A thread for the biological aspects of worldbuilding. Post your stuff and other people's cool creatures, ask questions to be answered by real biology students.
>>87777361I thought this would be an interesting topic for all the worldbuilders here, but apparently not.
>>87775238Nothing quite as structured as your image. I have a half biology half "spiritual" system for evolution. All biological clades with enough success eventually produce a prime individual that ascends to divinity. A Divine Beast makes little changes in the ecosystem, protects its kindred from illness, bad weather and gives general prosperity. And with this the family prospers and tends to diversify in that specific biome.For example, in the plain biome, cared for by the druid Circle of the Plains, there were horse, wolf, lion, eagle, grasshopper and elephant divine beasts. Thanks to this, the strongest breeds of this kind of animals govern the ecosystem. Thanks to this, magical beasts like the griffin, hippogriffs, etc; exist.But with the arrival of humans and halfling of other continent, the horse and elephant were hunted down in such quantities that the Beasts were weakened and eventually killed. As a result, wild horses are almost unheard of, only surviving thanks to husbandry, and elephants don't even exist.But, with the the death of the beasts by sentient creatures, as a final push to survive, the Beast can curse/bless their killers and change them. The elephant beast was devoured by ogres that transformed into elephantic centaurs of a sort. Similar things happened with the hyena (resulting in gnolls) and the ox (resulting in minotaurs)
>>87775238sounds interesting. what's the biology of a janny in your setting? are they an all-troon race?
>>87775238Considering how difficult it would be to have silicon-based life in our own universe, what was the most interesting versions, as biologists, of silicon-based life you've seen in fiction?
>>87780709I... haven't seen any interesting silicon-based lifeforms in fiction. They're usually just golems. But there's no reason, biologically speaking, to believe that silicon-based lifeforms would look or function very different from us. We are made from carbon, but we don't look like coal. So the best silicon-based lifeform I'm aware of is the xenomorph. Yes, it's silicon-based, although not many people realise that. A very nice and probably accidental detail is that its bodily fluids are highly caustic. This is biologically sound, as silicon-based lifeforms couldn't function with water-based bodily fluids like us. Silicon is not solvable in water.
How would you improve a cell so the resulting improvement in the entire lifeform is superhuman and powerful enough to withstand energy weapons or bullets?
>>87781582Cell walls. Plants and bacteria have them, animals don't. That creates other complications, though (lower flexibility, for one thing), so it may not be worth it. Remember that animal cells were improved by billions of years of evolution and are the best they can possibly be.
>>87775238Assuming that the typical fantasy races like elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, giants, and the like are all sub-species/related species to normal humans, the way I like to do it, how deeply can they diverge in terns of appearances before further interbreeding becomes impossible?
>>87784126This shit is just obnoxious nowseek help
>>87784126Enormously. For an example consider dogs. And dogs aren't even different subspecies.
>>87777696>and elephants don't even existDropped.
>>87780709>>87780980I like the one (by Niven?) that lives on airless moons and feeds by positioning themselves partially in shade and absorbing sunlight to generate electricity due to the temperature difference.
>>87787853While thermoelectric materials do exist now, they did not in Niven's time. What's more significant, they all contain significant amounts of rare elements, and it's unclear to me where they're going to get these elements on an airless moon and how.
How would you make a lifeform that doesn't need water?
>>87790689Many real world animals don't "drink" water, but get all the water they need from plants or blood. You could base it off of those.
what, if any, lifeforms would exist in an earth-like atmospheric environment with:>No sunlight (Ash layer)>High Water Vapor Content (Stormy)>High particulate content (Ash)>Extreme and continual presence of a chlorine-like gas (In setting it's pretty much the Black Smoke from TWoT except it also oxidizes metal and is slightly less deadly[death in minutes not instantaneously])I know some extremophiles would not care, but could any terrestrial animals adapt?
>>87790689If it's something completely alien, whatever solvent is in liquid state on it's planet. Methane, acid, etc.If it's something from Earth, you can't. Best you can do is it being *really* good at keeping moisture in, and at sucking outside moisture. Pretty much any animal living in the desert already do that, to various degree.>Fennec piss nearly solid to keep as much water in as possible.>Scarabs align their bodies with morning wind to condensate the infinitesimal amount of moisture the desert air still contain.The list of "shit to do reduce your water needs" is nearly infinite since all land plants/animals need it to various degree anyway.>>87790821>no sunlightThat one alone mean your entire ecosystem need to survive on a very, very low energy budget.That rule out anything that would need more food that just scraping the few bacteria that can metabolize purely on chemical reactions, and I don't remember those being stable and "plentiful" outside of deep ocean geothermal vents.
>>87790821Is this environment a sudden change to an existing Earth-like ecosystem or the standard for the entire evolutionary history of the planet?In the former case, the poison is not well defined so you have some liberties. Maybe it doesn't affect some living things, like those will cell walls, so perhaps the world is just covered in fungi decomposing the remains of the dead biomass for years until they run out. They don't care much about the sunlight. Some small bugs like cockroaches and nematodes can survive in lower concentrations of poison eating mushrooms.In the latter case, your organisms have all of evolutionary history to adapt to the poison, but nothing to eat.
>>87791106>Is this environment a sudden change to an existing Earth-like ecosystem or the standard for the entire evolutionary history of the planet?Sudden change.In short, during a Really Great War, (involving saturation bombardment via airship, continent-wide trench fronts, and motherfucking LAND IRONCLADS,) someone came up with the ultimate weapon. It's essentially just the Black Smoke from TWoT (as mentioned earlier.) What makes it the ultimate weapon, is that it was supposed to react with the atmosphere to produce more of itself over time. Since the Black Smoke in the books dissipates into harmless dust when it contacts water this stuff does too. The generals were hoping a rainstorm would get rid of the gas once it was done killing the enemy, but it reacted much faster than they were anticipating, and there was an unexpected dry spell when it was initially deployed. The gas does not react when the atmosphere is at reduced pressure, meaning that high mountains, and isolated islands shielded by expanses of water, were spared. Most of the world however is now covered with a several hundred foot thick layer of thick, dark gas.
>>87790916How would you make a lifeform that doesn't need any type of solvent to survive, then?
>>87775238How can we get at giant arthropods that are at least semi-feasible on a biological level?
>>87795658Everything else is just a lot smaller than normal, ezpz
>>87795658Square cubed law is often cited as the problem with large arthropods but it didn't stop internal skelebros. They'd do a lot better if their blood didn't suck. It doesn't transport Oxygen well. They got bad blood, needs buffed. They did a bit better for themselves when more Oxygen was readily available in the atmosphere but still got nowhere near giant, they don't have the internals to capitalize on it.
>>87795658Easy, they evolve to lose their primitive limiting features while keeping their signature features. That's what would've eventually happened IRL too, if their potential niches weren't taken over by more advanced animals.>>87796283>It doesn't transport Oxygen well.Their circulation system is also godawful. As is the respiratory system. It's actually the respiratory system that holds all terrestrial arthropods back.
>>87792617You can't. Life is complex chemistry, the very concept need some form of fluid to allow continuous reactions with multiple components.At best you can have something more exotic like super-critical fluids, but that's still a solvent in the end.
>>87796644Life is a system of self-replicating molecular machines that can, in theory, exist in a solid or gaseous environment.
>>87796283>Square cubed law is often cited as the problem with large arthropods but it didn't stop internal skelebros. Insects breath through thousand of small holes in their chitin, and don't have a proper oxygen circulatory system beyond that.As long as every part of the body is close to a hole, it's very efficient.Scale stuff up and everything that's not directly under the chitin start to suffocate.That's why giant insects only happened back when O2 levels were much higher: higher concentration mean O2 saturate tissues and diffuse deeper faster, allowing decent-enough oxygenation of flesh that's a bit further.
>>87775238One thing I was working on for a new setting was having a historical race that was a human offshoot that developed separate due to geographical isolation, and developed social structures faster than the rest of mankind. What kind of traits do you think they should have, if any. Their environment was a river valley surrounded by a desert which became effectively impassable for Neolithic man after an ice age.
>>87790689Check out Project Rho's section on alien biochemistry: http://projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/alienbody.php#id--General_Alien_Design--Clement's_Alien_DesignBasically water is used by life as a solvent. It's not the only liquid solvent out there, but it's one with a lot of unique qualities
>>87796711If anything, humans have been rapidly shedding social structure as they evolved. Great apes are much more hierarchical than humans are.
>>87797484It's not toxic at all, all mushrooms are made of it. The trouble is that we can't digest it, as our organisms can't produce chitinase, the ferment used to digest chitin. It just shoots harmlessly through our digestive system with no major consequences, like cellulose. Anyway, unlike mushrooms, bugs aren't made entirely of chitin, only their cuticles partially are.
>>87775238How biological do you prefer dragon fire breath? Like, is it actually fire in your setting, or are they igniting some kind of gas of liquid?
>>87798917Flamable liquid is best IMO
>>87798917"Fire" is high-temperature gas in the first place. But yeah, it's a biological flamethrower. It shoots two high-pressure streams of components that ignite on mixing with each other. This way, the dragon can avoid any burns and aim better.
>>87796694Arachnids do actually have lungs, though these are terrible, primitive lungs. Who's to say that they can't evolve into a more effective shape given the time and selective pressure, though.
>>87798917You can do it the bombardier beetle way.Chemical that's inert in the body, then trigger a massively exothermic reaction at the last second to spit it out outside.Doesn't require magic, burn like hell, can also cause additional douzed-in-chemical type effects (it evolved from spitting irritants).Only downside is that it's really fast and short so if you like the flame-thrower aesthetic it won't do.
>>87799342>>Insects>Arachnids REEEEEE- wait, fair enough, the original question was about arthropods in general.
>>87799546That's green dragon's acid breath.
>>87781653>"lower flexibility">leaves can curl into tubes>vines can twist and bend into knotsQuite literally touch grass.
>>87781653>Remember that animal cells were improved by billions of years of evolution and are the best they can possibly be.Anyone who ever had to learn the Krebs cycle know life is nowhere near optimal and that the only "miracle of life" is that this fucking bullshitty mess actually manage to work most of the time.
>>87800153If you earnestly compare the primitive tropisms of plants to the complex flexible motions of animals, you must actually be insane.>>87800832The Krebs cycle sure is long, but I'm not sure if I would call it suboptimal. If that's what you're saying, then I'm sure you can provide a chemically sound alternative that would yield the same amount of NADH/ATP. It's also not uncommon for organic reactions to be that long, the Krebs cycle is only that infamous because it's so important.
>>87796595>Easy, they evolve to lose their primitive limiting features while keeping their signature featuresAnd how would such an evolution come about besides a mass extinction of the "more advanced" animals hogging these potential niches?>>87796595Why does it suck so bad?
>>87804369>Why does it suck so bad?It rely on passive diffusion.Work super great over tiny distances.Pretty much doesn't work over even slightly medium-ish distances.
how would one biologically explain werewolves, or other things that shapeshift?
>>87804428Okay, it's just specialized then. How might insects evolve past it then?
For anyone just starting out in speculative biology I highly recommend looking up Biblaridion on youtube. He has a pretty big series on spec bio and is into conlanging as well.
>>87807617Millions of years ago there was great dying that left insects as the few remaining survivors but the chemical makeup of the air didn't change all that much. Over millions of years insects that developed rudimentary lungs were able to fill those niches and slowly got bigger.
>>87805518Biologically speaking, werewolves and other shapeshifters are impossible. Metamorphosis is a very slow and deliberate process, limited severely by the speed of cell division. Not to mention that its energy cost is just enormous. Caterpillars spend months eating just so that they could save up enough energy to metamorphose. So in order to enable lycanthropy, you will need to solve two problems: where to get the energy for it, and how to make your cells divide with breakneck speed.As for the mechanism of lycanthropy, I see it as a herpes-like virus that infiltrates the host's genome. It's completely dormant most of the time, triggers a rapid metamorphosis when its genes are activated, and then uses the werewolf's ensuing rampage to spread around.
>>87804369>And how would such an evolution come about besides a mass extinction of the "more advanced" animals hogging these potential niches?Complete geographical isolation for millions of years on a piece of land where these niches are free.
