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Questions tagged [biology]

For questions about living things. Does not exclude aliens, but additional information is usually necessary (consider using "xenobiology" instead).

4
votes
5answers
200 views

Making the God-Hand Make Sense

In my world an advanced alien civilization are worshiped as gods by the human population. As the gods have better things to do than actually spend time interacting with the local fauna they created a ...
5
votes
5answers
111 views

Would sentience affect the evolution of colorful display patters for attracting mates?

On another planet there is a group of organisms that have colorful display patterns allowing them to attract mates. Eventually a branch of this type of organism evolves the intelligence of early ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

Natural Armour and Weapons

In my fantasy world, the magic system pretty much makes metal armour and weapons obsolete. The magic system's specifics aren't important, just note that the magic system allows the users to 'penetrate'...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Of strange atmospheres - the survivable but unbreathable

Most gases that are toxic to breathe also do nasty things to the skin when they're in the atmosphere at dangerous concentrations - and one is walking around without sealed protective clothing; sulfur ...
5
votes
3answers
268 views

No Iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 1)

Excuse the broad question but I couldn’t resist making a metal pun. So in my universe the Fair Folk encompass a large group of creatures. They live in their own little pocket universe, in which ...
7
votes
3answers
447 views

How can I prevent holy aura from a human body from radiating too strongly?

When gods descend to the mortal plane, they must inhabit specially built bodies in order to maintain their presence and hold their aethereal energies. These bodies are built in the aethereal realm ...
7
votes
2answers
90 views

Are these atmosphere compositions for habitation in space plausible/do they cause problems I don´t see?

On Earth, our atmosphere contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, on average around 1% water vapor at sea level, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Looking through ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I minimize the damage of an unstable nuclear reactor to the surrounding area?

Gods in this universe inhabit a higher plane of existence. Their spirits inhabit large, humanoid forms upwards of 30ft, and watch over humanity by protecting it from outside threats. On occasion, a ...
10
votes
4answers
224 views

Membrane impermeable to $N_2$ but permeable to $CO_2$ and $O_2$?

I'm looking for a way to bypass the bidirectional diffusive gas exchange that happens in human alveoli, to allow aquanauts to breathe a standard Nitrogen-Oxygen air mix at very high pressures (up to ...
-2
votes
3answers
203 views

How many babies can a human women safely be pregnant with at once? [on hold]

Most pregnancies result in 1 baby, sometimes there are twins. Every now and then there are triplets. My guess would be that 4 at once has happened before too. But 5? How about 6? Surely not 7. How ...
10
votes
1answer
115 views

Using sound to swim through sand

Subarenaceous animals are those which can move long distances through dry sand - like sandfish lizards, or Dune's sandworms. The main problem they have to tackle is turning the sand immediately around ...
7
votes
4answers
684 views

Is a reptile with diamond scales possible?

I thought of a concept for a dragon or similarly gigantic reptile with a special adaptation, in which they’re born with scales made almost entirely of carbon. Then, over an incredibly long life cycle, ...
1
vote
4answers
224 views

If a human body was self sustaining

If a human somehow managed to change their body in such a way that self sustaining was possible and they did not need any outside sources to maintain themselves, does that mean that they cannot grow ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What kind of environment would favor hermaphroditism in a sentient species over regular, old sexes?

I'm trying to create alien species that is hermaphroditic, with strong sexual conflict. In essence each being tries to trick or force (by mechanical or hormonal means) its partner to take role of ...
5
votes
2answers
180 views

Brain Micromanagement

Imagine a creature much like ourselves that can control the usage of their own mind. For example, a dying ancestor may tell some parting words which are so important that the individual explicitly ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Biology of a Firestarter

Biologically speaking, what would be the best real world explanation for a pyro, torch, fire-starter type mutation. Leeching heat energy from the environment might freeze dry your surroundings. ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How might a landlocked lake become a complete ecosystem?

