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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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 ...
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Humanoids with digitigrade legs?

I've designed an alien race of bipedal humanoids with digitigrade legs. This race's advanced scientific progress means that they use traditionally human-associated technology, or similar (such as ...
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Sonar Jamming Squids

Context In the arms race of survival many animals have developed ways of evading predators, but the animal I am interested in for this question would be the tiger moth. So basically these guys jam bat ...
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How can I explain the pokemon version of evolution?

In Pokemon, each individual Pokemon “evolves” into a new stage of its evolution. A lot people claim that this can be explained using mere metamorphosis, but there are no mammals that go through such ...
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1answer
467 views

How can I Determine the Caloric Intake of a Species?

Caloric intake varies vastly even in just the world of mammals, from the hundreds of pounds of leaves an elephant eats everyday, to the small amount a sloth eats. Obviously, caloric intake is ...
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4answers
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Physiological adaptation of life on a planet orbiting a red giant.

Let's say there exists an Earth-like exoplanet which orbits a normal star, with a similar process regarding the evolution of life on earth, yet the star became a red giant during said evolution. ...
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What type of claws should my trolls have?

I have a race of trolls in my world, they looks mostly like these guys (the yetis from one of the Mummy movies) but with longer arms and a more gorilla like posture. I also imagine them to have very ...
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How to make a viable flying mount?

In the real world, humans have tamed horses and use them as mounts. Horses have very specific characteristics that make them a viable mount, such as size, back-strength, stamina, diet, behavior, etc. ...
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What might cause (physically) large predatory birds to form large (in terms of numbers) flocks?

I've got a reasonably large species of predatory bird; mostly inspired by falcons, but larger. To give an idea of its physical size, my current working draft (which may very well change) is for a wing ...
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How would a monster decay without leaving as much as a trace?

This question is supposed to explain the phenomenon in fiction that I affectionately call the "clean death", where a dead monster disintegrates after being slain. Normally this would be explained by ...
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5answers
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Could crystals grow on living things?

A friend and I are creating a magical bird that eats gemstones then uses them to form a thin coat of crystal armor over its body. Is there any way for this bird (or any living thing) to actually have ...
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How would a massive space creature evolve?

It makes sense to believe life is more likely to evolve on the surface of large objects like planets, moons, and asteroids. However, a common fantasy trope is the massive space creature: some kind of ...
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How to make my Beast-Of-Burden work?

Disclaimer: This question is the first of a new series of questions of mine about introducing hexapedae to the fauna of my conworld. There are/will be other questions addressing i.a.: ecosystems, ...
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Fauna evolved to use portals

Random portals of spherical shape are found on the surface of the planet, they are pitch black and have a diameter of 3 meters. Once something enters any of the many random portals, they are "...
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How to kill an energy being?

An energy being or astral being is a theoretical life form that is composed of energy rather than matter. We can kill a person by damaging his/her body physically. How about killing an energy being? ...
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10answers
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How could an organism store a massive amount of water?

I want to design a creature capable of surviving long periods without drinking water, but I am not sure how that creature could store water. These are my ideas but I am looking for something more ...
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How would snake creatures which use uroboros to roll to safety avoid brain damage?

Imagine a particular species of snake living in a mountainous region that when provoked or threatened will curve itself into a loop and every muscle in its body will tighten as it rolls down the slope ...
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Are there any big cats that can survive in a primarily desert area?

I have two large continents on an earth like world. I would like for the dominate predator on the more desert continent to be a large cat. I have found the leopards and jaguars of Egypt, but am ...
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How to justify having overly large irises?

In many famous alien species you see that the iris is so large that it almost appears that it replaces the sclera. What evolutionary history would support the irises growing to that size. The only ...
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Making skeletons a challenging fight

In my world, skeletons are a thing. They're raised from existing corpses under the control of their "master". Obviously, there's magic involved. But I don't want magic to be part of the whole process....
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7answers
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Suggested steps for creating a new race?

For one of the novels I am writing, I want to create a race based off of the Chinese Zodiac. However, I don't know exactly where to start with creating said race, so I was curious to see if there was ...
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Science behind a naturally invisible creature

Suppose a planet developed a peculiar form of life that was naturally invisible, but only within a 15-ft. (4.57 m) radius, by bending or refracting the majority of light around its body due to its ...
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Anatomically Correct Siren?