>>87805518Best you could have is re-purposing cephalopods' camouflage kit into allowing a naturally-shaped-like-a-monsters creature to vaguely look like a human as long as you don't look too hard.Lots of soft tissues and flexible appendages, compacted, bent & colored to give the illusion of a regular flesh surface.Would require werewolves to be on the smaller side tho, can't do much to hide your total mass.
>>87801322I'm not talking about them actually moving, you goal-shifting dumbass. I'm talking about your claim that they have lower flexibility.
>>87809483>>87805518Something like pic related, but more advanced.
>>87775238Is this oc?
>>87780709I've also never seen a particularly interesting variety, but there's rich space for 'bio'electrical systems due to the much more trivial access to appropriate materials, like forming quartzes.>>87781582For energy weapons you want a high energy-to-breakdown exterior, focused on specific heat capacity so ceramic scales are the way to go, while bullets are a matter for connective tissue keeping the skin from tearing. The super-connective-tissue could certainly classify as a variety of cell wall.>>87784126You need the newborns to fit on the way out of the mother, the genetics to not spit out developmentally fatal mismatches, and Tab A to fit into Slot B. The first means that your "smallfolk" need strongly-inherited tendencies toward premature-for-human births and your giants need to start just as small, the second means that there needs to be VERY limited interdependency in the properties so the Giants' stable bigness needs "One Weird Trick" to last the hybrids to their mid-20s, and the last confines the size-difference porn by risk of fatal bleeding from the probably-a-rape-victim.>>87795658More active respiration and circulation than their current primitive diffusion, even if still lacking a recognizable "diaphragm" and "heart", plus more thorough interior supports for tissue, whether endoskeletal or connective "baskets". More exotic options would be stuff like magnesium-based hemolymph that's such a good oxygenator there's no NEED for active respiration or circulation and being supported by magnetically repulsive "grains" mixed throughout the body, or Literal Magic similarly sidestepping conventional biology to force actual arachnid anatomy to work at larger scales.
>>87798917If I have large flying organisms that breath fire, it will be actual fire who's cause has fuck-all to do with mundane biology. I would sooner write an elaborate series of worldbuilding exercises justifying Fafnir as the norm in which all are definitionally transsexuals using grown men as dildos than make my dragons beholden to ordinary biology. And that is not an idle threat, I can seriously point at examples of every single feature required for that to be a sensible lifecycle.>>87800153These are, relative to animal movement, extremely slow processes because almost any motion causes damage to the cell walls acting as connective tissue, because cellulose has very poor compressibility and elasticity compared to the animal collagen protein, which is rather essential to the whole "moving" thing.>>87805518Land octopi and "Worms-That-Walk" are about the only biologically plausible direction. Rather than individual "true" shapeshifting, it's a matter of hijacking corpse-flesh effectively or having exceptionally versatile tissues. As >>87808919 mentioned, "true" shapeshifting of a single organism is too expensive.
>>87798917Dont, dragons are the link species between fantasy and realism.Their flight skill and capacity might be influenced by muscles, wingspan and bone structure, but they can all fly.Their breath is just the energy casually lose to entropy gathered and expunged out of the mouth and they can store it because fuck you its literally them.They can innately cast spells better than 99.99% of mortal wizards because its in their very nature, their blood is for magic what the raw magic and chaos is to your spellcasters.Physics and nature bend around and adapt to the presence of a dragon, not reverse.
>>87808919Or have the virus develop single cell organisms out of the cells of the host that are still linked to the nervous system of the body and fake being real cells.When the virus is no longer in maturation stage, it triggers the frenzy via the host immune system, all the fake cells rapidly shift to areas less protected by the immune system, it causes the """transformation""". Essentially encasing the body to explain how durable werewolves are and why there is the significant difference in strength. Fun part is then you have a excuse why some can master the transformation at will with the body actually managing to get rid of the virus leaving just the replica cells.Tho for changelings they would likely be some amphibians with weak organ reconifguration that never sets or molluscs doing their mimicry on a larger and land based scale.
>>87819177>More exotic options would be stuff like magnesium-based hemolymph that's such a good oxygenator there's no NEED for active respiration or circulation and being supported by magnetically repulsive "grains" mixed throughout the body,How would that even evolve?>>87807659I was thinking that there would still be non-insects around, but thanks anyway.
>>87819869>How would that even evolve?This is /tg/, not /an/, I actually prefer Literally Magic having rules that trivialize workarounds like this without "actually" being arbitrary over trying to do "hard" speculative evolution.
>>87819869Blood is a magical thing, it has evolved completely independently no less than a dozen of times in different organisms. Another exotic type of blood is business as usual.
>>87819869A lot of invertebrates have little mineral grains in their bodies called statoliths that allow them to sense the direction of gravity and maintain their balance. They're made of calcite, but there's no reason to believe that they couldn't mutate to be formed of ferromagnetic minerals instead in an environment with an abundance of these minerals. These grains could then be magnetised by the bioelectricity and be repositioned to mutually repel each other, evolving from a sensory organ into a structural support organ. Stranger things have certainly happened. Though this particular method strikes me as unnecessarily exotic where regular air bladders could suffice, supporting the organism much like vacuoles support the internal structures of plant cells. There's also the energy question (a lot of bioelectricity would need to be produced just to keep these granules magnetised, which isn't cheap, especially for a large organism).
>>87820207Fair enough. What about flight for said large insects, or is that going to be the same answer?>>87820896Wait, seriously?>>87821034I didn't know that, cool.
>>87775238How about the biology of slimes or similar creatures? How might that work?
>>87823423Those are just a really fat Amoebas that got fed too much coffee.
>>87822635>Wait, seriously?You would be surprised how often shit get reinvented in evolution.There is a reason a lot of animals/plants/etc got their genealogical classification completely changed after we started using raw DNA instead of just "well, it really look like X so it should be close to it evolution-wise, right?".
>>87823461>>87823423No need for that. There's a real creature that's pretty much living slime, called slime mould. They are regular solitary amoebas for most of their lifespans, but when they need to procreate, they suddenly become colonial and merge into large pools of multicellular crawling slime, which then forms fruiting bodies like fungi. It's also one of the slowest moving creatures on the planet when in its colonial stage, so not very dangerous.
>>87823461Its membrane would very quickly burst as it grows larger. Sailor's eye, the largest unicellular organism in the world, is prevented from bursting by its thick cell wall. Such protection would, of course, preclude amoeboid movement. Slimes need to be multicellular.
>>87775238Apologies for a rather freeform musing as opposed to a succinct question, I'm happy if anyone addresses any part of my questions. The ultimate topic concerns skin tone in humans over generations.Terrestrial pilgrim post-scifi setting (McCaffrey's Pern, Nausicaa). Humans came to the planet from space, stranded there for longer than anyone can remember (upwards of 10 generations, could be many many more if need be). Medium size communities spread out across the planet due to political differences. Travel is difficult and weather is extremely dangerous on this planet so these communities rarely interact in large numbers or frequency.What skin color do the different cultures have? Assuming the humans that came to the planet were already mixed, non monoethnic, and did not splinter into communities purely by skin tone but semi-evenly spread, is every community just kinda tan after 10 generations? I realize there's a lot of factors, like if racism or racial preference still exist culturally, how many of each skin group are in each community, etc. Just happy to hear any thoughts on the matter since I really can't decide how to build it.
>>8782557510 generations is 250 years. Do you think people were any different 250 years ago from how they are right now?
>>87825602>10 generations is 250 yearsThis does not seem correct to me? Perhaps I misused a term but it seems nitpicky. Regardless, while its not enough to change "evolution" 10 generations of breeding is easily enough to change entire melanin representations... You can almost completely breed out entire racial traits in 5 generations.
>>87825575Honestly probably not enough of a difference from the starting point to matter. That's not that long a timeframe without some major event that impacted along racial lines.
>>87825643How many years do you think it would take a mostly isolated society to attain a majorative skin tone? And does sun exposure still play a role so late in the evolution game?
>>87825733We're talking about tens of thousands of years here. Natural selection is not even noticeable on a smaller scale than that.
>>87825575>10 generationsWay too short for natural selection.Way, way too short for natural selection on a species that solve 99% of its problems with tools&society, not with its raw body capacities.Perfectly doable with artificial selection, although that's probably not something you can afford on an aesthetic trait when you are in survival mode.
>>87825887And assuming the spacefaring ancestors had access to genetic manipulation, are there any obvious feasibly changes to the latter generations that don't? I guess its possible humans would already be majoratively grey by the time we colonize other solar systems.
>>87825924>greyAlbino. When something has no more selection pressure, the gene(s) generally mutate into being completely dysfunctional and "vanish", it doesn't just become mid.However very visible stuff like this tend to always get caught up into sexual selection pressure, and can thus move into any fucking direction.>by the time we colonize other solar systemsYou vastly underestimate how long it take for something to evolve outside of "do or die" situations. And civilization remove pretty much all "do or die" situations, at least the ones where your genes could have made a sensible difference.>ancestors had access to genetic manipulationThen everything is game. The only reason we aren't already modified to hell and beyond is because eugenism got a bad rep due to Moustache Man, thus the field is way, way under-researched for humans compared to certain species.A sci-fi civilization that finally told its "ethics committee" to stop being little holocaustian bitches could realistically change nearly whatever the fuck they want, especially if it's something that exist on another Earth creature to serve as guideline.Don't go too alien with it tho: while sci-fi genetic manipulation could be powerful, lots of problems would still be better solved with tools/machines/medicine/etc. Biology also has a *very* strong tendency to have stuff randomly react with other stuff in completely impossible to predict ways (that's the reason we still need to do animal & human testing: even if you pour mankind entire biology knowledge into a "perfect" simulation, you will still have a lot of surprises). So even with hyper-advanced tech you would probably want to keep the amount of modifications as low and minimal as possible - with only YOLO freaks going for all possible improvements, and generally ending up with a collection of unique genetic diseases.
>>87819269>These are, relative to animal movementSee >>87811746
>>87826287The fact that you study to be a nurse in a shitty community college doesn't entitle you to discussing topics you couldn't more clearly have no idea about. Leave and don't come back.
>>87826172Thank you kindly anon, this was most informative and thought provoking.
I've done some writeups of the biology for the SF setting I've been making, which is admittedly nowhere near as "hard" as I could do if I wanted to (I went for more of a space opera with enough plausibility to not break my own suspension of disbelief, rather than going all-out on speculative evolution and biological accuracy). Biology's not really been the big focus, since the setting exists as a background for a homebrew space battle game (that I really should get back to working on), but I'll share what I have.
>>87827031I should at sometime finish biology writeups for the "minor" species in the setting, as well as do more anatomic details, but that's all I have for now.
>>87823524I think I remember seeing a YouTube video about how Darwin himself had some issues with that kind of thing in regards to barnacles. What are some other surprising examples?
>>87823643How could it be made fast enough to become a legitimate threat then?>>87823702I didn't know that amoebas could 'get' that big. Regardless, how would you suggest handling slime movement, digestion, and cognition?
>>87830915Really? What’s the deal with barnacles? They’re just those gross things that latch onto ships.
>>87832262They look a lot like yet another variant of "mollusc stuck on a rock" but are actually really messed-up shrimps iirc.There was also a billion variants of the things, meaning it was not just evolution doing a random 180°&sidestep for lulz, but an actually viable path - which was a really bad surprise for Darwin since his entire objective was to make a proper, exhaustive reclassification of the entire species. So he spent fucking years on the task, refusing to leave it unfinished even if he expected it to just be quick thing to add in the "fun fact" section of his evolution theory.
>>87831301I don't think it's possible. Amoeboid movement is very slow by default, at least on a large scale. A great colony of amoebas would still only move as quickly as a single amoeba, their velocity is not synergistic. Another problem is that slimes will always look like films thinly spread on the ground, they have neither the means nor the need to pull themselves up like in your picture. One guy, the creator of Serrina, kind of solved this problem by making his slime analogues composed of tiny colonial insects instead of amoebas. While that definitely makes them faster and more agile, though not by too much, they're not real slimes, are they.>cognition?What cognition? Mate, they're unicellular.
>>87826996Male to female ratio makes no sense here. Workers are always female in eusocial insect communities like this, otherwise the whole scheme falls apart.
