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0

This already is what trees do. Look at the forest floor of a spruce forest. It's DARK dark enough that almost nothing grows there. Human eye adapts to low light quite well, so it doesn't seem that the light level in a forest is only 1/20 or less than in full sun. All you really need is a variant of chlorophyll that doesn't reflect green light. Easy to ...


9

You presumably want large leaves because they might shade better, but you can shade just as well with a denser canopy of smaller leaves. You presumably want really thin spindly trees to maximise the amount of sunlight that can reach the ground in winter, but that present a bit of a structural issue. For a start, what would happen in strong winds? Nothing ...


4

You're asking why alkali metals (i.e. Group 1 on the periodic table: lithium, sodium, potassium, etc.) react strongly to fair folk tissue? Easy. These metals react very strongly with water. And fair folk, being living creatures, are somewhere around 70% water. Go search YouTube for videos of people dropping alkali metals into water; there's plenty of them. ...


6

Alkaline and alkalis are really reactive metals. (I assume you mean alkali when you say 'alkaloid', because alkaloids are an organic molecule classification. Alkaloids include morphine.) I mean, there's really no point in overthinking this. Alkaline & alkaloids, due to their valence shell structures are pretty much dying to react with just about ...


9

One source of the strong reaction with alkali and alkali-earth metals could be a high level of weakly bound oxidizers in the Fair Folk flesh. Oxygen is common in our environment, and presumably in theirs as well, if they can breathe our air; chlorine is also fairly common, though not as an atmospheric gas. If their bodies contain any level of fluorine ...


9

Breath that causes disease Though the source says "venomous," you do not specify the "disease." What about breath that causes vomiting? If it smells like human vomit that does cause a lot of people to throw up in real life. It could also have elements of disgustingness that would lead to even more people heading for the buckets. If you'd like a more ...


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Real world Komodo Dragons carry disease in their saliva, so that part already has a real world precedence. Carnivorous mouths are not the cleanest places in the world, so disease carrying may be the rule rather than the exception. Aversion to the naked male form also has some precedence. Many heterosexual male humans exhibit homophobia which mimics that ...


6

I think Explosive Liquefaction, and not Fluidization, is the effect you are looking for. Soil Liquefaction or Explosive Liquefaction can occur when an intense pressure wave travels through the ground. It has been extensively studied by mining engineering and weapons designers. Generally, mining engineers want to avoid it, while weapons designers want to ...


1

The plates click and tail whip produce a shockwave in all directions, a great defensive mechanism, but rather wasteful for a predator. A predator would want to direct all that energy at it's target for most damage and range. I propose some form of air pressure based shock tube. Put simply, it consists of a closed tube divided into two sections, one with ...


3

The real world examples you give are fantastic examples of how such a mechanism can work on the defensive aspect: the beetle is projected in the air with a BOOM, and the apatosaurus can scare off an enemy with its whip tail. But you want this mechanism on a predator. Well, if you are on the defensive side, you have to live with the possibility that the ...


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After looking at all of the comments, this is my personal conclusion for the ultimate "world tree". Leaves with very short hairs. These leaves would not only produce energy through photosynthesis but absorb water like roots, where the hairs act as root hairs. With slightly different physiology this is certainly possible. Location in a valley providing ...


0

To have significantly increased maneuverability making it a better predator mid-flight If the split you mention is deep enough and it has essentially 4 wings which can be moved independently like a dragonfly that would give it abilities like changing direction midair much faster, hovering, flying backwards, etc. This would still give it a B-shaped profile. ...


0

Even if your giant is too dense to be able to swim, he could still make his way across the lake. He simply knocks over a tree on one side of the lake, drags it to the water and uses the tree as a float as he kick-swims his way across. If your giants regularly carry around a huge tree-sized wooden club (ie. a tree), then he can just use that as his ...


3

Edit: I did the math and turns out I may've misjudged the sun: it gives more energy than I thought. See edit at bottom. This has partly been answered here: Sentient trees. Can they develop technology? But this question is more of a precursor to that: can such trees ever come about in the first place? I think this requires a definition of "plant" vs "...


0

Huge, dark tree, that likes to grow amidst other huge dark trees. From below, it looks like any of the others, but in truth it grows like a bent-down rod(back to a few meters above ground ) ending in one row of wide horizontal branches (though hiding it well in a thicket of leaves) forming an umbrella-like structure, spring loaded to snap shut. The seeming ...


4

Building things requires cognition and agency, which plants don't have. However fungus does seem to resemble something that really looks like a brain; and has actions that seem to indicate cognition. So on a long timescale it's imaginable that it would create enormous underground brains. Similar to the Starship Trooper brain bug. But then there is still ...


