New answers tagged

1

Dexyan mentioned Cordyceps, an unusual type of fungus that hijacks its host's nervous system to spread and eventually makes its host position itself (just before it dies mind you) in just the right place to disperse its spores. For ants, Cordyceps has its dying host climb up a plant and bite down on the underside of a leaf, right over a well-used ant trail, ...


0

Frame challenge They live under the soil, and even if they poke fruiting bodies into the air, these don't have eyes or ears. They don't have the power of movement in the animal sense. Their thought processes are so slow that movement of even a snail is fast beyond their understanding. In other words they cannot have any comprehension of the animal world at ...


0

a better circulatory system, to regulate the temperature, the feet would probably have protective tissue not to burn the feet away, and a way to also contain heat with the fur at night, and because they are genetically modified, i add them being both hot and cold blooded, our eyes would be modified to take less damage from light, and our skin would also be ...


0

Thermal Heatpumping Broadly, if you establish a temperature gradient, you can extract energy from it. This is commonly used in reverse as a fridge/freezer, but Ground-source heat-pumps take advantage of it too. Pumping water through pipes underground cools or warms the water to match the surrounding soil (which is typically a consistent temperature) and the ...


0

mycelia allready are somewhat intelligent, as they give moreor less nutrients to plants depending on how they are and what are their needs, if you just make it so it is more powerfull individually, plus their hivemind capacity which can do many things said over in other answers, plus something like zombie fungi, which already exists and affects insects, ...


0

by useing chemosynthesis, which bacteria in tubeworms already do, and it technically comes from suns, otherwise, heat, like a thermal plants (where we get energy from) you could make your plant use heat and turn it into energy, the thing here is the temperature- it has to be high, so either your planet had some sort of catastrophe wich heated the core, is ...


0

Okay, here's my answer (come up with yours if you can estimate things better). As each grenade contains .052 kg of TNT, that's equal to 2.08 kg of TNT, which explode with the energy of 8.70 MJ combined. The explosion would be producing 1000 psi of overpressure at a distance of 1 m, which is enough to kill a person 50 times over. But it's at point-blank range....


-1

you could make the plant have some air scacs, which contain oxygen, for some aerobic respiration, and some CO2, as for photosynthesis, you could modify it so it needs the same amount of O2 as CO2 theese sacs could be either in all leaves, some specialized leaves, directly around the plant's trunk, or others, but the plant still needs some minerals, even if ...


0

I do not think any creature we know of could change where they have joints. What you can do though is having a creature that has many joints. Spiders have seven segments in each leg, so that's six joints. Now imagine that your creature has that or more joints, and that each joint is a ball bearing which would allow movement like a human arm around the ...


0

Beetle wings would be more practical than butterfly wings. They don't have scale-covered wings and they don't tear as easily. In addition, they fold up and tuck under the protective first pair of wings (elytra) which are hardened. Your humanoid doesn't have to have elytra but the folding second pair of wings would be very useful for reducing the amount of ...


0

a vacuum, but your whale would be quite rigid to contain the vacuum, as a perfect vacuum has a weight of perfect 0, (no matter the gravity it will be zero), the only problem with this is that hydrogen seeps in, and you would need to constantly remove it, but it does not have to be perfect, and here, the bigger the space for the vacuum, the more lift it has ...


7

There are substances called getters which are used to absorb volatile elements in sealed vacuum chambers, which, for obvious reasons, cannot be pumped down more than once. For example they were used in CRTs. A getter is a deposit of reactive material that is placed inside a vacuum system, for the purpose of completing and maintaining the vacuum. When gas ...


1

Stars like the Sun emit gamma rays. In a planet where the atmosphere allows x rays and gamma rays to hit the surface, organisms can use melanin to harvest energy from the radiation. There is a fungus inside Chernobyl which gets energy from the radiation like that, so it's not something out of this world. There would be little motivation for plants to do that ...


2

Mass Extinction of Filter Feeders/Lack of Evolution of Filter Feeders This happened with the introduction of zebra mussels into the Great Lakes. The lakes used to have a number of filter-feeding species, such as paddlefish, but the introduction of zebra and later quagga mussels resulted in the lake being filtered so heavily that they became stripped of ...


5

Mangrove Madness & Floating Islands: Is your entire planet Ocean, or are there islands? Mangroves are a source of wood that is intimately tied to the sea. While it is not DEEP sea, many species are dependent on mangrove salt-water "swamps" for critical parts of their life cycles. It would likely fill the role you are looking for, allowing a sea-...


4

Corals are not exactly plants, but they are alive and can be grown with enough patience. They have a variety of shapes, textures, densities and toughness'es. You might also consider some sort of fungi. Prototaxites were prehistoric phalic fungi that could grow 1m (~3.3 feet) wide and 8m (~26.2 feet) tall. They were also very rigid too (they were quite ...


