New answers tagged

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One of the main issues of a head connected to the back of the skull is that the part of the neck doing most of work to keep it from pending to the ground is the muscles rather than the bones. Because of this arrangement, the skull has a smaller max weight limit than if it relied more on the bones to sustain it (position yourself in a horizontal position ...


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Before an animal can have 4 ears, it needs 4 structures with the right structure for an ear to evolve from. This is a problem, as tetrapods simply do not have enough holes with the right structure and place to become ears. However, a four-eared creature could evolve from a bichir-like creature with tetrapod like nostrils, with the ears being modified ...


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A modular animal could be similar to an lizard in overall shape, but with the legs and tail branching out modularly like a plant. This creature would also have to be herbivorous, have extremely good predator defences, and have very little competion, as these traits would mean that they never need to move quickly, and reducing the selective pressure to become ...


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Assuming that these aliens are more-or-less like vertebrates, then there are around 150 combinations: arm, arm, leg: A 4-armed humanoid arm, arm, fin: A 4-armed creature like a swimming crab arm, arm, prehensile foot: A 4-armed ape-like creature arm, arm, prehensile fin: A 6-armed creature like a swimming crab arm, arm, flipper-leg: A 4-armed mermaid-like ...


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Ahuizotl could have evolved from a starfish. A mutation may have caused the starfish to lose its brachiolarial arms, causing them to be unable to stick to the sea-floor. This may allow them to evolve to crawl along the sea-floor as they develop. The brachiolaria might be better at survival, and so it may last longer, with the adult body then shrinking to ...


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Sharks wouldn't evolve most of those teeth formats. The Ginsu shark did not get its nickname because its teeth look like a knife. These are the shark's teeth formats: Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretoxyrhina These are Ginsu knives from the time when the shark got the name: Source: I just typed "Ginsu knife" in Google Images and got the ...


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Balisong = Goblin Shark A balisong is a type of big butterfly knife. Some are sword length and need both hands to open. Having butterfly knife teeth sounds silly at first. But there is already an animal with an entire butterfly mouth. The swinging motion of the shark's extendable mouth resembles a balisong opening/closing.


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It’s a form of slime mold. It’s evolved originally in an extremely wet environment, but as the continent moved the environment went from a rainforest to an extremely arid environment. The slime mold blooms after the rain and quickly covers the environment in a bi layered structure in order to preserve the moisture. Duck tape can only be found in areas where ...


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While it's possible, there is a lot of evolutionary pressure against it. It has to be viable before they become sentient/sapient enough to invent gloves and other protective gear or they never get to the sentient/sapient stage. Some things we are handling can be toxic. Grabbing on a toxic bug while climbing a tree is not a big deal with human hands, you ...


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Aren't there many things a sentient creature would need to pick up that they wouldn't want to get in their mouths? Certainly, but that's hardly a barrier. After all, there are plenty of things that we need to pick up that we don't generally want to get on our hands. So, what do we do in those cases? We use gloves, or handling tools like forks and tongs. It ...


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No. Intelligence is a highly energy intensive trait, and it is wasting most of it. Why would it head off for a life of foraging and hunting when it could instead live in human society and get its food far easier? Most animals in the wild devote most of their energy to getting food. (For one thing, they can't have it cooked in the wild. Cooking greatly ...


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There is a good example in Mulefa from the His Dark Materials series. They develop alongside seeds they use as wheels, which then precludes the development of hands for manipulating objects. They instead use dextrous trunks, and work together for complicated tasks like tying knots to make nests. Given this example it's more than plausible for this structure ...


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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 ...


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Why not? While I think the evolution of lips and tongues as manipulative tools is hard to imagine achieving the same level of sophistication as hands, there are certainly animals that do it, as you pointed out, and all you need to have something evolve is pressure and time. I can think of some challenges with this evolution, but there could also be ...


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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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Originally found in the arid, wind-swept arsenic fields in the east, the ground-hugging plant evolved to produce an adhesive under-layer to prevent contact with the poisonous soil it was growing over, where growing roots would only serve to poison itself. Originally growing sporadically in the harsh environment, it has now become invasive in some areas, ...


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Duck tape is like The Force, it as a dark side and a light side and holds the universe together. The cause is clearly Midichlorians


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I think this image from the answer by Len to this Anatomically correct multiarmed humanoids SE question is probably what you're looking for. Obviously the lower pair of arms become your wings. Just scale your bird men accordingly to achieve the height you want. Naturally the wings are going to be longer & the bird sternum & its muscles (which should ...


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The wings could be anchored to something like a second set of shoulder blades that attach near the bottom of the ribcage. This would allow for an open area between the ribs and pelvis but not quite as big as a human's. Some birds barely have a separation at all between ribs and hips. They make up for it with flexible hip joints and the ability to fly. ...


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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 ...


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Its their method of spreading seeds. Imagine if a plant grows around a lot of species that build things, like birds that build nests and ape-likes that can create the simplest of tools. So this plant created a simple system for delivering its seeds: It creates a strip of matter with seeds inside, similar to many bean types (1). On top of this strip it ...


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Nature provides Most of it has been said above, but here it is together. Nature has many solutions to your problems. There are many substances that are "sticky" in one way or another. Think spidersilk, gecko feet or cleaver plants. What you need is a reason they grow strips. The cleaver plant has many little hooks on it's outside. This is so the ...