I am interested in creating a reality based version of a creature from Greek mythology called a Siren. Sirens were believed to combine women and birds in various ways. In early Greek art, Sirens ...
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movement of space animals

Animals on planets are so 20th century - let's herd us some space animals! In this story I have the need to move a herd of pesky space animals. They like Suns for their juicy solar energy and ...
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Magivore - designing a magic 'eater'

Yes, magic means I can say 'make it so' and it is. But I see too many options and not sure which ones would make more sense. I'm picking one idea that I've never seen in a book. So a Magivore is ...
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Evolution of ophidian sapience and caudal tool use

What natural environmental pressures or opportunities might drive an alien ophidian species to evolve sapience and caudal tool use? Conditions The species should be lacking limbs prior to the ...
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Evolution of giant floating mammals

Whales are majestic creatures of the sea, as they glide more gracefully through the water than their size should seemingly allow. What kind of evolutionary path would it take for whales to glide ...
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Fire is gravity for fire Elemental

What would it look like for elementals (type of creature based on its base element) if the base element acted as its gravity? How would they move about? How would their basic actions look compared to ...
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Anatomically Correct Boar Troll

I request some help with the design of one particular denizen of my fantasy world, tentatively named Boar Troll. It needs to be an ungulate or closely related creature with emerging sentience, and ...
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Anatomically Correct Diggy Diggy Dwarfs

The song Diggy Diggy Hole makes some questionable assertions about dwarven anatomy. Specifically: Born underground Suckled from a teat of stone Raised in the dark The safety of our mountain home Skin ...
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You eat this plant, it eats you right back. Can it work?

Based on an answer of mine from a few months ago, I've been inspired to adapt the concept to my own Life Ball. Fair warning- this question and some of its links are not for the squeamish. May ...
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How would an ocean of jello evolve

I watched a youtube video on the Darwin IV probe mission to this planet has lower mass than the earth, about the size of Mars, and has a single sea. According to the movie, the microbes that resided ...
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Why would a predatory creature capable of using telekinesis still hunt with tooth and claw?

Imagine a creature capable of telekinesis. This creature is also armed with sharp teeth and claws for hunting and eating prey. Given using telekinesis to move an object is about as energy-consuming as ...
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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 ...
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Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 1: How Can It Fly?

More posts from this thread will be linked here: Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 2: Best Wing Shape? Info I'm designing a macaw that has metal feathers, claws, and a metal beak--to be particular, ...
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Could a predatory semi-sentient species survive, in the long run, without the emotion of fear?

I was thinking of an idea for an alien species in a hard sci-fi universe, and I wondered if a species, with the same amount of emotions as bottlenose dolphins (Except for fear), survive as a species. ...
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Would it make sense for animalistic shifters to have mounts?

Would it make sense for animalistic shifters to have mounts when they can shift into a large feral-like form? That is, not humans that turn into animals, but a species of large humanoids that can ...
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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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Genetic structure of a trait with six discrete phenotypes

In my world magic is conferred genetically. Their are five "types" of magic, which never mix. You either have one type, or you have another (or none at all, the sixth option), you never have a mix of ...
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Designing a creature with jaws to crush iron bones

In my most recent question, I asked for a material other than calcium and collagen that could form skeletons in alien creatures. My favourite answer was bio-steel; "Iron with a small percentage of ...
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Is it possible to ride a carnivore species?

Humans have been domesticating carnivores for over 10 000 years. And there are certainly carnivores big enough to ride. The former is the biggest feline ever to exist. They certainly can carry a human ...
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Biological ''Helmet''

What I'm thinking about is simply an animal,any with a protective bony-like shell covering its eyes. The shell must be openable for clear vision but when closed the animal still has the ability to ...
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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 ...
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What is a Giant's Diet?

If an average human is 5'10" (1.8m), when scaled to be roughly 50 ft (15 m) how much food would it need to remain healthy? Let's also assume there are three types of this giant; carnivorous, ...
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Anatomically Correct Carnivorous Blankets

There is a website called the SCP Foundation which features a variety of creatures, objects and phenomena that border on the horrifying to the just plain weird. This one straddles the boundary between ...
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Do mermaids lay eggs underwater or give birth to live young?

Let's pretend these magnificent and beautiful creatures are able to reproduce asexually so we can forget about their mating habits or their partners. I have yet to witness any hard shell eggs laid ...
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Humanoid Race with Surpressed Myostatin Gene - Appearance?

I'm thinking about using this as a sort of meta explanation for how Orcs (and possibly other things as well) are different than humans (in muscularity), but I'm not entirely sure what the result of ...
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What is the most plausible ancestor for tool-using, sentient, bipedal reptilians?

A classical trope of fantasy is lizardfolk, or a similar species by another name (see for instance the Argonians of Elder Scrolls fame). In general, though, we're dealing with: Bipedal, often ...
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Creature with a non-centralized brain

I've always found animal intelligence to be fascinating, particularly that of the cephalopods, some of which show some pretty remarkable talents for tool usage, mimicry, and pattern recognition. ...
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How did the Armatae Bestia evolve studded plates?

Meet the following specimen of Armatae Bestia. I'd describe it, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll just put one here instead (Feel free to drag it into browser window to get a much ...

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