Let's assume that there is a lake that has formed from snowmelt and rainfall. The lake has never been in contact with other bodies of water. How might this lake become a complete ecosystem?
5
votes
6answers
338 views

Would multiple fantasy races eventually become homogenous?

In a setting with multiple sapient fantasy races (ie, elves, orcs, humans, dwarves), assuming these races could interbreed and this activity became common, would they eventually reach a point of ...
1
vote
3answers
236 views

How can I describe a substance that allows for suspended animation while keeping the mind active?

I am a collector traveling from planet to planet, who believes that art is an expression of human emotion and feeling, and can come in all types of forms. Many greats, such as Picasso and Van Gogh, ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

Creating chimera virus by rogue scientist

In my world there is a rogue scientist who wants to wipe out at least 90% of humanity. He's has a sample of measles which are very contagious but he needs something new. Could he merge measles with ...
11
votes
2answers
279 views

Speculative Biology of a Haplodiploid Humanoid Species

In haplodiploid sex-determination system, female/diploid individuals are developed from fertilized eggs by means of sexual reproduction, while male/haploid individuals are developed from unfertilized ...
35
votes
10answers
4k views

Anatomically Correct Carnivorous Tree

How might a carnivorous tree look or work? The following conditions must be met: Consumes members of the biological kingdom 'Animalia' Possesses something resembling a trunk or stem of any kind ...
7
votes
6answers
161 views

How to separate male and female members of a “lizard like” species

The Gaals are a satient humanoid race, of magic origin. They were created by the last of the dragons as a legacy of his race to the world. They are humanoid, but with no hair and scales all over their ...
9
votes
5answers
155 views

Reality check: Is this a plausible way to breed raccoons?

You’re a lone immortal who’s decided to breed raccoons to a human-level intelligence (over the course of hundreds of thousands or millions of years). To do so, you need to both feed a significant ...
8
votes
3answers
144 views

Genetic exchange between animal and plant, Elves love trees

This question has its origins in the word "dendraphile" used in a YouTube comment. It was used in an insult used by dwarves towards elves. My chain of thought then was that the dwarves would use ...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

Could a tree evolve to have vastly varying shades?

I was wondering whether it would be feasible to have a tree that at times may have light green, at other times dark green leaves. Why would a tree evolve to change the shade of its leaves? Yes, I am ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How can a demonic viral infection spread throughout the body without being noticed?

Demonic possession occurs when an evil spirit hijacks the biological system of an organism, corrupting it and taking control of its functions. Although powerful, the possession eventually breaks down ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Could bio-luminescent plants survive in total darkness for ~3 months annually?

If a three-month dark period was a normal, recurring, part of a 15-month calendar, and plants had evolved to be bio-luminescent, could they survive? Would only some survive and, if so, would it be ...
33
votes
16answers
8k views

Best species to breed to intelligence

I’ve included more background below, but the TL;DR is that you’re a lone immortal who’s decided to breed some species of animal to a human-level intelligence (over the course of hundreds of thousands ...
2
votes
0answers
161 views

If a boy was tattooed on his back, would the tattoo more-or-less sruvive into adulthood intact? [closed]

If a child, say, a white, ten year old boy, got a big tattoo on his upper back (read: shoulder to shoulder), would it change a lot as the child grew into adulthood? Since the early-ish industrial ...
4
votes
2answers
291 views

Which sounds could a tongueless person produce?

In my world, officials dealing with sensitive information have their tongues amputated. Naturally writing and a special, government-only sign-language are the main forms of communication, but ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

How could a humanoid creature completely form within the span of 24 hours? [closed]

I have a strange idea, I want to reality-check. But first, there's a thing to elaborate on. So, there are these undead creatures, zombies, skeletons, Michael Jackson, who appear in large numbers ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

If quadruped mammals evolve to become bipedal will their breast or nipple change position?

