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Questions tagged [fauna]

For questions about animal life in general.

12
votes
2answers
610 views

Anatomically Correct: Space Plankton

This creature was void-born in the farthest depths of time in this Universe. Drawing its energy from electromagnetic radiation, and sealed against the vacuum of space, this drifting creature ...
1
vote
5answers
123 views

Explanation for how this animal survived [closed]

Within my fantasy book I have a species of animal which lives in a dry climate - the desert. This animal is a furry mammal with four legs; for simplicity, let's say it looks like a bear. The species ...
2
votes
4answers
95 views

Explanation as to how 4 species were wiped out close to extinction?

In my epic fantasy I have four races of creatures which were all hunted down due to their valuable blood which grants the drinker magical abilities (premonitions). After time they all became extinct ...
1
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2answers
136 views

How to breed war elephants?

Let's imagine following scenario: Human society, mostly possessing technology on level of continental Europe, around year 1000 AD ("High Medieval Period"). There are rare, but not unknown, ...
1
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0answers
66 views

Domestic uses of half humans [closed]

I am writing a future world in which scientific studies in the field of eugenics are flourishing to the point that a certain lab is prepared to test on humans. They want to create useful half humans ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

How strong is a centaur's upper half?

I know I won't be able to get a solid answer and I could always just change this detail depending on the setting etc., but in a realistic scenario, I have no idea if they'd be significantly stronger ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Compass on a Ringed, Earth-like Planet

Is it necessarily a given that a compass (as they magnetically function on Earth) could be made to function similarly on an alternate, Earth-like, ringed planet? Another way of asking: is it feasible ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

Avian adaptation to microgravity and low gravity environments

I like to hear the sound of birds when I travel amongst my orbital and planetary habitats scattered around the outer system. Most of these settlements are very densely populated - what you might ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Could giant snakes be ridden by people?

I am a writer trying to build a fantasy realm relatively similar to our world. The only difference between this world and ours was that every creature and animal was significantly larger, potentially ...
-4
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4answers
165 views

Can a land-based organism get to be at least 100 ft. in length and still be plausible?

Basically, I'm trying to see if a land-based creature roughly between 50-100 ft. long could exist on Earth at the moment and still be scientifically plausible. I know that whales and other creatures ...
0
votes
5answers
367 views

How Effective Would War Mammoths be in Combat in a Medieval Civilization?

In my book series, there is a planet called Ryu 108 that has domesticated mammoths. Here are some things to consider: Due to the fact that space travel is done via magic instead of via technology, ...
6
votes
4answers
267 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 (...
-3
votes
7answers
173 views

Why would my carnivorous species condemn murder? [closed]

The members of this species are carnivorous pack animals with human-like intelligence, with the majority of them being a part of a supersized "megapack." They frequently kill for food or defense. ...
0
votes
3answers
89 views

Human Survival on Alien Flora/Fauna [duplicate]

Allow me to pose yet another hypothetical. Your spaceship has crash-landed on an earth-like planet. The air is breathable. The gravity is a bearable 1.2 g. The planet is teeming with fauna and ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

Trial: If an animal has human or near-human intellect, how might a western legal system determine its personhood?

Suppose humans are living in conjunction with several intelligent and communicative species of animals, dogs and cats for example. These animals might be legally considered people; being held ...
8
votes
4answers
214 views

Ballistic armor for mammoths/ general potential carrying capacity

First question so go easy! I've been looking around for the carrying capacity of Elephants, hoping to extrapolate that to a Woolly or Columbian Mammoth. I know logging Indian elephants can lift half a ...
5
votes
1answer
260 views

What if animals evolved from fungi?

So in my book series, there is this planet called Axaca. However, it is very different from most of the galaxy in that its flora is almost completely fungal. Here are some things to know: Trees are ...
5
votes
4answers
188 views

Why would smaller be better for anteaters?

In the world of this question, ants and especially termites are the dominant herbivores by mass. There are no large grazing mammals competing with the bugs for the siliceous grasses and thorny trees ...
-5
votes
2answers
94 views

Amazing animal fight [closed]

Unfortunately, the new amazing zoo (Strategy to capture a TRex alive?) has much less success than expected and is close to bankruptcy. An international survey launched by the zoo managers has shown ...
5
votes
3answers
138 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
317 views

What is keeping my Terror Bird from being the size of a T. Rex?

Background This is a Terror Bird: Specifically, this is Titanis one of the largest of the carnivorous Phorusrhacidae; it was perhaps 2.5 meters tall and 150 kg. I would like a terror bird that is ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

What would happen to us if animals, excluding human being, were mute? [closed]

Most of us live in big cities where we hear unnatural (mostly unpleasant) sounds, created by things we've made ourselves. We hear less natural sounds like birds' songs or other animals making sounds, ...
9
votes
3answers
238 views

Ringed Planet: The shadow's effect on fauna

I am writing a fantasy novel centered on an Earth-like planet with icy rings like Saturn. This question deals with certain effects of having such a ring system. Assume the planet is Earth, the rings ...
16
votes
9answers
4k views

How does a mimic move?

