New answers tagged

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Light There would be no light. There would be no bioluminescence. The issue is that without light, eyes don't evolve. Without eyes, bioluminescence doesn't evolve. A catch-22. Not-Light Instead of light, one might use electrical fields. By releasing small voltages and sensing what comes back, one could examine the world around oneself. If this is ...


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Towards an Answer... The question of gigantic humanoids has come up in Worldbuilding a couple times in the past, and we do have some data on relative maximums in size for Homo sapiens. Historically, the tallest human ever was just under nine feet tall; and the heaviest human ever was 1,400 pounds (100 stone). Both men were at least of average intelligence:...


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First of all, understand that 55 million years is a long time for evolution. I would expect one could turn dolphins into humans in that time frame. Evolution is a matter of mutation and selection. The mutations tend to occur naturally, but stress encourages more. (Especially pollution and radioactive fallout.) But the selection is the key. Normally, ...


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No. Dogs have over twice as many chromosomes as cats and the most specific taxonomic rank that they share is the order carnivora. Dogs belong to the suborder caniformia, while cats belong to the suborder feliformia.


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Domestication. The reason why dogs have enough muscles in their faces to mimic a smile, while cats don't and have to rely on mimicking the frequency of a baby's cry. Citation needed for dogs. I don't know if they had those muscles prior to domestication.


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Your boy is vat grown from engineered stem cells In the future, need for replacement organs gives rise to factories for such. Stem cells capable of differentiating into organs are grown into a basic human framework capable of supporting the organ until harvest. Usually, mechanical and chemical methods are used to "prune" the host organism, preventing ...


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Nothing would encourage the anthropomorphization of multiple species at the same time. The chances of such a thing occurring are astronomically low. There is no way that this could realistically happen without genetic engineering, so either humans created these animals and they rebelled, leading to a global disaster and forcing the humans to flee Earth. ...


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Healing nanites gone bad: In this scenario, humans made nanites that were supposed to cure diseases, heal wounds, and do it all in a highly intelligent manner. They would have been customized to each individual, having that person's DNA and maybe even their body plan programmed into them. Of course they leaked into the environment, but it would take ...


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As the horrors of the Second World War are gradually forgotten, the nations of the world gradually become more Fascist. The major nations become obsessed with racial purity, though disagree on which race is pure. Viruses can carry DNA with them. In secret each nation develops viruses to "purify" DNA by rewriting it with their race. One of these viruses ...


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One theory is that Humans started walking upright because of grass. Tall grass spread through where proto humans lived and those able to get their heads above it to look around got a distinct advantage. Other animals failed to fill this niche because the new humans were already doing it. So what your other animals need is tall grass, no humans, and time. ...


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The mutations would be random. You would need some kind of genetic engineering to produce a specific mutation. (Perhaps a escaped retrovirus inserting them?) Whether random or engineered, however, the question is what characteristic in their environment is selecting for these traits once they appear? The traits will have to be immediately and practically ...


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Perhaps look to the effects of islands on evolution as a model? You might not have the food pressures like a small island might have but Darwin noticed different islands had different species. Each bubble or dome has as slightly different gene pool to start with, and some recessive traits would be different. Sexual selection over the time period could ...


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A group of anglerfishes known as handfishes walk on the sea floor with their remarkably hand-like pectoral fins. However, handfishes are strictly aquatic. Frogfishes, another group of anglerfishes, can walk slowly on the sea floor with either their pectoral fins or by using a combination of their pectoral and pelvic fins. Like their handfish relatives, ...


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Viruses can do many kinds of stuff to the body. For example, the one that causes COVID-19 can cause shut down your senses of taste and smell (I don't know if it's permanent though). Ebola can temporarily change the color of your eyes. And as far as I know genetic therapy uses modified viruses to deliver new genes to specific cells, in order to get them ...


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One way to achieve some increased strength would be for the virus to totally override the bodies own natural neurological stop points for muscle movements and the pain threshold. Doing this would provide a significant amount of extra strength at the risk of causing some damage in extreme cases. It might also be possible for a virus to interfere with the ...


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I'm not sure if symbiosis from a true mutualistic perspective with a virus is possible, as viruses are natural intracelular parasites, but other than that it's not that bad. Your pathogen seems to be closer to a bacteria, and one capable of editing human DNA. Regarding the changes in the body. Enhanced vision and hearing can be achieved mostly by a higher ...


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It's possible but unlikely. The ratio between the surface area and volume of a creature increases exponentialy as it get's bigger, thus a large arachnid body would be largely unable to support it's own weight.If an animal were isometrically scaled up by a considerable amount, its relative muscular strength would be severely reduced since its mass would ...