1

They start out mammalian vertebrates because otherwise they could not be blonde. That second pair of arms is the pair we use for legs. She has that tail for locomotions so she can use them as arms too. Now we have all 4 tetrapod appendages accounted for. Hmm... Third pair of arms is from a conjoined twin. She is wearing that big hat right now so you can'...


5

This is basically what the brain already does, but ramped up to 11 and in control of the conscious mind. The problem is that this requires a very specific mind. During development your brain makes millions of connections with other parts of the brains, then at some point it starts to purposefully remove many of these, leaving the most used neural pathways ...


3

For what we know, reducing the sensory filtering just overloads the brain, leaving very few capacity left for any other task. It is more or less what happens in the Savant syndrome. Savant syndrome is a condition in which someone with significant mental disabilities demonstrates certain abilities far in excess of average. The skills at which savants excel ...


6

At least in non segmented animals like vertebrates, duplication of limbs is more or less out of the question. First of all, a single chance mutation has to create a pair of limbs which just happen to not be in such a place as to interfere with any other organs or anatomical structures. Then, that mutation has to be somehow so advantageous that it takes over ...


3

It would be a very long and unlikely road. Begin some fifty million years ago with a random mutation in the HOX genes of a small primate, making it from a four into a six-limbed creature. That's the easy part, once the unlikeliness of the mutation and its survival goes through (tetrapods actually emerged way earlier than that - snakes are tetrapods ...


2

There are plenty of birds with split tails, e.g. SWALLOW-TAILED KITE Elanoides forficatusElanoides forficatus https://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/swallow-tailed-kite/ Why? Well one reason is to allow birds to recognise other members of their species.


8

Your birds have a double wing, based on expansion of the alula. https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/american-kestrel-flying-landing-alula-tci-9nov15-kevinjmcgowan_0717-186_ac_1000x562px/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alula The alula /ˈæljʊlə/, or bastard wing, (plural alulae) is a small projection on the anterior edge of the wing of modern birds and a ...


5

Everybody knows how amazing the collective intelligence of the termites is! While some of them like to carve their nests inside the wood, a particular race of termites has become particularly adapted to life inside dead pieces of wood. This particular subfamily, the Coptotermes Pinocchii has adapted so well that it can move the log of wood, for defence or ...


3

Pinocchio Terribillis is classified as a Euarchontoglires of unknown order, meaning while everyone is positive the species is a supraprimate is doesn't really fit in with other members of that clade -- primates, treeshrews, lagomorphs, and rodents. Paleopinotologists have found fossilized remains of Pinocchio Imnasis Nares, a widely accepted ancestor of ...


1

Body plan First off, let's talk body plan. Your demons, being roughly human-sized, will need very large wings. Starting with the similarly sized pteranodon, they'd need around a 20 foot wingspan to support a 100lb body. (Very roughly: pterosaur weight estimates are generally somewhat dubious.) Your demons have to support the added weight of horns and arms, ...


10

Coevolution. There was this little inedible snake (let's say a sidewinder, because those are heat seeking species) that snuck up on and entangled birds' wings in the night to exhaust them and finally eat them. The B-Bird was too big for this tactic, so it took the snakes aloft, loosing them after a struggle. This was actually a bonus for the snakes as they ...


1

To confuse its Predators Assume that your B-Bird is a small bird and prefers to fly at a lower altitude. Now suppose that in the same environment there is a large predator bird that preys on smaller low flying birds. Your B-Bird can't fight this predator, nor can it outrun its predator, so what it can do to survive, Confuse the predator. This B-shaped wing ...


11

It's a sexual selection character, more or less like a male peacock tail, which from a strictly practical point of view is a pain in the back for a bird who has to move in a dense forest environment. If the male can manage to survive with clipped wings and tail, it means he is really fit and thus a good mate. If he doesn't manage to survive, well.. corpses ...


0

Not quite a tree, but there is a bush that does something similar - it initially evolved exposed roots above-ground to stop herbivores (namely sheep) from reaching it. It then evolved spines on those roots to better stop sheep - it catches their wool, and they're then trapped, and starve, turning into tasty nutrients right over the roots. The bush just ...


1

I like the image of a Willow tree, but I'm picturing a more pro-active version that has branches that work like a jellyfish's tentacles (search cnidoblasts). if an animal contacts them they reflexively trigger with a similar hair mechanism to a Venus fly trap, binding and coiling the prey, perhaps injecting a sedative, with the whole branch contracting to ...


3

If the shell can slide, then you have no problems. The shell supports the mass, and the legs are basically used to propel it: they are rams/paddles to push it forward or rotate it, rather than struts to support it. Unfortunately, a big, cumbersome shell is the worst option for maneuvering on a tree-covered planet ...unless something is big enough that it ...


