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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].

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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 ...
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4answers
121 views

How To Tell a Turtle Sans Shell [on hold]

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 ...
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3answers
130 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 ...
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2answers
431 views

Can genetic modifications become hereditary? [on hold]

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 ...
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2answers
108 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: ...
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5answers
382 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 ...
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3answers
105 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 ...
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5answers
273 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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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4answers
155 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 ...
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5answers
220 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 ...
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5answers
337 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 ...
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3answers
326 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 ...
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2answers
294 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 ...
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2answers
102 views

A Raptorial Parrot

This scenario is based on the kea, the world's only alpine parrot. Even though it eats plants like other parrots, it also eats meat, and therefore could be New Zealand's answer to the smaller diurnal ...
6
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3answers
206 views

What would it take for a plant to produce electric shocks?

I'm designing an alien plant soecies that has evolved to produce electric shocks, as a way to keep insects away from it. My question is, how would it produce electricity in the first place? Also, ...
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11answers
12k views

Anatomically correct “XKCDius lethalissimus”

Inspired by today's XKCD comic How could a creature, momentarily called XKCDius lethalissimus, evolve to have the following features: Be radioactive (intended as more radioactive than the ...
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6answers
222 views

Plausibility Check: Kite Trees?

Disclaimer: This question, unlike my other tree related question, was brought about by pure whimsical daydreaming. I also threw the term "evolve" around a lot, I should clarify that what I asking is ...
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2answers
131 views

Plausibility Check: Territorial Trees?

Background In case you haven't heard: there are places in the Amazonian Jungle called Devil's Gardens. The gardens are large swaths of land composed of almost entirely one single tree the Duroia ...
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1answer
174 views

Anatomically Correct Hypnotoad

All hail to the Hypnotoad! I am interested in creating anatomically correct Hypnotoad, mainly known from the Futurama series. While in Futurama the toad itself is pretty big, but I am actually ...
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5answers
2k views

Plausibility Check: Armored Birds

How plausible, or implausible, would it be for a lineage of birds' feathers to evolve into sharp, hardened plate-like scale armor (and/or blades), comparable to that of pangolins? And if it is ...
3
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2answers
141 views

Anatomically correct snallygaster

The snallygaster is a cryptid from Maryland. It is often described as resembling a half bird/half reptile like creature with large wings, a metal beak, tentacles like an octopus (sometimes depicted as ...
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3answers
178 views

Could a tetrapod evolve from a hexapod?

I'm thinking of an alien alien world that has a vast biosphere. Now the creatures of this planet have evolved to be hexapods though there are a few creatures that are tetrapods (only have four limbs). ...
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1answer
103 views

Pandora- superorganism eywa

I've recently became curious about the moon wide super organism on Pandora known to the natives as Eywa. Eywa is theorized by human scientists to be a superorganism of all living things on Pandora. ...
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4answers
140 views

How to cause a surge in large carnivore diversity, roughly 5-7 million years hence?

I have had an idea for a possible story, where the protagonists are some kind of future, sapient hominid descendants (Not descended from humans; bonobos or gorillas or something). The main premise of ...
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3answers
136 views

How could embryonic diapause have naturally developed in humans?

embryonic diapause is a reproductive strategy that is used by a number of mammals. In embryonic diapause, the embryo  does not immediately implant in the uterus after sexual reproduction has created ...
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2answers
160 views

How to evolve fully terrestrial sharks, 100 million years in the future?

This is part of the same world I am making that this question I once asked is set in: How to evolve a reptile into a wyvern, 100 million years in the future? I might call these questions related to ...
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5answers
152 views

Evolutionary reasons for humanoid species to develop third eye

I have a humanoid species that developed a third eye in their forehead and was wondering what could be the reason they evolved this way or what advantages it would bring?
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4answers
77 views

What would be evolutionary reasons for a humanoid species to develop multiple arms?

I have a species that is humanoid but has two sets of arms and I was wondering what reasons there could be for why they evolved that way?
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12answers
3k views

Other than tentacles and jointed digits, what methods of holding items are there that provide similar dexterity?

I'm trying to envision a creature that is highly dexterous, and adept at using tools, but every time I try to think of a possible grasping appendage, the only two I come up with are either tentacle ...
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3answers
87 views

Is the evolution of my aliens realistic?

