New answers tagged

1

Whilst mammals that exist today cannot tolerate a body temperature much in excess of 40 degree C this is the result of climatic conditions and the evolutionary pressures that have shaped evolution on Earth. With different climatic conditions and different evolutionary pressures some organisms might well have evolved to survive at much higher temperatures. ...


2

Here's the problems, assuming they're still mostly human: Human females don't advertise (generally speaking) when they're fertile, and you're only looking at conception being even possible for 5 or 6 days per month. So, about 80% of the time, no chance of pregnancy just based on the odds. If you're talking a ratio of 1 to 100, and as mentioned a mature male ...


3

You need to have a think about like humans do you want them to be, socially and sexually? Humans are very bad at getting pregnant. Studies done on American newly weds who were actively trying to have a child (lots of sex, no contraception), showed that it took on average 6 months for them to conceive. Now that's an average, so some of them would have got ...


1

What you care about is something called effective population size. This is a term used by population biologists who want a way to quantify the genetic characteristics of some non-ideal population as compared to an ideal one. So a population that goes through bottlenecks or a population with highly variable reproductive success will have a lower effective ...


1

We are neither digitigrade nor plantigrade exclusive because as hunter gathers, we have evolved to take advantage of both which is more selectively fit than one or the other. Our feet are designed to flatten out when we need to cover long distances, but when we are ready to stalk, fight, and chase, we go up on our toes just like digitigrade mammals. If a ...


4

Dunbar's Number I love going back to this because it just feels so real. Primitive societies were limited to about 100-150 people, even in modern society we have trouble keeping track of more than that. I'm connected to a thousand or people on social media. I doubt I could give specific details about more than 200 of them and I doubt that more than 200 ...


2

The few males, or diversity in general, are not so much the problem per se. While there are many opinions and theories ("research") on that field, the simple truth is that nature doesn't care. Nature will take whatever it is given, it has always done that. Some combinations are more favorable than others, but in the end nature just works with what it has. ...


13

You need 5,000 mobile males to make your population stable, at a minimum This question has already been addressed from a different perspective in recent years, namely around interstellar generation ships and unlike previous research that looked at minimum viable populations in the hundreds, the new research tends to indicate that we need around 10,000 ...


5

Getting rid of the lions. Lion males are jerks. The new matriarchal primates will have a system that is a mix of matrilineal elephants and showy bird males. Elephants have a totally matriarchal, matrilineal system. https://www.elephantsforever.co.za/social-order.html Elephants are a matriarchal society; that is, one that is led by a head cow, who ...


9

Straightforward calculation The initial number of females is N. You pick N. Ten, one hundred, one thousand, your choice. The average life span is S. You pick S. Twenty, thirty years. Each year, an average of D = N / S females will die. (D stands for deaths.) Remember that this is the average life span; it must take into account horrible child mortality, ...


0

What you probably need is a simple math equation that can give you a hint of how fast the populations will grow. I'm not a mathematician, so this was all I could find: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logistic_function#In_ecology:_modeling_population_growth Also found these links. Don't know if they can be of any help or if you have already checked them out: ...


1

Many human cultures (http://mentalfloss.com/article/31274/6-modern-societies-where-women-literally-rule) are matriarchical, with no distinct biological difference from males and females of other cultures (may have physical differences of appearance). So you can have the lemurs evolve like regular humans. In fact polygenism (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


2

Female hyenas have genitals that looks like they belongs to a male. What humans are concerned, women have wider hips than males because of childbirth. The more narrow hips makes men faster runner than women, so if the hunting requires running, males would probably be the ones who does the running part. Assuming the females of intelligent lemurs have wide ...


0

I have a mobile plant thing I've come up with. It is not mobile enough to go far distances however. It has this fruity sack on its belly area. When ripe and when a large animal is in range, it inflates it's fruit sack with liquid and launches itself onto the animal, and the fruit sack bursts like a water balloon filled with goo. The goo makes the seeds stick ...


7

A capacitor is, in its bare components, a dielectric separating two opposite charges. An electric eel creates its discharge by separating ions via an energy pump and opening the channel on demand. Therefore, in a way, living organisms have already evolved a capacitor. It doesn't come with the package we see in printed boards, it has no color coding, but it ...


4

If the creature in question descend from Pterosauria it is plausible it has been carried on. As you can see from this comparison, only one "finger" is used to keep the wing membrane in tension, while the other fingers can be used for some other purposes. However note that if the animal is specialized in flight, the remaining mobility/strength for ...


