As seen on others questions biological radio could be a thing.

How to evolve biological radios?

What would a species require to be able to inherently transmit and receive radio waves?

I was interested in developing a species with such abilities.

The primary use for radio wave would be communication within the species. Mostly small messages such as warning others of danger or saying "This my territory, get out."

This species could develop these two other abilities with enough practice:

  • A radar like function.

  • The use of of special radio waves in a more offensive manner designed to harm other species (maybe it could mess up the hearing of other species or alter its brain pattern).

So the primary question is: Where should this organ/muscle/limb be place in the anatomy of my species?

I don't know if the transmitter and receptor should be the same organ or two separate things. Also I'm wondering if I need more than one transmitter/receptor.

What I have imagined so far for the anatomy of my species is a sort of bulky human. If that's not the best form to use for development of such an ability, feel free to come up with a better design for your answer.

Also the range of his ability should be approximately 100 meters.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, hcocox! If you have a moment, please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Worldbuilding Meta and The Sandbox useful. Here is a meta post on the culture and style of Worldbuilding.SE, just to help you understand our scope and methods, and how we do things here. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Gryphon Jan 14 at 17:35

Well, I'm not a biologist by any means but in my opinion the most suitable place would be the ears (for the receptor at least). Our ears are already designed to catch sound waves and send the info to the brain, which interprets them, you could just add to their capacity. Or maybe one of the ears would be for radio waves and and the other for the sound waves.

As for the transmitter, the best I could come up with is the brain itself, most likely with an aid from some sort of special little organ. It would be very neat to directly transform the electrical signals in our brain that are associated with certain words into radio waves, which would then be decoded back to the neurological signals in the receiver's brain.

Hope that helps and best of luck!

  • $\begingroup$ It might also be worth mentioning that one reason we have two ears to help determine the direction from which a sound is coming. This would seem to be necessary for what you're describing as well, especially for a radar ability. $\endgroup$ – Stephen Jan 14 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ Radio and sound waves are vastly different. One are photon particles in a particle-wave duality, the other are compression forces moving through the air. $\endgroup$ – 0something0 Jan 15 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ @0something0 Good point. Originally thought the eyes would suffice better since radio waves are closer in form to light waves, as far as I understand. But this would potentially cause a lot of problems as those creatures likely would not see visual light. So ears a still the best guess for me :) $\endgroup$ – A.I. Jan 15 at 10:06

Radio is similar to human visible light, but just in a lower frequency.

EM Spectrum

We already have organisms capable of emitting photons on their own.

bioluminescent algae



Radar works by sending radio waves out and looking for its reflections that the receiver receives, like waving your flashlight around in a dark room. Many complex organisms have tissues capable of receiving light waves and interpreting it into neural signals:

the eye

So, you should have your emitters near your receptors so they are pointing in the same direction. Antennas probably won't be needed if working within similar frequencies, and thus, wavelengths of modern radars. They are measured in GHz, and has a wavelength of around 0.1 m on the longer end.

You did mention an offensive use for the radio waves. The US military is working on something similar called the Active Denial System.

The ADS works by firing a high-powered beam of 95 GHz waves at a target, which corresponds to a wavelength of 3.2 mm.[13] The ADS millimeter wave energy works on a similar principle as a microwave oven, exciting the water and fat molecules in the skin, and instantly heating them via dielectric heating.

However, if you want the beams to be more lethal, you can lower the frequency to increase penetration. However, the ADS has a very high power consumption:

[Silent Guardian, a smaller version] can be used for targets over 250 metres (820 ft) away,[13] and the beam has a power of 30 kilowatts.[56]

This is in comparison to less than 20 watts of this low power radar (Note: I am not affiliated in any way with the company). For reference, 1 watt is 0.86 kCal / hour. So, 30 kW is about 9 kCal/sec, which is what would be consumed while running for around 30 seconds. So very energy-intensive, but could be made to work given good circulation and heat disposal.


If the body of reference is a human body, then you may want to use the spine and the arms as antennas. The vertebras will be coated in metal, as the answers to the linked questions suggested, as well as the bones of the arms.

The presence of a significant part of the nervous system next to the antennas should facilitate the wiring of the radio organ, perhaps even using the ability of nerves to fire trains of electric pulses (which work great with antennas, as long as you have the right amplifier). The specialized organ to encode, transmit and decode would be coupled with the motoneural system. If it turns out that you need a larger organ, you could replace one of the kidneys, with good peace of the remaining one.

Note that directionality is trivial with a pair of arms. You can flail them in the air to capture stereoscopic reflections of your spinal radar emissions. As demonstrated in the evolution of sight and hearing, the brain has the ability to convert all these inputs in an intelligible representation of reality. No problems there.

Your body now has become the living small scale version of a Very Large Array.


Transmission and reception. Transmission could use the spine, as mentioned above, while reception could be done using the arms. In principle there is no need to decouple, as long as you can pack the bandwidth and synchronize the transmission correctly.

On the offensive. The easiest way to think of it would be a jamming of other radio receptors with a variety of modulated signals. This could confuse predators. Alternatively, one could copy and amplify the transmission of the enemy. This could be akin to intercepting the transmission and reproducing an identical one, adding it in agreement of phase to the original. This may cause the receptor organ to saturate on the intensity scale. It could be perceived as an extreme degree of noise (a speaker on extremely loud amplification is not going to produce any intelligible sound), distortion (i.e. saturated volume), or even pain (looking into a light source, or listening to very loud music).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I really like the part about the offensive abilities, I will surely implement that on my creature. $\endgroup$ – hcocox Jan 15 at 15:58

I would make it part of the cochlea.

enter image description here

Either as a separate organ or as an enhancement of the cochlea. The nerves, ducts, and other parts of the cochlea are very small and delicate and you wouldn't want to mess with them. But if you replaced this organ with one that allowed the person to continue to hear and added in the radio power, this could work.

After all, cochlear implants are already being done. So there is space to add a device and known methods of connecting it to the nerves.

enter image description here

If this is an organ that evolves naturally, or semi-naturally, it could still be part of the larger cochlear system. All the nerves for hearing and balance are right there and other nerves are close by.

  • $\begingroup$ Radio and sound waves are vastly different. One are photon particles in a particle-wave duality, the other are compression forces moving through the air. $\endgroup$ – 0something0 Jan 15 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ @0something0 and both can be converted to electrical impulses and sent to the brain. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Jan 15 at 4:48

In real life, dental braces are known to act as crystal radios and receive AM signals. All you need is a semiconductive joint of some sort. An oxidized joint between dissimilar metals is ideal, but almost anything will do.


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