New answers tagged

5

Two-headed creatures - or even humans - are not unknown in reality, and have even been known to survive to adulthood, so as a point mutation it is not beyond the bounds of possibility for it to occur over a very short period relative to the typical evolutionary timescale. In order for this condition to persist across generations, there are several pre-...


3

Two thoughts: First, there's no particular reason that the brain needs to be located in the head. Such a creature could have a single brain located in the body cavity, in which case the 'heads' would be little more than sensory extensions, allowing it to see, speak, and smell in different directions simultaneously. The heads would appear to act ...


0

I think you are mixing up what sensory systems an owl needs to hunt, with what it needs to navigate. Hunting: The owl is listening for sounds made by the prey. It has those asymmetrical ears to have '3 dimensional stereoscopic hearing' and get a precise fix on where the vole it wants to eat is. Navigating: the owl is using its eyes to see where it is ...


0

This feathered area serves as a nest for a species that maintains a mutualistic relationship with your creature. If the two species maintain a mutually beneficial relationship, it would be logical for the larger of the two to conserve their feathers to provide a safe environment for the smaller of the two. Take a look at the Oxpecker and Hippopotamus: In ...


1

Even if the feathers may not solve a physical purpose, There could be some reasons for their existence like: Mating A peacock has those bright beautiful feathers as a tail, they don't serve much of a purpose other than the real purpose, that is attracting a female. Almost all birds use their feathers to attract a potential mate. Your creature may use these ...


3

There's evidence that feathers are an ancestral trait to dinosaurs, and that while people are used to the idea of theropods being feathered, they might have been more widespread, with the possibility that some species, especially larger ones, were mostly featherless but might have retained some feathers for display. On a quadruped, the logical place for that ...


0

Feathers are modified scales, so your question could just as easily be why would a creature have scales on its back. However, feathers are also very important signals in biology, showing that a creature is a healthy and suitable mate. Any creature with feathers will likely use them as a health indicator, even if they do not fly. A bright plumage indicates ...


0

I really favor the double rib cage atop each other idea. Anatomically, it makes sense to me to contain and protect an extra set of lungs and heart. The idea with an extra abdomen makes me wonder if their would be an extra set of digesting organs? A creature this large could survive and thrive with extra lungs, extra heart, and only one set of digestive ...


3

The great advantage of echolocation is the ability to judge distance. It works the same way sonar works: The bat sounds a chirp, and distance is estimated by the time it takes for the sound from its source, to the object or obstacle and back to the ears of its originator. Sonar echolocation for hunting as well as hearing you way through has advantages over ...


2

There is a balance between the length of the limb and the amount of force it can apply to draw the string. Longer than a certain point and the amount of force the limb can produce declines, shorter than a certain point and the length of the draw, and hence the time available to accelerate the arrow, will decline. So probably what you want is a little less ...


1

Consider for a moment the needs of a spacefaring race built around war. Yes, they'd need all the traditional physical features, like strength, eyesight, etc, but that doesn't seem to be something you really need help will. I bet you could write a basic list. So I'll give you a (slightly) more interesting one: An inclination toward cooperation War requires ...


3

I'm going to assume you want the classical "brute extremely dangerous fighter culture in space" type of warrior, if not then Willk's answer should be it. While strength is often prized, strength will not win you a space battle with guns. An intelligent silverback gorilla would carry a big gun and take a lot of firepower to take down but he would also ...


3

For a race of galactic conquerors, biological traits would be secondary to social and psychological ones. The species may be small and weak, but they should value cooperation, possess an expansionist's mindset and feel no mercy towards other sentinels. Physical weakness can be complemented by technology. The lack of bravery and determination can not be. ...


12

They are a genetically identical nest, like the social insects. Making war means cooperation, which means putting the needs of the group ahead of the needs of the individual. Humans are able to do that to some degree which accounts for much of our success as a species. The social insects do that better than anything else. The organism is the nest and ...


3

Predator features here on earth include: - Eyes on the front of the head: binocular vision helps tracks prey - Claws, Fangs and sharp teeth for eating meat - Fast reflexes - Lean build - tails are possible, they help with balancing during high-speed chases Senses like smell or eyesights are equally important for predator and prey, so I would not expect ...


3

As Willk said, hemoglobin is a very widespread protein and just "swapping it out" in humans (or other vertebrates) is pretty much impossible, without turning your test subject into something that is most definitely not whatever you started out with. If you want to handwavium the fact that vertebrates have been using hemoglobin for the past X million years, ...


