Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are there any animals that could transform or morph?

  1. Aug 16, 2005 #1
    Into another form and then come back to their normal form?, I dont mean as in transform as they change life stages like butterflies and stuff.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2005 #2
    Dude. Wolfen.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2005 #3
    You mean from a bat to human? Well, that's not quite possible as far as my knowledge is concerned.
    :wink:
     
  5. Aug 17, 2005 #4

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Well, there exist tiny animals living in moss that can DRY OUT COMPLETELY, and then, when water is added to their surroundings, they resuscitate.

    For example, it is quite possible that if you took a piece of dried moss from a botanical museum (say, being 100 years old or so), and then added water to it, there would be a lot of these creatures stirring and begin ambling about.

    This isn't morphing of course, but quite interesting anyway..
     
  6. Aug 17, 2005 #5

    DocToxyn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I believe you are thinking of water bears (Tardigrades). They have been revived under the situations you describe.
     
  7. Aug 17, 2005 #6

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    That's basically what they are called in Norwegian, but I didn't know their Latin name, nor the common English name..
     
  8. Aug 17, 2005 #7
    Animorphs? Man I need to find those books again...
     
  9. Aug 17, 2005 #8

    somasimple

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Frog!
    tadpole -> frog :approve:
     
  10. Aug 17, 2005 #9

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    That's different lifestages, somasimple; OP didn't want that.
     
  11. Aug 17, 2005 #10
    So it doesnt look physically possible?
     
  12. Aug 17, 2005 #11

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    How about slime molds?

    Zillions of single-celled organisms going independently about their merry way transform into a multi-cellular colony that acts as a unit while having specialized parts akin to more complex organisms.
     
  13. Aug 17, 2005 #12

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Some animals spontaneously change sex - frogs, betta fish.
     
  14. Aug 17, 2005 #13

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    It really depends on what you will consider "normal" changes in the same body (like the difference in outward geometry between a standing man and the same one curled up in sleep), and what a true "morphing" should entail.

    For example, some would say that the human male penis morphs into something quite different than previously when sexual excitation occurs...
     
  15. Aug 17, 2005 #14
    Could a creature possibly grow temporary muscles or make themselves "harden" as a defense mechanism? this what I mean by "morphing".
     
  16. Aug 17, 2005 #15
    I'm not sure about that. I do know there is a type of fish which used gill when it is submerged then when it travels across land it changes its respiration system and uses lungs like you or I do. :smile:

    ~Kitty
     
  17. Aug 17, 2005 #16
    I dont want to sound like a broken record but does what I am describing look physically possible even if there are no animals that could come clsoe to doing it on Earth?
     
  18. Aug 17, 2005 #17
    It would have to depend on the level of specificity you are looking for I suppose.

    ~Kitty
     
  19. Aug 17, 2005 #18

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think the human to teenager to human process qualifies. :biggrin:
     
  20. Aug 18, 2005 #19

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    There are plenty of examples of animals that alter their forms (to a greater or lesser degree) to suit their environment. I think the trouble is that, since we are used to these changes we don't consider them "morphing".

    Morphing by a colloquial definition tends to involve changes that are *not* what we would consider normal - cat to dog, or human to wolf, etc.

    I think the answer to your question lies in the subjectivity of your expectations as an observer.

    Animals change colour depending on circumstances and season. You could say the Arctic Hare 'morphs' from summer to winter colouring.

    Animals grow horns during mating season, then lose them afterwards.

    One could argue that an octopus morphs from a large, spread-out, eight-legged bottom-crawler into a streamlined, jet-propelled rocket to escape danger. This is nature's version of a Transformer Robot - but nature doesn't bother with hard corners and sharp angles - just try duplicating what an octopus can do using just metal and hinges - THERE's a Transformer for you...
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?