Sunday, January 20, 2019

Mutation table: 157 Real-world animal adaptations.

While working on this giant list of animals, I also began to compile a list of bizarre animal adaptations for use as a mutation table or as a way of generating bizarre new creatures.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get it up to 100 entries. But this list can be combined with the 50 animal adaptations listed here to form a d120 random mutation table.

Each of this mutations is a trait present in an actual animal (except for one which is from a plant).


  1. The bulk of its body is composed of electricity generators. (Electric eel)
  2. Shrinks when hungry (Marine iguana, krill)
  3. Skin pops off when startled (krill again)
  4. Giant terrifying fangs that protrude from mouth. (Tufted Deer)
  5. Instinctive compulsion to perform lobotomies. (Emerald cockroach wasp)
  6. Bodily fluids become potent hallucinogens. (Sarpa salpa)
  7. Loses nearly all hair and starts sweating. (Homo Sapiens)
  8. Appendages on either side of the mouth which shoot out glue. (Velvet Worm)
  9. Vocalizations change to resemble industrial noises. (Lyrebird)
  10. Giant eyes that burn away each day and regrow each night. (Net-casting spider)
  11. Bioluminescent. (Glowworm)
  12. Spring-loaded spine for turbo charged backflips. (Click Beetle)
  13. Long thin legs and neck. (Gerenuk)
  14. Has a growth on its back that resembles the entirety of another animal. (Cyphonia clavata)
  15. Sweats bright red sunscreen. (Hippo)
  16. Tongue becomes extremely long, winds around through holes in the skull to act as a built-in helmet. (Woodpecker)
  17. Fingers on a limb that typically does not have fingers. (Hoatzin)
  18. Photosynthetic. (Eastern emerald elysia)
  19. Barbed hooks on skin (Polyrhachis bihamata)
  20. Sprays acid from butt (Yellow crazy ant)
  21. Teeth never stop growing. Can pierce own skull. (Babirusa)
  22. Dangly lure hanging from its face. ( Frogfish)
  23. Becomes immobile and eats its own brain. (Barnacle)
  24. Can stun other creatures by screaming loudly. (Dolphin)
  25. Taste buds all over its body (Catfish).
  26. Huge body. Tiny head. (Cotylorhynchus)
  27. 12-inch thick skin (Sperm whale)
  28. Broad protuberance on face that can be used to sense electromagnetic fields. (Platypus, Hammerhead shark)
  29. Telescoping, upward facing eyes surrounded by a transparent reflective dome. (Spookfish)
  30. Becomes almost supernaturally good at predicting the movements of other creatures, but needs to sit motionless for an hour observing the creature before it can act. (Portia)
  31. Defensive quills (Porcupine)
  32. Joints shift around so that it can curl up into a ball (3-banded armadillo)
  33. Beautiful unicorn horn. Actually a tooth. (Narwhal)
  34. Covered with spikes which transport fluid to the mouth. Eat soup by standing in it. (Moloch)
  35. Thin tail which can be used as a whip. (Thresher Shark)
  36. No lungs. Breathes through skin. (Various salamanders)
  37. Eyes on Swivels (Chamelon)
  38. Skin can change color and texture. (Octopus)
  39. Goofy-looking air-filtering nose. (Saiga Antelope)
  40. Venom coated spines. (Lionfish)
  41. Inflatable (Pufferfish)
  42. Tiny, pathetic, useless wings. (Kiwi)
  43. Limbs lined with razor sharp suction cups. (Squid)
  44. Scythe-like jaws (Bobbit Worm)
  45. Loose wrinkly skin (Shar Pei)
  46. Curled prehensile tail (seahorse)
  47. Reproduces by budding (Hydra)
  48. Body becomes nearly 2-dimensional. (Flounder)
  49. Can fit through any hole larger than its head. (Mouse)
  50. Eyes are useless. (Cave fish)
  51. Fleshy growths on the nose with a highly delicate sense of touch. Can predict earthquakes by shoving face into dirt. (Star-nosed Mole)
  52. Broad pads on feet which stick to walls. (Gecko)
  53. Filter feeds.  Big feathery mouthparts.  (Tamisiocaris)
  54. 5 eyes. Backwards-facing mouth. Bendy claw arm on face. (Opabinia)
  55. Third eye in the middle of the forehead. (Tuatara)
  56. Knees retract into the body. (Penguin)
  57. Covered in dense soft fur. Resistant to cold. Water becomes dangerous; must dust bathe. (Chinchilla)
  58. Hands or feet get turned around backwards. (Echidna)
  59. Resembles wood. (Stick Insect)
  60. Giant shovel hands. (Mole)
  61. Leaves behind a scent trail. (Various ants)
  62. Elongated neck. (Giraffe)
  63. No longer walks. Instead rolls like some sort of demented wheel. (Wheel spider)
  64. Bright eyespots to confuse  predators. (Foureye butterflyfish)
  65. Hind legs replaced with long tail. (Mexican mole Lizard)
  66. Retractable spike that bursts out of the eyes. (Loach)
  67. Ribs flatten and fuse into internal turtleshell. (Eunotosaurus)
  68. Antennae that enhance sense of smell. ( Moth)
  69. Can explode! (Pea Aphid)
  70. Tiny malformed twin inside the skin. ( Navel Orange)