1

I'm currently researching vision in the infrared as well because my aliens spend most of their time in unlit burrows/mounds. As most of the other commenters have said, physical organs/features are adaptations to some part of a specie's environment - i.e. they aid in survival somehow. In mammals, fur helps regulate body temperature. Even in so-called hairless ...


5

Hemoglobin is well integrated into the organism. Swapping in foreign stuff would cause the organism to crash. There are lots of aspects of the organism that depend on the structure of hemoglobin. How it is carried in the red cell. Iron metabolism. Copper metabolism. Handling degradation products. Oxygen affinity. Really a bucketload of integral ...


2

Let's start with the reason: Most forms of radiant energy obeys the Inverse Square Law, which means that, for any given point source, the total amount of energy that passes through a surface that is of the same angular size from the perspective of the source stays unchanged, or, the intensity of the radiant energy at any given distance from a source is ...


2

It's going to be the size of an albatross, it falls a little short of a wandering albatross for weight, that's a really big bird. It's 10x the size of the existing flying squid. There are tradeoffs in the ability to fly long distances, the biggest being that the squid are going to come out as not great swimmers due to the large wings which will be largely ...


1

When I read this description the first image that comes to mind is Pikmin who have only a few programmed sounds and each species has a slightly different tone, but the same sound. They can all communicate with each-other even though the voices are slightly different. Also, when Ollie wistles for them they all understand they have to gather around, however ...


3

The Enfield is a felid. The problem with eagle claws on a canid is that eagle claws are sharp, for catching fish, and canids run on their claws, blunting them to stubs. Felids have worked around this by making their claws retractile. Cats (except cheetahs) run on their pads to save claw sharpness, leaving claws ready for use as weapons. One could make a ...


3

The trouble with the talons of an eagle is they're not designed for running with the speed of a greyhound. They also clash with the canid hunting style which goes in face first rather than the eagle style of talons first. The body of a lion is that of an ambush predator, the hind legs of a wolf are those of an endurance runner. Ability to grasp, bite, and ...


4

The racoon has paws which are way more articulated than those of a canid This is a consequence of the well developed manipulative skills of the animal itself. If whoever observed the enfield in the wild was not exactly in their senses, maybe because they had too much grog to keep them warm in the mists of the moorland, they can easily confuse such a paw ...


4

It climbs trees If it hunts birds or other tree dwelling prey, long claws are a must to get up and down trees. Not so much bird feet but cat like claws


3

The organs you want are modified muscles called electrocytes. They are sodium-potassium ion pumps shaped like a disk (or a hearing aid battery) which can be stacked up. Each electrocyte can create and hold a charge of 105mV before the dialectic membrane breaks down. Electric eels stack up to 200,000 electrocytes to form their stun weapons, capable of ...


3

In our body there is already a mechanism for separating charges. It is called the Na+/K+ pump The Na+/K+-ATPase enzyme is active (i.e. it uses energy from ATP). For every ATP molecule that the pump uses, three sodium ions are exported and two potassium ions are imported; there is hence a net export of a single positive charge per pump cycle. All mammals ...


4

In encounter with an actual bear in described situation shooter is doomed. The reason is very simple (and also applies to, say knife, fight between humans): deadly wound is not a stopping wound. Deadly shot bear is cappable to fight in full strength (and even more due to rage) for several minutes (and even several hours). And in 1-to-1 fight human has no ...


2

Forget blindingly fast reflexes, but instead consider merely blinding. The human can only shoot you if they can see you, so, barf up a mixture of exciting chemicals capable of generating a very bright flash of light. There probably isn't a good biological mechanism for a reusable flashlamp organ, so limited reserves of light-generating chemicals are probably ...


3

There are really only three possible adaptations that would make sense for the animal in this scenario: Extreme camouflage so the human is not aware of the presence of the creature or cannot take effective aim once the creature starts moving Blinding speed and reflexes. A human gunman is considered at risk if an opponent armed with a knife is within 7 m (21 ...


7

The human does not realize the creature is there until too late. https://saportareport.com/poachers-may-be-taking-alligator-snapping-turtles-which-can-bring-10000-each/ Your creature is very well camouflaged, in the manner of an octopus. It may have also acquired some items from the environment which are affixed to its body, ghillie-suit style. The human ...


1

If the islands are close enough together, most mammal species that humans ride might be able to swim from island to island. I once read that most land mammals, except for primates, are strong natural swimmers. Horses swim. Donkeys swim. Mules swim. Camels swim. Elephants swim. I note that humans swimmers often attach swim fins to improve their ...


4

The squid has access to all the water it can use. It uses it in 2 ways. Water cooled. The squid has access to much water. In addition to the H2 and O2 mixed in the chamber the squid adds water. The H2 and O2 reaction produces hot gaseous H2O, and once the phase change is accomplished, every degree over 100C is wasted. The squid adds H2O to absorb that ...


