New answers tagged

3

Apart from flying in a more equilibrium-like state, as was discussed in another answer, I would like to think that the Pegasus would use its legs to keep balance and centre of mass. Sort of similar like what you do as a human when you're trying to balance, you wave your arms around in circular motions. Otherwise trying to reduce drag as much as possible. ...


-2

As per my answer to Anatomically Correct Pegasus, pegasi should have a patagium connecting each leg to their wings. They are going to spread their legs just like a flying squirrel.


8

I am assuming you want an answer about aerodynamics. I also am making a minor change to what we normally think of when we think of a pegasus. Normally we just imagine a horse with wings stuck on the back. I think the pegasus would also have small wing-like growths on its hind legs, as far down by the hooves as possible. Then, by straightening its hips ...


1

A truly "alien" species right here on earth are octopi, who have some form of intelligence, are frequently cannibalistic, and essentially mate once, produce hundreds to thousands of eggs, which are watched over by the female until they hatch, then the adult dies while the larva swim off. Octopus in the wild While their life cycle isn't exactly as depicted ...


2

This is not far from lions. Most cubs die and much of the mortality is due to adult male lions. This helps the fitness of the male: killing cubs that are not yours frees up the mother to breed again, with you. Once they grow to be juveniles, most of the mortality among young males is still due to being killed by other lions. https://www.livescience.com/...


3

You have an interesting premise, but there are some problems with it. Nothing that is impossible to explain or deal with, but some changes are probably necessary. I'll be trying to dissect what you've provided and highlight problems and possible solutions both. There are almost no species where the majority of births survive to adulthood: the last two ...


5

There are no pros only cons. First a problem with terminology, I assume you are talking about something like this . An image I furiously hate, digitigrade and plantigrade have nothing to do with the knee and hip. The problem is something with pillar like legs can still be digitigrade, elephants are digitigrade, rabbits and chimps on the other hand are ...


1

The snake is a former human pet, it was used to being handled by humans. This is the only way you are going to get the snake to coil around her. It is now feral, come up with whatever series of events you wish. Now in the wild if it finds a warm still human it may coil around them for warmth as it no longer sees still humans as a threat. The girl may not ...


2

Snake did not know she was alive until it had already climbed her leg. Snake was stressed out by brother chasing it to take photo. Girl was holding still. Stressed snake wrapped around girl's leg not realizing she was an animal. It is trying to climb to safety. Girl moves. Snake is already on her leg! Now snake is scared and hisses and bites. ...


3

Convergent evolution works fine for external ears, you just need the right preadaptations. external ears are unique to mammals becasue ears with built in amplifiers are unique to mammals. the two extra mammalian ear bones at play make for a powerful sound amplifier. mammals are the only vertebrates that get a benefit from external ears. This is why external ...


2

Mammals have unusually well-developed hearing compared to most animals because they evolved from nocturnal species, and most nocturnal vertebrate niches have been dominated by mammals since that happened. So the fact that it only evolved once on Earth might not imply that external ears are an unlikely feature (unlikely to evolve on another planet) - there ...


5

Venomous snakes - especially those with less powerful venom - do occasionally coil around their prey to subdue them before delivering the bite, if they have the opportunity. This helps ensure a lethal dose is delivered and to keep the prey from escaping. However, they only do this to prey, i.e. animals small enough to effectively immobilize by binding them. ...


5

Snakes are cold blooded reptiles and need a source of heat to raise their body temperature and become more active. If your snake was in a cold environment, the body temperature of your humans would be enough that your snake would snuggle up in a non-threatening matter (either being delirious from the cold, or not feeling threatened at that exact time). Of ...


10

You mean like an actual hydra? Their feeding strategy is "waiting until someone I can eat falls into my trap", just like weaving spiders, but with an array of tentacles instead of a web. Mind you, they are related to jellyfish, so victims are paralysed by its poison. Staying still is a plus because it saves them energy, so their suction cup "foot" works ...


3

My first thought was a very strange leech. Suctioning mouth on one end, non-eating suction cup on the postior. Worms and leeches seem perfectly capable of constricting and lengthening themselves, and though the classic 'push and pull' of an inchworm may be more efficient, I can definitely say that it's possible to have a slinking leech. Tentacles are ...


6

Convergent Evolution Convergent evolution is an important factor in any creature design. The idea is that if you're doing very much the same task under very much the same circumstances then it's reasonable to come up with much the same solution. Sea birds tend to be black and white. Sharks, dolphins and whales have come up with very similar body plans and ...


9

You ask for another plausible structure that serves a similar purpose... I think you should reconsider non-mammalian options. For example, some insects have Tympanal organs on various body parts that detect the pressure component of sound. They look like blisters. They are usually symmetrically paired in insects but you could add multiple tympanal organs ...


