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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].

4
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2answers
299 views

Anatomically correct Guivre

The Guivre is an amphibious dragon from French mythology: Many of its aspects are typical of Western dragons, but there are two which distinguish it from others: Its breath causes disease It cannot ...
3
votes
3answers
176 views

How could a marilith evolve?

Mariliths are these D&D creatures that are basically nagas except with six arms. OK, technically this image is from Final Fantasy, but you get the point. What environmental factors could cause ...
5
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6answers
318 views

Why would a bird have split wings?

On my world there is a creature that has a 'split' in the plumage of its wings and tail. Instead of having a singular D-shaped surface (when viewed from above, the bird facing to the left), it is ...
11
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2answers
278 views

Speculative Biology of a Haplodiploid Humanoid Species

In haplodiploid sex-determination system, female/diploid individuals are developed from fertilized eggs by means of sexual reproduction, while male/haploid individuals are developed from unfertilized ...
9
votes
5answers
153 views

Reality check: Is this a plausible way to breed raccoons?

You’re a lone immortal who’s decided to breed raccoons to a human-level intelligence (over the course of hundreds of thousands or millions of years). To do so, you need to both feed a significant ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

How would humans evolve on this planet? [closed]

So I'm writing a story in which an advanced alien race, for reasons unknown, takes some humans from the Earth and leaves them on a far away habitable planet. Before droping them off, the aliens do ...
4
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2answers
154 views

Could a tree evolve to have vastly varying shades?

I was wondering whether it would be feasible to have a tree that at times may have light green, at other times dark green leaves. Why would a tree evolve to change the shade of its leaves? Yes, I am ...
33
votes
16answers
8k views

Best species to breed to intelligence

I’ve included more background below, but the TL;DR is that you’re a lone immortal who’s decided to breed some species of animal to a human-level intelligence (over the course of hundreds of thousands ...
4
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3answers
141 views

Would a life form with the intelligence of a human but without an appendage for manipulating its environment be able to have advanced technology?

On another planet there is a life form that has the same level of intelligence as humans on Earth, but it has no appendage to manipulate its environment. It has similar social structures to humans ...
8
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4answers
190 views

Could a planet evolve to have jungles, woodlands, savannas and meadows - but no animal bigger than an insect?

I want to have a group of space colonists get stranded on a planet where the only way they can get enough nourishment is to gather or cultivate edible plants.
1
vote
5answers
130 views

How would Elves survive underground without prior experience? [duplicate]

Background: An Elven nation that once thrived for thousands of years as a predominantly agricultural race was forced underground because of unexplainable occurrences of extreme weather conditions (...
28
votes
8answers
7k views

Would glacier 'trees' be plausible?

The setting is in a region of a planet comparable to Earth's California in regards to location. The soil is extremely rich in nutrients and subsurface water. But for the past three million years the ...
6
votes
3answers
401 views

What would the physical effects be to Elves if they began living underground?

Background: An Elven nation that once thrived for thousands of years as a predominantly agricultural race was forced underground because of unexplainable occurrences of extreme weather conditions (...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Feasibility of Thermoelectric Metabolism

Larry Niven's "Known Universe" (KU) features "The Outsiders" as one of its most prominent alien races. As per KU canon, the Outsiders evolved in a frigid moon (similar to Nereida) and they sustain ...
4
votes
6answers
207 views

How would organisms adapt to survive darkness beasts? [expansion to my old question]

[This is an expanded/refined version of my old question: How would animals adapt to darkness-made beasts? ] Premise: 'Beasts'/Seraphins are other-worldly intangible beings (you can't touch them, but ...
10
votes
5answers
260 views

How to justify frogs taking over?

A cool thing to imagine would be a world where the land was dominated by megafaunal frog-descendants, as it is/was by mammals today, dinosaurs before the mammals, and non-mammalian synapsids and ...
11
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3answers
807 views

Gastric acid as a weapon

The dragons in my fantasy world spit fluid from their mouths when threatened, which upon contact causes a burning sensation. I could have this liquid be standard venom, like modified saliva, but I ...
5
votes
3answers
127 views

How could somersaulting worms evolve?

