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I am trying to find a novel set on a distant planet with unusual life forms, including one kind that can "taste" and "smell" through their feet upon the surface.

It's almost as though the creatures are part plant and part animal.

  • Hi there! That's a bit terse at the moment; luckily, we have an helpful guide on story-ID! Please browse through it to see if that triggers any more memories you could edit in. Things such as what the cover looked like, what year it was published, etc, etc. The more info you can give us, the more likely you have to get an ID. Cheers :) – Jenayah Feb 4 at 21:20
  • In the meantime, one possibility. – Harry Johnston Feb 4 at 21:46
  • Thank you! I'll look into it and continue to jog my memory. – Tara R Feb 5 at 1:06
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This isn't much to go on, but one example of a race of aliens that have chemosensory organs in their "feet" are the Czill from Jack Chalker's Midnight at the Well of Souls. They are flat, bipedal plants with paired brains in their feet. They can taste and smell things on the ground, especially when they put out tendrils to absorb moisture.

They were depicted in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Czill (Oddly, however, they are not the aliens depicted on the original cover of the book, linked at its Wikipedia page above.)

The book has also been featured in other answers:

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I'm pretty sure the cheela in The Dragon's Egg taste things by crawling over them.

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