>>87833484Workers are haploid females. I believe I wrote that somewhere. Also workers always being female in eusocial insects isn't actually the case: it's true for bees and ants, but not for termites which have both male and female workers (both are sterile, though).I didn't exactly copy any Earth eusocial insect model, since I also wanted the species to be sapient and not be a hive-mind (which pretty much always would require some kind of telepathic powers to work, and one of the rules I set for myself was "no space-magic"). So they have 3 castes/genders: diploid female (the queen), male, and haploid female (workers). Workers only have one copy of the female sex chromosome and are effectively stunted genetic copies of the queen. They're also non-sapient. Males are sapient and act as the "adminstrative caste" and are the ones other civilizations are most likely to interact with. In theory they can all reproduce, but considering that in most cases the only sexually mature female in the hive is their biological mother most of them never do. There's normally only one sexually mature female (queen) per hive plus a small amount of immature females, one of which will become the new queen after the old one dies. Like with termites, particularly large hives can have a "primary" queen and smaller "backup" queens, though this is rare.
>>87833361Not him but also interested in faster, hunting slimes, the idea of the insect colony is interesting tough.Also what about "floating" fauna?
>>87834047>floating faunaAn external balloon full of bouyant gas is often how it's depicted but a balloon needs to be pretty fucking big compared to what its lifting (just look at the size of a balloon basket or an airship cabin compared to the lifting component) so a huge, soft balloon makes for a fairly obvious weakpoint: if your balloon animal exists alongside birds or bird analogues then they could just peck the balloon, burst it and eat the creature once it's fallen to the ground. The balloon membrane could be thick or armoured but that adds weight and means you need more lifting power, and the question is where the animal is getting all that gas.A world with a thick atmosphere might make this more effective, but a light animal that floats rather than using powered flight is really going to be at the mercy of the wind, and winds are going to be a lot more fierce in a thicker atmosphere. It might have rudder-like wings for controlling its trajectory slightly.Some spiders do something called 'ballooning' but it's more like a kite: they make a sort of parachute out of thread which catches wind and carries them short distances. Interestingly, the threads can get lift from ambient electricity, and there've been experiments where small animals like frogs and mice have been levitated using electric fields because apparently it does something with body water. I don't know how it works, but if you could be bothered to study or handwave it then maybe a world with a strong electric field could have animals that take advantage of that to levitate.>>87826967sovl
>>87827050I dig your creatures.
>>87834047What about it?>>87834470I think he actually meant floating, not floating in the air, as he replied to a picture of an aquatic insect. That being said, having some sort of a buoyancy bladder must be the default for any creature on a gas giant.>It might have rudder-like wings for controlling its trajectory slightly.Or it can just move around normally with jet propulsion. Either sucking in and expelling regular air like some kind of a flying jellyfish or blowing a stream of air through itself with turbine-like gills.I'd be cautious with flight enabled by a magnetic fields, as strong magnetic fields would fuck with body electricity.
>>87790821There’s something I read about in a book called “alien Oceans” it’s about the possibility of life in the moons of the outer solar system. Basically it’s ‘CHNOPS’ Carbon. Hydrogen. Nitrogen. Oxygen. Phosphorus. Sulfur this acronym is to represent the 6 most essential elements for organic life to exist, all must be present in an environment for anything resembling organic life to appear. Now while the exact mechanism for abiogenesis is still unknown. As long as, bare minimum, both liquid water and these elements are present, the existence of life in some form is theoretically possible. And nothing in your description would suggest that they aren’t present.
>>87790916> That one alone mean your entire ecosystem need to survive on a very, very low energy budget.Not true, deep water thermal vents never see the light of the sun yet they are teeming with complex life forms because the geothermal vents provide an adequate source of alternate energy and minerals for the ecosystem.
>>87834470I think the worst part of floating/flying animals would be what they eat. I imagine floating zoo-plankton of sorts eating dust and huggin clouds for water or stuff like that.
>>87835300The main trouble up in the atmosphere is lack of minerals. Heavier elements will inevitably descend as low as the pressure will allow them. Not only do all organisms need the essential elements, of which a couple are practically absent from our atmosphere, complex life inevitably needs micronutrients, including metals. Needless to say, you won't find those in the air in any relevant quantity. In order to enable atmospheric life, you first need to come up with some way to keep minerals in the air. Once you've solved that, the rest takes care of itself. It's really easy to be a phototroph up in the troposphere - abundant sunlight and no competition, you just need to take care of radiation and extreme temperatures. And once you have those, building the rest of the food chain is trivial.
Actually I could use some guidance on fine-tuning an alien rough concept: Their world is dotted with pockets of gamma radiation (possibly due to rich deposits of native uranium, or perhaps some stellar phenomena that causes occasional radiation baths, something). And I’m concocting ways it might evolve around this hazard.Specifically: I figure that since radiation fucks you up at the molecular level, an outright immunity would seem far fetched. So instead I thought maybe it instead has some kind of special sensory organ that lets it detect when it’s nearing dangerous amounts of radiation so it can avoid it, like an internal Geiger counter. Though I’m not sure how to explain how it would work. My initial thought was a fluid filled bladder wrapped with nerve endings, when exposed to unusually high amounts of radiation the fluid expands causing the bladder to swell and triggering the nerve endings, inducing discomfort in the creature when approaching dangerous levels of radiation. Though I don’t know if there’s a better answer out there I’m not seeing.I was also considering that it might have some way of necrotizing and regenerating tissue that’s become cancerous as a byproduct of radiation exposure, but realized that any kind of rapid cellular growth would be the worst possible adaptation for preventing cancer.Eh, I’m opening this train of thought to the peanut gallery if anyone is interested.
>>87835680They would just secrete shells containing lead. Problem solved. Alternatively, if the radiation levels aren't so bad, they might have skin pigments containing lead and that might be enough to offer them some protection.>So instead I thought maybe it instead has some kind of special sensory organ that lets it detect when it’s nearing dangerous amounts of radiation so it can avoid it, like an internal Geiger counter. Though I’m not sure how to explain how it would work.Why can it not work like an actual Geiger counter? Its main principle is fairly simple and could be replicated by a primitive sensory organ. You just need to get an inert gas from somewhere to fill it.
>>87835790> They would just secrete shells containing lead. Problem solved.Because lead is toxic to seemingly all carbon based life (which this creature is supposed to be) due to its eagerness to bond with sulfur molecules and inability to be metabolized in any way, so something unavoidable in life as we know it. And an animal that is naturally poisoned by its own body is not a creature that’s going to last long.> Why can it not work like an actual Geiger counter? Its main principle is fairly simpleWhere does it naturally acquire an inert gas to use? Hence why I was looking for more biologically simplistic solutions. though the hammerhead shark’s ability to detect electrical currents does give me an idea for a crude facsimile to telepathy
>>87834485Thanks. That was all the biology stuff I've done so far (the rest being about culture or military). Well, I also did one page that covered the reproduction of all three major species, but given the reception it got when I originally posted it it's best I don't share it (it wasn't explicit or anything, just stuff like which species lay eggs and which give birth to live young, and how long does the incubation or gestation last, but seems the subject matter was still too spicy for threads like these). I originally intended to do more pages that cover some aspect of biology for multiple species, but couldn't really think of good subjects. Diet is one, but I also want to illustrate the pages and I'm not sure how to do that: pictures of different food items seems kind of boring especially as I can't draw very well so it'd end up looking like indistict blobs. Besides, that probably doesn't warrent a full page, since the info can easily fit into this post:Seirans have a diet that contains plant- and animal-based foods in roughly similar proportions to humans, except their diet is mostly composed of aquatic plants and animals instead of land-based ones (unlike humans they've never domesticated land animals purely to serve as a food source like we've done with pigs and chickens, but have raised aquatic animals in fishponds for thousands of years).Demosians have a more meat-based diet than humans, but also eat roots and tubers. They don't really eat fruits or greens, though.Ni-hir have an almost entirely plant-based diet, except the queens who need more protein to produce eggs. In modern times they eat nutrient paste mostly made from specially engineered algae. The queens eat a special royal nutrient paste that is notable for being the most energy-dense food in known space.
>>87835443Some kind of dust or volcanic fumes could work? I'm thinking of a natural "air cleansers" for a volcanic world than has a lot of active volcans,and the fumes are converted to less dangerous stuff be those "aero-fauna".
>>87826380That's a weirdly specific hang-up you've got there... what about you being a retard dragged that up?
>>87835680>>87835790The lead idea is stupid true, however! Some invertebrates do achieve radiation immunity by producing an odd protein that wraps around the DNA and shields it from radiation exposure without inhibiting the DNA’s functions. Could be that a planet with radiation problems might be home to something like a evolved, sentient, giant tardigrade; or possibly some other crustacean.
>>87775238I'm a biologist. I don't know why anyone would bother with this.
>>87836620We all derive fun in our own unique ways.
>>87836620If your field is not fun for you, you fucked up your life.
>>87836620I like to have plausible stuff in my setting, it placates my autism.
>>87836379While this is what came to my mind as well, it comes with a whole different set of problems that might make life impossible on the surface. First, a planet with constant volcanic activity that's enough to saturate its atmosphere with heavy elements is obviously geologically unstable and might be unsuitable for life in the first place. Next, while all those elements might be necessary for the atmospheric life forms, I imagine that those fumes would be toxic to everything that lives on the ground. They certainly would be to our actual Earth life. Finally, their presence in the atmosphere would block out the sunlight. Phototrophs might still survive in the upper layers of the atmosphere which still gets enough energy from the sun, but not on the surface. It would be a very dark world with very little biomass even in the best case scenario. Oh, and don't forget violent electric storms due to all the friction caused by those heavy compounds in the atmosphere. A volcanic planet is a very bad place.
>>87836243>inability to be metabolized in any wayThis is not true. There exist lead-binding proteins and entire organisms that quickly metabolise lead are entirely possible.
People who feel the need to try and systematize and apply modern understandings of biology to try and "solve" fantasy settings are are autistic buzzkills that ruin games.Bro it's a game abut kung-fu wizards that punch people with the power of qi energy and where disease comes from evil spirits that possess people's chakras. There is no germ theory.These are the same people who think Isekai trash and Brandon Sanderson novels are the height of good writing.
>>87836913I do, in fact, think that Brandon Sanderson is the best fantasy writer alive, and a big reason for it is his attention to biology. His creatures are just much more interesting to somebody who knows this stuff than yawnworthy mythological beasts for nth time.
>>87836956Well, obviously they don't exist. But if there was strong evolutionary pressure for organisms to metabolise lead, you can bet every cellular membrane would be studded with lead-binding proteins. It's not particular fantastic.
>>87836243>Where does it naturally acquire an inert gas to use?Well, aren't you in luck: it takes care of itself. The main (the only natural) source of helium on Earth is the decay of radioactive metals. As those are the key feature of your ecosystem, the air must be absolutely filled with helium. Just breath it in and keep it inside.
>>87836579> something like a evolved, sentient, giant tardigrade; I think I can imagine something: Picture this: creature looks like a tardigrade, crossed with an isopod, crossed with a lobster. Stands about 1 meter tall and 1.3 meters long. It’s a hexapod (6 limbs) with the front two evolved into a sophisticated 3-digit segmented claw for fine manipulation. Has a lamprey-like proboscis and compound eyestalks just behind that between the 1st and 2nd dorsal carapace plate. And holes running along either side for air and smelling, like spiracles that adapted to be more like noses. Aside from radiation immunity it’s also immune to extreme cold (due to the planet’s elliptical orbit causing it’s distance from its parent star to waver between 1 and 1.5 AU) However it’s vulnerable to extreme heat and has poor eyesight, the compound eyes are not extremely dense so it sees everything through an 8-bit filter, worse still it’s visible color spectrum is limited to red and orange and some darker yellow. Poor mobility had forced it to develop intelligence to allow it to devise ways of catching prey and eluding predators that wasn’t dependent on being “fast” or “dexterous”. How’s this sound?
>>87836839Hmm, what about the aero-zoo was made to make the planet habitable for Earth like fauna and stuff like that? As a terra forming stuff.
>>87837181You mean they would bind up all the toxic elements until the volcanic activity ceases, all the while fertilising the ground with their droppings and corpses, and then go extinct after the cessation of volcanic activity? Plausible, but very pointless, as they would be a part of ancient past for any ground ecosystem.
>>87837263And if they do that, but not being extinct? I mean, they maintain the balance when the volcanoes are more active, and become less common when they are more sleepy.
