I could see a “species” of creature that reproduces with corpses. I got this idea from Endless Legend which has a race called the necrophage. The necrophage can’t farm nor reproduce in a normal way so they use corpses both as food and their way to reproduce. They used poisonous clouds to keep bodies intact but use sharp claws and weapons such at axes and sword (and more if the game progressed to guns). They would wrap corpses in cocoons and use their parasitic eggs to infect the body and create a new necrophage.
Laying eggs in corpses is not something from fantasy, for example flies lay their eggs in corpses.
Yes, but they don’t turn that corpse into their own body.
Well, there are parasites that hijack existing neural systems, but re-animating a corpse seems shaky at best. There are slime molds, simple organisms that temporarily group together, but I don’t see them stuffing a dead body and locomoting in a meatsack. Better to eat it and crawl along to a more convivial host.
It’s not reanimating a corpse as much as it is as using it as a template. Obviously this would be an aggressive species and the parasite would have to edit the creatures in order to make them more suited to killing. Take if a human was killed and used, humans aren’t exactly good at killing, it might extend and sharpen the nails and replace the current teeth we have with much sharper versions or weaponize the tongue somehow.
Of course, you’ll have the age-old question: why? There is no reason for that, since just reproducing normally would be way easier and not require funky evolutionary steps.
I’ve been thinking about that. This would have to start at the very beginning of life. Possibly a bacteria that acts like a virus. It would attach to a cell and then fuse with it, using the cell to produce more of the bacteria that would then leave the cell (in a non-lethal way like a form of mitosis) and go to infect other cells. Now that I’ve thought of this that egg could be more like a clump of the bacteria being implanted in the body which would then slowly turn all of the cells into a necrophage.
I’m absolutely disgusted, yet incredibly intrigued.
How and why is this reminding me of the Flood in Halo?
That would make sense if other members of the species were very spread out in multicellular, and eventually the species would dominate.
This is one of those things where you don’t really have a reason to use it but it gives the player more choice, instead of always having shudders “standard” reproduction.
I am still liking the "using the corpse as a ‘blueprint’ " thing, in fact i actually had a sort of concept like this already, before hearing of this thread. The creature would inject an embryo into a living creature, and would eventually kill off the host and it would consume the entire body while keeping the skeleton intact for use of keeping itself upright. Without the skeleton of a creature it would be a shapeless blob and be unable to do anything