  71. Edit: Here are a few more:
  72. releases an ink cloud when threatened (inkfish)
  73. covered in osteoderms (Heloderma)
  74. plays dead (possum)
  75. body parts that fall off to distract predators (gecko)
  76. extreme temperature resistance (tardigrade)
  77. can enter stasis (tardigrade)
  78. can rapidly regrow limbs (sea star)
  79. does not age (ocean quahog )
  80. can metamorphose into a new form (bug)
  81. is very fat (the squirrel in my yard)
  82. purifies its surroundings (rotifer)
  83. heat sensitive pits in its face (viper)
  84. a big nose for tracking smells (bloodhound)
  85. accute hearing (greater wax moth)
  86. echolocates (microbat)
  87. can sense magnetic fields (migratory birds)
  88. 360 degree vision (box jelly)
  89. ultraviolet vision (birds and bees)
  90. can see polarized light (mantis shrimp)
  91. a body covered in sensitive hairs (tarantula)
  92. big whiskers (sea lion)
  93. can sense blood (shark)
  94. an excellent sense of air pressure
  95. five feathery wings (microraptor)
  96. likes to ride around on a parachute (spiderling)
  97. can jump 10 times its own height (flea)
  98. can sprint at incredibly speeds (cheetah)
  99. is skilled at endurance running (Homo Sapiens)
  100. Burrows underground (earthworm)
  101. slithers (snek)
  102. is bouyant (otter)
  103. is amphibious (newt)
  104. skin that hypnotically pulses (cuttlefish)
  105. spotted skin(leopard)
  106. is more ugly than usual (matamata)
  107. a beautiful mane of soft hair (lion)
  108. reflective camouflage (Lookdown)
  109. attaches foliage to its own body (Decorator crab)
  110. too many limbs (frog in pollutted water)
  111. atrophied limbs (whale)
  112. fewer limbs than usual (mexican mole lizard)
  113. really short limbs (corgi)
  114. covered in fleshy protrusions that look like limbs but aren't really (caterpillar)
  115. extreme sexual dimorphism(angler fish)
  116. moves in packs (bison)
  117. is in a symbiotic relationship with another animal (leaf hopper)
  118. is part a eusocial hivemind (bee, ant, mole rat)
  119. produces an artistic mating display (puffer fish)
  120. engages in ritualistic combat (deer)
  121. is capable of language (human, maybe dolphin)
  122. perfectly Mimics Sounds (lyrebird)
  123. sings (peewee)
  124. huge cheek pouches (chipmunk)
  125. carries babies around in its mouth (croc)
  126. builds eleborate nests (Sociable weaver)
  127. forces other creatures to raise its young (cuckoo)
  128. has a strong nuturing instinct (gorilla)
  129. engages in war (ants)
  130. kills for fun (cat)
  131. can remember faces and holds a grudge (crow)
  132. has learned to engage in economic transactions (various primates)
  133. lays eggs (frog)
  134. suffers from alcoholism (monkey)
  135. uses tools (crow again)
  136. opposable thumbs (chimp)
  137. a vise-like grip (eagle)
  138. a prehensile {tongue|nose|lip|penis}(giraffe/elephant/horse/tapir)
  139. can eat stone (various fungi)
  140. drinks blood (mosquito)
  141. cookie-cutter jaws it uses to steal chunks of flesh (Cookiecutter shark)
  142. lives on top of another animal (clownfish)
  143. lives inside of another animal (pearlfish)
  144. replaces the body part of another creature (tongue-eating louse)
  145. can eat radiation (Radiotrophic fungus)
  146. can steal abilities from things it eats (Aeolid slug)
  147. farms another animal for food (dairying ants)
  148. has a symbiotic relationship with a plant (Microhyla nepenthicola)
  149. eats only meat(cat)
  150. vomits up nutritious food (seabird)
  151. levitates (hummindbird)
  152. weaves sticky nets (spider)
  153. glowing eyes (dog)
  154. membranous wings (bat)
  155. feathery wings (pigeon)
  156. insect wings (fly)
  157. lives in a swarm (krill again!)
  158. a second mouth that pops out from inside the first one(moray)

1 comment:

  1. Hell yeah! Weird animals are the gift that keeps on giving.