As the title says, you know stuff like minotaur, lycanth or werewolf, cat or dog folk, etc especially for the female specimens. I want to know what happen if quadrupedal mammals which usually have ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Life in Jupiter-like conditions? [duplicate]

In a neighboring star system to my Conworld, there is a jupiter-sized planet that many of the species believe to harbor life. The star it is orbiting is a red dwarf, and the aforementioned "Re-Jove" ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

What accommodations would a giant need?

I'm making a human female who's size was multiplied by 10. I need to know what sort of accommodations she'd need to make up for any disadvantages. This is in the modern day, so 21st-century medicine ...
5
votes
7answers
258 views

How would a military counter the use of genetically modified insects used to defeat CBRN protective gear?

One military has developed insects with strong jaws capable of chewing through the weaker parts of CBRN (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense) gear and then injecting neurotoxins ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

How long to recover from muscle atrophy?

For context, I'm currently working on a short story series centered on a young man living in a dystopian America. This U.S. government keeps its 'undesirables' in medically-induced comas (long story ...
4
votes
3answers
141 views

Would a life form with the intelligence of a human but without an appendage for manipulating its environment be able to have advanced technology?

On another planet there is a life form that has the same level of intelligence as humans on Earth, but it has no appendage to manipulate its environment. It has similar social structures to humans ...
8
votes
1answer
89 views

Rib size to body size conversion

In lots of barren, deserted or otherwise destroyed landscapes, there are bones of long dead animals to be found. Sometimes, it's a skull, sometimes, these are rib-cages, or ribs alone. And ...
8
votes
2answers
219 views

Could an octopus ride a bicycle?

I'm imagining a scenario where there is a conflict between humans and intelligent octopuses. The humans' main mode of transport is the bicycle. The octopuses decide to stage a night raid whereby they ...
25
votes
9answers
7k views

I need a disease [duplicate]

I am struggling to find a disease/medical condition for my character. My character is 16-year-old female with a younger sister that doesn't have the disease. If you could please help, here is the ...
11
votes
5answers
387 views

What minerals that are more durable than calcium would be suitable for bones?

Edit: I am asking in the context of alien life, should have specifyed that to begin with. I have many ideas for fantasy/sci fi races, and one that I kept coming back to is a species with bones that ...
6
votes
8answers
251 views

Could a medium sized mammal in the order carnivora evolve to be bipedal?

In the movie Guardians of the Galaxy (and a few others), we meet a bipedal raccoon known as Rocket (who I am aware did not evolve to be bipedal, but I am using him as an example). I honestly love the ...
7
votes
1answer
123 views

Can the human body hypothetically be magnetized/magnetically aligned?

I was thinking about how an MRI uses a strong magnetic field to align the spins of hydrogen atoms in the body. What I was wondering about was if the human body experienced a magnetic field much ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Pre-plastic human skin alternative

In my pre-plastic world there is a killer who removes unblemished skin from their victims and replaces it with a non-human 'skin', so that one can't tell the replaced skin from the remaining human ...
7
votes
1answer
85 views

Is muscle plasticity the same thing as when muscles regenerate from wear and tear?

Information I am writing a fantasy sci-fi, that is almost the same as our reality, the only difference being humans in this world are capable of using drugs (serums in their world) to improve their ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Air bladders in bat-like skin wings for better lift?

Answers to this question note that human (and by extension mammal) wings would use naked skin instead of feathers, as we see on bats. However, with feathers, birds can have wings with shaped more like ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How to achieve cat-like agility?

In my world there human-animal hybrids. My protagonist is a snow leopard-human girl (outwards looks almost completely human, except for the tail). These hybrids have been created through experiments, ...
5
votes
2answers
279 views

What range of colors is it physically possible for a humanoid race's skin to have? [closed]

My story takes a sort of Shadowrun-esque approach to the concept of fantasy races, in that all members of fantasy races are, or are descended from, former humans transformed by magic, though in this ...
13
votes
13answers
3k views

How to make an animal which can only breed for a certain number of generations?

What would be the best way in which to genetically modify (or create through some other method) an animal which breeds normally for a certain number (50?) of generations before becoming sterile? ...