Permenantly floating creatures

Sea creatures are submerged in sea and can move in 3 dimensons. But what about staying at the top of water like a ship? There are examples in speculative evolution, such as Ocean phantom from Future is Wild and Sail Person from All Tomorrows.

One thing to consider is hurricanes, the surface of oceans can’t be covered with floating plants if the water isn’t calm. Also, a reason given to why wheels won’t evolve is nature not having flat surfaces, and oceans are flat. Could a wheeled creature (wheels and the body not denser than water) evolve in the oceans?

I mean, we see examples of floating plants in the Sargasso Sea, which is made of floating seaweeds/sea grasses, so that could be a basis for a more complex floating ecosystem, as well as maybe creatures like the Portuguese Man-o’-War.

As to wheeled creatures, they could theoretically work I think (maybe limbs like water wheels moving it, or a propellor-like tail), but I can’t particularly see a reason why a creature would evolve a wheel versus a much cheaper/easier limb such as a finned limb or tentacle, unless it was prevented from making such limbs for some reason.


what they would explain as “divine intervention” but really it’s just human people killing off the ones with non wheel limbs

I’d assume that this discussion should probably be based around an environment with no previous sapient species, and not necessarily on earth. I was just providing examples from earth so that we had a basis/concept to work off of


i was just saying what it would likely be causing the wheels to happen instead of something else

Not if humans don’t exist in its environment. We should be assuming natural selection, not artificial selection, that does not occur on earth but on a different planet potentially (but not necessarily) with earth like conditions

Anyway potential structure for the wheels could be a propellor like structure, maybe for some kind of motile coral, so it can find light despite the plants above water. Potentially it would be a central ball of coral, with a hole in the back that allowed another coral section through, which formed a bulb in an inner cavity to prevent this second section from being pulled out (similar to a ball and socket joint, but the socket is much more restricting)

Polyps of the first colony within the cavity could spin this second colony, which in the outside has flat planes like a propellor. The spinning would provide thrust, and it could potentially have largely immobile, coral-fan like fins to direct it, though those might not be necessary.

How would this naturally evolve though? Any ideas?

It wouldn’t because you need roads first for wheels to be useful. Wheels are really bad in natural forests or even grasslands.

I think that’s the reason why this is set in the ocean, and I was proposing more propellor than wheel, which would obviously face its own problems but rough terrain wouldn’t be as much of an issue (if at all) when ‘swimming’ in the water.

I’m just having trouble thinking of how the spinning would initially evolve for the propellor

But yes natural wheels for terrestrial creatures is not as viable, at least not as a substitute for legs

to spin the wheels you would first need a nervous system that quickly and efficiently moves electricity at a high enough amperage and voltage to create a strong alternating magnetic field along with a biological permanent magnet

I was more thinking just polyp movement in the example I used above, not requiring complex biological magnetics, just kinetic movement.

What I’m unsure about is why this would become genetic/a common colonial behavior

Ah yes, the spinning is the problem, not the fact that to make a wheel or propellor that can actually spin you need to have multiple separated components that are assembled togheter.

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I explained how that would work in my original post where I created the coral idea

and why would that evolve? It would be so costly that it would be outcompeted by even a sea horse.

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That’s literally the question I asked as the main problem of the idea lol, in the same post where I put the idea

Edit: I was trying to acquire suggestions for how people here would improve such a suggestion to make it viable. If you don’t have such a suggestion, do you have an alternate permanently floating and potentially wheeled creature to propose? If not, I see no reason for your post.

Also, something to keep in mind for efficiency is twofold - first off, this swimming coral would have a much different niche than a seahorse, and second, while I used the example of coral a coral-like plant on a world where nothing with normal fins to outcompete it exists would be just as viable without risk of being outcompeted. The energy consumption would still be a problem of course - evolving this to be able to gain more energy doesn’t work very well if the creature would burn more energy doing this than the creature would gain.

Your explanation for wheels is incapable of working since every transitional stage needs to be beneficial. Plus we are going back to the problem that motile plants are not viable.

You realize right that fins are not the only thing capable of outcompeting what you are trying to make viable?

Okay, a few things.

First off, I wasnt and am not trying to argue the creature I proposed is viable. It was just meant as an example of a potential way a wheel-like joint analog could work. What I am trying to do is edit it to make it viable. So criticizing what I have without proposing something else is simply unhelpful

Secondly, coral is not a plant. It is a cnidarian, in the same class as jellyfish, and consume plankton in addition to energy from sunlight that comes from their symbiotic algae. If plankton can sustain creatures such as the whale shark, there is not any doubt it could potentially sustain this colony of creature, given that improvements could be made on gathering said plankton. Basically I’m just trying to show the main argument against motile plants is not viable in this case, as this is neither a plant nor something that relies solely on sunlight for sustenance.

Third, bringing up transitional stages/how it evolves being not viable is literally just repeating what I myself have said, once again. I said that was the biggest flaw in my organism, and yet you won’t stop bringing it up as if it is some revolutionary new criticism. I understand it is an issue. I said as much. I asked for assistance in editing it a little/creating a viable step by step process. If you have no input on how to do that, please refrain from repeating things already mentioned.

Finally, yes, I am aware finned organisms is not the only example. I just used it because that is an example of what seahorses would use. Tentacles, Tails, propulsion systems, serpentine movements, etc. are all of course viable alternatives. However, I think it is best for this to assume that for some reason they don’t exist, (as otherwise of course they are simpler to evolve), would wheel like shapes such as the propellor be viable?

Also I noticed you ignored my niche argument, I’m just going to further it a little bit. Things such as cephalopods with tentacles still exist instead of the largely more common tail or fin propulsion, occupying a different niche than most fish. The same could work with this coral, as a mixotroph; I’m not saying it’s necessarily likely, just possible.

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technically permanently floating creatures shouldn’t be possible

Ah but you see the don’t float permanently they float permenantly

Jokes aside I think it can be inferred to be about creatures that float near the surface (or have circular joints, as stated by the original post) for their entire lifetimes.

Irrelevant, you specifically explained that they would evolve motility to be able to access areas with light and thus giving them an advantage over plants, as such it is to be derived from that that their primary method of energy gathering is photosynthesis.

You are the one that is supposed to defend your point, not me.

You would have to explain why they don’t evolve, remember that the topic of this thread is #future-game.

Time is also a problem, if it takes too long for them to evolve to occupy that niche then another species that is more adapted for it will evolve to occupy it.

@fralegend015 ,

according to your own argument, you’re correct.