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Questions tagged [evolution]

For questions about the long-term change of a specific species, type of creature, or trait, usually through the process of natural selection and reproduction. Consider also [creature-design].

8
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6answers
698 views

An animal that is physically separated into multiple parts

One of my fictional planets (which is largely terran in nature) is notable for an unique animal. Said animal is a dangerous predator that is notable for several things: It is physically separated ...
34
votes
21answers
9k views

Make slimes great again, but how?

Slimes are seen as merely base-level enemies which don't really challenge the heroic main character, the Chosen One. My question is how to make slimes incredibly powerful without using magic. They ...
-1
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0answers
44 views

Do trolls use their tusks as weapons aswell? [on hold]

Elephants and other animals do that, but do you think that trolls have enough power to use their tusks to harm someone?
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0answers
61 views

What would a world without marketing look like, how would it affect the society? [on hold]

Been thinking about this. How would a world without marketing look like. What would change. Where would improvements happen or what would "suck"?
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

Horns on humans [duplicate]

I know this has already been asked but I did not quite understand the science of it. Say a mutation after birth leads to a person evolving horns. Could this trait get carried along genetically or is ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Can my mermaids work?

Looking to how I can make Nagas and Mermaids able to exist and evolve in my story, I came across this post which explains how Nagas could evolve from humans: Anatomically Correct Naga In the top ...
4
votes
6answers
98 views

Extremely heterogeneous life

All life on Earth is surprisingly homogeneous from a biochemical point of view. Every organism known to us is primarily built with carbon-based molecules that also contain hydrogen and oxygen, mainly ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Hive Minds - Part 1: Genesis

EDIT: As suggested by L.Dutch, I turned the original post into a series of its own. Some Context A "Hive Mind" is an aggressive type of shared consciousness (for more information on shared ...
2
votes
3answers
123 views

Shared Consciousnesses - Part 1: Genesis

EDIT: As suggested by L.Dutch, I turned the original post into a series of its own. Some Context Though the name "Shared Consciousness" is pretty self explanatory to me, the best I can do to ...
6
votes
2answers
185 views

How would humans look after living many generations on a terraformed Mars?

Let's say humans moved to Mars and have lived there for millions of years. Mars is of now uninhabitable, though in this case some terraforming has happened. The poles have been nuked to release ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

Growing a third arm

Since having (eg.) two arms is a result of evolution, how can we, considering modern technology, force embryos to grow another limb? Polymelia is known to me, but it is considered a birth defect. I ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

Can Mollusks Develop Bone Independently?

When one thinks of a shelled cephalopod, odds are high that the first thing to come to mind are the ammonites. They were one of evolution's success stories, thriving from 400 to 66 million years ago. ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

How can 4 limbed animals evolve from 6 limbed animals? [duplicate]

An idea that I've been having to logically explain the evolution of 6-limbed animals is that they naturally have a common ancestor. This is illustrated in this picture I found: Source: Birvan from ...
2
votes
5answers
185 views

What adaptations would make humans better climbers?

In this new fantasy setting I'm building, then after getting the tectonic plates and their movements covered, I've found that the land would be very mountainous, plus numerous valleys, and the islands ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

How could genital dentata syndrome develop as a real condition among humans?

There exists in folklore from various cultures of a condition in which rows of teeth are present in the female genitalia. The purpose of these stories, like most folktales, was to serve as a morality ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Whence unicorns?

I have a story in a mediaeval setting with no magic. There are elves, but they are essentially just absurdly long-lived versions of humans with pointy ears and somewhat more acute senses. Unicorns ...
5
votes
3answers
219 views

Making a Plague Worse?