>>87837176Poor vision is a gigantic impediment to the evolution of intelligence and might even preclude it entirely. A lot of our intelligence is based on processing various visual inputs. When these inputs are very uninformative, that obviously limits the processing requirements.
>>87837293I'm not sold. They'd need a lot of nutrients consistently up in the atmosphere to survive.
>>87775238What’s the biological reason for pointed elf ears? Does anyone have any ideas?
>>87834828>Not true>deep water thermal vents... are extremely limited in how wide of an oasis they can make. You are never going to feed a complete biosphere just with them - especially for anything that's on land.They are perfect for kickstarting/sheltering life, but they do jackshit to solve the energy problem at large.
>>87837600Pointedness is pointless (lmao). No benefit to hearing, no other benefits that I can think of. They'd need to be on top of the head for the elf to take advantage of the shape. Length, on the other hand, makes the movements of elf ears more noticeable, especially at long distances, and may be advantageous as a part of non-verbal communication. Particularly in the early stages of evolution when other signal systems, such as language, are lacking, or when silence is paramount, such as when stalking prey or hiding from predators. Like all phenotypical features, it may also be sexually selected for. Elves may arbitrarily find long ears sexy and choose partners with longer ears.
>>87837402I think what the anon is trying to get at is, what if these floaters maintained a balance with the volcanic dust in the atmosphere? Like say their population grew and grew until they practically consumed all of the volcanic dust and then afterwords died off due to overpopulation and practically consumed all of the volcanic pollution and dwindled until they reached a population level that could be sustained with the current level volcanic activity? Would it be unrealistic to have a species that consumes enough pollutants to support its population and also allow surface fauna?
>>87837600If you mean in WoW, they were trolls that got mutated into being less stupid&ugly and a bit more like the Titans, by making their village way too close to the original magic well. The big pointy ears just survived (partially) the transformation.If you mean in biology, an ear's shape change which frequency/direction it will collect the best. Guess they had a predator that made a particular sound at at particular frequency that made having ears super-tailored to channel it was worth the drawback of having an otherwise oversized lump of flesh sticking out.Option B: good ol' sexual selection pressure. A.k.a "it do be like that because dem girls be liking it". The choice explanation for all your needs of weird and useless (or even downright disadvantageous) body features. Much, much dumber shit happened because of it on Earth (ask male peacocks what they think about it) so go ham.
>>87837896I don't know. This is a really difficult question that I can't answer with certainty. But I have already voiced my intuition, which is that I'm not sold. Volcanic activity will need to be massive to maintain even the basic necessary levels of nutrients in the atmosphere. Don't forget how huge and how incredibly chaotic the atmosphere is.
>>87837926>ask male peacocks what they think about itInteresting fact: the tail feathers of male peacocks are, in fact, uniformly brown. All the other colours we see on them are due to the microtexture of the (brown) feathers that makes them refract the light in a certain way.
>>87798917Like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0j0Bjy6hFci.e. 100% plausible. Dragon breath is hydrogen ignited using an electric organ in the mouth and produced by breaking down limestone rock in the stomach using harder minerals/gemstones. Hydrogen is lighter than air so it allows dragons flight despite their wingspan not being large enough to supporting their size by conventional flight mechanisms. It's such an elegant explanation.
>>87775238For the most part my whole setting started out as a way to apply biology and reality to fantasy races and creatures with some interesting results (baboon werewolves, and tetrapod bat pegasuses). I’ve backpedaled into having magic because wizards fight takes is kool but most of the creatures in my setting are still relatively grounded.
>>87838123Make the magic biological, like in mushishi.
>>87838123>(baboon werewolves, and tetrapod bat pegasusesOkay, I need to know more about this. What are some other creatures from your setting?
>>87838066There's nothing elegant about carrying, and regularly setting on fire, a gas that can horrifically kill you at any moment.
>>87838301One would assume dragons would have innate safeguards like immunity to fire.
>>87837744Again that’s not what’s been physically observed at the deep ocean smokers. Bacteria feeds off the chemicals ejected from the vents, and that bacteria then is eaten by everything from tube worms, starfish, crustaceans, fish, it’s as complex an ecosystem as is found anywhere else where the sun does shine. The sun is not the end-all-be-all of a stable, thriving ecosystem. You just need to have a substitute. And tectonic activity is one of those (hence the whole: “Europa, titan, and Enceladus should get a closer look” attitude some astronomers are adopting)
I have a rough draft of an evolutionary tree of goblinoids in my 5e world
>>87775238>biologyBORINGLet’s talk about the structure of fantasy super metals. What makes mithril so hard and light? How does it form? How must it be worked, as to retain its special properties? Can it be created by mortal hands, or only through the forces of nature?
>>87838802I don’t care about magic metals. I care about fantastical ecosystems and what lives these!
>>87798917Fire is a reaction, not a thing. Something must be burning for there to be a fire.Ethanol seems like a decent choice for dragon’s breath. It’s produced by living organisms already, and is certainly flammable. The only problem is storage, as of course ethanol will destroy most cell membranes. A specialized flame sac is necessary, as well as a method of ignition. That method could just be friction, as the dragon must spit the ethanol out fast enough to not catch on fire anyways.>>87838066The problem with carrying around gas is storage. You’d need to keep it under impossible levels of pressure if you wanted any significant capacity. Plus, this is how you get fat dragons.>>87838826Maybe fantasy metals are created by subterranean creatures
>>87839019Fat dragons make more sense than winglet dragons relying on hokum physics.
>>87838802>What makes mithril so hard and light? How does it form? How must it be worked, as to retain its special properties?It's neutronium.Mithril is so light because you need to enchant it and remove the very concept of weight from it, otherwise it's so heavy you wont even get it out from whatever crater you found a chunk of it.Can only be worked with raw magic to teleport chunks directly into their intended position, since nothing made from usual matter will ever have enough impact to bend it into shape (and you can't melt it since it's already melted beyond the usual concept of heat).
>>87838706So the markers mean where traits appear but also mean where traits disappear? Seems weird.
>>87775238Could winged humanoid races/beings capable of full flight (as opposed to just gliding) actually be possible without the use of inherent magic and/or mechanical augmentations like in picture related (especially without making the wings insanely large compared to the rest of the body)? Or should that kind of body type be the domain of beings like angels and demons? If it 'is' possible, besides hollow bones, what adaptations would be needed?
>>87838438"Immunity to fire" is the last phrase I expected to read in a biology thread.
>>87839148What crater? Mate, the mass of neutronium is two billion tons per cubic inch. Even a teaspoon of it is going to rapidly sink into the planet's core. Anything that could be defined as a "chunk" will interfere with the planet's gravity, destabilise its geology and possibly destroy it.
>>87842656>without making the wings insanely large compared to the rest of the bodyYou will need to. Most people don't realize how fuckhuge bird wings are compared to the rest of the body, even for species with regular wingspan.>besides hollow bones, what adaptations would be needed?Mostly: the muscles to move said fuckhuge wings, and the lungs to provide the massive oxygen supply that's required for it.Pic related is the bone on which flight muscles anchor to. That should give you an idea of how much additional mass you need to slap on your flying humanoid's torso.Birds also have a very different lung system: instead of just being a cul-de-sac that end up only refreshing the most superficial part of its content every cycle, their have a weird-ass plumbing that allow to fully push the content, resulting in lungs filled with entirely fresh air constantly. As a drawback this is also the reason they get fucked up really fast by toxic gas compared to other animals, and why minors brought canaries when they suspected something fishy.
>>87842656I cheated by putting a gland that can change its mass into the bodies of harpies and other large flying creatures. It can change its mass to negative values as well, enabling large creatures to take off with very little effort. Unfortunately, if you don't want your flying creatures to look like ass, you have to cheat. Oh, and they have also weaponised this ability: by rapidly increasing their mass mid-flight, they can drop on their enemies like living cannonballs to a devastating effect.
>>87839019Ethanol can be safely held inside inorganic containers, such as, for instance, specialised hollow bones. Then another bone sliding into it from the back may work like a piston, ejecting it out at a high pressure. The dragon needs only to set the resulting stream on fire. There are certain catalysts that set ethanol on fire on contact, so the dragon might simply be ejecting two streams at the same time, which meet at a safe distance from his face.
>>87843497Maybe that isn't the best word. They could be resistant (or functionally immune) to being hurt by their own biology, like humans are resistant to putting food in their lungs. If they eat rocks they're half way to making fire-retardant clay, they just need water.
I think ultimate folly of the premise of this thread is that, well, with all the new stuff we know about zoology and biology, there’s really only 4 absolute requirements any intelligent creature has to have period:>A mouth and anus to take in compounds necessary to maintain its metabolism and expel the byproducts/unnecessary elements though there’s no rule that says these have to be different orifices, try not to think about that > a big-think organ(s) Because those big, complex thoughts have to come from somewhere > grasping appendages Because any intelligent creature needs to have the ability to finely manipulate its environment, if only to make and use tools.Everything, and I do mean everything, after that is open to debate, speculation, and conjecture.Maybe this is something you will find creatively liberating or restrictive, but that’s pretty much the sum of it.
>>87846716Immunity to fire is completely unthinkable for carbon-based life. The most thermostable proteins denaturate at ~120°C. The temperature of fire is 1,100°C.>If they eat rocks they're half way to making fire-retardant clay, they just need water.And what are they to do with this clay? Do they have tiny gnomes who crawl around their guts and smear everything with it? No, to defend reliably against fire you need a thick fire-resistant cuticle. And you can't have it on the inside for obvious reasons.
>>87846935Hydrogen-oxygen fires burn at 2660C so I suppose a dragon with a fire in its belly just dies.Also some birds can remove the lining of their gizzard (which is tough enough to protect them from sharp stones) and vomit it out intact so sure a rock eating dragon can have fire retardant clay inside it.
>>87798917>How biological do you prefer dragon fire breath?Dragons must be, in every way, magical. They are embodiments of the fantastical and strange, the weird and powerful.So I dont bother trying to do Earth biology or being beholden to Earth physics for them, and every time I've seen it done it steals away what makes dragons cool or interesting.Instead I like what D&D did for how dragons breath fire (and other things). A dragon is distinguished by several anatomical differences from lizards, mammals, and birds, but the biggest that separates the pseudo dragons from the true dragons is the presence of the Draconis Fundamentum, a large organ situated on the aorta very near or sometimes on the heart. The fundamentum itself is composed of a great deal of blood vessels housing microportals to the elemental planes, allowing the blood to be suffused with elemental power, this power being what allows the dragon to perform its many magical feats. Dragon breath is the accumulated energy from this organ in the lungs that is then breathed out. Dragon flight is the wings, and body, being suffused with elemental air to allow flight despite body shape and weight.This explanation also gets to another thing I hate in these threads, not using a mix of the fantastical and magical as a basis for the biology but going strictly to Earth physics and biology to explain everything. Why does a cockatrice cause petrification? Its beak secretes a powerful magic poison that causes the calcification of flesh in a rapid timeframe. But this calcification also doesn't leave long term damage if resisted and purged by the body, because its magic. Instead many in this thread would talk about some slow acting poison which paralyzes and that the cockatrice is a velociraptor with venom or a bird with odd-looking tail feathers, destroying what makes the cockatrice interesting in of itself.
>>87846935>>87847187You know if you are trying to concoct an explanation for a dragon’s fire breathing I have 2 suggestions, don’t know if they have already been suggested:> hydrogen belchThe way the dragon digests food creates hydrogen gas which it stores in special bladders inside its body. Aside from making the dragon slightly lighter and making flight easier; it can disgorge a portion of that hydrogen in a “belch” of sorts, combine this with a organ in its mouth similar to what allows electric eels to create an electric current to create a spark and ignite the Hydrogen as it leaves the mouth, the exhaling pressure keeping the fire from burning backwards and its mouth is shielded from burns by a combination of heat-resistant cells, and (like fire walkers who rely on the sweat on their feet to insulate against the hot coals) its own saliva serves as an ablative barrier that shields it from burns provided the dragon keeps its fire gouts to short bursts. So long as the creature isn’t suffering from dry mouth it should be fine.> bombardier dragon Like the bombardier beetle, the dragon’s flame could be a chemical reaction, two inert fluids are kept in sacs and channeled through adapted saliva glands that squirt the chemicals out such that they cross at a point beyond the mouth, and when the two chemicals combine, they ignite, allowing the dragon to spray sustained streams of fire without getting burned as it’s technically never touching it’s own flames.Both have their pros and cons but I think either would work just fine, and I’m surprised no one else has forwarded either proposals.
