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Uncanny Valley The uncanny valley is an interesting phenomena discovered by Masahiro Mori, a professor who made realistic robots. Generally, the more something looks like a human face, the more people identify it as resembling a human face, but at a certain point (between 75% and 90%) people stop identifying it as a human face. The reason for this is a ...


64

It doesn't blink. Unless it knows it is being observed, because a very little kid once asked it why it did not blink. It had not noticed blinking before then. Now it tries to remember to blink if it thinks it is being observed but it is easy to forget if it is concentrating on something else. Its face does not move unless the shifter moves it on purpose. ...


43

It’s too perfect. A major breakthrough for animation was the addition of imperfections. Before high resolution texture packs allowed for the addition of skin flaws (and before people realised the flaws were essential) animated characters simply looked fake. Humans simply aren’t perfect, no matter how hard we try there is always asymmetry, blemishes, spots ...


39

Barnacles. Barnacles make glue and stick themselves to substrate. It is serious glue. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/researchers-develop-groundbreaking-process-to-study-barnacle-glue-could-save-navy-millions-300907760.html These small but mighty crustaceans create a cement-like adhesive layer that is difficult to remove once applied. The adhesive ...


35

Ok, so this is slightly on a tangent ( but I like it and you might too) What if you had a tree (not a rock), which rather than bark which grows by adding a new concentric layer of bark each year, instead it slowly grows around the tree. Like myelin does on nerve cells. The trailing edge slowly forms into wood over time. The DuckBark™ Tree has bark with an ...


33

You are generating new water molecules in your body right now. You just did! And again! That assumes you are an air breathing biologic organism; no offense meant if not. When we combine oxygen with food molecules and burn them for energy, the result is CO2 and H2O. This answer (yes it is mine which is how I could find it) goes into the chemistry. How ...


23

is it realistic to make an animal which can bite through rock and hold the grip with their jaws realistic? Biting through any rock is highly unrealistic. Granite is a well known problematic rock to be pierced, even for machinery with no biological limitations. If you really want something that grips on almost any material, you are better off going in the ...


20

Invalid wobbles When I watched Downsizing, something felt really wrong in the scenes where downsized and regular people were interacting, but it was so hard to put my finger on it. I think it was because subconsciously I expected the fluid mechanics of air, gravity, and so on, to have created differences in motion between large and small people. Different ...


16

This is the partially-dried mucus of a species of giant snail. As snails (and, indeed, most other gastropods) travel, they exude a polymer gel mucus, which serves as a protective layer between the animal and the surface it travels. This gel ("snail slime") has qualities of both adhesives and lubricants. Your oversized snails require a thicker ...


15

Clothes and accessories Their clothes merge with their skin. Only having observed from a distance and out of doors, they don't realise that clothes and accessories are not part of the human. Or, more likely, it's simply too difficult to shape-shift clothing on top of a body - there must be a join somewhere but where? They will be caught if they ever have to ...


15

I don’t really see any reason why not. The elephant's trunk is proof that non standard dexterous appendages can develop. And it would make sense that they would be extensions of the face, since the front of the body is what interacts with the world, so lips and tongues developing into manipulator appendages makes complete sense. The only problems I can see ...


14

Simultaneous Hibernation and Gestation Many of Earth's more intelligent species adapted to subarctic climates follow a cycle of hibernation or semi-hibernation (bears, raccoons, etc). This is where they hide away and conserve their energy through the cold season because it is either too cold or food to scarce for being active to be advantageous to their ...


11

Fun fact: it seems camels emit less methane than cows or sheep. You could make it so that your alien camel produces more methane rather than less. Let's say it produces as much as a cow, between 70 and 120kg / Earth year. The alien camel could route that methane into a special organ, where symbiotic bacteria would oxidize it anaerobically. If your camel can ...


10

They're a variety of sundew. Sundews are a type of entirely passive carnivorous plant that rely on sticky droplets to trap and hold insects. It's not much of a stretch to imagine a version where the sticky substance only appears on one side.


8

Supercavitating Missile with Fish Painted on the Side. Body design: Sleek metal cylinder with solid fuel rocket engine at the back and gas pump at the front. The pump ejects a bubble of gas through which the fish travels. This prevents cavitation damage. Fins: Two stabilising fins at the back. Top Speed: 230 mph All evolutionary and metabolic constraints: ...


