104

Targeting. Your gargoyles are the modern descendants of creatures whose main mode of predation was dropping from trees into the heads of unsuspecting passers by. The wings don’t aid in flight but, like the tail of a dart, they do provide a tiny amount of control in where the rapidly descending gargoyle lands. This is critical for a slow predator like the ...


98

They have stronger tendons, bones, and scales, scales that can vary in size. CNT is flexible, thus armor, made with it, can be too. So, I just eliminated the last practical reason for why dragons have soft underbellies and neck... No, you haven't! Just because they have the metabolic pathways to produce CNTs doesn't mean they have the metabolic pathways to ...


90

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 ...


68

Cities in the Middle Ages were flammable. Like, really flammable. London suffered from two devastating fires and several smaller ones before the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed most of the inner city. Amsterdam suffered two massive fires in 1421 and 1452, the latter of which destroyed three-quarters of the city. Lubeck in Germany burned to the ground three ...


65

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. ...


57

What is the best choice when it come to deciding which animal to breed to be a perfect assassin? Us. Last time I checked, we are still animals: The animal must be smart enough to understand which person to kill and which not to. I don't want to start a political discussion here, and this makes me sad, but as a whole we seem too keen and too effective at ...


55

Why asking worldbuilding when nature has already done it? ;-) Let me introduce you the armadillo lizard! The armadillo girdled lizard possesses an uncommon antipredator adaptation, in which it takes its tail in its mouth and rolls into a ball when frightened. In this shape, it is protected from predators by the thick, squarish scales along its back and the ...


52

Frame Challenge from a Submariner It doesn't need to have magic anti-sonar powers. Three reasons: Sonar is pretty limited in range. The ocean is large,[citation needed] and each platform can only usefully employ sonar in a limited area. Think tens of miles for very noisy targets, and on the order of a mile for quiet targets. Sea Monsters aren't ships - ...


51

just to add to the other answers: Tiny dragons setting an entire city on fire not only is realistic, we have something similar in our world too: Let me introduce you to the Australian Firehawk Raptor This little sh*t not only does start fires to force its prey to come out of hiding, they were HELPING spread the Australian bush fires. So just replace ...


50

Portal trees. Plants need sun. They compete with one another to get higher and get the sun. And plants struggle with herbivores. Stuff shows up (especially bugs!) and eats their leaves. The portal offers a fix for both problems. A portal tree takes root by the portal and sends thru roots or branches. These appear high in the sky. There is so much sun ...


49

The concept is sound and has already evolved, for example in the Planaria flatworm and other organisms. These organisms appear to store memories not (just?) in their brains but in specialized DNA sequences, that are then "re-read" upon occasion. As a result, a decapitated planaria will grow back its head and remember things that happened before it ...


48

An optimal throwing animal? look in the mirror. Or more precisely; A human whose practices their poi spinning, slinging, or is at least good at dancing, is the best throwing you'll ever see. This picture is me poi spinning. There are two flaming balls circling around me fast enough that they blur in the camera shutter time. I have to move my wrists in a ...


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 ...


41

Because they’re better at it than the goblins are. Goblins aren't necessarily dumb, but they are panicky and prone to squabbles. In large groups, with nothing to rally behind, they scatter easily and lack co-ordination due to internal fighting. Even smart goblin sages and witch doctors can’t bring a horde together in pursuit of one goal. But they’re smart ...


39

This is an interesting observation which I don't recall anyone making before! A world where the sun appears to stand still in the sky (the planet is tide-locked and its orbit is circular) will indeed look very different from Earth's plants. On nearly all terrestrial plants a leaf will remain green and healthy only if it gets enough light. A leaf that fails ...


39

To hide in red water Now, water is not usually red. But one of Raudkembingur's primary prey creatures is another whale, but this whale is a filter feeder whose primary diet is red tide algea blooms. As such, the Raudkembingur has evolved a red head to conceal itself while hunting these other whales amidst the red tide. (Presumably this is an alternate ...


39

The Wings are used for thermal regulation. Roofs get hot, really, really hot. Being able to unfurl a large surface area perpendicular to both the sun and the roof beneath allows the gargoyle to maintain active hunting well into the day when most other animals have slowed down. Also the mornings and evenings are quite cool. By unfurling their wings into the ...


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 ...


39

Cephalopod strangeness: I don't think this is very probable, but strange things happen. The most likely scenario I can think of is that an octopus has evolved to moving on land, and they are using actual skeletons to frighten the apex predator (humans) away. Heikegani crabs are believed to have a survival advantage because their shells bear a resemblance to ...


38

The monster is filled with tiny symbiotic parasites, which are themselves the larval form of a different creature. These creatures are usually benign and dormant, acting as a large scale immune system of sorts, picking less benign parasites out of the monster’s hide, digestive system and other bodily cavities. However when their host dies they immediately go ...


38

A centipede would make an awesome, fearsome fantasy mount! This video does a pretty good, close up job of extolling the virtues of the common house centipede. Pros: they're fast. Really fast! much faster than ants or even jumping spiders they're highly manoeuverable! great at turning corners with lightning speed they're a comfortable ride! if you watch a ...


37

The animal you're asking for is known as Homo sapiens. Sorry, but you're essential describing many actions which pretty much involve human-levels of intelligence,and the animals which have similar intellect will not be hard to notice (unless you're blind, though you'll still hear the death dolphin squirming towards you to do to you what it does to fish, or ...


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 ...


34

The same reason as other animals have large crests the the like; Display Male Peacocks get no hunting or camouflage advantage from their large bright tails. It actually makes them less agile and less able to slip through scrubby terrain than peahens for example. Roosters again get no benefit from their combs, nor lions from their manes, nor deer their ...


34

Tail whip. (It won't lower defense tho) The tail can act like a whip, snapping at opponents. If sufficiently long and flexible it could be used to target opponents from lots of different angles. This combined with spikes or a bony/hard top of the tail would make it able to inflict horrible injuries and death on those unfortunate enough to be stricken by ...


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 ...


32

A Thermosynthetic Giant Deep-sea creatures aren't nearly as restricted by the square-cube law as terrestrial ones; as long as they are made of meat the water can support their weight. The biggest problem oceanic giants have is maneuvering and getting enough to eat. So I'd say the easiest way to handle this is to not have them eat at all. It is ...


32

The croc offspring could acquire its mushrooms shortly after birth. Lots of things have commensal organisms. We are loaded with them, inside and out. They help us in many ways, not least of which they keep worse things from moving in. They are good renters, a lot of our commensals. It is tricky to pass a commensal along the germline. Almost always the ...


31

WINGS Since most of the dragon's muscles are wing muscles, it makes sense to use the wings as weapons. The main wing bones must also be very strong to carry it during flight. First, the dragon could flap its wings for a strong wind blast that could knock horses and knights over, making them vulnerable to follow-up attacks. This is actually a standard ...


30

It would be a lot like fighting submarines in WW1 and WW2. Sonar wasn't really that good; destroyers usually would only notice a submarine after it torpedoed something they were protecting. Sonar would be used to pinpoint the enemy's position, not detect it in the first place. So ships would start sailing in convoys with armed escorts. Presumably this ...


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