>>87847577> Tl;dr: *autistic screaming*Fixed that for ya’
>>87847577>They are embodiments of the fantastical and strange, the weird and powerful.Dude they're a fucking dinosaur. Stop with the dumb dragon wank.
>>87847655Ironically the most dragon-looking dinosaur we’ve ever found didn’t fly, and ate plants. Go figure.
>>87847655>Dude they're a fucking dinosaurNo, they are snakes that have been turned into fantastical weird magical monsters. Dracon, the base word for dragon, literally means snake. Their "fire breathe" was a fantastical description of their venom, which felt like it burned like fire does. Over time these snakes got things added to them to make them strange and magical, like batswings, cat or powerful lizard limbs, horns and frills, and a bunch of other shit. Modern artists like to make them vaguely dinosaur-looking because "realistic" biology for their looks necessitates a form that resembles a large scaly creature, ala the various large meat-eating dinosaurs.So no, they arent dinosaurs, they're an entirely imaginary creature born of the fantastical predators we wished exist, their powers and abilities tied directly to magic and the wondrous.
>>87847837>Modern artists like to make them vaguely dinosaur-looking because "realistic" biology for their looks necessitates a form that resembles a large scaly creature, ala the various large meat-eating dinosaurs.Well, no. The modern dragons are very much big cats with scales instead of fur, lizard heads and tails and a pair of bat wings attached at the shoulders.
>>87781653>Remember that animal cells were improved by billions of years of evolution and are the best they can possibly be.Evolution isn't the race to be the most efficient and capable, it's the race to be not so inefficient that reproduction becomes impossible. Pandas and koalas are garbage trash animals but they're still here because they can just barely manage to reproduce sometimes.
>>87847837>>87847577That’s all well and good for you, and if at your table you want dragons to be entities of pure fantasy that’s your prerogative.But clearly we don’t share your feelings and find excitement and challenge in concocting more… sensible explanations for otherwise fantastical properties, and that’s fine too. So don’t be trying to tell us that our idea of fun is bad-wrong and that we can only do things your way!Yes I know where I am! I still stand by what I said!
>>87849500> Evolution isn't the race to be the most efficient and capable, it's the race to be not so inefficient that reproduction becomes impossible. Here! Here! Evolution is all about survival of “fuck it! If it works, It works”
>>87775238I’m looking to add some neat new aspects to Dwarf biology in my setting, any suggestions? For instance, I was thinking that their beards would actually be more like whiskers.
>>87849797So basically Artemis Fowl? Just go ahead and steal the rest of the eoin colfer dwarf lore aswell. It's preddy gud
>>87849797> I’m looking to add some neat new aspects to Dwarf biology in my setting, any suggestions?I think the most adventurous I got with dwarfs might be too radical of a departure:I honestly took their description In Norse mythology of being “from the maggots crawling within Ymir’s body” and took it literally; making Dwarfs literal maggot-men.They were still Dwarf-size, averaging 3-4 ft. But looked like giant, fat, grubs that’ve reared up so their foremost limbs could serve as segmented arms and hands, while still balancing on their mid and rear limbs for locomotion. Their compound eyes are a reddish-brown and, like wasps, is shaped such that they always looked pissed off. Their mandibles, palps, maxims, and all those other features typical of an insect’s mouth jut out from their head in a kinda-sorta beard, the structure of the mandibles is an easy way of telling individual dwarfs apart. Their women aren’t much better either, while ever-so-slightly leaner than the men, Dwarf women are still disgusting maggot-creatures, but with gossamer wings and much of their body covered in a glossy black, acrylic-like carapace. This gives dwarf women an almost scarab-like appearance, or a scarab crossed with a fly more like.Anyway Dwarf’s were irreverent carrion feeders who, aside from robbing graves and tombs for ‘food’, would also on occasion try to dupe travelers into unwittingly committing to self-destructive choices that’d get them killed (like walking onto an illusory bridge over a chasm after the dwarf guides assured them it was real) so the dwarf(s) could come back a few weeks later and feast on the throughly rotten corpse.Like I said, maybe too extreme of a departure from accepted sources.
>>87780980>This is biologically sound, as silicon-based lifeforms couldn't function with water-based bodily fluids like us. Silicon is not solvable in water.What could a silicon-based creature use instead then? Some kind of hydrocarbon?
>>87854248CO2, propane and methane, to name a few. In their liquid form, of course. Which means a very very low ambient temperature.
>>87849536>>87849500Is this was true, we would still all be prokaryotic archaeans. No, evolution is a race to edge out your competition by adapting better to the environment. The digestive systems of panda's and koala's might be ludicrously inefficient from an absolute point of view, but they thrive (well, as much as fucking humans would allow them to) because they have no competition in their narrow niche.
>>87849797When dealing with subterranean dwellers, you need to solve three main problems: lack of vitamin D, lack of oxygen and messed up circadian cycles.It's well-known that much of our vitamin D is produced in the skin from sunlight exposure. It's responsible for metabolising calcium, so a lack of it would fuck up your bones, teeth and muscles. Naturally, there's no way to generate vitamin D underground, but! This issue is actually the least severe of the three. It's entirely possible to receive all of your required vitamin D intake from food, and this is what the dietologists actually recommend doing, as sunbathing is crazy bad for you. If the dwarves have a good dietary source of vitamin D, they will be fine.Lack of oxygen is a much bigger problem. The further down you go, the more its concentration in the air drops. In a way, living in a deep dungeon is similar to living at a high altitude. The respiratory system of dwarves is therefore going to be more complex and developed than that of regular humans, with larger, more branching lungs and greater oxygen absorption capacity. Or maybe there's some kind of species underground that satiates the air with oxygen.The problem that can't be easily solved is the least obvious of the three, circadian cycles. Ours are tied strongly to the sun, and people living without sunlight exposure eventually begin sleeping much longer and losing their perception of time. Their biological clock gets out of whack, which causes all kinds of physiological and psychological problems. Therefore, dwarves absolutely need a biological clock that is independent of the sun. Maybe it's tied to some similarly cyclical process underground, or maybe it's completely self-sufficient somehow. But the latter option isn't so good, as it makes the dwarves much less adaptable.
>>87855674And yet the platypus has no stomach, kolas are the stupidest vertebrates alive (arguably dumber than some invertebrates with no brain at all), and sloths sometimes just die from taking a shit because that can happen when you wait 3 weeks to drop a deuce face it! Evolution is a hot mess of on-the-fly, slap dash “fixes” that only persist because the walking disaster didn’t die, and managed to find someone of the opposite sex willing to bump uglies with it, which only encourages more exaggerated versions, and/or additional ill-conceived ‘modifications’ that will start the cycle of “but did it die?” Anew. That’s all it is. That it sometimes hits on brilliance is just playing the odds.
>>87857262>arguably dumber than some invertebrates with no brain at allOctopi have no brains and they're smarter than the vast majority of vertebrates
>>87857262>kolas are the stupidest vertebrates aliveI'd argue that's kingsnakes. At the very least, koalas aren't dumb enough to try eating themselves.But yeah, evolution doesn't have a set direction or a goal of producing the "best" possible creature, it's a process where adaptions that allow the individual to pass its genes more efficiently get passed on. Over time that leads to organism being very well "optimized" to a specific role, but because the process has its start in random mutations you might end up with some side-effects and traits that are advantageous the specific thing that had the largest effect on the ability to reproduce but detrimental in another way. Peacock tailfeathers are a good example: they reduce the male's mobilty which would make it easier for predators to catch it, but female peacocks are so into fancy tailfeather that males with the prettiest ones still end up getting laid more and having more offspring than ones with more practical feathers.Another good example about evolution not having no set direction is crocodiles. The ancestors of modern crocodiles were small warm-blooded creatures with legs held under their bodies, while crocodiles are coldblooded and have their legs splayed out to the sides (though they can actually adopt a stance where the legs are held almost directly under the body, and are in fact capable of running quite fast while doing it; you just rarely see it because there's not much reason for a crocodile to run on land). They seem to have regressed from "higher vertebrates" to "lower vertebrates", but of course there is no such thing as "high" or "low" vertebrates in reality. The traits of modern crocodiles are just better optimized for an aquatic ambush predator living in a tropical climate, even if it makes them less suited for living on land in colder climates.
>>87857342Octopus have 9 brains. How do you not know this?
>>87857726Wrong, they have nine molluscan ganglia that are not homologous to vertebrate brains. How do you not know this?
>>87857861What else can you tell us about octopus biology? Or about squid biology, for that matter?
>>87858989Because octopus tentacles literally have a mind of their own, they will attempt to grab food and put it where its mouth used to be even if severed.
>>87775238I would like to some new tweaks to typical goblin biology, can I please get some ideas? I’d like to see the idea that goblins reproduce rapidly compared to humans actually have more relevance, for example.
>>87860797>I’d like to see the idea that goblins reproduce rapidly compared to humans actually have more relevance, for example.How about they don't.But to see how it plays out IRL, google r and K strategies. No, don't redirect the question back into the thread, just google and read something yourself for once FFS.
>>87775238Are there any cool facts about snake biology that most people don't know? And besides equally huge prey, how can one justify giant snakes like picture related in their settings?
>>87777592Stop being a salty faggot when people don't reply to your contentless thread.
>>87864367>Despite popular belief, snakes are in fact not deaf. This was only recentl scientifically proven, though people have had anecdotal evidence for it for far longer. Their hearing is still very poor because they don't have external eardrums, but they can still pick up sounds through air. >Most snakes have only a single very long lung. Boas and Pythons, which seem to be among the most primitive snakes, have two but one lung is far smaller than the other.>Despite popular belief snakes don't actually dislocate their jaws to swallow prey. Instead the left and right half of the lower jaw are not fused together and they have an extra bone in their skull that acts as a pivot to let them move the two halves of the lower jaw sideways.>Another misconception I've often seen is that snakes take a long time to digest their meal. In fact, the opposite is true: snakes may have a very slow metabolism, but their digestive system is frighteningly effective, usually being able to digest an appropriately sized prey animal (generally one whose body diameter is 1 to 1,5 times the diameter of the widest part of the snake) in about 24 hours, bones and all. Some snakes can eat their own bodyweight every day if such an opportunity presents itself (and this is why invasive snake species can be such a problem if they get into an environment where local animals aren't used to dealing with them).>Snakes actually have a pretty short tail, with most of the length being their highly elongated body. This is different from legless lizards, where the tail makes about half of the total length of the animal.>Snakes are technically lizards, as phylogenetically they're placed inside the lizard group and monitor lizards are more closely related to them than to most other lizards. Mosasaurs, one of the largest mesozoic marine reptiles, are also closely related to snakes and monitors, though their exact place in the family tree is still unclear.
>>87865468>legless lizardsI didn't even know that legless lizards that weren't snakes were a thing. Wait, does that mean that the Skullcrawlers from the Monsterverse movies could be actually biologically feasible as lizards that are halfway through such an evolutionary shift?
>>87868165There actually exists a genus of amphisbaena (worm lizards; a kind of highly specialized burrowing legless lizard) that retains the forelimbs and apparently uses them to help it dig through soil.Also, while they look goofy in life, the skull of an amphisbaena reminds me of the xenomorph. They actually have comparatively huge teeth and powerful jaws, which they use to rip their prey apart as unlike snakes they can't widen their gape to swallow prey whole.
>>87775238Is there a way to make centaurs or similar fantasy beings at least partially biologically feasible? Because my best idea so far is that the humanoid and horse portions are separate creatures that become symbiotically joined later in life.
>>87870339>are separate creatures that become symbiotically joined later in lifeThat doujinshi was hot.
>>87870339There's absolutely nothing biologically unfeasible about centaurs. Stop thinking about them as a human attached to a horse and think of them as a hexapedal creature whose upper third looks humanoid and lower two thirds look equine.
>>87852759Well, it’s different, I’ll give you that. Not sure if it’s “good” per se, but certainly different.
>>87775238I want to make some family trees of various IRL mythological pantheons for my own use to keep track of. Anybody know of any good family tree generators that take incest into account since the Greek and Egyptian Pantheons had incestuous pairings?