6

So, ignoring drag (too much like hard work), a 5kg mass accelerated from stationary at 8m/s2 for 2s has a kinetic energy of 640J. With your 40% efficiency, that means it needs a 1.6kJ burn producing 960J of heat of which 192J needs to be disposed of by active cooling. The specific heat capacity of water is about 4.2kJ/l. 10ml of water would be heated by ...


1

Well this already happens many times in nature, although the “wings” can both flap and articulate (because nature doesn’t like stupid designs), they can and do fly without flapping at all. So your question boils down to “can these animals still work if the wings are fixed?) The Amazon flying spider turns its flat body into a wing and glides from tree to ...


0

Lets break it down by your bullets Must rely on other plants (namely trees, though it could work on rocks too) for rigidity This one is easy, the plant is strong but it does not have the anchorage to hold anything big so it uses other sturdier plants like trees for as anchors, in return the trees get a steady supply of fertilizer. this works well for ...


3

A good mix of different reagents would be very potent. Fire off different substances in sequence. Best have those materials as hot as possible to ensure the maximum reactivity as chemical reactions are accelerated at higher temperatures. I suggest starting the fire fest with Fluoroantimonic acid. That should dissolve most things by virtue of the fluoronium ...


2

The house-boat is placed on plesiosaurs and tightened with two strong ropes. The animal is commanded like a horse.


2

Something like dolphins should do. Trained to swim near the surface, hold on to a harness with your hand. No different from a horse back in the day I would think. EVeryone who can afford it get's their own, either trains it or buys a trained one. I can't think of a single reason you'd need to sit on a saddle except perhaps have both hands free. Or train ...


3

Surface: Ducks, or giant swans. Sit on the back of the animal, and you can attach reigns to the bill. These mounts do not need to be capable of flight, so the wings can be modified or absent. Modified wings could be used as sails by the animal, or to protect against the weather. The underside could be smooth skin rather than water repellent feathers that ...


5

Hydrazine Not the most dangerous of substances, (though, please don't get me wrong - it's plenty dangerous) but I wanted to pick one which wouldn't kill the dragon in the process of exhaling it. It's a simple liquid made up of N2H4, but reacts very violently when catalyzed, typically using a sheet made of iridium and aluminum oxide, forming hydrogen gas (...


4

Why do you want flammable material? The most powerful weapon on earth uses water as it’s fuel (deuterium, actually). Make your dragon’s breath a thermonuclear bomb (it’s very small, & very easy to distill the fuel from regular sea water). The dragon only needs to have lithium deuteride in his mouth, and lots of heat, and he becomes Godzilla. OK, let me ...


7

What you want is florine or more specifically dioxygen difluoride (FOOF). “Being a high energy oxidizer, dioxygen difluoride reacted vigorously with organic compounds, even at temperatures close to its melting point. It reacted instantaneously with solid ethyl alcohol, producing a blue flame and an explosion. When a drop of liquid 02F2 was added to liquid ...


-1

Humans go through Metamorphosis, it is puberty. If it is change in body or form, then it is Metamorphosis. But in humans, I'd say it is a very small amount of Metamorphosis. It is child to adult. Teenage years is cocoon stage.


1

This sounds similar to the Affront in Ian Banks' Excession. They are described as being: A bulbous mass about two metres in diameter, which hangs from a frilled gas sac one to five metres in diameter. Six to eleven tentacles of varying length and thickness grow from the central mass, of which at least four end in leaf shaped paddles. However they cannot ...


1

How fast do you want the air to be and how much do you need? Simple sneezing already ejects air from your nose at about 170 km/h (https://www.reference.com/science/average-speed-sneeze-c86f74d73acf454c).


3

For the air to become compressed you'll need some sort of compressor mechanism in the body which will require space. You'll also need space for the volume of air that you want to compress. The larger the volume, the more air you'll be able to move at a higher pressure but the longer it would take to reach that pressure. Your storage lung would also need to ...


1

Essentially Aeroplankton is your food source. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroplankton There are 2 problems that you are trying to overcome. 1. Aeroplankton is not as dense as sea-based plankton 2. The energy requirements for flying are higher than for floating in the sea. To overcome this you would need to increase the density of your atmosphere, ...


3

There are only two ways. You can't have a contiguous cellular mass that freely fully rotate, so there is only two solutions it is not contiguous, which is covered quite well by Elemtilas's answer, or it is non cellular. The propeller itself is an excreted acellular material like a pearl, they will need to be grown separately then moved into position on a ...


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