Fire-Breath & Other Outlandish Feats of Nature

Thought this would be both a productive and fun thread to make.

In an older post on this forum, there was a discussion about how evolution can produce something as complex and wonderful as an eye and how that process can be brought into Thrive, since it is, after all, an evolution-focused game. It basically all started with:


After an informative post by Omicron which detailed certain potential methods through which a dragon-like animal could morphologically fly despite being large and breath fire - explained by an ability to store low-density yet flammable gasses - and several posts debating the feasibility of such adaptions, I posted a thought-train which focused on implementing the entertaining "how the hell can we BS evolution enough into creating a dragon" discussion that was going on into the game.

And I ended the thread with a classic

which led to me creating this thread 7 months after I posted that.

Basically, the whole point of this thread is to basically BS evolution like the electric eels, mantis shrimps, chameleons, and the octopi did. Using nature’s ingenuity as the previously mentioned did, how can we finesse evolution enough so that we can essentially explain and recreate several seemingly outlandish abilities - invisibility, regeneration, multiple heads, flight at massive size, fire-breath, etc. - into legitimate survival techniques and adaptations that evolved over various thousands of progeny? I feel like if we really get our brain juice pumping, we can potentially iron out concepts that will be found in the later game that could have their beginnings in earlier stages.

2 Likes

For flight with a very large body- the animal would have to have hollow bones, like birds, but another thing that would help would be the ability to store air or lighter gases in the body. Another helpful addition is flap speed. If an animal flapped it’s wings faster, it went faster.

We’re getting into the dragon territory.

There’s one issue though: The square-cube law. In a nutshell, this law says that the mass of a creature will rise faster than the surface area when it increases in size. Due to this, the bigger a creature gets, the higher the wing-body ration becomes, and/or the faster it ‘flaps’.
Then there’s energy. The faster you flap, the more energy it costs. Seeing as dragon-sized creatures already take way too much time acquiring energy, flying increases that amount by a ridiculous amount, most likely resulting in something like the panda, where it spends all of its time eating, and won’t have time to reproduce.
Last of all, there’s structural integrity. If the creature would flap faster/have bigger wings, there would be, again, exponentially more force on the bones as the size of the creature increases, eventually reaching a point where the hollow bones just won’t be able to support the wings anymore.

3 Likes

How about a bat-sized dragons? Just imagine those tiny little sinister flying flamethrowers.

I mean, Human sized dragons would be scary enough already. Dont think Skyrim sized dragons, to put it simply.

1 Like

And for example, if the dragon wanted to breathe fire, it would exhale the gas and somehow ignite it. This would mean the dragon wouldn’t be able fly as it blows fire.

1 Like

The igniting mechanism shouldn’t be such a problem. I’d imagine something like an electric eel styled organ in the oral cavity or some scaly things rubbing, creating sparks (would have to be some kind of sparky material, which doesn’t seem too plausible, though).

The “dragon” could also ingest some flammabe (?) stones into a cavity in it’s mouth, and when it wants to breath fire, it blows the gas through, which hits the stones together and Creates a spark.

For the dragon flight thing, we can look at real life examples, like the Argentavis. Despite being a huge bird, it still managed to fly. Maybe the answer to dragon flight will be discovered by studying its wing structure and bone constitution.

Argentavis “flew mainly by soaring, using flapping flight only during short periods. It is probable that it used thermal currents as well… Especially for takeoff, it would have depended on the wind. Although its legs were strong enough to provide it with a running or jumping start, the wings were simply too long to flap effectively until the bird was some height off the ground.[3] However, skeletal evidence suggests that its breast muscles were not powerful enough for wing flapping for extended periods of time” this is from wikipedia

For the dragon to lift of like people normally think it does( straight up like a helicopter) it have to have some sort of special feature to do so

1 Like

Another good example would be quetzalcoatlus, a giant pterosaur the size of a giraffe. also its wing structure would be closer that of a dragon than argentavis because dragons wings are usually shown to be made of skin.

The dragons would have to evolve to gather energy quicker, like being able to eat a wide range of things. Another helpful addition would be a really efficient digestive system to get the maximum amount of nutrients from the smallest amount of food.

Ok. I have an idea for large flyers. What if it’s like a livig blimp? The body mostly consists of a giant gas bladder and wings are mostly there to handle propulsion. I understand that it’s not very dragon-y, but it doesn’t have to be. Just big, flies and breathes fire.

I think that the dragon would have gas bladders with flammable, lighter than atmosphere gas, that the dragon could use to breathe fire and lift itself off the ground. Though the gas bladders are just ment to make the creature easier to fly.

Do keep in mind however that having large enough gas bladders to fly also means that the creature would be large and slow, not making for a sustainable lifestyle.

3 Likes

I agree, when I think floating gas-bladdered creatures, I would think of ARK’s gasbags, which are peaceful herbivores, rather than a ferocious apex predator that is the dragon.

1 Like

A way to use gas bladders without sacrificing size or aerodynamics is finding a gas spring or something, using it to fill the bladders, and once in the air, spewing the gas out. Then the bladders would flatten down

And then it would crash due to the gas being gone again.