New answers tagged

5

Yes. An awful lot of evolution is possible in 100 million years. Consider your question in the context of it being asked slightly differently by an intelligent alien visiting Earth 100 million years ago. At that time there existed a family of small, unintelligent, timid pre-rodents called multituberculata, the last common ancestor of mice and humans. Your ...


1

I would say it is unrealistic: they are too good pray and too bad hunters on a land. Everything thay would eat is faster then they are (on a land) and thay do need some defencive mechanism (poision, camuflage) against more agile animals. We have species with this properties now - snakes. So octpuses would occupy snake niche, but here comes anothe trouble....


2

Bats already do this. Active Soaring Wings - Molossidae (free-tailed bats) are the prime example of this, they have very long, narrow wings and spend a lot of their time above the canopy or in open airspace looking for insects. Hovering Wings - Bats in general seem to hover a lot easier than birds (except hummingbirds). However, some nectar feeding bats ...


1

Air. Let us assume this is a land animal. Heat must be offloaded to the air. Methods for doing this include increasing surface area, and harnessing the respiratory system to move dead space back and forth (panting). A truly massive creature might aerate its interior by producing a system by which air is routed through the body and out. This might be a ...


3

Reality check both FAILS and PASSES the test... Life As We Know It: Sticking with life as we know it on Earth, the likelihood for a parallel cardiovascular system to evolve is highly unlikely. Hasn't happened yet, but that won't stop us from considering other possibilities. But in other worlds, other evolutionary pathways might be chosen. Now it happens ...


2

I don't see why a separate coolant system would be needed or would evolve. Animals already have blood pumping around their system and already use it for cooling through panting (e.g. dogs) air cooling (e.g. elephant ears) or evaporation (e.g. humans sweating). All that would be needed would be to run the vascular system through the cooling (through ...


2

The Lushu roams in a large heard and is predated on by a large tiger like species of animal. When a predator is seen, the Lushu stampede as a large group or several large groups. Their stripes provide a sort of dazzle camouflage a bit like that used by Zebras. With all the animals running about in all directions it would be difficult during the approach for ...


4

There are four possibilities I can think of: Make these plains extremely colorful, so that the lushus blend in properly. That could be a seasonal thing, if (say) the predators of these lushus migrate, and only appear in the lushus' territory during the colorful season. Make it the defensive strategy that some birds use, such that predators will tend to ...


-1

Are the markings necessarily stable? You could be looking at a creature that shifts its color and pattern as radically as an octopus does. Octopus does it both for camouflage and for language signaling to other octopi. Depending upon how intelligent you want these creatures to be, the bright colors would show well far across the plains, telling other lushu “...


1

Magnetoreception. Many birds and other animals have magnetoreception, and are able to sense north/south due to the earth's magnetic field. The most likely mechanism for this is clumps of iron surrounded by bundles of nerves in the brain. If you use a larger clumps that are made of a material that is more magnetic than iron, you could sense not only north/...


0

The only problem with being an ambush hunter is air supply. So, there are a couple options. It floats on the surface, drifting as if dead, until some scavenger comes close, at which point it eats the scavenger. This allows it to just breathe at the surface. It can drop its metabolism way down temporarily, allowing it to rest on a single breath and then do ...


1

but below? That's more applicable either to gill-breathers (like sharks, eels or anglerfish) or colder-blooded air breathers (like crocodilians). Ambush would still be the better tactic. There are various marine mammals that can hold their breath for long periods of time, and if they were holding still they could last even longer. The Brethmechin in your ...


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I had forgotten about Toph Beifong, but she does come closest to what I had imagined, though 'way overpowered. Actually, the reference that comes the closest is the Graboids from the "Tremors" franchise. :) Thanks for your times and consideration, folks.


4

Aqua Regia The human stomach uses a combination of different acids to form gastric acid, otherwise known as stomach acid, which has a pH of between 1.5-3.5. Admittedly, pretty effective by itself when it comes to destroying stuff. But it's composed of a mixture of two salts and an acid, sodium chloride (NaCl), potassium chloride (KCl) and hydrochloric acid (...


4

Those of us with bones often underestimate just how incredibly squishable boneless muscles are. Consider, as an example, your tongue. When you stick it out, it doesn't look small enough to fit in your mouth, certainly not with enough space left over to fit other things in. And yet when you aren't using it, it hardly takes up space at all - there's plenty ...


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I can't say for sure what color or exact metal the blood would have, but metal complexes, like those of ruthenium, iridium, rhodium, rhenium, and platinum, could meet some of your requirements! -When exposed to certain forms of light, like UV or sometimes even IR, they may fluoresce and emit singlet oxygen which is a toxic, rwactive gas that emits red ...