Starting in 541–542 AD, the Plague of Justinian and a series of subsequent outbreaks killed between 13-26% of the world's population. The plagues were caused by Yersinia pestis, the same microorganism ...
7
votes
3answers
202 views

On the viability of living balloons

This is not a question on whether or not floating, balloon-like organisms are biomechanically viable - I already know the answer to that, which is yes. This instead deals with the plausibility of such ...
0
votes
5answers
186 views

How to house and conceal an AI-level intelligence in a human body? [closed]

How would you take a human body - consider it baseline for these purposes - and make it able to house, power and regulate the temperature of hardware capable of sustaining an artificial intelligence ...
7
votes
3answers
259 views

Sentient colonial organisms?

Question: Could colonial organisms form into a sentient being, something like a human, for example? Could they evolve into beings with thoughts and feelings? A race of colonial organisms taking the ...
-1
votes
2answers
135 views

How much could familiar species of animal evolve in 10,000 years? [closed]

In 10,000 yrs, barring human interference, what kinds of evolution might we expect in familiar animals? Leaving aside the causes of the adaptation, for example, is it possible that the grey squirrel ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

How would animals adapt to darkness-made beasts?

Premise: In a world similar ours, whose culture is like our medieval era, there is one key difference. There is a "Darkness" (at night or in very dark places) which forms into "beasts" through some ...
7
votes
7answers
181 views

How do I fit multiple food crop species into close proximity?

In the setting I'm building now, then there's supposed to be a location where the natives had found three food staple crops within close proximity with one another, near a handful of rivers. Naturally,...
8
votes
6answers
604 views

Macroevolution in an isolated room

Imagine a large room, perhaps 50 metres in length and 35 in width, with its ceiling 40 metres above the floor. On this ceiling, there are LED lights, rendering the brightness of the room to look ...
6
votes
4answers
250 views

The Hadean Explosion?

In recent years, the search for the origins of life is becoming complex. It turns out that oxygen is NOT a requirement for multicellular life to thrive. As stated in this BBC article, poriferans (...
25
votes
4answers
6k views

Oil-eating animal; possible?

I saw a movie where oil companies stumbled upon these fictional underground aquatic deep-sea animals that survived on eating and digesting the oil where they lived. They had squid/octopus-like bodies ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Can Europan ice cracks sustain complex ecosystems?

Europa's surface is marred with huge, curved cracks, called lineae, which may - depending on the thickness of its icy crust - expose the subsurface ocean to sunlight. Pictures like the one above (...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

If Robots are better suited for occupying the universe, in long term, what are human for? [closed]

Alright, if you don't agree, maybe come back to this question after 100 years. So in terms of evolution, are human the pre-cursor of robots? are we eventually needed if life is going to spread across ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Alternative Scenarios To The Evolution Of A Sentient Species On A Similar Planet [closed]

We have exactly one story of how this process occurred in the universe (so far)- our own. Our story in short is of a derived social primate with binocular vision, a workable set of hands ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Exploding fruit mechanism

I'm designing an alien tree species that produces small purple fruits at the edge of its braches. Now a few seconds after one of these fruits falls from the tree it makes a small explosion so that its ...
5
votes
4answers
202 views

Can land-living endotherms exist without hair, feathers, scales etc.?

Aliens are very rarely portrayed as being furry, at least in proper xenobiology worldbuilding. They're virtually never depicted with feathers, and only sometimes with scales. Currently, there are ...
5
votes
3answers
153 views

Bumblebees without Flowers

Just a fleeting hypothetical that crossed my mind. Say that no flowering plants exist. I don't know why - say a world has been terraformed with various Earth species. Bumblebees are present, but ...
24
votes
18answers
8k views

What Purpose Would a Unicorn's Horn Serve in the Wild?

This famous tapestry shows all the "modernized" traits of a unicorn--basically just a pale-colored horse with a single horn on its head. Of course, single-horned animals do and did exist: The only ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Alternative origins for the lungs

The terrestrial "vertebrates" of my planet must breathe air, and therefore must have lungs of some kind. They are descended from fish-like creatures, which breathe through gills. However, I would ...
7
votes
5answers
282 views

Would there be any major disadvantages for a species to have six legs instead of four?