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Hip joints I should preface this by saying I'm not by any means an expert on birds' anatomy. That said, if you feel the need to keep some scientific accuracy so that these bird folk have a rigid sternum in their mid section, a possible way to circumvent their innability to bend forward would be setting their hip joints further apart. Just like in goold ol' ...


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Amber https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amber Amber is, as you can see in the link, fossilised tree resin. The resin is a syrupy substance. If it transforms to amber it is a hard substance that is a lot like a crystal. It isn't a stretch to the imagination that a creature or plant might excrete something like this that turns incredibly hard like obsidian after ...


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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 ...


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Consider the possibility of a cat possessing the wings of a modern multi-role combat jet aircraft, such as the F/A-18 Hornet (shown here) in use by many nations. A feline with the wings of a fighter aircraft has the distinct benefit of allowing for a wide range of armaments to be carried and used against its prey and any predators that might threaten it. For ...


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Songbirds and squirrels are prime targets, usually nothing bigger. When it comes to those animals, the three kinds of flyng predators that come to mind are: Owls Falcons Hawks Owl wings would do for stealth, which goes well with cats. Falcon wings would do for speed and agility. Hawk wings would also be fast and agile, but not as much as falcon wings, and ...


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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. ...


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If you're going with magic/handwavium, take inspiration from birds that prey on songbirds/squirrels. If it's going to be hunting in the woods, consider wings like an Accipiter hawk, for open areas a Buteo hawk, if it's a stealth hunter maybe owl-like wings. If you want plausible biology, you'll be in a bit more of a pickle, not least because you need to add ...


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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 ...


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The Caveman Coral Crab In addition to being an alliterative animal, the Caveman Coral Crab has evolved in a strange way to fill its niche in the environment. While its front claws have shrunk in size comparatively to most crabs, they have become stronger and more adept at grabbing a hold of the coral reefs it exclusively lives in. Using these as a means of ...


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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 ...


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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.


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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 ...


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How about a moss-like hydrophobic fungus? It behaves sort like a moss in the sense that it grows in the rocks (like moss) but it is hydrophobic. I found this amino acid that is formed in molds that could do the trick. Think of it like a massive colony that sticks together and it is hydrophobic


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Lots of possible reasons: Since there aren't intelligent creatures to compare this arrangement to, the simplest answer is "because it's different and cool," but that's a cop-out (even if it's the true answer.) Let's come up with some possible reasons for this arrangement. Coincidence of evolution: Your creatures evolved from a species with hand-...


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Its sensory organs are not directional. With eyes, you need them in front to see where you are going and also what you are manipulating. If your strongest senses encompassed the entire area about you -- perhaps you use echo location -- it might be feasible to normally walk in the direction that leaves your manipulation appendages behind and so protected ...


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Unless it is based on charisma and leadership, as Trioxidane suggests, regardless of how it is done, it can never be a stable setup with intelligent organisms. They can project the potential advantage of nudging the top guy out of his niche. The result is, they will be on the lookout, pretty much all of their time, for an opportunity to subvert the system. ...


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Very, very limited subconscious telepathy acting on other dragons' self-preservation instincts. Your alpha can't control other dragons, nor can it give them orders they can't obey, yet they seem to be able to do as they please with other dragons without being attacked, how is that? The alpha possesses a very limited telepathic ability, sending signals to ...


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It won't require much It doesn't need to be incredibly complex. All it requires is just a biological base for them. It can be an instinct, like a horse knowing to walk quickly after birth, a human knowing how to smile or ants taking care of their queen. This prevents them simply from attacking any perceived alpha. If you want it to be an organ, a part of the ...


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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 ...


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All foods (more or less) contain water. A random person on the internet claimed that a kangaroo rat can go its whole life without drinking (as you might guess from that, I haven't checked that). This does imply It depends what you mean by "producing water on it's own" - certainly, it is exceedingly difficult to produce without a good source of ...


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"Own unsatisfactory answers Demons, angels or creature from another realm seems to be a good proposition, but why does they respond to particular rituals and people only?" I will build on this as it's something I can work with. The rest needs to be better explained. Why would and angel or demon or creature do so? Many reasons. 1-Because those words ...


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To thine own subconscious be true: All this ritual is the equivalent of a placebo. Placebos REALLY affect your health, by making your mind do something it logically shouldn't. Like screen out pain. People can even benefit from placebos when they know it's a placebo, because a doctor tells them the placebo works to affect their subconscious. This is you, ...


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Dew you think this counts? While actually making water from nothing is a little challenging, maybe no one notices your creature gathering water. In dry places, morning is a cool time of day, and dew can condense on surfaces. Perhaps your critters are gathering water from dew, but no one realizes that is what they're doing. Desert animals take advantage of ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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The difficulty with making water from (just) air is that you need hydrogen. I'm assuming that you're assuming a breathable atmosphere (read: contains oxygen). In order to make water, you need both hydrogen and oxygen, which are potentially explosive when mixed together. (Water is the result of that explosive reaction, if it's set off.) Multicellular ...


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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. ...


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Your dragons have a key advantage not enjoyed by other air vehicles: they can run along the ground literally in the weeds, and take off again at will. If they fly along at treetop level and land/take cover as soon as their radar warning reciver (RWR) tells them some has locked on to them, no missile is ever going to be fast enough to hit them. The enemy ...


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