4

Oops, someone did that (sorta) I’d like to introduce the siphonophore, a colony organism made of specialised individuals called polyps (or sometimes zooids). Examples include the long strings of polyps. The hideous mass of many different polyps. Or perhaps the more familiar, blue bottle jellyfish. But it isn’t a jellyfish, it’s just related. The sail is ...


4

The Tentacle My suggestion is a molluscoid creature combining charasteristics of cephalopods (aka squids and the like) and gastropods (slugs and their cousins). The slinky has a bilateral body symmetry that lacks an apparent head. On one end of the creature we have the mouth, with teeth organised in a circle perpendicular to the body's axis. Might have a ...


3

The biggest problem, to my mind, is the intelligence of the thing. Being able to aggregate into a superorganism capable of intelligence... well, that's scifi, but you could see how it might be possible. Being able to disaggregate again, yep, that's fine. Being able to remain sentient, or at the very least, goal-oriented whilst disaggregated? Yeah, no. ...


2

Sure, you can do this! There seem to be a couple major points of concern, which I'll go over in detail below: swarm behavior, infection process, immune system interactions, and sentience. Swarm behavior The Hunter is described as a mass of cells, able to separate into individual ones or work together as a colony. This is not unusual behavior for life: ...


7

Unfortunately, this alien lifeform is only plausible for a very specific value of plausible, namely "almost completely not plausible". What makes this being implausible? Firstly, its ability to enter a human body unnoticed. Humans have skins which are designed to prevent most commonly found substances from penetrating, and those things that do get through ...


0

Only humans have large breasts outside of child-rearing phases (coincidentally, other than some equine species, humans are also the only mammals to exhibit overt menstruation). As such, the function of human breasts is not strictly for feeding children. It's been theorized, rather controversially, that humans have breasts because cleavage looks like a butt, ...


0

Another prominent theory about breasts is that large breasts indicate that the female is able to collect sufficient food for herself and her children. In this it serves a similar purpose to peacock tails although in a different sex. I.e. large breasts are a deliberately wasteful use of calories because young females who can deliberately waste calories in ...


2

While I am not a mermaid, I am a female who free dives (diving under the water with no air supply only lasting on one breath) in the ocean. I am naturally large chested (size US 36H for reference) and often I am swimming in a one piece swimsuit or a wet-suit. With my chest secured I think the only thing I notice is being more buoyant (due to extra fatty ...


0

At the, shall we say, other end of the spectrum, maybe they make the shiny stuff and never get rid of it. I saw a setting once where dragon lairs had lots of gemstones lying around because dragons poop gemstones. (The biology of how this works is left as an exercise.)


0

Plot twist: They don't actually like shiny things Shiny things reflect light, which hurts their eyes. Dragons are also smart. They've learned that destroying and/or burying shiny things doesn't help in the long run. Humans are good at recycling and unburying stuff. The solution: put the shiny things out of humans' reach: store them in caves where they can'...


0

Consider pelagic seabirds. They evolved in a world where anything floating in the water was food. Hurry! Swoop down, swallow it, it's got nutritional value. Digest it or regurgitate it for your chicks. If it floats, it's food. Seabirds did not evolve for a world with plastic floating in the ocean. :-( Ref. Now consider your dragons. They did not ...


1

I think part of your problem lies in the stipulation that the dragons are sexually dimorphic- in most species, the male is generally more expendable than the female and must fight for, or otherwise earn the right to copulate. Generally one would expect a selective pressure for bigger and more aggressive males if this were the case, but your dragon males are ...


2

Besides gold, silver and copper being a representation of their worth these precious metals are soft. The perfect thing for a large creature to make a nest, especially if they can breath fire because they would easily be able to melt it. My pig used to roll on a pile of trash/glass because it loved scratching parts of its back it could never reach. Dragons ...


0

Your aliens invented humans. Who knows, we may be the result of their genetic experimentation. It eats everything that contains organic tissue People Mexico eat crickets and drink cactus water. People in Japan eat roaches and algae. People in China eat spiders, scorpions, centipedes and dogs. People in the Netherlands eat horses. People in Spain eat ...


1

Caves are dark. Shiny stuff reflects light. Dragons breathe fire. In an empty cave your fire breath will light only close area. With shiny stuff put near each wall and obstacle, small flicker of fire will give you good understanding how the cave looks.


5

Reptiles often have a hemipenis (warning, includes pictures), which is stored inside the body until needed. Reptiles are usually cold blooded. Birds of both sexes often have a cloaca. The male's produces semen, which the female's pulls in and takes to the egg. Birds are warm blooded. Dinosaurs are now believed to be more closely related to birds than ...


