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].

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4answers
57 views

How can I speed up the evolutionary process in humans?

God had decided that humanity as a species is an overall disappointment. After wiping out all life with a flood, he decided to start from scratch. Humanity's new environment would be constantly ...
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2answers
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UTH Ceramic Bones/Exoskeleton?

Why and how could an organism evolve to make its bones or exoskeleton out of a UTH (Ultra High Temperature) ceramic like TiB2, WC, B4C, or TaHfC? Is it even possible?
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Could Humans Evolve to be Digitigrade?

Assuming humans remained hunter-gatherers, would it be anatomically possible for us to evolve digitigrade legs? Or, is our anatomy too specialized and are we stuck the way we are? I am not asking ...
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To what extent is it feasible for this race to be majority female?

In my world there is a race of humans who are disproportionately female. They are closely derived from and very similar to real-world humans, but are unable to interbreed with the other races as they ...
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2answers
104 views

How quickly do prehistoric populations grow?

I am working on a species that ressembles humans beings and that, although slightly engineered in the sense that the evolutionary leaps are aided by genetic modification, they are left to go through ...
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3answers
180 views

What would a matriarchal intelligent species look like?

I have a species of early primates (lemur-like but not lemurs) developing into an intelligent species like humans (and yes, there is some influence from an intelligent species, it's not 100% natural ...
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1answer
168 views

Is it possible for a multicellular organism to evolve a capacitor?

Is it possible for an organism to evolve a capacitor if the conditions were right (carnivore that stuns fish, living in complete darkness, etc.)? What kind of challenges would there be to evolve ...
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224 views

Is there a reason a flying creature would evolve “wings that act as hands” instead of “wings with hands attached”?

A rare design I have seen in fantasy games is a wyvern or humanoid being with hand like wings to fly I’m curious if this is in any way a practical design and the reason something like this would ...
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2answers
125 views

How big could dinosaurs get with super strength and durability?

On this parallel earth all vertebrates received the ability to efficiently produce super strong materials from readily available minerals/nutrients in the mid Triassic. The specifics of these ...
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2answers
202 views

Which modern organisms would survive a new K-Pg level impact?

EDIT: As many have pointed out, the whole Lunar Collision aspect I originally envisioned is probably more extreme than I predicted. I don't know where to start as far as the math goes, although my gut ...
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3answers
236 views

Is there a reason that females passing on more than 1/2 of their genetics to the child would be unlikely to evolve?

On the earth today most animals use a two sex mating system where male and female provide the same amount of genetics to the resulting offspring, despite the fact that in many cases the female ...
4
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2answers
128 views

How could a plant harness kinetic energy?

This post about a tidally-locked planet got me thinking about plants and wind. Let's say plants evolve on a perpetually windy, tidally-locked earth-like planet around a sun-like star at about 1 AU. ...
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3answers
119 views

Plausible Xenomorph-like Life Cycle

I have a species that I wish to create whose life cycle is similar to a Xenomorph from the Alien series. By this, I mean to create a species wherein: A Xenomorph, or Species A, the base creature, by ...
4
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1answer
149 views

Could a living tube kite creature evolve/ exist?

On Deviantart I found a sketch of this creature: It's called a "flying tube beetle" or more often a "flying lampshade". Think of it like a living tube kite that makes its own tether and catches what ...
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5answers
886 views

How would a Creature that needs to be seen by Humans evolve?

For my question, I was wondering the idea of a creature that needed to be visually seen by Humans or else, if no sight on it by a human being has been made then it can only last for 24 Hours. I was ...
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2answers
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Would it be possible for life to evolve on a planet with intense solar radiation, to the point where they can thrive in direct contact?

If you look at one of my previous questions, I ask about a tidally locked planet and it has come to my understanding that such a planet would be under a lot of radiation from the sun. So I’m curious ...
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Could a non sentient land animal evolve an innate knowledge for making boats?

