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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33
votes
17answers
12k views

How to defend when attacked by an avian species?

Bird people are humanoid creatures with a wingspan of 4 meters, they are as tall as humans and the fittest of them weight 72 kilograms or slightly less, so they are quite lighter than the average ...
33
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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 ...
33
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21answers
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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? ...
32
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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) ...
32
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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 ...
32
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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
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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
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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, ...
31
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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 ...
30
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15answers
11k 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 ...
30
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7answers
6k 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
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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
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13answers
7k 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 ...
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 ...
29
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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: ...
29
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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
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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
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23answers
12k 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). ...
28
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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
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13answers
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 ...
28
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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
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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
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9answers
11k 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 ...
28
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5answers
4k views

A fast aquatic predator with multiple eyes and pupils. Would these eyes be possible?

I’m currently in the works of an alien design, one which lives in the ocean most of its life and occasionally surfaces in shallow waters to mate. It has 4 eyes, with each side of the head having a ...
28
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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
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9answers
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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 ...
28
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10answers
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 ...
27
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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
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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
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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
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11answers
2k views

Viability of Fixed-Wing Biological Flying Creatures?

How plausible are naturally-evolved, biological, fixed-wing flying creatures? Could such a creature plausibly evolve in Earth-like conditions? If so, what method would it be most likely to use for ...
27
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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 ...
27
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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7answers
9k 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
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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
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4answers
4k views

What sort of beak would a bone marrow eating bird have?

My world is very earthlike and I am looking to create a bird that primarily eats bone marrow. I wanted my bird to crack the bones of the carcasses to eat the marrow inside. What would the ideal beak ...
25
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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
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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
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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
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7answers
14k 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
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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
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10answers
4k views

Anatomically Correct Werewolves

Could werewolves exist in a realistic world? All that is required for an accepted answer is the ability to change shape over night. Bonus points will be awarded if you can explain a bite spreading ...
25
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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
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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 ...
25
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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'. ...
25
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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 ...