0

This doesn't fill the challenge criteria, but a giant frog with a sticky tongue would be a cool base. It would have a metabolism like a large snake, slowly digesting its prey. It would have evolved to mimic bushes in the surroundings, maybe just hiding within them and evolving camouflage features like coloration and patterning, later bushy shapes on the ...


6

Like Liam Morris, I have always liked the idea of willow trees that trap prey. My mechanism of choice would be that the hanging leaves and branches are covered in a stringy sap that works like a spider's web to trap small animals. The more the animal struggles the more enmeshed they become and the tree then grows tendrils into the trapped prey to extract ...


18

Carcass tree. The tree has a commensal relationship with large predators. The predators use the tree as a refuge to eat their kills safely. The tree gets the leftovers. The tree has hollows in which scraps and offal land, and from there the tree puts forth adventitious roots. The tree exudes pyrethrins, poisoning the meat for flies and so the tree gets ...


8

Venus Flytrap https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_flytrap Perhaps the most obvious starting place, the venus flytrap is a plant with “jaws” that slam shut like a bear trap when the hairs on the inside are moved. Typically it requires several movements within a certain time frame in order to trigger the jaws to shut (so the plant knows that the thing ...


31

Rule 1: Don't feed like a tiger, feed like an alligator. Alligators (and several other animals) eat only rarely: they can sustain themselves on just a single large prey animal every year, or even every two years, because they move slowly and don't use up much energy. Trees are great at moving slowly and conserving energy! That means that your particular ...


9

These are hermaphrodites, and what you are calling males are actually gametes. Your "males" are haploid (like gametes), and are nonsentient (like gametes). They are produced in excess (like gametes) and their sole function is to mediate sexual reproduction (like gametes). Your "females" can make these male gametes and also receive them, presumably to ...


3

There could definitely be such a difference, just look at other examples of sexual dimorphism. What you are thinking of is called sexual gigantism, and is predominant in spiders. While perhaps not originating in the exact way that you are describing, take a look at an example of this, and you will see that the females can be much bigger and more complex than ...


45

There are trees which are capable of killing large animals, in fact, only they don't eat them afterwards. But it's a start. Pisonia brunoniana is known as the birdcatcher tree for a reason. The seed pods of this tree are coated with a mucus which traps insects - even this alone could evolve into carnivory, but wait till you hear what happens next. These ...


14

I'd suggest pitcher plant style, the stem is hollow and full of sweet nectar that attracts small creatures. There are arguments about whether pitcher plants are strictly carnivorous as some suggest other options, but for the purposes of this question, we'll assume they are carnivorous. Since the requirement to not move on its own accord prohibits various ...


0

It depends on what you mean by race. If it is a race of humans, the only feature discernable on a quick inspection would be a light skin color to allow ample sunlight to penetrate the skin to produce vitamin D. However, this is because humans are incredibly adaptable and are able to change their behavior in order to survive a range of environments. If by ...


0

This addresses the general question rather than your specific question. You can fill in the environmental details that are specific to your own world. Imagine yourself living in such a situation for many years, and ask yourself this question: What do I find most significant about my body, that if changed slightly, would make my life better? For evolution, ...


5

Can a plant survive a 3 month period of no luminosity (or at least in amount that does not provide enough light to sustain any photosynthesis)? Yes, it's called WINTER, in case of polar night the tolerated period without light can be even longer. Being bioluminesent would be quite expensive from evolutionary perspective. There would be an evolutionary ...


3

Yes, just like plants on Earth create stores of energy in their roots to survive winter, your plants could develop a similar strategy of survival. It is also very likely that the leaves of said plants will fall off during this darkness period as leaves take energy to maintain and would not be returning energy without light. As for human survival, the plants ...


2

Taste buds and olfaction are essentially the same: detection of environmental chemicals at concentrations unlikely to be toxic. Advantage 1: Directionality. It would be easy to determine a concentration gradient across your body and so identify the source of a chemical. Advantage 2: Opportunity. This is a large sensory apparatus and so this redundancy ...


0

Advantages Tracking - Just by touching the ground, you could follow someone. Disadvantages Walking into a public restroom


2

Chemosensing? Every advantage. Early warning predator system, find prey easily, signal and receive status of fellow organisms. It'd be like a dog's nose on steroids. The real question is "Where would this likely evolve?"


1

I think Willk and Jackom5 are on spot. I propose an alternative, "dermotroph". Autotrophs are animals that synthetize their own food. Heterotrophs take their food from the environment. "Troph" here means eat. So an animal that eats through the skin would be a "dermotroph".


4

A few suggestions: Dermophage Dermostome Stomatoderm Dermis = skin, phage = eat, and stomata = mouth. So that would roughly translate to "skin eater", "skin mouth" and "mouth of skin". I don't think gastroderm would be entirely appropriate since the skin is only used for ingestion of food, not necessarily the dissolving of it. Mind you, it eats a lot of ...


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