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The average human is 165 cm tall and 62 kg. The angel's bones will be hollow, which should reduce its weight by about 10%, so it will weight 55.8 kg. I am going to be basing the wings off of a golden eagle's. A golden eagle has a wing loading of 7.08 kg/m^2, in order to get an angel to fly, it would need wings with an area of 7.88 m^2. Since a golden eagle ...


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Oh, those sexy eyes: You need to have some advantage to having eyes, or else they degenerate like blind fish. So why do animals get distorted into seemingly impractical forms? The most obvious thought is that if eyes become a sexual display somehow, the might grow to the point of being dysfunctional. If the opposite sex likes it, it will select for it. Big ...


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Realistically, the answer is going to fall to Narrative Necessity: your story needs certain things to happen, otherwise there is no story worth telling. What this means is that for your story about a group of explorers integrating with, teaching, shagging and modifying an early Homo species to happen, the story must can happen. It's plausible because you as ...


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If it evolved on a planet similar to Earth then all issues regarding respiration and taxonomy are irrelevant. So, millions of years ago a large decapodal silk-producing organism existed on a planet similar to earth. It has an endoskeleton as well as a chitinous exoskeleton. Its foremost limbs developed into humanlike arms so that it can better manipulate ...


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Speed and drying out are going to be your two biggest issues. Gastropods rely on creating a trail of mucus in order to move around, and the water to create that mucus has to come from their own body. However, doing so is very inefficient in terms of water balance. This cost is going to skyrocket the larger the gastropod gets, because it has to expend more ...


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The creeper evolved from eusocial insects. There is absolutely no reason why an animal would chase its prey down, only to kill itself by exploding, the only thing that makes sense is that creepers are actually eusocial. Eusocial animals will give their life to protect their colony, unlike most animals. The way that the legs are arranged also suggests an ...


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The largest terrestrial slugs are Limax cinereoniger at 30 cm and Limax doriae at 36 cm. The largest terrestrial snail is Achatina achatina at 39.3 cm in total length and 900 g in weight. The largest sea slug is Aplysia vaccaria at 99 cm and 14 kg and the largest sea snail is Syrinx aruanus and has a shell length of 91 cm and a weight of 18 kg. The giant ...


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It already has. Hammerhead sharks have very peculiar-shaped heads that some might describe as eye stalks. And it is possible that it has occured in prehistoric times as well. Perhaps the strangest prehistoric animal is Tullimonstrum, otherwise known as the "Tully monster." This bizarre animal's taxonomy is almost completely a mystery. Nothing has been ...


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Some fish larvae do have eyestalks. This is known as the stylophthalmine trait, and has evolved at least 4 times. However, this trait generally involves bulbous elliptical eyes, which may be hard to support on nekton or terrestrial creatures


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[D]oes my magic system seem at least somewhat grounded in reality? Not exactly. Reality doesn't have infinitesimal vibrating strings of which certain people have the mutation which allows them to manipulate them in order to screw with people's minds, heal faster than they should be biologically capable of, or whip around water as if control by telekinesis. ...


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Compartmentalization of the Eye, then Extreme Specialization within each Compartment. Let's talk about human eyes for a moment here. Humans use one type of eye to do everything. Technically, yes, we have two eyes, but from a biological perspective, they're more or less identical in function, and they only operate in a pair to give humans depth perceptions. ...


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Super-resolution: I would agree that the compound eyes could be looked at much like digital cameras. Simulated digital compound eyes are already being developed and the design details for larger ones with increased resolution are in the works https://www.nature.com/news/digital-camera-gives-a-bug-s-eye-view-1.12914 Some of these are anticipated to have high ...


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So some chimpanzees and monkeys are already in the stone age. ( http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150818-chimps-living-in-the-stone-age ) Assuming that the loss of humanity didn't also wipe out the primates one of those is likely to step up to fill the niche, but that will likely take many millennia. IN the interim as others have suggested, large predators ...


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If you're looking for a species to become the new humans, I think cats are really your best choice. They don't have many natural enemies, can adapt to a wide range of climates, and have other biological benefits that other answers have already explained. There's more to it than biology, though. You don't rise to the point of being a diverse planet's ...


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Not sure how to help with the size of the spider. The max you could get (and even this is probably pushing it, due to differing anatomy) is the size of a coconut crab. This is a pretty big creature (I believe some specimens have leg spans of 3 feet), but it's nowhere near the size of a human. However, in regards to the torso, getting it to look fully human ...


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The idea is that the humans who were driven and motivated simply outclassed homo erectus by putting more effort in daily activities. It would seem, by your premise, that eliminating the humans would have prevented the extinction of homo erectus. The extinction, by your theory, had nothing to do with any 'defect' of homo erectus, but of the ...