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The mane is an oxygen exchange organ. Adapted from my answer Could a land vertebrate re-evolve gills after moving back into the water? There are lungs and there are gills. There are some other ways to get oxygen as well. Some animals respire through the skin. Behold: the Hairy frog. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairy_frog These frogs do gas exchange ...


0

Shifting center of gravity The beast is large, but not very heavy. It has a tough outter carapace (think a spiders abdomen), the actual inner organs are packaged into a smaller body inside. The Carapace is filled with air, the body hangs off muscle strands strategically attached to the carapace. The outter limbs are do relativly little work, for sudden ...


1

Springs. The springtail has a specialized organ which it folds up and holds in place with a catch. On deploying this organ the springtail is hurled through the air, travelling hundreds of times its body length. From the point of view of potential predators who operate on scales similar to the springtail, the springtail has disappeared. https://...


4

What makes the speed "deceptive"? Large animals can be fast, obviously. I'm larger than my kids, and I can run faster than them. Longer legs, stronger muscles, more leverage, etc. In general, I would bet on the larger animal in any kind of a contest, unless the smaller one is a bird. So, let's consider what might make an animal "deceptively" fast? ...


0

As well as being able to lumber along quickly you also need some degree of agility and fast acceleration or a prey can simply side-step or zig-zag their way out of trouble like a matador facing a raging bull. I'm assuming here the prey is made of similar stuff to the predator, otherwise it's like assuming 'magic'. Maybe your creature could have long agile ...


3

Whiskers! Did you think those beards were just for show? Every stiff hair in a dwarf's impressive facial mat is attached to a highly sensitive nerve, capable of detecting the most minuscule of vibrations. Together, they function as an incredibly powerful 3-D network of receptors, giving them echolocation capabilities that would put bats and dolphins to ...


5

Echolocation through their body There are more ways to hear sounds than just your ears, and by sensing vibrations in the ground and walls a dwarf can "feel" their environment. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/seeing-through-soil-with/ When a dwarf walks around his feet create vibrations in the ground that will reflect off of objects and ...


10

A very good eye for geology, a sensitive inner ear and remarkable dead reckoning skills. The dwarves just get geology in the same way humans intuitively understand how to throw and catch things. If you ask a Dwarf to describe the geology of their surroundings they won’t be able to, but on a bone deep level they’ll have picked up that the red sandstone layer ...


0

Different types of materials have different densities. Different densities result in different gravity. If the dwarves are able to sense these small differences in gravity they will be able to map the matter distribution around them and use it frame of reference during their subterranean movements, the same way we use points of reference when we move in an ...


1

Invisibility as an ambush hunter. When not near the surface, red appears to be black since all the red light has been filtered out by the water above it. I would think that this whale waits below the expected depth of its prey in a head up attitude. This would make it look just like the dark water below it. Also, the reason for the whole whale to not be ...


0

I have a book that approach the subject of flora and fauna perception of colors. Here are some interesting facts : Plants have a light receptor that is only sensible to red. Apparently, lighted by red light, plants can grow faster and higher. You could use the same approach for your whale : the red color on it's head could attract food (very little fish) ...


0

It's not so much a need as a marker of ferocity and feeding frequency. The red color is from accumulated scar tissue from attacks on boats and beaches to reach prey.


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Why are flamingos pink? Perhaps it's not evolutionarily desirable at all - the whale's favorite prey simply includes a natural red dye that turns the whale red. Older and more powerful whales would, of course, naturally accumulate a deeper red color over time... Other answers have already concluded that your world needs an extra common red tide, so maybe ...


2

Mate attraction really is probable for a colorful display on a large animal. In deeper water, it's still a high contrast black-white pattern; this is perfectly good for species and individual recognition. Whales are required to ascend to the surface, and so having the red pigment isn't pointless. If mating behavior occurs near the surface (which it does in ...


3

Age and Power If I am reading your question correctly, there is an entire species of carnivorous whales and the Red Crest is a single member of that species. If that is wrong and the Rest Crested Illhveli is the species, then I would go with Tim B II's answer about mating displays. So, assuming that you want to know why a single member of a species would ...


5

What about a symbiotic relationship with some kind of red algae? The red algae lives on the whale, where it gets protection and a steady supply of sunlight as the whale chill out in the surface water. In return, the algae produces some antibiotic that protects the whale or supply the whale with extra nutrition. I made a quick search for algae-mammal ...


