspecies genetic incompatibility possible?

I'm creating a humanoid species, roughly based on humans. The difference is that not every opposite sex couple of fertile age could produce offspring. The premise of my story is based of some men ...
25
votes
8answers
9k views

Why would orcs have tusks?

Ever since Tolkien most, if not all, works of fiction including orcs portray them with tusks. Though this achieves the effect of portraying them as animalistic, what would the real world applications ...
25
votes
7answers
12k views

Anatomically Correct Angels

As part II of anatomically correct myths here we have the Angel. Angels appear in many cultures and are most commonly seen as simply winged humans. Is there a realistic way that angels could evolve? ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

Intelligent Cats With A Serious Attitude Problem

Ligers tend to grow to near 1200 lbs (550 kg). As if that weren't bad enough, that mad tree-hugger xenobiologist, Deirdre Skye, grafted just enough human-derived genetic material to make them a heck ...
25
votes
6answers
7k views

Anatomically correct multiarmed humanoids

Humanoids with more than 2 pairs of arms weren't an unknown concept in human culture. From ancient mythology, there are the hundred-armed Hekatoncheires (who have their own thread here) and six-armed ...
25
votes
6answers
8k views

Are dragons cold or warm blooded?

My world is science-based with an earth-like biology. The dragons fly when they're young and then grow too heavy and can only glide if at all. They breathe fire by expelling gas and igniting it. They ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Assistance to fight off a silicon-based lifeform

I am a survivor of the United Nations Space Corp's 2nd Exploration Fleet. On our travel to the distant Epsilon Canares system, our scouts encountered a strange lifeform. We call them 'shapeshifters'. ...
24
votes
13answers
8k views

How could an immortal organism avoid cancer?

In a novel I am writing, one of the characters is an immortal* shape-shifter, called 'Creature'. Creature has been around since shortly after the beginning of life on earth. Its cells divide/replicate ...
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 ...
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
votes
4answers
13k 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
votes
6answers
3k views

Anatomically Correct Cyclops

As a series of anatomically correct myths, here we have the Cyclops. One of the most similar creatures to man but with 'one' noticeable difference, one eye. It seems that land animals love their two ...
24
votes
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
votes
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
votes
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 ...