>>87873323Alright, let's assume that these parts look similar enough to humans (or a similar species like elves), and horses, respectively. How the heck could their internal structure work, especially where they meet? To say nothing of how they'd reproduce without more than the usual risk to the mother, just to start.
>>87875933You aren't listening. There are no parts, unless in the sense that your chest and your stomach are "parts". The organs would be shuffled around to fit more ergonomically into the body cavity, and a lot of them would be deleted to remove duplication. The remaining ones would be enlarged or lengthened to serve a greater body mass. The remaining free space would be taken up by extra musculature and the bones to support it, and that's about it. I also see now issue whatsoever with birthing - the females would still give birth to regular foals, just a little bit longer.
>>87868478Huh, real life really is stranger than fiction. What about going the other direction, and having a vertebrate species evolve another set of limbs?
>>87879116In nature it’s always easier to lose a limb than to add one. So it’s pretty much unheard of.
>>87879116Really improbable.Under the hood, body plans are genetically determined by a system of segments. Adding a pair of limbs would require to duplicate one segment, which would be a massive change architecture-wise and would probably fuck up the development of anything on both side of it, has nothing will be calibrated to handle the new weird-ass clone/gap in the middle.Unless you mean a snake getting back some of his ancestors' legs.Old stuff coming back through mutations/environment re-activating it is semi-common: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atavism
>>87879116There's absolutely no limit on how many limbs vertebrates can potentially have. They can easily have centipede body plans, it's not something unimaginable. The reason why all vertebrates have four limbs is that they are all descendants of one shared ancestor that had four limbs.
>>87879214Really common with crustaceans.
>>87879257Some branches of life can shit out new limbs like other species change colors pattern.Vertebrates in general aren't really among those. Tetrapodes in particular seems completely locked, and have been since forever with no (long-term viable) exceptions.
>>87879291Of course, it all depends on their environments and evolutionary pressure. Aquatic living doesn't put nearly as much emphasis on legs, allowing some breathing room for experimentation. But four limbs aren't an evolutionary optimum that all terrestrial lifeforms converge on. Insects are the most successful taxon of terrestrial animals, and they're doing great with six limbs. Showing that in a parallel world, six-limbed vertebrates could've been viable as well.
>>87879291>Tetrapodes in particular seems completely locked, and have been since forever with no (long-term viable) exceptions.Tell that to any animal with a prehensile trunk or tail.
>>87881162Those aren’t actually new limbs, just novel adaptations of already existing anatomical features.
>>87881194Likewise, dragon wings can be not limbs, but hyperevolved gills or something. After all, insect wings did not evolve from limbs.
>>87881194>Those aren’t actually new limbsYet.
>>87775238My magical fantasy evolution. For an eternal WIP project.Random animals, and sometimes other things, achieve sapience at times.After which they, generation by generation, increasingly drift towards the human form, which is the form the Will of the World prefers for sapients.After enough generations, eg humans that evolved from fish can interbreed with humans that evolved from flowers.
>>87881701Where do elves come into this?
>>87881739If there are elves, they could be a group of partially humanized descendant of hydras (the unaging mollusks), who have retained the unagingness of the hydra while evolving bipedal human form.The elves can now reproduce with each other sexually, but they are at the threshold where all their descendants would not retain the unagingness, and would just become regular mortal humans.
>>87881890> while evolving bipedal human form.Why? Why would an invertebrate species evolve to look like a human of all things? Complete with such similar biology that cross-species breeding is possible?
>>87882140Because of magic. The Will of the World nudges all descendants of all sapients increasingly towards the human form each generation, because it considers the human form the proper form for sapients.It is not based in natural evolution.
>>87882213> Because magic…> It is not based in natural evolution.And this is one more reason I prefer space operas and other interstellar settings. At least THERE, on the whole, the non-human species are properly inhuman in appearance!
>>87882140Say hello to your grandfather, cunt.
>>87881294So, how 'did' insect wings evolve? Also, how might gills evolve into wings, to expand your example.
>>87857098>Or maybe there's some kind of species underground that satiates the air with oxygen.For my dwarf setting I was imagining various underground biomes: subterranean jungles and the like, which produce oxygen. The problem is I can't think of what those plants are themselves sustained on.I was thinking there's an expansive system of underground rivers and natural water pipes which result in a lot of sediment getting carried around and building up in these underground caverns, so there's soil down there for the plants to grow in, but I wasn't sure what to do about the lack of sunlight; unless I just go for a variety of leafless plants which are super good at drawing their energy from soil alone.
>>87884264They couldn’t be jungles of literal plant life, no light and all. But it could be that some caves have volcanic vents pumping heat and toxic gases into them to sustain an ecosystem of a different sort. Extremophiles feed on the toxic gases while other animals adapt to feed on the extremophiles or eat the animals that eat the extremophiles. Thus a food chain is formed around the geological activity of the cave system, and it might well be akin to a jungle, a nightmarish alien jungle, but a jungle nevertheless.
>>87884746>underwater thermal vents but without the waterOh shit anon that's a neat idea, thank you. It works especially well because I was already thinking there'd be hot springs and volcanic vents in some of the caverns where the heat difference helps drive air flow in the underworld.
>>87879343Let's not forget their wings either. Why did insects evolve six limbs, anyway?
>>87775238What is the best way to design monsters/creatures that could feasibly live in swamp habitats? See picture related that I found for example, are these viable?
>>87775238There’s been a lot of media in the past few decades in which there are humans with hair color like picture related, to say nothing of eye colors. Are they remotely biologically feasible as natural colors for either as we understand it? And if they’re possible, why don’t we see more of them?
>>87826172>Albino.Wouldn't grey/pitch black skin be best for withstanding space radiation? I like the idea of a species going albino after moving to space but I'm not sure it makes sense. Unless they just always have flawless radiation shielding.
>>87889218Melanin is designed to protect from whatever sunlight manage to reach Earth's ground, which is pretty tame. It's not going to do much against unfiltered space radiations, even if you are the darkest gorilla ever.And a problem with evolving some neo-melanin that could the trick, is that your population still need to kinda survive without it during the evolution period... and space radiations both hit really hard and are especially good at sterilizing - it make for a *very* narrow sweet spot where your space civilization has shielding shitty enough that having radiation resistance make a sensible difference in survival AND not everyone is sterile & dying of cancer. Realistically, they would either need to solve the shielding problem immediately, develop some miracle medicine/gene manipulation that solve the problem from the inside, or turn into a semi-ghost ship manned by the few people who never put a foot in the poorly shielded parts.As a rule a thumb, any species vaguely civilized can only stagnate or devolve - any situation that could be improved by evolution will generally be solved a thousand times faster by technical innovation or behavioral adaptation.
>>87889387Glad to know albinism makes sense for my still conceptual space-dwelling species.
>>87889430As already mentioned above, not all traits have to "make sense". Sexual selection is really strong and will easily overwrite "logic" for anything that's perceptible from the outside.You can have one branch of mankind who followed the "logical" path and turned albino because they don't give much fuck about skin color, another branch that kept "regular" spread of light colors because actual albinos still look like freaks to them, another branch who turned vantablack because they got a local religion that ended up giving higher status the darker you are, all while a big pocket of mankind on the other side of the galaxy turned RGB(0,255,0)-tier of green simply because some mutant long ago was an absolute chad who impregnated a good chunk of all women living in the same period as him, Genghis-khan style.And each group can carry random advantages/disabilities as secondary effects from those "choices", that will stay there because the real drive behind them isn't usual selection pressure.
>>87884184There's actually no consensus on how insect wings came into being, but what everybody agrees on is that they were definitely never limbs. One popular theory is that they were, in fact, gills that were repurposed when insects became terrestrial. Another one states that they were used for thermoregulation before insects learned to fly by flapping them rapidly.
>>87888802>Are they remotely biologically feasible as natural colors for either as we understand it?Of course. There's natural pigments of any colour you like, so hair of any colour is perfectly feasible. Thing is, humans can only produce two pigments: black eumelanin and yellow pheomelanin, and all hair colours are achieved by their various combinations. The latter is actually the result of a genetic disease that was perpetuated because it was attractive, not because it granted any survival benefits. Eumelanin, on the other hand, plays a very important role in protecting humans from harmful radiation. If green or blue types of melanin were to appear, they would likewise carry more harm than good. They offer no natural camouflage and no protection against ultraviolet, so they're worthless, biologically speaking. But possible. Keep in mind that these pigments tint not just the hair, but also every pigmented part of the human body, so people with blue hair and regular skin colours are not possible.
>>87890016So, all winged insects are descended from these few species that underwent these mutations? What else can you say about insect wings? And what about ways that vertebrates (like dragons) could develop wings besides the two possible ways that insects did it?
>>87893554Pretty much to have a “proper” dragon (4-legs, 2 wings), you’d need dragons to either be not of this planet. Or evolved from a completely different lung-fish that all other terrestrial vertebrates evolved from, one with six fins rather than 4. Like a coelacanth or Gar. Because the reason all terrestrial vertebrates have no more than 4 limbs is because they are all descended from one species of ancient lung fish that happened to only have 4 fins. Simple as that.Of course that would make dragon-hybrids rather limited. Since they’d be so far removed from quadrupeds (like humans) on the evolutionary scale that to say that they’d be genetically incompatible would still be a massive understatement.
>>87894237Unless these humans are hexapods whose extra pair of limbs got completely reduced.
>>87894602That’s just being stupid for the sake of obstinance, there’d be vestigial remnants of additional limbs, either in misplaced bones, or strange arrangements of surrounding skeletal and muscular structures where a limb used to be.
>>87894955Show me the vestigial limbs on the snake skeleton.
>>87895283There, Now will you drop this idiotic train of thought already? You’re smarter than this.
>>87895382No. These things aren't atavisms, they serve an important function in mating. If there was no role for them, they would not exist.
Here is your dragon bro.
>>87895555Biology does not optimize to the degree you think it does.
>>87775238Besides just making bigger, meaner versions of existing sea creatures, what is a good method of coming up with potential sea monster designs, and little biological quirks to make them more interesting? How might large sea monsters get enough food to survive?
>>87775238For any biology folks out there - are there any semi-feasible or just interesting scenarios you can think of where an animal or plant might incorporate metals as part of its structure? Not something like barnacles growing on a shipwreck, but more so along the lines of stuff like the scaly-foot snail where the organism biomineralizes metals for some useful purpose. Most biomineralization to my knowledge involves calcium carbonate or silica materials; the only one I know to use a metal in substantial quantities is the scaly foot snail.That said, my understanding of biochem is very limited, so do correct me if I’ve gotten anything wrong.
>>87895555Pretty sure the boa and python spurs aren't actually used for anything. They aren't useful for mating because they lack the strength and range of motion to actually hold on to anything, and IIRC they aren't even visible on all individuals. They're more like the hind limb bones of whales: remains of legs that haven't entirely disappeared because they're already so reduced there's no real difference between them being gone completely. Incidentally most snake families actually have spurs, it's just that aside from boas and pythons most of those are really obscure tiny burrowing snakes and shit, with most snakes people have actually heard from coming from the fully legless families.
>>87899524Bigger, meaner versions of past sea creatures? Precambrian and Paleozoic era are 99% sea critters that range from "wtf is this and can niggerman save me?" to "I know this one but which surgeon did it piss off?".Other low-effort options:>take benthic/anchored critters, make them swimming. Fast. (pic related)>take swimming critters, make an heavily armored&muscular benthic/anchored version>take flying critters, make them swimming after a reskin>take land critters, give them gills, fins and a reskinEveryone fear but know how to fight a Kraken, no one is ready for their boat to be butchered from underneath by a school of giant sea notbeavers.
>>87899524>How might large sea monsters get enough food to survive?You need either something with very low metabolism (so mammal/warm blooded are suboptimal), a plankton filterer, or the entire food chain to be a lot more productive.The later will require phytoplankton having much better conditions than nowadays, which isn't really hard to do since Earth is currently at a low point in atmospheric CO2 - and that's the only thing all plants in general and phytoplankton in particular love more than sunlight. Multiply the current CO2 levels by 5 to 10 (back to what it was during the dinosaurs' era) and the phytoplankton bloom will be enough to feed the food chain needed for a whale-sized classic predator.