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It is not possible in the way you want it to be. Even in ant colonies, in which the members lack any traces of empathy or higher thought, meaning mostly instinctual behavior, we still have lazy ants who don't work as hard as the others. Why don't they kill or remove this ant? Because if that ant is removed, another one will eventually appear and take its ...


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Evolution doesn't work that way. Evolution does not select for strength, it selects for fitness in an ecological niche. Then the environment changes, all the adaption was for nothing, and the dice roll again. Traits which might have been beneficial for a hunter-gatherer on the steppe might not help the farmer in a village, and vice versa. What you call ...


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Induce mass psychopathy You may be able to get it done in less, but that's what I would suggest. This can be done on the genetic level and societal level. Psychopathy has a lot of associated traits, but what the vast majority of them have in common is that they aren't lazy. A combination of several factors, such as the extreme need for personal ...


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Because of mankind's huge impact on the planet and the environment, generally speaking I think the species that would benefit most from mankind's departure are those that are close to the fringes, such as the endangered species in the fragile parts of the polar ice caps, rain forests, wetlands, etc. For example polar bears might be one of the largest ...


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The main problem here would be that you have essentially many radulas. A radula is essentially a "tongue with teeth" found in many mollusks. That alone should show how good it is for getting food, with the biggest members being octopuses and squids (especially squids), and both developed a hard chitin beak in addition to their tongues. So could they thrive? ...


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Quite contraordianry, but insects are far more advanced than mammals or fishes in terms of number of evolutional changes from common ancestor of all bileteral chord animals (yes insects have sort-of hord - they just left this obsolete feature behind). It means that their eyes are not a "ancient sidebranch" to our eyes, but one of ways of their development. ...


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If you lower the gravity, it is possible. Otherwise the wear&tear will cause a short lifespan (ligaments, joint cartilages, heart). Aside larger height, the bipedal position comes anatomic disadvantages: stagnating blood in leg veins higher pressure on back spine and leg joints - with the whole body weight distributed on half the number of legs of a ...


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Intelligence is nothing more than an evolutionary tool. Because it is our main tool, we are biased in saying that it is different and we overvalue, after all, we cannot run very well, we have no claws, inoculate poison, keep alive in very adverse situations, etc. Our intelligence is the product of the 16 billion neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which added ...


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Get ready to wave those hands How active do these giants need to be? I ask because Wikipedia's list of tallest people notes a lot of health problems. The 25 tallest people who are no longer living had an average lifespan of only 39 years. Below is a photograph of John Rogan, the second tallest man in history. He's sitting because he was unable to walk after ...


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In terms of mankind's presence passively helping another species achieve sapience, there probably wouldn't be any species that fit your criteria. Humans haven't been creating strong selection pressures for higher intelligence, and the only way our presence would help another species achieve sapience is if we outright uplifted them. There have been ...


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You can, but it has other bigger problems, but maybe fixable ones. You can make the neck as long as you want, but be aware the longer you make the neck the weaker it becomes, so if you make it too long they can't use any force from the neck to assist in biting and tearing which makes it pretty poor for attacking large prey. The design itself is really not ...


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The obvious way for insect eyes to evolve parallels the development of the CCD and CMOS image sensors used in digital imaging. Rather than try to evolve a vertebrate-like eye, evolution just increases the number of pixels in the compound eye.


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Another answer from me, from a different perspective. I just re-read your criteria: how much what we would leave behind might shorten the species's evolutionary journey to sentience. So, that's actually pretty specific. What in all our stuff would push a species to evolve higher intelligence? This immediately lays down some groundwork: first, there has ...


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Robots Maybe it is a stretch to call robots a "species", but when it comes to owing their rise to humans, they fit the bill perfectly. In your future world, humans may have achieved a state where robotic automation becomes so good that robots can reproduce and adapt on thier own. Some robots mine, some run the factories, some distribute goods, etc. They ...


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Practically, not long at all Theoretically, the neck could be pretty long, as there's no biological reason why you can extend a neck out far, even with the Dunkleosteus's unique jaw mechanics. Practically, you don't want to extend it at all. Take another look at the way the jaw functions - it needs those back set of plates (the thoracic shield) in order for ...


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The top answer on here uses convergent evolution as an explanation for why a giant spider would develop a semi-humanoid appearance, but I'd like to suggest an alternative model: mimicry. Spiders are among the most prolific mimics in the animal kingdom, and often adopt the appearance of other species in order to deceive predators or prey. Take a look at the ...


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All current answers are too mammal-centric. My nomination would be the birds. If you want to breed for intelligence, tool use and problem-solving, you don't want dogs or even cats - you want crows. They are the first animal ever seen to construct complex tools (defined as a tool with more than one element). Crows are fully omnivorous, and will eat ...


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