Alright, so take your basic (not DnD or any other universe specific) mimic: an unassuming treasure chest that turns out to secretly be a monster as soon as you open it. This particular creature is one ...
9
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
290 views

Can corals build faster than the ocean takes away?

Setting In a tropical shore, where a great river empties into the sea, there is a zone of very high tides. The water level rises and falls by meters every day. In this challenging ecosystem, ...
5
votes
4answers
179 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What would cause termites to be the dominant herbivores on a savanna?

Problem statement I am building a world where the flora and fauna is based on that of Gondwana, the lost supercontinent that consisted of South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, Australia and ...
10
votes
13answers
3k views

What is the most efficent way of killing prey much larger than yourself?

The title sums it up pretty well - I'm basically trying to envision the ultimate predator of much larger prey. A couple of requirements: The predator must weigh 44 kilograms or more (Megafauna) It ...
6
votes
2answers
301 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

How Would a Reptile with facial muscles be explained?

(Please note that this question is the sandbox version and the replacement of the original question) I have been wondering about how humans require facial muscles in order to be able to produce ...
1
vote
2answers
318 views

In a world without humans—or any caretakers—would domestic house pets simply regress into being feral or die? [duplicate]

The title of the question says it all: Something happens on a planet like Earth. All humans—for whatever reason—simply disappear. Are they dead? Alive? Or something else? No idea. But for all intents ...
27
votes
4answers
6k views

Wasp hives in a walking corpse. Why would wasps do this?

Just a bit of background: one of my favorite zombie causers is from the Dead Rising video game series. In it, the undead are reanimated by a wasp-like insect that lays eggs in a corpse (I think. It's ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

What would happen if all (higher) life magically became sentient and reached human-level intelligence? [closed]

Overnight, all higher life, multicellular life forms from trees and grass to dogs and elephants reached a level of intelligence similar to that of humans. For example, they can communicate effectively,...
8
votes
2answers
213 views

Rams for cavalry mounts

So the idea is that most people use horses, but in this deserted mountain range, people have had to adapt to rams, so the breeding, domesticating and all of that has been handled over generations. ...
7
votes
1answer
345 views

What Would a Reptile with Facial Muscles look like?

I have been wanting to make a carnivorous reptilian creature with the ability to speak fluently using its speech muscles and its vocal tract, it can also perform facial expressions just like how ...
3
votes
4answers
204 views

Flying Nightmare

I found this thing source: http://aliens.wikia.com/wiki/Flying_Nightmare In its dormancy it folds itself and it rooted to the ground. However when it detects prey, it hovers above and engulfs its ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

Gods are dogs, but why? [closed]

It’s obvious, really: “God” and “dog” are just two sides of the same coin. Literally any pantheon, deity, or divine force that’s ever existed - yep, they’re all dogs somewhere. But why? What reason ...
15
votes
10answers
3k views

Could an animal species fire solid projectiles as a defense? [duplicate]

Projectile weaponry is not unheard of in the animal kingdom - cobra venom, venomous spider silk, velvet-worm slime, scalding water from bombardier beetles, archerfish spitting water, penguins ...
7
votes
4answers
158 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 ...
61
votes
11answers
12k views

Is a pig-mounted cavalry possible?

Recently, my neighbour upset me. I have discovered that he plans to somehow improve his trebuchets to throw nasty things across the river. I told him that my pig-mounted cavalry will attack him. I ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Could humans wipe out all remaining wild vertebrates on Earth in one year, if no effort is spared in doing so?

Humans already exterminated more than 50 % of wild vertebrates individuals since 1970 1, 2. I was wondering if it is possible to wipe out the remaining 50 % in less than a year ? Note that, in this ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Can Mars work as a wildlife sanctuary for animals?

Suppose humanity manages to terraform Mars: we give it a magnetic field, an atmosphere, then Mars gains oceans, lakes and rivers and we plant forests there. So now Mars looks like another Earth and ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

How would giant penguins affect the arctic/Antarctic ecosystem?

So, I was reading about the Colossus Penguin and was wondering how adding them to my world might affect the arctic ecosystem in my world? Obviously, they would need to eat a lot of fish, squid, and ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

What is the best body plan to allow for giant size in a terrestrial animal?

My question is rather simple; assuming optimal atmospheric and planetary conditions, what body plan would be able to support the largest plausible land animal? To split the above question into a ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Plant-Animal reproduction

I'm designing an Anthropomorphic Lu-pine. (Get it? Cuz it's technically a tree, but it looks like a werewolf.) They are mobile, omnivorous plants, slightly larger than the average person. They are ...
3
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
222 views

How Advanced can Societies of Hooved Animals be?

Humans have come and gone. Their aggressiveness and pride have caused their own end. War has torn apart all society, engineered diseases pick them off one by one. The last remaining people have fled ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

A huge desert full of green sand, seated on a plateau, is steadily drained into the nearby lowlands. What happens to the environment? [closed]

I have a large plateau, and roughly in the center are mile-high cliffs surrounding a valley. Inside the valley is a green sandy desert. The sand is composed of olivine. Unfortunately for the ...