>>87899524Take a hint from the largest animal to have ever existed, and, possibly, the largest animal that can exist in principle - the blue whale. They feed by filtering the plankton. There's no other source of biomass that is nearly so abundant, so easy to come by and so easily replenishable.>>87899584>For any biology folks out there - are there any semi-feasible or just interesting scenarios you can think of where an animal or plant might incorporate metals as part of its structure?Humans? Calcium is a metal. The reason why exposed metals aren't used by organisms is quite trivial, they oxidise very easily and all life worth speaking of needs oxygen. You mentioned scaly foot snail, but it doesn't have any parts of exposed iron. Its scales are made of iron sulphate, which is not any closer to pure iron than calcium phosphate that our teeth are made of to pure calcium.
>>87900380>no one is ready for their boat to be butchered from underneath by a school of giant sea notbeaversExcept icelanders. Those are ready.
>>87900495>Multiply the current CO2 levels by 5 to 10 (back to what it was during the dinosaurs' era) and the phytoplankton bloom will be enough to feed the food chain needed for a whale-sized classic predator.Somehow I don't think that that's what would happen. Eutrophication on such a scale would not bolster the food chain, it would decimate all life in the ocean by poisoning the water with decay products. Thankfully, the main limiting factor in phytoplankton proliferation is not CO2, it's nitrogen and ESPECIALLY phosphorus, so massive eutrophication would not happen no matter how much you increase the CO2 levels.
>>87900928>it would decimate all life in the ocean by poisoning the water with decay productsNot really, no: ocean life worked pretty fine back then. A good chunk of Earth's life happened with more than 4k ppm of CO2 compared to today's 0.4k ppm, and the oceans were teeming with life and diversity.Would some stuff die during the change? Absolutely. But that's how life work: change happen, stuff die, other stuff take its place, ecosystem move to a new equilibrium and it's business as usual again.You can't drop a new giant apex predator in an ecosystem that didn't have to sustain one before without having some pretty major changes on all the links under it.>the main limiting factor in phytoplankton proliferation is not CO2, it's nitrogen and ESPECIALLY phosphorusThere is definitively diminishing factors to adding anything in the food chain, but right now CO2 levels are low enough that experiments made with x2/x3 do show significant increase in global amount of phytoplankton (some species really don't like it, but that's expected for any change). Same with most experiment on land plants, especially those with C3-type photosynthesis (aka the vast majority of them).
>>87901257Any statement about the chemical composition and the ecosystem of mesozoic oceans is a shot in the dark, but what any specialist will tell you with absolute certainty is that they did not suffer from eutrophication, and the reason for that is precisely the proven existence of diverse and large fauna. Eutrophication is the bane of all animal life. Animals suffocate because the plants suck up all the oxygen coming from the surface. Animals are poisoned by their waste products. The only form of life that can thrive in such an environment are anaerobic saprophytes, definitely not a large apex predator of any kind. And the reason why phytoplankton could not take advantage of high CO2 levels is, again, lack of phosphorus in the water, the element that truly regulates their biomass.
>>87900380I see what you mean. What are some examples of the latter type? Also, crabs can 'do' that?>>87901257>>87901676Okay, so say the CO2 levels were raised, not to catastrophic levels, but enough to allow for more plants to feed large ocean prey. What other effects might this have besides what's already been stated?
>>87903205>crabs can 'do' that?Regular crabs can't, it's a specific family whose back legs flattened into decent-enough paddles.
>>87903205Massive global warming would be the most noticeable side effect.
Concocted a… redesign of sorts of an underground civilization creature (not Dwarves so just remove that from your mind). I’m going to go over the description and see if it’s, well it doesn’t have to be perfectly sound, just acceptable.They stand about 4.5-5ft tall and of a sinewy build, they have pale, translucent skin, small, beady, not-quite-vestigial-but-very-nearly eyes. They have two short twiggy arms and two short matchstick legs but four knees and four elbows, all double-jointed. It’s newt-like head has no forehead but the back of the skull tapers back into a curving horn-creat (kinda like Parasaurolophus but instead of a sinus cavity, it’s just a swept-back brain case). And a long, snake-like body.
>>87903205>What other effects might this have besides what's already been stated?Plants get a bit more prolific everywhere, temperate/hot/cold/etc climate lines get moved a bit.Which, as always with ecosystems, mean: massive migrations, lots of species dying from their habitat shrinking, lots of species proliferating from their habitat expanding, lots of species splitting into new variants to fill new empty niches.And yes: climate would only change "a bit", because CO2 isn't some magic molecule. It can bounce back some wavelengths, but once it's already bouncing nearly all of it you can drop as many additional tons of CO2 you want and it won't increase greenhouse effect for much. And Earth's current atmospheric levels are already deep in the diminishing return part of the curve.Also, unlike what people obstinately believe, CO2 levels on Earth just can't reach "catastrophic levels". Even if you were to burn every single fucking lump of coal or drop or oil, the worst you will do is reset the carbon situation back to what it was before it got captured and buried by life. Meaning at best you reach Paleozoic-style climate... and life had zero problem thriving there.It would be a sizable extinction event, but despite what our dear "the end is near" friends like to prophetize it wouldn't be anywhere near close to making Earth like Venus, or drown every landmass.>inb4 green cultists screaming about big oil propagandaBig oils managed to convince you that (you) were the root cause of pollution, and not them having absolutely heinous environmental practices just to save 0.0001$.The only propaganda they bother with nowadays is to blame everything bad in the environment on your kids using plastic straws, or whatever bullshit of the month they decided to push for a laugh.
>>87906669How much is a "bit" in this kind of scenario? Also, besides giant sea monsters, what are some cool creatures that might evolve as a result of this kind of shift?
>>87905878The fuck is this?The hell is it supposed to be?
>>87910644Not him, but reading it he's applying the same logic behind Cave Salamanders. Just on a sentient, bipedal, sort of dinosaury-kobold creature.
>>87775238How can a creature with two or more heads like picture related be at all biologically feasible? Especially if the regenerative capabilities of the mythical Hydra are included. Perhaps they could be like octopus tentacles, with only one head having a proper brain?
>>87910963Either conjoined twins, or what we perceive as “heads are not actually heads, but additional limb-like structures, one’s that end in a mouth and bundle of sensory organs, with the actual brain being somewhere else within the body.
>>87905878>they have pale, translucent skinIt wouldn't be translucent unless it's very thin. Why would it be so thin? Do they breathe or drink through it?>small, beady, not-quite-vestigial-but-very-nearly eyesEither they would be completely blind or they would have enormous eyes that take advantage of the smallest amount of light available.>four knees and four elbows, all double-jointedWhat is the purpose of that? Incidentally, human legs are double-jointed as well. Ankles are joints, which is very noticeable in digitigrades.>And a long, snake-like body.Okay, this is the part that got me completely stumped. Why? How does that work with their tiny legs, how can they support such a body? Are these creatures lizard-like quadrupeds?>>87910673Then he wouldn't have said "arms" or "elbows". Also, kobolds are gnome-like house spirits and I refuse to accept any other version.
>>87911401Alternatively, like sea stars (or octopuses), they could be intelligent, but without a conventional brain, and have neural ganglia in all of their feeding limbs that allow them to process all sensory information without redirecting it. I'm more puzzled by the purpose of such limbs, as they make feeding very inefficient with no apparent benefit. While sea stars have eyes on their rays and octopuses have ganglia in their tentacles, they only have a single mouth for convenience.
>>87913251>as they make feeding very inefficient with no apparent benefitTo fool some other predator in the region who *really* like targeting the head, kinda like some caterpillars do?
>>87911401What might cause such a setup to evolve? And where in the body would be the best place to put the brain in that scenario?
>>87913463It's already safe from such tactics if it doesn't have all the sensory and processing organs concentrated in one place. No need to fuck up the digestive system.
>>87912834All those features make perfect sense for something that’s evolved to spend 90% of its life crawling through caves. The skin can become translucent as a consequence of an extreme melanin deficiency, which why would something that never sees the sun need melanin? The eyes could still have some limited use that keeps them around, like how many mole species still have eyes despite them being damn-near useless. As for the body and limbs, well it’s not tall so it’s obvious that he’s describing something with a long body perched on thin stubby legs, and with thin stubby arms, limbs that bend in more places than ours do and apparently can bend backwards as well, this sounds like traits that could help it squeeze itself through the kind of small, winding, and twisting tunnels typical of natural caves. Probably why everything’s is so thin too, bulk can get you stuck and that’s one major way you can die in a cave. Could also be why it developed intelligence, can’t imagine it’d be easy to keep a full 3-dimensional map of a labyrinth in your head with a tiny pea-brain.
>>87914355>Could also be why it developed intelligence, can’t imagine it’d be easy to keep a full 3-dimensional map of a labyrinth in your head with a tiny pea-brain.Allow me to introduce you to this mysterious creature called ant.
>>87914903Not quite the same when you dig the labyrinth yourself.
>>87842656look up queztalcoatlus. fuckers were the biggest fliers ever iirc. but they were mostly gliding instead of doing dog fights. one adaption that the other two comments didnt mention is a sort of joint lock that takes some of the strain off the muscles. creature girls had that explantion for their harpies (great manga btw. not good fap material but the world buildings awesome)
>>87906669>Even if you were to burn every single fucking lump of coal or drop or oil, the worst you will do is reset the carbon situation back to what it was before it got captured and buried by life. Meaning at best you reach Paleozoic-style climateYou're ignoring the fact that that oil and coal was deposited over millions of years, so releasing it all back into atmosphere pretty much instantaneously (in terms of geologic time) is going to cause atmospheric CO2 levels to jump higher than it would have normally have been even during the time when CO2 levels were naturally high. Also, life can adapt to warmer or cooler average temperatures but that takes times. Temepratures can increase or decrease by several centuries over millions of years and it won't have a significant effect on life on Earth as a whole, but those same changes happening over a period of centuries will lead to mass extinction as most animals and plants can't adapt to changing conditions that fast.In fact, this is considered to be the most likely cause of the end-Permian mass extinction. Massive volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia first caused global temperatures to drop due to sulphuer dioxide and volcanic ash increasing Earth's albedo, followed by a rapid rise in temperature due to all the CO2 released in the atmosphere. The one-two punch og the climate swinging from warm to cold to extra-warm was too much for almost all life on Earth, causing by far the largest mass extinction known and the only time complex life actually came close to being wiped out completely. Though the Siberian flood basalt eruptions aren't really a good proxy to the modern global warming, as the scale of them was so unfathomably huge that all CO2 humanity has released into the atmosphere is a drop in the ocean compared to how much they fucked up the atmosphere. We're talking about a volcanic eruption that lasted for millions of years and covered a decently large chunk of a continent under mile-thick layers of lava
>>87775238Sure. 1) Has there been any news or tangible proofs on the possibility of the shadow biosphere?2) Have they figured out what tissue of the Mantis Shrimp processes its visual senses?3) I'm currently making up a Fallout with a very mutated biome which is both a source of many dangers and resources. What is your opinion on stuff like dangerous and weird biomes which might or might not have a mind of their own, like "War Against the Chtorr" and the underground shown in "The Descent" by Jeff Long? What are things they do well and what do they lack?
>>87915886I've never heard of this manga, I'm intrigued. What other good worldbuilding does it have, especially in regards to biology like the harpy wings example you mentioned?
>>87918720it reimagines centaurs and other monster girls in a more "realistic" way that ends up making them pretty creepy and unfappable desu but the non biology stuff is what hooked me in. machines for use by driders, little cart things so mermaids can be faster on land, the explanation of centaur society which has a strong patriarchy and matriarchy at the same time. oh the giant golems reimagined as gorillas who use tree resin on their own fur to make primitive composite armour was dope
>>87842656I liked the idea of that fake documentary on realistic dragons. They extract hydrogen and methane from their digestion, fueling their fire breath, and more importantly, filling "flight bladders" which aren't enough to make it float, but make it easier for the wings.https://youtu.be/XuzYI1ZsTCk?t=1161
>>87918783Okay, I have to hear more about what it does. Like, these drider machines and their physiology, about centaur biology and culture, and these gorilla golems that you mentioned. What is your favorite thing that it does?