1

Salt Glands (alternatively, hyper-efficient kidneys) This is how animals IRL drink salt water and manage to not die. This is how saltwater crocodiles, sea turtles, seabirds, and the extinct mihirungs dealt with excess salt. That said, salt glands are pretty much unknown in mammals. This may not be because "they can't do it", but rather because they ...


0

All prior answers suggest the direct route of materials with high strength. I suggest an alternate solution, based on inertia. Any projectile has a certain mass, and it imparts momentum from that mass onto its target upon impact— No matter how fast it's going, it can only penetrate so far before it's shed enough of its momentum into the struck material that ...


5

Your birds sequester toxins that they eat. Biologically copying a toxin is difficult. Really that would be convergent evolution. But not getting poisoned by poisonous things you eat and sequestering the toxin for your own use is a things done by various animals including birds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_bird Toxic birds are birds that use toxins ...


1

Space constraints favor storing energy as fat. Why would I want to convert my wealth into diamonds? I cannot buy a pizza with a diamond. I have to find someone to buy my diamonds first and give me cash that I can use for the pizza. Diamonds are poorly fungible and frangible. I love those words "fungible and frangible". Diamonds are not them. ...


1

There are plenty of fat rich plants already in our world, with the only difference that those fats are stored in the fruits/seeds: avocados, olives, almonds, walnuts and all the seeds we use for extracting oil. Those plants are present in almost any climate: from the tropical regions for the avocado to colder climates for seeds like sunflower and rape. ...


4

Seraphim have a trait in common with beetles. Some wings are used for flight and some are used for protection. I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly."...


3

As far as I am aware, there is 1 known instance of something that lived on earth that, technically, had 6 wings, and 2 of said wings were actually protowings, so truly it only had 2 pairs of functional wings. Aditionally, the microraptor probably didn't really flap its leg wings, nor did they splay them out like in many depictions, since such an action was ...


18

Try the Yucca When it comes to plants that have sharp edges, many gardeners may immediately think of plants like succulents and cacti... however, many other sharp leaved plants are available in the form of palms and ornamental grasses... In many cases, plants that have sharp edges can easily injure gardeners or their guests when planted in less than ideal ...


22

Glass Some plants already sequester minerals in order to form blades in their surface: grasses and phytoliths. Phytoliths are thought to be at least in part a defense mechanism against herbivory, abrading the mouthparts of insects and ungulates and releasing chemicals with their breakdown that further degrade vertebrate enamel. It's just a small step from ...


1

As you note, gibbons already walk bipedally when not in trees and don't have a huge problem. Bipedalism is thought to be an ancestral ape locomotory pattern when not in trees, gorillas and chimps merely became specialized for knuckle-walking independently and humans became obligate bipeds. The long arms won't be a problem, human arms are incredibly short ...


9

Yes. This is what marsupials do all the time. Marsupials are born at a fraction of the adult size, and are born with very loose skull bones (akin to a fetal stage of a placental) that would allow for the brain to expand much more than a placental mammal that has to fit through a birth canal. Most of the nutrients a marsupial baby consumes come not from the ...


10

Yes. https://www.insideedition.com/headlines/21257-premature-baby-beats-the-odds-to-survive-despite-being-born-with-feet-the-size-of Here is a very little baby. It was born at 6 months gestation. Issues which make such early babies less likely to survive involve lung and digestive tract maturity but there is nothing hardwired into the mammal body plan ...


5

It's all about toxins First, they already kind of can eat anything in very small doses. Almost all animals have the ability to metabolize small amounts of things that we would say they "can't eat" but the devil is in the dose. So to solve this you could either a. Upgrade the livers and kidneys of all the animals so that they can more easily handle ...


2

I would think yes, But in addition to modifying the legs you'll need to change the hip structure. As one of your commenters pointed out - there is also a very real difference in the feet. These changes are also going to impact their social structure. No evolutionary change happens in isolation - there are always ripples. Some big, some small.


2

Why don't we do what many science-fiction writers have done and go with pseudo-science? It's worked before, it'll work again. You even have a good premise-hidden potential in the brain and body. Now, how do we explain it is the real question: A matriarchal species of advanced aliens recognizes the women on Themascyria and sends down a special enhancing ...


0

Humans already have this. The difference between human and great ape shoulders is less due to climbing behavior and more because gorillas and chimpanzees knuckle-walk. Indeed, it's been suggested that part of the reason why humans became bipedal was to be able to efficiently walk on the ground without sacrificing dexterity in the forearms. Knuckle-walking ...


0

Since this includes biology and creature-design, why not use an uplifted, genetically engineered animal? With sophisticated enough knowledge of bioengineering, it will be possible to A) create an intelligent creature that can and will understand commands, B) escape even if injured or in pain and B) likely escape unnoticed. Let's expand on the octopus answer; ...