3

Humans are a bit of an oddity in that our male reproductive organs are always completely outside our torso. The majority of animals have some ability to retract them. The degree to which they can be retracted varies by species, of course, but reptiles tend to be quite gifted in this regard. Crocodiles for example, both male and female, use a single ...


0

I read once that dragons like gold because its soft (relatively speaking) and with its other properties able to provide a nice, non-flammable, easily squished in to shape (if you're a heavy, and hot dragon). So they want it the same way you want a pillow.


9

The strongest substance in nature is goethite, the material that makes up Limpet teeth. It's basically an organic nanofiber substance that is infused with iron which the limpet gets plenty of by scraping rocks for algae. On the dragon homeworld, the ancestors of dragons had similar teeth for burrowing to dig prey out of small, iron rich caves. As dragons ...


4

If you own a cat, you'll know that it's nearly impossible to have something shiny/lighted laying around that the cat won't claim for themselves. If they don't hide it away, they'll play with it and even try to eat it. Think Christmas trees or knickknacks. If you fish, you'll notice that a lot of lures are shiny to attract the fish to bite on the hook. If ...


7

Let's look at where this is found in the world we know: ravens. From Wikipedia (emphasis mine): Common ravens are known to steal and cache shiny objects such as pebbles, pieces of metal, and golf balls. One theory is that they hoard shiny objects to impress other ravens. Other research indicates that juveniles are deeply curious about all new things, and ...


2

Pride. The book of Job speaks of the scaly, fire-breathing beast Leviathan that laughs at the spears of his foes. A creature that is prideful likes his bling. Bait to attract more prey. Humans and some animals like shiny things and are adventurous and will sometimes risk life and limb to obtain treasure. A creature that is consumed with pride in its own ...


1

In their original environment, they needed a trace element which is plentiful here. It was only found in mineral form in shiny rocks. As a refinement on the idea, say it's used in the growth cycle so adults don't need to consume it but want it hoarded for their volume-based reproductive system. The dragons don't understand any of this, just the instinct ...


0

To harden their eggs; once that period of the year comes around, all female dragons collect metals. Bold adventurers and knights usually bring the highest quality metals, and to lure them to your neat little cave you need something that attracts them: precious objects and metals. Possibly reason for the need to harden the eggs: the eggs are part of a ...


2

I'm thinking it could be down to intimidation of enemies, attraction of mates, and useful nesting properties. The common trope as you've mentioned is that dragons hoard wealth - specifically gold. Gold has a number of properties that a posturing dragon could make use of. It's very shiny and reflective, so any fire-based displays from a dragon (gouts of ...


10

Psychological reason: after the eggs have been laid, the mother uses her flames to keep them warm during the incubation. While the fetus develops in the egg, from the very moment it develop eyes, it is constantly exposed to the translucent light of the flame, seeping through the egg shell. That light means warmth, means growth, means feeling better. As an ...


12

Hoarding for the sake of attracting a mate is one possible reason. Still, it's hard to picture them picking gold and gems specifically when they don't have the means to extract them, at least not without some other cause. Let's try giving your dragons a practical reason for hoarding, then, one directly tied to their survival; this assumes they have scales. ...


19

To bring maternity food in close to their nest so that the brooding mother doesn't need to go very far to eat. The gems and gold are best because they attract not only the bigger hard shelled "warriors" but also the smaller, tender morsels called "thieves", which are great for feeding the hatch-lings.


5

To prove their worth "Undoubtedly that was what brought the dragons. Dragons steal gold and jewels, you know, from men and elves and dwarves, wherever they can find them; and they guard their plunder as long as they live (which is practically forever, unless they are killed), and never enjoy a brass ring of it. Indeed they hardly know a good bit of work ...


62

Maybe they could have mating rituals like bowerbirds, in which the males, as part of their courtship display, strive to create visually interesting displays outside their bower (the hut-like structure they build for females to come in and mate with them). As the wikipedia article says: In and around the bower, the male places a variety of brightly colored ...


4

Creatures would evolve a variety of mechanisms: Some would be able to sense impending disasters and escape ahead of time Some would be able to dodge or move faster than disasters Some would be able to endure disasters with armor or resistances Some (and this is my favorite) would be to regenerate many individuals from their broken apart and damaged pieces ...


0

Dependence on a single large leaf for photosynthesis is where the plausibility of this takes a tumble. Trees have thousands of cheaply grown leaves that can be replaced when damaged from predation or disease or animal activity, while your tree has just the one. A bad landing when the wind slows, a sudden gust that snaps the tether, disease, or predation, and ...


9

If unpredictable risk of death is high then R strategists are favored. R strategists have lots and lots of offspring but don't invest much time or energy into each individual offspring. R strategist reproduce quickly and tend not to have long lifespans. You will not see things like whales or sea turtles, creatures that take a long time to grow up and ...


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