>>87922750its a bit of a copout but ALL the world building. its supposed to be a hentai manga but the "realism" of the reimagined monster girls makes a few of them (most notably the driders) unfuckable imho. the reimagined centaurs are pretty neat still and others are more or less human that said centaur society being this weird mix of patriarchy and matriarchy was cool. its almost like joseon korea but with the women having their own independant support system and using the constraints of gender roles to their own advantage to make their lifes easier. they act the submissive housewive and do what they can to please their husbands but only to get the full benefits of a loyal breadwinner. meanwhile theyre tightly knit together and take the whole "it takes a village" thing more serious so that division of labour and team work makes being a house wife easier. the thought behind that was interesting
I have noticed a similarity between rapid plant movement and hydraulics. Plants achieve rapid movement by changing the turgor pressure of certain cells, which is very similar to how hydraulic mechanisms use liquid pressure to move their pistons. This got me thinking that instead of developing contracting fibres like animals, moving plants would instead develop a system of internal hydraulics. They already have all the necessary elements of such a system ready to go, they only need flexible joints with no cell walls in them to prevent damage to their extremities when moving. I imagine that they would have four arthropod-like legs arranged in a circle around their stems. This is the minimal number or limbs that would allow them to avoid balance issues. Because hydraulics are severely inferior to muscles in both fine control and reaction lag, balancing would be a major issue for them. To be able to get back up if fallen over, moving plants would necessarily be short and squat. Forget about long vertical trunks.The entire root system would have to be severed and discarded before movement. To compensate for a temporary lack of roots, moving plants would require storage organs inside their trunks that would provide them with nutrition for the time being.As for the evolutionary impetus to evolve locomotion, there's actually a lot of them. The most pressing one is competition. As of right now, plants simply suffocate their competition with body mass and block their access to sunlight, but this system is terribly inefficient, as it means that very few can survive in a densely populated environment. Now if they could pick themselves up and go somewhere less crowded, their survival rate would absolutely skyrocket. Furthermore, sex is a massive, massive, massive problem for the plants. You don't want to know how convoluted and ridiculous it is. Being able to go anywhere and fuck anyone you choose would be such a game changer that anything would be possible after that.
>>87924736What's wrong with the Driders, and what other monster girls do you have these issues with? And what more can you say on the biology of the harpies? What about the Harpies, Kelpies, Minotaurs, and/or Goblins?
>>87926732for whats wrong with driders see the pic. those same hairy legs with hoofs thing is used for red caps too where its not as bad and for centaurs where it fits better. the whole fused humans with hair and hoofs thing is just kinda off putting for me. i prefer my monster girls more conventialminotaurs share the same features of hoofs and stuff. kelpies only show up once i think and thats for a joke. harpies are loli bait with joint lock to enable gliding more than flying. giant insects are explained as being more like turtles with both an inner and outer skeleton. goblins and orcs exist aswell and their culture is very bonobo-esque meaning they fuck whenever they want and cant wrap their head around the concept of monogamy and rape which is how the fighting between humans and goblins startedthe attitudes to sex are non human in all of the demihumans and often to be created purely to lampshade / make fun of modern feminist western views of sex to a degree that i as a /pol/ack find kinda offputting sometimesdragons exist and use digestive gases plus an eel like shock thing in their mouth to breathe fire. id honestly just go to nyaa si and download it. its only six volumes after all
>>87924736As if anyone needed even more proof that libido is the greatest engine of creativity.
>>87926879I might just do that, thanks for the suggestion. Do you know of any other series or settings with similar explorations of the biology of fantasy races and/or monster girls, even if it's not nearly to the same extent?
>>87926936we all know the saying "Necessity is the mother of invention". and which need is greater than the one to coom>>87926962not off the top of my head but definitely check out specevo stuff like curious archive on youtube or r/speculativeevolution and r/worldbuilding also often posts great OC stuff
>>87927120>which need is greater than the one to coomIncidentally, I've realised that centaurs wouldn't be able to masturbate because they can't reach their dicks with their hands. Explaining both their propensity to rape and their tendency towards alcoholism as an alternative way of taking off the stress.
>>87927186honestly its a miracle they dont just keep a herd of horses around for that very purpose. like if mongols fucked their horses
>>87927186iirc, stallions *can* masturbate by slapping their dick against their belly with appropriate contractions.Also horse fleshlights have existed since artificial insemination, and considering how cheaply they can be made even a primitive tribe could figure it.Option B: conjugal duty and early marriage. Solving masturbation problems since forever.
>>87927531>Solving masturbation problems since forever.It didn't solve anything at all.
>>87927531i could also see intercrural / thigh sex being more accepted. with how long horse cocks are it should be impossible to switch holes or go from between thighs to into pussy without remounting. no accidental slipping it in
>>87775238I’m planning on including a Naga race in my setting. Do you have any ideas on cool things I can do with their physiology, and how it could affect their culture and behaviors?
>>87927531I fail to see how having fleshlights helps when you still can't reach your fucking dick.
>>87928639definitely give them unhinged jaws. its also a good idea to keep the organs more or less the same as a snake since that makes things easier. afaik there are snakes with two arms or maybe theyre lizards but essentially the body type of snake with two arms exists so theres no need to squeeze human organs on top of snake ones for a naga>>87928889secure fleshlight to table or other surface. go at it hands free
>>87900837>Calcium is a metal. I am a fool.Good point regarding the oxidation, though - I didn't think of that.
>>87928889IRL horses don't need hands to use those, not sure why that would be a bigger problem for centaurs.
>>87928639>Do you have any ideas on cool things I can do with their physiology, and how it could affect their culture and behaviors?Stop calling lamias nagas. How's that for an idea?
>>87929232Why the fuck did you say fleshlight when you were really meaning dummy female horse?
>>87929093So the "human" torso would mainly be spine, maybe ribs, muscles, and the bones needed for the arms and shoulders then?>>87929326Lamia was a singular individual, Nagas were not. Unless you have a deeper reason for the terminology?
>>87930655exactly. squeezing extra human organs in only makes it needlessly complicated
>>87930772Alright, and what else might I do for them? Also, loving this thread, we should have a new one made after this gets bumped off the board. Maybe in a week or so?
>>87932082You're going to keep remaking this shit forever anyway, why do you even pretend to care whether anyone else wants it?
We'll need a new thread soon
>>87775238Besides gills, webbed fingers, and webbed toes, what adaptations would aquatic races need? Especially if they can survive in both land 'and' water.
>>87775238How does the biology of aging work? I want to come up with at least semi-plausible ways to justify elves living for centuries despite being related enough to interbreed with humans. Not to mention races at the opposite extreme, like goblins are usually depicted as.
>>87933875>of aging workTwo main culprits.Telomeres: every time chromosomes duplicate during cell division, they can't copy-paste the very end. To compensate this, they have long strand of "junk" DNA at the end, whose purpose is to ensure the "real" DNA stay away from the end. Cells detect when they are reaching the end of their telomeres, and division slow more and more. That's why old people regenerate *anything* much slower, to the point where the entire body is made of cells that are way past replacement date.On the plus side, this mechanic is important as cancer protection: a good chunk of all "miraculous" cancer healing is just the cancer cells reaching their telomeres' end, trying to go past it, and fucking up their DNA. Durable cancer cells (like the HeLa line used in labs) need some mutation to start rebuilding their telomeres. It's not *that* rare of a mutation sadly, since our cells do have the mechanism for it - that's how sperm/ovocyte cells get "fresh" telomeres.Overall degradation: No more cell replacement wouldn't be a problem is the existing cells weren't damaged over time. There is a shitton of causes here, and we find new ones all the time. Biggest one is that oxygen is reactive as fuck (that's why we can get energy out of it), and as all biological processes work on a "if it generate the right thing more than half the time then it's good enough" mindset, you get random oxidation everywhere.Second one is that DNA is compacted when not read, and need uncompacting whenever the cells need some protein. The compaction/decompaction process slowly fuck up with something called "histone" proteins, which are responsible for compacting the DNA in just the right way that the cell can only access the genes she is supposed too. Mess up for too long with thoses, and the cell start losing her specialization - and turn back into some sort of "default" cell that doesn't do much, especially not whatever critical job she was supposed to do.
>>87775238What could cause a near human race to have a primarily or entirely female birth rate? And would such a skewed birth rate have any real advantages?
>>87934028>It's not *that* rare of a mutation sadlyWhat’s so sad about that? And what could cause telemeres to mutate and get longer?
>>87935471Because they have the social structure of eusocial insects such as ants or bees. The advantage is a rigid and efficient hierarchy that is easily maintained and replicated.
>>87933238>Besides gills, webbed fingers, and webbed toes, what adaptations would aquatic races need? Especially if they can survive in both land 'and' water.I mean, amphibians exist. And lungfishes. Hell, octopuses can survive on land despite being fully aquatic in theory. Amphibians show that gills aren't even necessary, they can breathe efficiently through their very thin skin while underwater. However, and this applies to all of the above, they need to keep their skin wet at all times while on land to maintain their internal osmoregulation and prevent drying up. Mucus secretion is therefore more important that gills and especially webbed extremities, as the latter are completely optional. They're nice for swimming, but not necessary, and their functionality can also be replicated by fins or tails.
>>87935510And what might cause a near-human species of humanoids to evolve to have such a social structure? What are the pros and cons for such an approach, especially in humanoids?
>>87935471depends on both how grimdark you wanna go and how recent the split from humans is. xy chromosomes are natureally less stable than xx ones. for us this leads to men having a wider range of possible iq for example where the biggest geniuses and the biggest idiots are both male. it also leads to men being color blind way more often. stuff like thatadd to that the fact that a big chunk of pregnancies end before most people even notice and you could have mle fetuses being so unstable that the majority of them terminate before the would be mother even notices a missed period. for more grimdark you just push the date of termination up to a later trimester or even after birth>>87935627look up naked mole rats. the only eusocial mammals. for the pros and cons just look at totallitarian regimes since thats what this would evolve into. its a lot easier to control a town or city if only a select few women can breed
>>87935491>What’s so sad about that?... because it turn a possibly survivable cancer into a nearly unsurvivable one?>And what could cause telemeres to mutate and get longer?It's not like that. We have the genes to make telomeres as long as needed.Your body activate those genes when creating sexual cells - otherwise any baby would start with telomeres the same size than it's parents and would age really, really fast (iirc that's what happened to Dolly, the first cloned ewe - the cloning process back then didn't account for the need to refresh the telomere). Any mutation resulting in those genes being activated outside of this case result in a *lot* of tumors, as "telomere getting short = stop dividing" is one of our major anti-cancer safeguard.There was a lot of hype in the 2000-2010 when biologists identified how to completely reset a fully adult cell back into a fresh-embryo-tier one by only using 3 specific proteins. It didn't led to any fountain of eternal youth because you just replace your long-term aging problem with a very immediate death-by-a-thousand-tumors one. For now. We will probably figure it out one day, but those researches tend to be *massively* under-financed due to no government wanting to deal with a population that doesn't die shortly after retirement, and other "inconvenient" of a non-aging population.
>>87935833Oh sorry. Still waking up, so I kind of read that wrong.
>>87932767Sure, but should we wait a bit before making it? What do you think?
>>87932767>>87937299i wish there was a worldbuilding board or thread. something with live features https://github.com/kennell/imageboardsthe discord is nice but i hate its TOS
>>87935803>xy chromosomes are natureally less stable than xx onesWhy are they less stable? And what could even cause something like that?Also, wouldn't a limited ability to reproduce potentially devastate them in the case of a disease or other disaster wiping out most of the fertile ones?
>>87775238How could plants theoretically develop intelligence? Or at least become symbiotically part of an animal that’s sapient?
>>87937717>Why are they less stableguessing it's for the same reason that stacking a ball on a cube is less stable than a cube on a cube. also its not all bad. sometimes the mutations are positive instead of being color blindnessas for the disease thing. afaik naked mole rats can all potentially be fertile so if a queen dies a new one emerges among the normal workers
>>87938138What kind of environment/mutations could lead to such destabilizing to the point where more females are born than males, or at least make producing said greater numbers an advantage?Still, I don’t think that it’s really feasible to keep only one fertile female around at a time for humanoids. What do you think a good ratio of fertile fems to non-fertile ones might be?
>>87775238A lot of fantasy races, like Orcs, have the females be just as tall and strong as the males, if not more so. Assuming that they’re still relatively close to base hum, what might lead to such a scenario?
>>87932107I'm the OP of this thread and I have nothing to do with the bumpfag who latched onto it. I, for one, was never going to remake this thread and I won't do that. Stop throwing baseless accusations around, asshole.