Questions tagged [bio-mechanics]

For questions about the mechanical processes that allow organisms to live, including respiration, consumption, excretion. Focus on shapes of body parts and connections between parts.

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13
votes
11answers
2k views

Why would a body plan with multiple eating mouths evolve?

Aside from very simple or colonial organisms, all animals on Earth have only one mouth for eating. Many organisms have multiple spiracles or even multiple anuses, but not mouths.
3
votes
2answers
390 views

How plausible are my metal eating life forms and their impact on civilization?

This question is a continuation of two prior ones. How to render much of a world's metal unusable? What minerals and metals in particular were vital to the development of early civilization? The ...
3
votes
2answers
245 views

How can a jet-propelled horse work?

I was reading more Laundry stories and just went through Equoid. The humorous "Procurement Specification" got me thinking. In a rational SF approach (as opposed to magic), imagine a civilization ...
4
votes
4answers
241 views

Mind-reading technology

I'm attempting to figure out the easiest way to connect a human brain to a machine, in order to implement Immersive Reality. Constraints are below: Read all user movements, and prevent the ...
6
votes
1answer
134 views

Is there a biochemical that can change color AND emit light?

I have a group of settlers that live on top of an animal, and I want his skin to be their mode of communication. In the morning, information is transmitted through chromataphores in the skin changing ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Where would a “Magic gland” go for full-body saturation of magic?

If there were some organ, akin to the liver or a gland (I'm blanking on organ functions right now), that produces magical energy to project through the body, its various vessels, and directly out of ...
5
votes
4answers
552 views

Controlling Lab-Grown Limbs

It's not hard to imagine genetical engineering getting to the point where we can grow extra limbs, or design animals/animal parts from scratch. I was wondering how we could integrate custom designed ...
37
votes
8answers
8k views

How to modify the human eye to see into the ultraviolet and infrared bands?

If I'm writing a sci-fi story and I wanted to include humans with modified eyesight that see into the ultraviolet and infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, what would I have to change about ...
13
votes
2answers
510 views

Pharbohydrates vs Carbohydrates

Question: Are there are any serious biological or evolutionary plausibility issues with separating the energy storage/production function from the production of structural/regulatory biomass? ...
8
votes
3answers
869 views

Stationary eye with moving pupil, is it possible?

I am making a sci-fi web-comic set on an alien world and I thought up an idea for an eye that works much like an eye from a mammal, but instead of moving the whole eye, only the pupil moves. This idea ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there any reason centaurs can't fit their own horseshoes?

Since the invention of hard road surfaces, a centaur would need to wear metal shoes like any other horse-like creature. Can you see any barrier to a suitably qualified centaur (a) being a ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Humans with 360 Degree Vision across IR, Visible, UV and XRay?

Wearable and implantable technologies are increasingly blurring the line between natural and augmented reality. Currently, our commercially available computer-aided vision systems for the blind are ...
5
votes
1answer
299 views

Nanobots Ecosystem, is it possible?

The Settings: A pod of nanobots stranded on earth-like barren planet orbiting sun-like star. Assume no life form has formed on the planet, and nanobots popuate the planet. Could they evolve complex ...
3
votes
1answer
302 views

running like a girl on the moon?

The other day I was watching my 8 year old grand-daughter run on the playground. She was running like a girl - like Jackie Joiner-Kersey to be precise. It appeared that her form was perfect - that ...
17
votes
3answers
914 views

Could a Species Use Tools (and Build a Civilization) Without Thumbs?

If humans were to vanish completely from the Earth rapture-style, other primates would possibly slowly evolve and eventually take our place (in a few million years?), since they have both the basic ...