I understand that some non human animals build structures that they innately know how to build, such as how birds innately know how to build nests, and spiders innately know how to make webs, and ...
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1answer
101 views

Could AI create a more complex language and (if so) how? [closed]

Animals use less intelligent language, so one may assume that human language is unintelligent to extraterrestrial life. We use technology to perceive senses that we do not naturally have (e.g., seeing ...
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1answer
137 views

What is the maximum equilibrium temperature that a mammal could evolve to tolerate?

Mammals live in some fairly extreme environments, but the most heat-tolerant ones all seem to cheat: e.g., they dig burrows to stay cool during the day and come out at night, avoiding the heat, or ...
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5answers
205 views

Why would a blind creature evolve display features?

I'm thinking of a predatory creature that lives deep inside large caves. Because this environment is so dark, the creature's eyes have disappeared through evolution since the creature relies on ...
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1answer
137 views

Could life exist on a planet that is heated mainly by hawking radiation from a super massive black hole that is millions of solar masses? [duplicate]

At a time long after the stelliferous there is a planet in orbit around a super massive black hole with almost all external heating coming from hawking radiation from the black hole it orbits. By ...
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1answer
122 views

How do I determine whether hybridization would be possible between various creatures? [closed]

I ask because the world I'm building has eight distinct races of humans on one planet, as well as various non-human animals that don't currently exist in the real world. I'd like for some forms of ...
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4answers
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Alien Mammal-Like Ears

So I’m trying to design my alien life around the pressures they might face just like earth’s wildlife, and most things I’ve made plausible life that is similar to ear but not giant dinosaur cats. The ...
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11answers
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Plausibility of Ice Eaters in the Arctic

Could a creature plausibly exist with its diet consisting of consuming ice, possibly for hydration? I'm unaware if it needs a secondary diet for nutrition, but how would its metabolism feasibly work?...
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19answers
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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 ...
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2answers
149 views

What aquatic creatures would evolve in a world with ripped apart/chaotic oceans?

In this world, a progenitor has created a mass of order out of chaos, with the possibility of entropic fluctuations increasing the further out from the center you get. What do I mean by entropic ...
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6answers
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Can birds evolve without trees?

I wonder whether the birds or other flying animals heavier than air could evolve without trees of other protruding objects?
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609 views

World with dodecahedron-shaped trees

Premise I was inspired by Karl Niklas who used computer modeling to simulate the ideal structure for a tree when different traits were favored. Here is a chart summarizing his work: Explanation L (...
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1answer
141 views

Mesas of hard(solid) light

I searched the site and found answers saying hard light can't exist. Apparently in the three years since the last question was asked, scientists started making inroads on making solid light a reality, ...
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2answers
328 views

Anatomically Correct “Stranger Things” Mindflayer's Monster

Background, with potential spoilers: In the Netflix show Stranger Things... If we skip the psychic stuff, there's still a pretty interesting creature there. To qualify as a Mindflayer monster, an ...
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2answers
219 views

Life around Cepheid Variable stars

Are there any unique challenges life would face evolving on a planet orbiting a Cepheid Variable star? I'm aware this is a broad question, so to narrow it down, consider this a question about Great ...
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9answers
4k views

What kind of world would drive brains to evolve high-throughput sensory?

Here on "Earth" organisms tend to evolve only enough mental processing power to handle sensory inputs in modest amounts. Taking "human" brains for a quick example, even though we have millions of ...
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2answers
168 views

How would basic and complex life evolve in a gas giant [closed]

Obviously the chances of life arising in such inhospitable and unlikely as a gas giant are next to none. Instead let us theorize that a local orbiting moon of a Jupiter-like gas giant which contains a ...
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2answers
192 views

How would a very old biosphere differ from Earth's “young” one?