10

With the more out-there ideas bolded. Reasons for heritable characteristics may be: To keep from being eaten. I know, I know, they are big and bad, but maybe there's something bigger and badder. Even if it doesn't prey on them when they get larger. It can be an artifact of defense from when they were little. Camouflage obviously. To hide in an environment ...


2

Strong Cytoskeleton If your slimes are single cells, you're going to run into some huge problems. Cells are filled with a fluid called cytoplasm, which is contained within the cellular membrane. In essence, cells are like little water-filled bags. If your slime is only one cell, it can't be very slimy, because you don't want that bag to burst and leak the ...


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 ...


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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 ...


1

Gallium is completely liquid above 85°F, and once it's below about 75°F, it's about as hard as "cold candle wax" (according to one guy who's played with it a while). While this wouldn't be hard enough for a spike or a bolt, it could be used to make some keys and locks, gears, or bowls/plates/cups (just avoid hot soup!).


2

Starting with this definition of viscosity — a quantity expressing the magnitude of internal friction, as measured by the force per unit area resisting a flow in which parallel layers unit distance apart have unit speed relative to one another. I think that physics of friction — causation not results — is not well understood. But one theory of a cause of ...


0

A sharp edge could be formed by first producing a round-shaped blob of an epoxy-like substance and then, once it has solidified, shattering it into pieces. Some of the pieces can have blade-like edges, so they can be used like a knife or a dagger. An abrupt change in temperature could help to break a blob of solid substance that is otherwise hard to break. E....


0

As John's answer points out: There are many issues with resin epoxies as most other answers suggest. They are very hard to shape and biologically reabsorb, this makes for major recyclability and production issues. While shaping the thing could probably be overcome, it takes a lot of calories to create a resin tool compared to picking up a sharp rock or a ...


0

Just like some earth plants when grown indoors. They tend to bend towards their constant-position light source (e.g. window). https://www.google.com/search?q=plants+bending+towards+light&client=firefox-b-1-e&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjTssSUv_TmAhXJAewKHSXIDTUQ_AUoAXoECAwQAw&biw=1432&bih=1186


1

Apart from epoxy resin, that is already mentioned there's another option. Photo sensitive resin This is a thing that is used in experimental 3D printing (google it, it's cool). If your creature can excrete tool-shaped blob, this blob can easily solidify in sunlight. Advantage is that you only need one component, but the solidification may take longer and ...


2

The jugular vein is a favorite site for placing central venous catheters. The reasons for that are the same reasons your vampires would favor them. There are two: external and internal. Both are large. Internal is larger. They are fairly superficial. In some people you can see them. So: fairly accessible. There are collaterals on the other side. Some ...


0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Newtonian_fluid What you may be looking for is a non-newtonian fluid. Most famous examples are things that go from more fluid to less fluid when under pressure as they work well as armour. They do however go in the other direction - with the ability to become more fluid under pressure; and also can work with time. This ...


2

About improving the efficiency of the oxygen transport system. Respirocytes are an artificial analogue of red blood cells. Tiny sapphire capsules that can absorb oxygen in the lungs and release it in the capillaries. From the capillaries to the lungs, they , in turn, deliver carbon dioxide. Only respirocytes are hundreds of times more effective than ...


1

The resin that dentists use for "white" fillings might be regarded as a proof of concept. For the dentist's convenience, this resin remains soft until setting is catalyzed by blue laser light. It is also anti-catalyzed by oxygen, so a thin surface film of a few molecules always remains un-set. This is so another layer of resin can be placed on top (thereby ...


1

Presuming trees managed to evolve on a Planet tidally locked to it's Star, and Presuming the Possibility of a 'Habitable ring' along the perimeter of the Terminus (Day / Night line), Variance could be expected in Leaf Structure according to the Amount of energy being recieved. Needle like leaves could be expected upon trees that persist in harsher environs (...


2

Is there any real need for a vampire to bite the victim in the neck? If the worry is that exposure to oxygen causes blood-clotting (and that's somehow problematic for vamps), my answer might be of no use, but have you considered having those vampires resort to exsanguination/bloodletting instead? Humans in the past have resorted to bloodletting (basically ...


3

As long as the vampires maintain a pressure seal, there will only be a momentary drop in the victim’s blood pressure as the blood fills their mouth. After that as long as they maintain the proper pressure, the victim won’t loose any blood and won’t have their brains starved of oxygen carrying blood. While their fangs have delivered a mortal blow, they can ...


2

This is like an answer and like a comment on all the other answers. I specifically want to address the shaping challenge. The creature’s ability to naturally spit resin is probably an offensive talent, meant to spit in the face of opponents and prey. That likely means that the carapace has evolved to be non-stick to the same resin. Or the carapace can ...


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