New answers tagged

3

Some viruses get close to that. According to a study, about 145 genes in the human genome have been received from other species through a process called horizontal gene transfer. Retroviruses are a kind of virus that reproduces by splicing their genes into the host's chromosomes. Some well known viruses of this kind are HIV, FIV and FELV. Retroviruses ...


7

Yes but. You have to abandon the literality of this requirement: The children can be mix of the parents gene because there is no way of doing that, unless the creature has a complete genetic reengineering laboratory onboard. Just think that some creatures have a given number of chromosomes and genes, and other have different numbers. What would, or ...


2

maybe an organism that works as a sort of cloning device. it would somehow replicate the genetic material, and then cause a fetus to be born. it would create clones of the thing that copulated with it, not an inter-species clone.


12

Based on our current understanding of reproductive biology it is not possible. Each parent, in sexual reproduction, supplies half of the entire genetic set, which is then paired and used to build up a new organism. To have two matching halves it is necessary that both parents have the same number of chromosomes: just look at what happens when, in humans, ...


1

Different body functions are usually handled by different organs or structures. Heat radiation requires large surfaces, while horns and other weaponry requires strength and the ability to concentrate or dissipate force (concentrate for damage, dissipate for protection). Elephants, for example, have large ears for heat dissipation and separate tusks for use ...


1

You want antlers. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antler Antlers are specific to the deer family. Unlike horns, antlers are bone and so have blood flow thru them. This will allow heat transfer up from the body. Antlers also occur in ramified, spatulate shapes (like the Irish elk antlers depicted) with large surface areas to emit heat. Of course antlers ...


5

Curling the horns won't help any more then having straight horns would. The horn would still need to radiate from the base of the horn to the tips (via the horn) and curling them would reduce the airflow inside the curl as there is less space for it to travel. So Straight horns would help you radiate more heat, because you could essentially wave them around ...


3

What Whitehot said about generally louder volumes and lower frequencies seems right. Think about string instruments: As you move from violin to viola to cello to bass, the pitch of the instrument drops in proportion to the size of the instrument (due in this case to the hollow resonating chamber and the length and thickness of the strings). Any change in ...


1

Theoretically it is possible...all living species including the human race have shown results of evolving and adapting at speed so I believe that it is possible for a living organism to be born on a planet without a sun but I also believe that this organism could have instant adaptation capability...so when this planet passes a sun/star the light could ...


3

As @AlexP mentioned, and according to the wikipedia page he linked to, bugs usually rub body parts together to make a noise, so your giant bugs would probably use the same system. As a general rule, the bigger the object, the lower the sound frequency. Therefore, you could imagine similar noises to real world bugs but lower. A cricket's chirping could ...


5

If they shed their skin deeply enough, sure. However, wrinkles are not just a surface effect and deals with the collagen that, essentially, glues the skin to the underlying muscle and bone. Another problem is that as things break down with aging, what keeps the mechanism for creating new skin from breaking down. Maybe each new skin actually looks worse ...


1

giving it a 3 dimensional view from information given from watching soldiers as well as orders and update. A problem you'll run into is bandwidth limitation. There are probably too many tradeoffs to list here, but you will have to trade off range, resistance to interference and rate of communication. A 3D view sounds like quite a complex thing, and if you ...


3

You need to think about why a critter would need to communicate over a given distance. If a critter is more-or-less planet based, it's hard to see how it gets interstellar travel through evolution. And if it does not go there, it's hard to think why it wants to talk to anybody there. Especially on an evolutionary basis. Radio signals are not particularly ...


3

Your example image does not properly portray how a paw would become a hand. One of the most important things to remember about evolution is that the addition and subtraction of bones is VERY rare. Paws and hands both have the exact same bone structures, but we vary in the size, shape, and positioning of those bones. In a paw, the large pad corresponds to ...


4

A rather hilarious answer is in this British ad for milk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GSuH6LYMho Cats.....with thumbs! Realistically, the thumb would have to integrate with the wrist joint and the other phalanges, so a lot of exotic configurations that you might see on Science Fiction illustrations of aliens will not be feasible for creatures which ...


1

Long wavelength EM or sonar are both probably good picks for low-latency feedback. However, both types of wave will be scattered and attenuated to some extent (just, less so than visible light EM). One thing to note is that "Temperature and humidity affect odor because they increase molecular volatility." Perhaps your Hell Fires have extremely sensitive ...


3

Like the paws of apes and monkeys most likely: https://images.app.goo.gl/L2MyXCX3DPfYw1iP9 Tough and leathery. The material you see there in the pawlm (heh) of his hand looks almost identical to that of my dog for example.


