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2 votes

Very Simple: Is white hair good for a hot environment?

From a purely isolation standpoint - yes. But you don't want isolation alone- you want a chimney effect to cool you in a hotplace. So you want a loose outer layer that heats up, suspended about a ...
Pica's user avatar
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5 votes

Very Simple: Is white hair good for a hot environment?

In theory yes, but actually achieving this is another matter. In the vast majority of cases, white hair comes with light skin tone (polar bears are a major exception). Low pigmentation in the skin ...
Going Durden's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Very Simple: Is white hair good for a hot environment?

If we look just at the empirical evidence, among the adaptions to the environment evolved by desert animals, white air doesn't seem to be prevalent. They have the usual nuances of brown/dark hair. ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
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1 vote

Evolution of predatory elves

One way to get around some of the contradictory/ unlikely physical characteristics of the elves, as reported by other answers, is to switch which species has a different size than in reality. Instead ...
RIanGillis's user avatar
2 votes

Evolution of predatory elves

One thing that always bugs me when I read any fiction containing fantasy species where evolution is a mechanism present in the world is the fact that ecological exclusion never seems to be something ...
Jeremiah's user avatar
  • 466
1 vote

Technological Progress and Regress among interlunar Societies

Of Course So my question is: Is it possible that an inter-lunar civilization is struck so hard, that they loose their grip over nature, regress in technology and economy [...] One of the dominant ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
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2 votes

Evolution of predatory elves

You're going to run into some square-cube law issues and problems related to biomechanics and engineering safety factors, and those are going to cause significant issues for hard-science: Faster &...
Sarah Messer's user avatar
16 votes

Evolution of predatory elves

As a slight modification to your proposal, I'd like to offer up an alternative hominin as an avenue of exploration: (image credit Giles Laurent via wikipedia) Consider: reasonably intelligent ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
7 votes

Evolution of predatory elves

You can't get there from a basic hominid. You might be able to do it with genetic engineering, but you wouldn't have anything compatible with a human after that. The problem is: Are around 1.5 times ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
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1 vote

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

It's a toxin but not for humans Lets look at at a real world example Psilocybin[a] is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of fungi. The most potent ...
Thorne's user avatar
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0 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

There are many possible avenues you can take to get where you need: The primary purpose of a venom is to incapacitate prey, however it can achieve that. Many venoms are cytotoxic, killing tissue at ...
KeithS's user avatar
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0 votes

Could a bird evolve into something like a Gryphon?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roc_(mythology) The bird Roc in arabian mythology is based upon a case of island gigantism in birds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_bird on madagascar if i recall ...
Pica's user avatar
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1 vote

Could a bird evolve into something like a Gryphon?

I would start with an owl. Owls are already cat-like ambush predators. The only thing that differs them from felines is that they glide down on their prey rather than pouncing on it. Largest owl to ...
Going Durden's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Could a bird evolve into something like a Gryphon?

An anatomically correct griffin would be descended from a theropod ancestor. Some theropods had both four limbs and wings. In other words, they already have the right number of limbs for a griffin. ...
IndigoGriffin's user avatar
0 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

The venom is derived from a blood-drinking, tick-like parasite. In nature, this parasite evolved its toxin so that its bite would not itch, and thus the affected mammal would not remove the tick. Over ...
Going Durden's user avatar
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3 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

A common behaviour among mammals is rubbing and scratching themselves on fixed objects. There's even evidence that having big scratchy brushes for cattle can improve their productivity. Here's a ...
Robertiton's user avatar
0 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

Well to understand if any evolutionary advantage did so exist for such a venom that would make pain pleasurable we must need to understand what pain basically is. Pain is basically a response of the ...
Ainesh Banerjee's user avatar
3 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

There are plenty of examples in real life of animals that have evolved chemical mechanisms that cause their prey to actively seek them out, leaving their prey open to being preyed upon. I recently saw ...
Earl Jenkins's user avatar
3 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

Hialutabu is a hormone released during pregnancy The pain of childbirth is now extremely pleasurable, encouraging the mammal to have more and more offspring. More offspring means higher chance that ...
dhuang's user avatar
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0 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

Real world Vipers have a similar venom Vipers lie in good ambush sites and wait for prey to arrive. When another creature approaches, they'll strike, and inject their venom, and then they recoil and ...
Mooing Duck's user avatar
4 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

The Tatzelwurm A german folklore half dragon (one without wings) who is also often known for an extraordinarily disgusting stench. The stench comes from it's digestive system which is very powerful in ...
datacube's user avatar
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0 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

Evolution, the process has a few winning strategies. All of course- begin with "as cheap as possible" and then end with: go to big to become a snack (elephant, whale, dinosaurs) become to ...
Pica's user avatar
  • 4,558
11 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

The venom is farmed from predators There are many Earth animals that that have evolved venom to incapacitate their prey, rendering it immobile for later consumption. On Earth these are generally ...
K. Morgan's user avatar
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5 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