8

There's two variants I can think of. Herd animals Herd animals have more luxury to be vulnerable. They have more security from the group to protect them. Humans are a good example, as you can't get much more secure than us. We live in groups, have little enemies and our food supply is very stable (at least in parts of the world). Morning sickness, long ...


8

Bioengineered is almost another way of saying "based on nanotech". So whatever those advantages and disadvantages that entails which includes pliable materials, distributed systems, and superior system integration. One of which should be (if you so choose) superior senses and situational and structural awareness since you don't have a hull made of ...


8

If you're asking for hard science, then pretty much everything you stated is limited by the the square cubed law which states that surface area increases by the squared while volume increases by the cubed. Muscle increases in strength by the area (squared) while weight increases by the volume (cubed) so weight increases faster than strength does. This also ...


8

Spider webs On Earth, there's a wide variety of spiders to pick from - or you can invent your own. Tarantulas make large and dense sheets on the ground. The downide is, tarantula webs aren't particularly sticky, they're mostly for signalling. Another downside is - they want to keep those webs, and they'll let you know in a way that you might not like. The ...


7

No eyebrows. I had a friend in high-school who didn't have any eyebrows (there are quite a few reasons people might no longer be able to grow their eyebrows). Whenever he met anyone new and actually took the time to talk with them face to face, there would be a moment when the new person would just stare at his face slightly confused. You could see that they ...


7

Inside the chrysalis a caterpillar turns into goo, which then becomes a moth. Many parts of its body break down and new ones are made in different shapes. However it does not become completely liquid, and it doesn't do much while it's gooey. A floppy but highly structured body like an octopus can think and move (though a hard body is stronger; our bones give ...


7

Several plants are capable of absorbing humidity from the air, but they usually require high humidity. You might imagine this creature to have organic water absorbers - like, say, silica gel beads on its skin. The beads absorb air humidity from under the creature's belly, and when they're loaded with water, the creature might eat them, recycling the silica. ...


7

If you take a close look at dental enamel you will find it is a hard mineral - between 5 and 6 on the Mohs scale -- and does pretty well for biological functions requiring extreme hardness. It's not obsidian, but if it was the right color - not hard with an additive -- would you know the difference? Clearly it is possibly for animals to produce this typeof ...


7

Redundancy Brain stores everything three times, in such a way that you can't draw a line passing through all 3 copies. Redundant nerves paths that bypass the spine that work when the spine is damaged. Redundant heart. I'd suggest 2 working at 50% efficiency. Redundant arteries, which automatically seal when broken. Larger spleen, holding a larger reserve of ...


6

The first thought that occurs to me is a creature comprised of a body like a giant sponge—connections everywhere, so that poking a one-dimensional hole through it does virtually nothing; you'd need to cleave a 2D plane to damage it. As far as making such a thing anatomically-correct... well, we have amoebas and various other amorphous creatures, so why not ...


6

The actual volume of poisonous plants is negligible — the problem with them isn’t that they displace the plants that horses need to eat, it’s that the horse will be harmed if it eats them. So the simple solution is not to engineer the horse to be able to eat them, but rather to improve its (already pretty good) ability at avoiding them. I keep horses in ...


6

From what I can see, there's a lot to unpack on what you're asking for. "best" is subjective depending on the climate and environment. Heat and dry weather would require a certain wing type over jungle wing-types. A mammal with wings isn't common. Glider species, bats and flying squirrels are something to draw from for a more realistic approach. ...


5

They sense the world differently. They see and hear in a different range of light/sound frequencies and amplitudes, they recognize a different set of smells/tastes through quite different sensory organs/mechanisms. For example: they can only see red as we do, but some more in the near infrared spectrum. They can never get the colors right they can hear dog-...


5

(Inspired by a comment in Trioxidane's answer...) I'm not sure how actually practical this would be, but I'm going to ignore that because of Rule of Cool... Take a page from insects (or, perhaps more accurately, Xenomorphs): the fertile female doesn't carry her offspring like mammals or even reptiles. Instead they develop in an external and immobile (or at ...


5

There's a lot of things that we need to pick up that we don't want to get in our hands. Obviously this would be a larger issue for the mouth, but a mouth structure that makes it hard for things to accidentally get swallowed, and is relatively tough in itself (and can grow calloused), would help. Tools obviously would be developed for things that are ...


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