1

Ever seen a snake frisk its tongue !! It doesn't do it do just look cool, It can see it's prey in 3 different modes. One, with its eyes, can see a broader spectrum than us. Second, use its tongue to pick up the smell in the environment. but the really cool one is the third, that is vibrations. A snake can pick up vibrations around it and pinpoint the ...


1

Regardless of how you get the wheels to work. The biggest issue is that natural terrain is not flat and smooth. If you have ever seen a video of a robot walking or a car driving, you notice that more often than not, they are doing it on a street, or in a house. Somewhere with a smooth floor that's relatively flat. Natural terrain will tear apart anything ...


6

The primary problem would be "how would this work in the first place"? Electricity alone does not make a wheel spin; electric motors require electromagnets to function, which do not occur in nature. So even assuming biological electricity generation (totally reasonable), the electricity wouldn't be any good for propulsion. Secondary (and mentioned in the ...


4

Not a biologist or physicist, but the simplest answer I can think of is infrared vision. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7mROTPAVZM As seen here, it does penetrate fog to a degree, and at long distance. Yes, infrared isn't as clear as normal vision without fog, but it is probably enough of an advantage in bad conditions to be viable. I think you can ...


10

Infrared, Sonar, and Other Waves Some animals use "bio sonar", or echolocation as a form of "sight" (ie, navigating and foraging). It's also possible for your creatures to see infrared radiation. If fact, your creatures could emit small amounts of waves from just about anywhere on the electromagnetic spectrum, except for visible light, and therefore "see" ...


2

Given that the atmosphere must contain something more than hydrogen, or lifting would become a significant problem, why not go all the way? (Even if, from an evolutionary standpoint, it's unlikely in the extreme). The Ozoa, unique among their brethren, have the capacity to differentiate between different hydrogen isotopes. In their old age, through careful ...


2

As comments said, Hydrogen is a fuel, but it needs oxygen or other oxidizer to burn. And there is no gas lighter than hydrogen. So here are couple ideas to resolve that: A. Change atmosphere to methane (like neptune). Your creature breaks it down into Hydrogen and Carbon; Hydrogen is used to float, Carbon is building blocks for the body. B. keep your ...


2

You don't need different organs; as has been stated, it is quite possible for modified fish scales to produce hair if needed. What you need is evolutionary pressure, a niche so that hair makes sense despite the obvious disadvantages. Hair might be used as camouflage, or to cultivate algae, as mentioned. Hair might also be used to trap gas. Your fish might ...


5

Respiratory gas is used and needed because it is used by the cell to oxidize chemical species and use the released energy. If the metabolism of your beings is not based on use of oxidative energy, no respiratory gas is needed. The above is valid for nuclear energy (they just need to supply new nuclear fuel to their metabolic centers) and solar energy (...


1

Life on your planet is Feasible, you would need to consider the implication of three moons on the tide. our moon pulls the water towards it; if you have two moons the tides would be very weak when they are at the opposite ends and very strong when they are at the same. imagine the three separate moons at the same time. You would have times when the tides ...


2

In short, evolution is perfectly possible provided you crack the incredibly hard problem of non-water DNA. However, it's going to be veerrrrryyy slow. Darwin's theory of Natural Selection is all about nonrandom genetic changes that mean a branch of a species is better adapted to living in a certain environment. Early AI took a similar approach, so this is ...


2

I'm not a Biochemist or a Xenobiologist, but my Google-fu is strong, and you may find this useful: Pick A Proper Planet In order for life to evolve incorporating ammonia, a number of conditions need to be in effect. For starters, ammonia itself needs to be very common on the planet. Many gas giants, such as Jupiter, have ammonia-rich ...


4

As stated in other answers, hair can't be used to keep a fish warm and so a hairy fish would have to use the hair as camouflage to retain this feature. There are better ways of doing this than using hair, for example, the "Hairy Frogfish" is covered in dermal spinules to resemble the plant-life in coral reefs and ambush prey. The spinules produce less drag ...


4

It sure won't be a trout The obvious con to hair in water is more drag, so more energy required, so more food needed. That is an evolutionary disadvantage, because more food means more going out there to find it, and means the same supply feeds less individuals. One outcome is the hairy fishes are gradually phased out of evolution for lack of surviving, and ...


2

They're not done evolving their hair away After all, how often are normally-hairy land mammals genetically hairless? In an environment where life had a stronger hold on the land than in the water, it's possible that hairy land animals are evolving into aquatic species (such as the whale examples from our world), but have not yet evolved to be hairless. ...


8

They can use it to capture food While a fish could theoretically have hair (hair is just modified scales), hair on aquatic animals is usually a disadvantage, because it slows the creature down. Even aquatic mammals lose their hair as they adapt for a fully-aquatic existence. But there are a few exceptions to this: The orangutan crab and the yeti crab are ...