3

Bone strength and food was not a limiting factor for dinosaur size. Most limiting factors are: Breath - it is not about liters of oxigen per second, but about difference in parcial pressure of O2 and CO2 (not absolute values, but difference!). Large dinosaur has long long blood vessels, and a long time for gases to come throu body. Each cell this flow is ...


2

This question reminded me of the avian crocodylomorph. Avian Crocodylomorph I proposed a water creature that developed flight in the manner of a flying fish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_fish The flying fish lives in the water and because of its wings, can spend some time in the air. It cannot grab anything because there is nothing to grab. ...


6

Short answer is no, it's not a practical solution because the feet are already designed for gripping in most animals that fly, making clawed hands redundant (just take a look at how eagles and hawks hunt) and most importantly of all, the wings are in point of fact evolved hands that have been reshaped to provide maximum surface area on the wing through ultra ...


2

Intelligence after flight. Manipulation of tools is pretty necessary for an intelligent civilization, and one of the best parts of civilization is tools. That's stuff like microwaves, hammers, tongs, chairs, everything that's artificially made for a specific purpose. Tools are nice things. And the more precise you can make a tool, the better. And precision ...


6

Using basic square/cube law, a dinosaur with 60x the bone strength could get 60^1/3 times as big (assuming the muscle strength is similarly increased). The cube root of 60 is about 3.9, so they could get a little less than four times as long/tall and still move around as well the original "real world" scale dinosaur. Of course, unless you have something ...


1

With the amount of energy in a collision required to drastically increase the mass of the moon, the amount of matter raining down on Earth would be enormous. A significant portion of the Earth's crust would become molten (bye bye Oceans). We say life always finds a way, but there are no reservoirs of life in the mantle. The chances are that no life would ...


3

Since you mentioned K-Pg: All animals above a certain (small) weight went extinct. They could not hide fast enough nor could meet their food demands after the event. But your event will be much worse then K-Pg was, I don't think anything above bacteria, some tough bugs like the tardigrades or fungi will survive. It won't be a single rock, but thousands of ...


0

When planning a plausible explanation of evolution of an imaginary creature, what I do is think in the evolution path in reverse direction. I mean: What is a probable ancestor, and the ancestor of that one, and so on. Because evolution usually takes little steps, something that was useful for one thing, maybe evolves in something useful for another thing. ...


4

My two cents: Our starting point is a lizard. Now, there are already arboreal lizards that glide - of course their genus is named Draco - but I'm not using that because I have my doubts they will be able to produce powered flight, much less be able to maintain it at enormous sizes. I also want them to be venomous for reasons I'll get into later, so I think ...


2

The whole purpose of sex, according to science, is to randomize the gene pool on each generation and keep things fresh and diverse. If you just keep all the same genes in every generation, then the whole population may succumb due to something targeting specifically those genes. Case in point: banana blight. If you wish to see what happens when a child has ...


3

The amount of genetic material contributed by each parent is constantly in flux. The big problem you have is the male genome, These kinds of things try to evolve all the time, but of course any male genome that evolves a counter has a HUGE advantage. so it gets selected for until the ratio is stable again, or it pushes the other way and then female genomes ...


1

In regards as to why this may not work for other species: One problem is that males and females will need vastly different meiosis processes. In humans, egg and sperm cells are obviously different, but the processes that format the DNA for those gametes are pretty similar. How does this evolve? How does the first female whose gametes have 2/3 of a full ...


2

Our plants on earth transform electromagnetic radiation into chemical energy - this is used for growing, propagation, etc. I did not find any direct energy transformation from kinetic energy to chemical energy. See wikipedia. (Which does not mean, that there isn't any.) So if you insist on the plants using the wind instead of just directly the sun, use ...


4

The plant has small elements in its leaves. When the wind moves the leaves, the elements are strained. This strain, as consequence of the piezoelectric effect, produces a small charge that is then used to accumulate chemical energy. Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, ...


0

This is possible. Limb loss has happenned many times during evolution. For example, it is currently thought that all arthropods evolved from this extinct myriapod, which would imply a lot of limb losing through the ages. Do consider how evolution works. To go from six to four limbs, having just four has to provide some advantage comparing to the original ...


2

Flightless Dragonoids I use "dragonoids" in the sense of a morphology similar to Western dragons - four legs and two wings, only without the wings. As you suggest, it is far more likely for tetrapods to evolve from hexapods than the other way around. However, it is unlikely for an animal adapted to walking on six legs to lose one pair of legs without a ...