1

Ehm dude really no one ever went to pools or beaches? To carry a human all you need is a lot of breath not size, not magic and certainly not strength. Dogs are able to carry humans in water, humans are able to carry humans in water. I lived near waters all my life and in more than one occasion I saved people heavier or taller than me, cause I'm a manlet. ...


0

Be shorter than 5 feet 8 inches, bleed often, preferably bleed a minimum of 3 times a year. starve yourself, eat lots of fruit... But not enough to fuel you. Work a 40 hours a week of a strenous job, be born with a mental resistance so strong that even if you see everyone you love dying in wars, it doesn't traumatize you. Sleep 6 to 8 hours a night, then ...


-1

It Works. Scales on the soft surface, that lie flat when uninflated but when inflated lift up and present a spike. Single spike on a large-ish base surface makes for a reasonable support for the spike. Something very much like the Pufferfish. The primary difference would be that the spikes would need to be restricted to a smallish area, so that they do not ...


1

The gular pouch of a frigate bird is rather soft. It would be unlikely to be able to support spikes firmly enough for its inflation to be able to drive the spikes into another creature, and its lung power would be unlikely to be sufficient to perform the task if the pouch did have the required properties. To be able to be inflated, a pouch would need to be ...


0

Disclaimer, I also use these ideas in my own stories but you are free to borrow them. Ogres could be from a unique jungle or forest where the trees have plenty of food to maintain their large size. Their original habitat is in an area that has trees which can filter water as mangroves do because its biome is on a lowland area which the seawater floods up its ...


5

Bigger than you might think. Water is about 750 times more dense than air. This makes it a challenging medium to move through. As a result, practically all aquatic animals have streamlined bodies to make movement more efficient. In terms of an existing biological model, the closest you will likely find is a remora hitching a ride on a manatee. This is a rare ...


4

Trees use smell. If your trees get eaten by masses of insects, nothing will seem to happen at first. But soon the trees will start to smell tremendously, and before the week is over masses of birds have eaten most of the insects and an equilibrium is created where some insects survive to eat the trees while birds get their share and enough trees survive. ...


1

Imagine just minding your own business while you see a UFO. You would be pretty scared right? For predators, this is like the same thing. You don't mess with the things that you can't understand. What you can't understand is what you fear. Just think about deers. They are pretty smart when it comes to escaping from threats. But any car with it's lights on? ...


4

Two possibilities: To warn off predators that the algae are bitter or poisonous. Easier to be recognized the second time. To attract commensal fish that will eat dead and decaying algae, or fish that would eat the algae.


2

Bioluminescence is used as a defence mechanism to draw predators towards the creature trying to eat the plankton. Furthermore, the tiny flashes of light disorientate and surprise predators.


2

A rigid swim bladder would do the trick Fish already have an organ that allows them to control their floatation called a swim bladder. In fish, it's basically a ballon, but if the bladder covered bone with only a small opening, it would likely be able to hold a low-pressure region relative to the outside. Mythbusters tested if you could cause a container ...


0

Evolution can lead to any result - just not a planned one The way evolution is an incremental change that gives an advantage at the time, so there is no 'great plan' for evolution. So Giraffes don't suddenly have long necks to get to the tops of trees. What happens is a short necked Giraffe has a slight mutation that makes its neck slightly longer, which ...


11

Two of these could be explained by the "aquatic ape" theory: seal-like blubber and being able to drink saltwater. A marine ancestry or amphibious lifestyle (also shore living) would explain how they can deal with the salt; they likely "cry" it out like marine iguanas or crocodiles. Almost everything else (omnivorous, bipedal, similar size ...


1

As stated by others, island dwarfism or selective breeding could explain the Goblin's size not growing past that of an ordinary Homo Florensis. Their big noses and ears could easily be explained by living in a dark area; Nixoncranium mentioned dense jungle underbrush. I would like to add caves, though, because small size would be an advantage when chasing ...


2

The hairy frog, Trichobatrachus robustus, creates retractable claws by breaking the bones in its feet. Many frogs begin their life in a tadpole stage, eventually adding limbs and losing their tail as they age. If there was an evolutionary advantage (such as spending a large portion of their life swimming), the adult form could keep the tail, although it ...


0

The kind they already have Actinopterygian evolution can be described as one long progression from the ancestral fixed-jaw condition seen in the oldest fishes (and retained in sharks, sarcopterygians, bichir) to the highly protrusible jaws seen in extant Perciformes. By turning the premaxilla into a mobile, protrusible element, fish are able to create a ...


0

Gorillas weigh around 350 pounds (around 150 kg). If your giant gorilla has three times the mass and the same proportions, it would be around 1.4 (cube root of 3) times taller, standing at around seven feet tall. A very large gorilla was once shot that weighed over 600 pounds (270 kg) and was just over 6 feet tall, so a 1000 pound gorilla is not such a huge ...


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