41

Hair/fur is basically just modified scales, so it doesn't take any new organs; just modified expression of existing ones. The bigger problem is that hair seems to be a bad idea for aquatic animals. While some semi-aquatic mammals still have hair (e.g. otters), the trend among the most well adapted aquatic mammals is to lose their fur and become smooth ...


11

First "fur" appeared long before mammals - it was the amphibian mammals' ancestors. Yes, "hairy tritons", if you like. To cut a long story short: first it was scales all along. Then mammal's ancestors "turned" scales into hair and later dinosaurs "turned" scales into feathers (mammals are older than dinosaurs). First hairs were tactile organs - vibrissa. ...


4

When does an otter become a fish? It doesn't. It's a mammal, but you know what I mean. If you want fur you need a mammal, and a mammal somewhere on the evolutionary line between an otter and a dolphin might still have fur. Otters range from the Arctic to the tropics, so there isn't any problem there. The biggest problem is that they still give birth on ...


3

Fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen could be transported simply by a reaction with graphene. The resulting graphene fluoride and chloride are reactive, so they could be decomposed back into graphene and gaseous F2 and Cl2. Ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide could be transported by various metal conplexes; the color would vary based on the metal. ...


2

Assuming these future humans have to land on the ground and/or grab onto trees or something (like squirrels), the answer is that this is probably not possible. Wingsuits are the closest thing to what you are talking about, and the slowest vertical speed a wingsuiter can manage is about 40 mph. Achieving a 2-1 glide ratio can be done (even a person without ...


6

Could a roughly human sized, human weight, bipedal, anthropomorphized flying squirrel achieve significant gliding capabilities? Sure. As mentioned in the comments, wingsuit gliding is a Thing--the tricky bit is landing. Wingsuits, which are directly analogous to biological patagia, can achieve decent glide ratios--but they also require rather high speeds ...


2

Dogs use their tails for communication. Having more tails would make their communication several times more expressive, and evolution could favour that trait in a social animal. Furthermore, artificial selection could also favour it in a pet. You can see how cute and expressive is a three-tailed dog: (Credits) Multiple tails can be advantageous for other ...


5

From a biological standpoint, there isn't much benefit to extra tails other than symmetry, redundancy, or as a display. Otherwise, we'd probably have seen at least one mammal evolve an extra tail by now (after all, we've seen plenty of mammals, including ourselves, lose their tails). Because the tail is an extension of the spine, it's a little difficult to ...


1

I know of at least two series where the number of tails is proportional to their power. Naruto for example, as he gains more of the kyuubi's tails becomes stronger. There is also the manga Hyper Police and the demon fox Sakura, who is short of the full nine tails and is taken as a sign that her powers have not fully developed. The disadvantages can be the ...


6

Quoting from my answer here: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/87462/21117 A tail is an extension of the spine. That means the tail bones do have part of the spinal column passing through them. If the fox's tails are actual tails, then the spine nona-furcates(?) at the base of the tails, leading to effectively nine independent limbs with ...


12

Some birds have their tail feathers set in such a way that they seem to have double tails. Swallow-tailed kite: Barn swallow: Long-trained Nightjar: Evolution tends to weed out traits that are deleterious, so these tails either help them thrive or in the very least don't interfere with survival. At least in the nightjar's case they could make the bird ...


16

One potential use could be to create a flexible, spread-out surface for flying or swimming. Birds and aquatic animals have wide, flat tails for this purpose, but these flat tails are generally inflexible, capable of only a single point of articulation. Multiple tails with skin stretched between them would be more flexible and add an extra degree of ...


7

In my opinion, there isn't much benefit from having more than 1 tail. The issue is that almost all animal tails extend off the base of the spine. This essentially gives some animals an additional 5th limb, which they can use to grab onto thing (Monkeys) or balance themselves (Kangaroos or Cheetahs). Having more tails extend out of this base wouldn't help ...


0

One of my fantasy creatures has two hearts. The extra one is only active during fight or flight situations so extra oxygen is sent to the brain. This creature is also highly regenerative so the backup heart could be used while the other is repaired.


1

Look at human society and scale up. You're thinking about millions of years from a human perspective, and from a human perspective it's a really long time. From a Ceraton perspective it's a drop in the ocean. Societies don't change much within a lifetime outside traumatic events, they change generation by generation. So shifts within their society will ...


0

how could a society be able to function continuously for hundreds of millions of years? Since there are no examples of how this could have happened in human lifetimes, so this would is free to imagination. Some possible examples: Ceratons are anti-social, coming together rarely/ only for purposes of obligatory mating. So their social interaction is ...


1

Because on Earth day and night are so very different, most creatures have evolved to be well-adapted to either daytime-living or nighttime-living. During the time a creature is not well adapted for it, seems to be advantageous that it conserve its energy and remain mostly inactive, and this seems to be the behavior that has evolved. For complex life to ...


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