In Wayne Douglas Barlowe's classic book "Expedition" he has many strange creatures. One that intrigues the most is this one, the flipstick. It has two feet on either side and uses them to flip ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Lethal sonic weapons

Sonic weapons are frequently used by military circles as non-lethal irritants to deter opponents. My question is; could a naturally evolved organism kill, or at least incapacitate, small prey using ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Anatomically correct Isitoq

This is the latest in a long series of questions I've asked on my fantasy world which contains many mythical and folkloric creatures. I won't link the other questions since at this stage the series ...
6
votes
6answers
306 views

In what sort of environment might a species with biological wheels evolve, and what would they look like?

So for a thought experiment I came up with the idea of a species that uses wheels for locomotion, sort of inspired by a species shown in His Dark Materials. Under what circumstances would such a ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Could an entirely (or mostly) hydraulic muscular system work in terrestrial vertebrates?

In Invertebrates, Muscular Hydrostat, which is a form of biological hydraulic, is used for locomotion. On Earth, (as far as I'm aware) no system exists where hydraulics perform in conjunction with a ...
1
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0answers
56 views

Would it be possible for an analog of humans to evolve in the oceans - Specifically Octopoids? [duplicate]

Humans are tool users and through their ingenuity were able to hunt much larger animals than themselves. Specifically, I would like to have a race of sentient beings based on octopuses. They use ...
4
votes
2answers
297 views

Anatomically Correct Pikachu

We all know Pikachu, fuzzy, small rodent, with the ability to discharge electrical energy as an attack. But could Pikachu ever evolve in our world, and how would it do so? What's required: Rodent-...
141
votes
7answers
14k views

Anatomically Correct Strange Women In Ponds Distributing Swords

Chaos plagues the land. In the West, the King in Orange blusters and bloviates endlessly in barely comprehensible gibberish. Perhaps he is attempting to call forth the Elder Gods? In the East, the ...
5
votes
7answers
375 views

How can animals of various species organize themselves against a super-predator?

Cats in New York City are an invasive species that are a plague to the animal kingdom. It is well documented that these bloodthirsty psychopaths are responsible for the murder of billions of innocent ...
5
votes
3answers
927 views

A society in which the “family system” is similar to those of lions or monkeys

I envisioned a world where people are not bounded by marriage and females are free to choose those who they deem "accomplished" and have offspring with him. The males "occasionally" interact with the ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Electric Universe: planetary system inside a Red Star [closed]

Based on the Electric Universe physics a Red Star could harbor a planetary system within. How would life evolve taking in account that light would be almost constant in all the planets contained by ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Humans under different suns

What would humans look like if they were genetically suited for life under a giant orange star like Iota Draconis ? These would be people who were genetically indistinguishable from humans from earth, ...
4
votes
4answers
107 views

Anti-decomposition mechanisms?

Suppose that due to some kind of magical force I'll leave handwaved, (non-sapient) organisms are able to practice necromancy, reanimating their fallen peers as undead bodyguards. However, the magic ...
6
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the science of fairy flight?

Assume these homo super-dwarf aka fairy and homo sapiens come from a common ancestor, and somehow they evolved a pair of wings and can do vertical takeoff. The average adult is approximately the ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

Could another species overtake us technologically? [closed]

Is it possible for another of Earth's species to catch up and overtake us technologically over the next million years or so? Assuming we survive that long as a species and our technology stagnates ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Life evolving on a artificial Floating Island on a ocean world [closed]

I'm having troubles with developing my ocean world. Same size as Earth, same atmosphere and gravity. The idea is that on a planet with an endless ocean with no continental landmass. The only form of ...
1
vote
3answers
77 views

Types of life on a planet in a sun-synchronous orbit?