I want a world in which animals roam the wilderness on four legs, yet at least some of them are able to do the kind of carrying and fine handling of objects done by humans. The planet is superficially ...
5
votes
3answers
181 views

If 50 members of a species were given intelligence, how long would it take to evolve?

On the planet Qualis, about 2 million years ago, their was a species of lizards, called “Quals”. They were about as smart at the common Earth rat, not very smart. They dwelled in the semi-arid regions ...
2
votes
4answers
150 views

How To Tell a Turtle Sans Shell [closed]

On our Earth, what makes a turtle a turtle is its ribcage widened and fused to create a tough, protective shell. In comparison to other reptiles, alive or extinct, the turtle design has got to be the ...
2
votes
3answers
167 views

Physical characteristics of 3-inch men

In my world, 3-inch humans live on an Earth-like planet. My question, provided by a comment on a previous question, is: What would an anatomically correct 3-inch human look like? How strong would he ...
2
votes
2answers
460 views

Can genetic modifications become hereditary? [closed]

Could genetic modifications become hereditary over time? If so could they evolve over time similar to regular genes? For example making carbon fibre bones for whatever reason would they eventually ...
5
votes
2answers
158 views

Could biofilms of specialized bacteria and archaea evolve intelligence?

I am pondering a world, where life very early on took a slightly different turn. First some background sketch, to explain what I mean: Current theories state that life first evolved as protocells: ...
3
votes
4answers
269 views

Evolution of polymorphism

What are the cost and restrictions or benefits of a creature being able to slowly morph from an animal to another while retaining memories? The creature morphs to giant eagle then morphs into fish ...
9
votes
5answers
416 views

Why would an entire biosphere evolve to reproduce with three parents instead of two?

So I have an alien biosphere in which trisexual reproduction predominates. As far as we can tell, trisexual reproduction does not offer an advantage when it comes to shuffling genes. The biological ...
5
votes
3answers
136 views

Alternate paths to orthostasis

I've asked a whole array of questions, so far, centered around an ongoing project of mine that features a world, in an alternate evolutionary timeline, where a variety of well-known mythological ...
6
votes
5answers
291 views

Why would a biped evolve into a monoped?

Say that you have a medium-sized, bipedal, vertebrate-like creature. It no longer has the need to have arms, so they atrophied until they disappeared entirely. Now imagine an animal that shares ...
9
votes
1answer
132 views

Viability of Scansoriopterygid wyverns

Scansoriopterygidae was a family of theropod dinosaurs that lived during the Jurassic, the most well-known member of which was Yi Qi. They are thought to have been arboreal insectivores, and ...
5
votes
4answers
172 views

Could an intelligent race of seals craft tools effectively?

A while ago, I asked a bunch of questions about my alternate Earth timeline, which contains plausible fantasy creatures. One of the concepts I've devised more recently is a solution for mermaids (Most ...
3
votes
5answers
237 views

On what conditions would a four-eyed creature evolve to have six eyes?

I'm designing an alien world on which its creatures evolved from four-eyed early life forms. However, there is a fair amount of other beings that have six or even eight eyes. How could such creatures ...
3
votes
5answers
358 views

Avian Crocodylomorph

Today, dinosaurs, alligators, crocodiles, gharials and caimen are all that remains of a special group of reptiles called the archosaurs. Recently, it has been accepted by the public that birds did ...
9
votes
3answers
342 views

Asymmetrical Limbs

So, I've been designing an alien species, actually a redesign of something from childhood. However, I've recently come into an issue with its limbs. The creature possesses two arms. The right arm is ...
6
votes
2answers
300 views

Why would a big cat have black fur around its face?

A few days ago, I saw this very nice reconstruction of a Machairodus giganteus by Peter Hutzler: More recently, I've been thinking about it, and I'm wondering A) if it would evolve without getting in ...