2

It is one organism; the "facehugger" is just a complex first exoskeleton I don't think alternation of generations is necessary to explain this, since the facehugger phase doesn't really behave much like an independent organism - it does not eat, grow, or mate with other facehuggers. It is simply a complex original exoskeleton that is discarded once it is no ...


-3

Ancestors of tetrapods are fishes with six fins. That’s the closest we can get to having hexapods.


6

Alternation of generations "Lifeform A giving birth to Lifeform B which then gives birth to Lifeform A's infant stage": funny that this is exactly how the lifecycle of plants works. But then I have always said that plants are aliens. All plants exhibit an alternation of generations. A gametophyte produces gametes (eggs and sperm); when two gametes of ...


4

Lots of animals, in particular certain species of wasps, use ovipositors to implant eggs into a host animal of some kind. These often have different appearances as they reach different stages of their life cycle. What you're more likely to see is something like this: Adult stage of organism deposits eggs into host. Larval stage of organism devours host from ...


1

It evolved to be cute, in fact the cuteness evolution is so great that it's now incapable of hunting for food (think evoking something impractical like peacocks feathers). Humans will instinictivly stop and stare at it and will likely drop things in their hands, like food. Once the human moves on the creature can then scavagne the dropped food. Thus it must ...


4

Giant Pyrosomes are actually a real sea creature that is very similar to what you are describing, except it lives in the ocean and is a colony of organisms in stead of a single organism. It could get the information you are looking for. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrosome


2

Some options: Birds that prey on mosquitoes that only prey on humans. The birds need to eat every day and therefore they hunt these mosquitoes that are around humans all the time. You could say that the need to be seen by humans didn't evolve as a survival benefit but a reproduction benefit in that the animals that allowed themselves to be seen by humans ...


1

Starting with the conceit that you meant sapient instead of sentient - here's my idea. First, it depends on the physical properties of your world. This will probably only work on a planet of many small islands, separated by a greater distance than can be easily flown by most birds/flying reptiles/squirrels what-have-you. This all starts with a small ...


0

A (witch's?) familiar creates a bond with his master/mistress and they both benefit from this bond. Without a shared benefit humans will lose interest. The babies in @Renan 's answer are a cute example of that - you get continuation out of looking at your kid from time to time... I personally don't like cats, but seeing the number of funny cat clips on ...


4

Evolution works by environmental pressures, both positive and negative. In your case, a creature starts off independent of humans. At some point, being seen by humans becomes beneficial. This is your positive environmental pressure. Those in the population who have the "seen by humans" genes have a higher survival rate than the others. The benefit increases ...


5

Yes. Fire ants make rafts. http://theconversation.com/how-do-fire-ants-form-giant-rafts-to-survive-floods-80717 Fire ants instinctively build a raft of their own bodies to survive flood. They also instinctively make towers. The linked articles describes researchers who derived rules of behavior describing how ants, which know nothing, can instinctively ...


19

There is a creature that needs to be seen by humans multiple times per day in order to survive, but only during its first years of life. See what I mean? Lose sight of these creatures for five minutes and they take their own lives. You have to feed and clean them too. Some would say they evolved to be cute so that we instinctively do that.


6

There are quite a few birds which build floating nests. Those nests are more in the nature of rafts than boats, but maybe that's enough. Australasian grebes, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae. A pair of Australasian grebes building a floating nest. Photograph by user Grahame, available on Wikimedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. ...


2

I might be misunderstanding this, but...I looks like you might be using the word 'radiation' in two separate ways? The radiation at Chernobyl is 'ionizing radiation'. It has high enough energy to kick out electrons from around their atoms. Therefore, it can interfere with biological molecules (like genetic material), which is what makes it dangerous. On ...


1

So why would it evolve something like that? Because it evolved the frill before it became a completely subterranean species. Additional thoughts/uses: The frill is an echolocation receiver (it helps capture the reflected sound waves). It's a mating display, possibly with the bio-luminescent spots "looking" different to echolocation than the surrounding ...


7

NO I'd argue that beavers, e.g., do not innately how "how to build a lodge". Rather, they innately know how to cut down trees, move them and shape them into dams, lodges, etc. I do not believe they are sentient creatures (in the usual sense of def. 2) and thus have no concept of structures and no means of communicating plans, designs, skills or novel ...


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