Basically, a sun-synchronous orbit is where one side of an object is always facing a star as it revolves around it (much like our Moon is, which is where the phrase 'dark side of the moon' originates')...
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15answers
3k views

What are the exceptions to Natural Selection? [duplicate]

Consider a population where a low percentage of people (5%) posess a genetic advantage over the rest. In my fictional world, let’s assume this small percent of the population can wield magic while ...
29
votes
13answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
266 views

How do marine dragons evolve flight without any feathers and no hollow bones?

These dragons spend most of their lives in the ocean, however during the mating season they will migrate inland and gather together on a mountain top. Throughout the journey they will cease feeding ...
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votes
6answers
201 views

Art Critics in the Stone Age

In the stone-age world that I am building, I don't just want one-dimensional characters who are either hunters or gatherers. I want a great quantity of people including those who would have become art ...
8
votes
2answers
804 views

Could Gymnosperms Develop Fruits and Flowers Like Angiosperms?

Here is the scenario: A Paleo/Mesozoic mass extinction wiped out 96% of all terrestrial species, and the only plants that survived were as follows: One genus of conifer One genus of cycad One genus ...
4
votes
2answers
151 views

Could fruit (specifically oranges) evolve into intelligent life? [closed]

Is it possible for oranges to become intelligent life while still retaining some of their essential qualities such as skin that can neatly be peeled off and reproduction through seeds and growth off ...
4
votes
2answers
191 views

Evolution adapted to technology

...kill every protohuman who tries to leave the African continent. This comment made me think about one question. Suppose you have robot guards, like futuristic lasers, who just shoot at any landing ...
-2
votes
2answers
103 views

Forced Evolution to Turn a Class I to a Class III civilization [closed]

So here's my idea: Every 2 years the class I civilization is inspected by an outside Class III civilization. If the Class I civilization has made progress then they will move on. If the Class I ...
4
votes
6answers
259 views

What changes to the livestock industry would slowly evolve the animals to become a threat to humanity?

We, humans, hold a lot of livestock. 19 billion in chickens alone. Cattle, sheep and pigs each also number over 1 billion. Currently these animals cannot evolve freely; they are selected on certain ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

Why would a male marsiupial agree to accept responsibility for carrying half of his mate's joeys?

I'm looking to create a species of marsupial that is heavily K select, which is to say they put significant effort into raising their young after birth (both of them :P ) in which both the male and ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Is there a reason for a humanoid species to be 'biologically' matriarchal with females being slightly more dominant than the males?

Following my last question asked regarding oviparous humanoids, is there a way for evolution to 'regard' females as the more dominant gender without going down that road, forming a heavily matriarchal ...
8
votes
5answers
335 views

Is there a way for human-sized oviparous humanoid mammals to produce young in eggs without going the full marsupial route?

As per my last two questions asked, I still have a niggling query left regarding a humanoid species in production. To further support their matriarchal theme through evolution, I have decided to make ...
5
votes
2answers
481 views

What alterations without drastically altering their humanoid shape nor horns, can I make to my species that lower the risk of neck snapping?

continuing from the question I had asked yesterday, I have had another query come to mind. For my humanoid alien species to possess horns, it would surely put forward the risk of being the shortcut to ...
7
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3answers
596 views

Aliens selectively breed humans to be bigger. How big could they get and still look human?

Can we go from this: to this: Suppose over millennia (or as long as it takes) humans on Earth are artificially selected by aliens to be big and healthy. Is there any theoretical reason that they ...
6
votes
4answers
278 views

Is it plausible for a being to possess a singular halo-shaped 'horn', while other members of the species possess two 'regular horns'?

I am currently working a humanoid roughly deer-like species in a sci-fi roleplay setting, and one of the developments I have had with such species has me stuck trying to explain it in a way that makes ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Full-body bioluminescence

A creature I am imagining is a small mammal about the size of a domestic cat which - through symbiotic bacteria which live in its fur - is covered its whole body over in blue-white bioluminescence, 24-...