So, I have thought about the evolution of my aliens and how they could evolve things like lactation but still retain their reptilian characteristics. Here is my best thought about it so far: ...
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2answers
135 views

Evolution: Tilting the scales of the arms race between cobras and mongooses

Often times a mongoose will prefer easier prey than a cobra. However, getting down to brass tacks, should the two fight, it's fairly axiomatic that the mongoose takes the win the majority of the time. ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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Are plastic plants plausible?

Edit: some answerers seem to be slightly misunderstanding the nature of the premise. Remember that the concept here is this; In the Precambrian of Earth, bacteria evolve to extract the abundant ...
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2answers
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Could a humanoid species, very similar to humans, evolve arthropod eyes? If so, how would that affect them?

Specifically, arthropod eyes that are neatly in their respective sockets, much like the human eyes. Could that work?
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2answers
134 views

What is the evolutionary advantage of albinism in cave-dwelling animals?

In a story I'm writing, there is a species of extremely rare cave dwelling bird. A scientist and a plummer have to find a specimen of this bird before it goes extinct. When they finally find it, the ...
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4answers
268 views

What are the most realistic ways to introduce a persistant cosmetic difference into human evolution?

I'd like my world to have humanoid protagonists, while still reinforcing that they are ultimately not human, but have simply evolved in a similar way due to convergent evolution. To provide a constant ...
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1answer
218 views

Could a humanoid alien have a tail?

I'm designing an alien race that in structure to humans. One exception is that they have long muscular tails. I remembered while I was designing them, the reason why humans have no tails is because ...
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1answer
73 views

A Tiktaalik for Placoderms

So many millions of years ago their was a lobe finned lung fish named tiktaalik that led to the evolution of all tetrapods and the diversity they hold today. And I wanna do that again, but instead of ...
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3answers
266 views

If humans descended from raptors rather than apes [closed]

In my scifi novel, all intelligent life eventually reaches what we might consider a humanoid form. Likewise, life on other worlds generally follows a semi-parallel evolutionary path, meaning that life ...
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17answers
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How would a tripedal animal walk?

Animals on Earth have 2 or 4 legs they use for walking. On another world, however, animals have 3. I want to know how these animals will walk. How will their legs be placed and how will they move them ...
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1answer
412 views

How would this super-earth world be? (Creature evolution)

I have a super-earth world. The surface of the world is shallower due to extra gravity, so shorter mountain ranges and less ocean depths. The world orbits a binary star system at a distance of the ...
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8answers
604 views

How long could a human being survive after being swallowed by a whale?

In the short story, a man is swallowed by a giant, fictional fish. In fact, he is swallowed whole along with his log cabin and a bunch of hand-crafted tools. In a "The Martian"-like narrative, he ...
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3answers
121 views

Evolution of intelligent drepanosaurs

For a story I require an intelligent [drepanosaur]. But to work with the plot the creature needs to still have traits that don't mix well with classical vertebrate evolution of intelligence. ...
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5answers
434 views

How to evolve a reptile into a wyvern, 100 million years in the future?

First of all I would like to precise what my species of wyverns actually are. I do not plan to make them huge and gigantic like in many fantasy worlds. Instead they are rather small and can be the ...
4
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1answer
88 views

Pseudo-simian descendants of the kinkajou

This is the kinkajou: It looks vaguely similar to a monkey - it has grasping digits on its forelimbs, it has a prehensile tail like some New World monkeys, and it primarily eats fruit - but it is a ...
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2answers
97 views

Language features of solitary mesocarnivorous humanoids

The Background I have a species of intelligent humanoids roughly modelled after bears. They're hulking great grizzly-sized solitary mesocarnivores. Genus Homo and descended from H. sapiens, but ...
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1answer
78 views

Alcohol Secreting Gastropod (Booze Snail)

I have an arboreal snail whose diet consists of largely fruit, would it be feasible through its natural bodily processes it turns part of these fruits into palatable alcohol to secrete as a defense ...
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1answer
106 views

What would make a good dog/wolf foot in mountanous terrain?

What characteristics (compare those of a mountain goat foot: good grip on rocks, doesn't slip off, etc) would the foot of a dog or a wolf need to have to be useful in rocky settings such as mountains (...
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2answers
94 views

If engineers were to create an entirely new human species, what factors would they consider? [closed]

Say engineers wanted to create a new human species that is perfectly suited to the environmental and seasonal changes of the current world: What features would they consider? The new species is also ...