On my world, the equivalent of the Cambrian/Avalon explosion happened 5 byr (2 byr after formation) ago as opposed to 0.5 byr ago on Earth. The planets rough parameters are: mass between 0.4 and 0....
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3answers
691 views

The plausibility of a pack-hunting carrion-eating snake

I was thinking of a hypothetical species of snakes that join together for protection called Ladôni, due to their habit of mobilising in massive beds which make them resemble a large multi-headed snake....
2
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2answers
132 views

What is the smallest land mass to develop human civilization? [closed]

(Related to this question about the smallest land mass to support a civilization, possibly dropped in fully-formed by magic or advanced technology. This question is asked in response to comments there ...
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4answers
235 views

“Realistic” Dwarfs Part One: Bioluminescence for active Vision

I've been thinking about dwarfs and their depiction in classical fantasy for while now and concluded that I find it unrealistic and lazy. Some research showed me that the current fantasy dwarfs have ...
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4answers
322 views

What would the perrrsonalities of cat-people be like? [closed]

I'm looking for ideas as to what sort of perrrsonality traits Cat-People would have. That's people not into cats, but that are half cat. Presuming that on a different planet much like Earth humans ...
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5answers
176 views

In a future post-scarcity civilization, how would evolution change humans when survival is longer a challenge? [closed]

Let's imagine a post-scarcity society where everyone has unlimited access to food, energy and the aging problem has been solved so people are practically immortal. Now my understanding is that, our ...
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4answers
157 views

Why would a virus evolve to subsist on an energy source that doesn't exist on their planet?

In my world, I have a dangerous virus that has evolved to subsist on Aether, which for now I will just call its secondary energy source apart from a normal infection of an animal. Yet on the planet ...
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2answers
141 views

Odd-Toed Ungulates

I'm creating a large ungulate that is likely a part of the suborder Anclyopoda. Suspension of disbelief is expected, but there's a detail with the current design that's really bugging me. The ...
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5answers
280 views

Would having more than two sexes decrease the number of individuals required to have a sustainable population from a genetic perspective?

On a world made up of many small islands, each island cannot support a very large population. Although sometimes individuals from one island make it across the ocean to another, this is usually a ...
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2answers
55 views

Order of Limb Pair Types for Amphibious Creature (Hexanewt)

I need to add a bit of descriptive detail on a species from a brief description. Essentially add a bit of finer detail to someone else's broad-strokes worldbuilding. An amphibious species' body layout ...
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4answers
212 views

How big could a land-dwelling arthropod get if it wasn’t limited by oxygen consumption?

Insects and other land-based Arthropoda are stuck at the size they are due to how inefficient their respiratory system is. They were able to reach the size they did in the Carboniferous period because ...
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3answers
186 views

Catastrophic geology

What would happen to an earth-like planet where an event caused a large (think, the size of the Caribbean tectonic plate) section of the crust to get peeled away, exposing the upper mantle for a ...
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3answers
297 views

Is acid blood possible?

I'm designing an alien species, whose blood is highly acidic and can easily cause someone's hand to melt down. It's pretty similar to the Xenomorphs from Ridley Scott's Alien, except for the color ...
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6answers
169 views

What evolutionary conditions lead to intelligent life? [closed]

I was wondering if intelligent life, in the sense that the species' greatest evolutionary advantage is its' intelligence, is an evolutionary inevitability, or was it a completely random occurrence for ...
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2answers
542 views

Anatomically Correct Swarm of Rodents

Rats are commonly associated with illness and disease due to the role they played in The Black Death. However, some works of fiction portray rats as carnivorous swarms, devouring people ...
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3answers
221 views

Could a life form evolve an organ for generating temperatures less than a degree Kelvin above absolute zero?

I was thinking of a life form with a similar surface temperature to Earth, as well as a similar temperature variation to that of Earth. Could such a life form evolve an organ for generating ...
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12answers
10k views

Is there an evolutionary advantage to having two heads?

This is a classic of fantasy/sci-fi stories. A creature with two heads, two brains, two distinct personalities, sharing a single body. An entire race of Siamese twins. But the question is, what ...