Does hialutabu shut down hunger? If so, a plant could produce it to cut down on grazing. A cow (or whatever) eats a little of the plant then stops because it isn't hungry any more. Starving people ...
DMacks's user avatar
  • 51
13 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

In the real world, there are some wasps (Cotesia glomerata) that lay their eggs inside the caterpillars of some specific butterfly species (those of genus Pieris). The caterpillars initially want ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
25 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

That it behaves in that way when injected to the people of that planet is an unexpected consequence. The only advantage for the plant producing it is that it is lethal to the animal trying to consume ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
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6 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

Frame challenge. Technically Venom only two evolutionary functions. One, to kill or incapacitate prey. Two self defense. Also importantly plants do not have venom's. They have compounds that are ...
Mon's user avatar
  • 17.4k
12 votes

Evolutionary advantage of a venom compound that makes pain pleasurable

It was created by a carnivorous plant, it shoots needles into the prey animal, but they don't notice because the drug overrides the pain signals. They then get so disorientated that they simply stop ...
SoronelHaetir's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Technological Progress and Regress among interlunar Societies

You are presuming that the civilizations retain their knowledge and expertise for long time even when the means to apply these expertise are destroyed. Consider all AI developers now, without computer ...
workoverflow's user avatar
0 votes

Would it be possible for a single celled organism to evolve intelligence?

The only plausible answer I can think of is networking AKA something like what is described in the novel and the TV series based on it called 'the Swarm'. In that story (which takes place on Earth) ...
Mon's user avatar
  • 17.4k
0 votes

Would it be possible for a single celled organism to evolve intelligence?

In his Children of Time trilogy, Adrian Tchaikovsky introduces one of the most interesting alien species ever: thr nodan parasites. They are colonies of single celled organisms that are able to store ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
1 vote

Would it be possible for a single celled organism to evolve intelligence?

Yes, we have good evidence that monocellular slime mold can achieve rudimentary intelligence, including problem-solving skills. It can navigate mazes, learn, etc.
Going Durden's user avatar
  • 3,571
3 votes

How would a predator adapt to prey on sapient species?

Preying upon a sapient species is a very bad idea for the most part. It's not likely to evolve because of just how bad an idea it is... with some exceptions. Consider the one truly sapient species we ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

How would a predator adapt to prey on sapient species?

One adaptation, that requires very little mutation to occur is voice mimicry. Have the orcs evolve a much more powerful, and much more complex vocal aparatus, and brain structures related to speech, ...
Going Durden's user avatar
  • 3,571
4 votes

How would a predator adapt to prey on sapient species?

Be able to live somewhere intensely hostile to elven life, such as: Underwater (mermaid orcs) Extensive lightless fantasy caverns Irradiated nuclear ruins Disease-infested jungles The demon-haunted ...
g s's user avatar
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4 votes

How would a predator adapt to prey on sapient species?

Evolve armour. An exoskeleton lets a powerful predator rush elves and eat them. They could grow a skeletal exoskeleton which they can use to block spears and bow shots, perhaps a turtle shell barrier ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
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6 votes

How would a predator adapt to prey on sapient species?

Frame Challenge I'm assuming your orcs are not themselves sapient, otherwise this becomes a very different question. I think specific adaptations to predating on sapient species are neither necessary ...
GiantSpaceHamster's user avatar
28 votes

How would a predator adapt to prey on sapient species?

In the real world, things which might have predated on humans and proto-humans didn't get the opportunity to adapt to the burgeoning intelligence of their potential food items... they either made do ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
2 votes

Would it be possible for a single celled organism to evolve intelligence?

The only real requirement for this to happen is the development of a sub-cellular equivalent of a neuron. Once this happens, the organism can become smarter without necessarily becoming multicellular....
David G.'s user avatar
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0 votes

How would humans evolve in this star system?

Child bearing? There might be some evolutionary pressure on female reproductive organs gestation in general to cope with carrying children to term and then giving birth under 1.3 G conditions. But ...
Mon's user avatar
  • 17.4k
2 votes

How would humans evolve in this star system?

Physiological evolution can occur on the scale of 10,000s of years. To my knowledge there is little to no adaptive evolution of humany anatomy / morphology on the last 50,000 years. The one exception ...
N Brouwer's user avatar
  • 316
0 votes

Is extremely rapid evolution plausible?

Hybrid speciation In general, natural selection can be very fast, but speciation is very slow and is often thought to require that two species be geographically or at least ecologically separated for ...
N Brouwer's user avatar
  • 316
3 votes

Are humanoid cetaceans evolutionarily possible?

Frame Challenge: Why go with humanoid cetaceans, if making cetacean humanoids would be easier? The evolutionary path from a hominid ape into a semi-aquatic lifeform with cetacean-like features is ...
Going Durden's user avatar
  • 3,571
5 votes

Are humanoid cetaceans evolutionarily possible?

Fine manipulation for tool use and development is the hurdle Cetaceans are already quite intelligent, and given an environment that encouraged tool use, intelligence is likely to be selected for on ...
ShadowRanger's user avatar

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