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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
4answers
141 views

Weapons for Bio-Electric creatures

The Tzzin are a race of reptilian humanoids that have some resemblance to electric eels. They are capable of generating and discharging electric charges through their hands. With their Stone Age ...
6
votes
3answers
217 views

Effects of Explosive Decompression on the Human Body?

Many science fiction stories, movies, and shows involve characters undergoing explosive decompression, the technical term for a rapid drop in pressure, usually all the way to a vacuum. Frequently, ...
11
votes
3answers
164 views

Could an organism have several oxygen transport proteins?

Can an organism have several types of oxygen carriers in its blood? Note that I am not asking how the creature could have evolved, that is too much sci-fy, genetically engineering or Deus Ex Machina ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What could cause trees to grow large, hollow bulges about halfway up their trunks?

I'd like to have a forest with trees that are "normal" except that as they grow a big, hollow bulge forms in their trunks about halfway up, giving them a shape something like this, with a relatively ...
11
votes
2answers
601 views

Life in permanent shadow

I've been experimenting with a fantasy world that is flat, with the sun fixed in place over the centre. The day-night cycle is provided by the sun dimming and then brightening again. Most of the rest ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

How to stop cannibalism because of a world's lack of resources? [closed]

Create this mental picture in your head: A World named Gazon that used to be full of life until the Sentient Gazons you created used up all the available resources and started eating each other. Only ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

How long a human being could live with stem cells?

I once saw an experiment with mice, where they connected the bloodstream of a younger mouse to the bloodstream of an older mouse. And the older mouse became "younger", or at least healthier. If I ...
-2
votes
2answers
94 views

Forced Evolution to Turn a Class I to a Class III civilization [closed]

So here's my idea: Every 2 years the class I civilization is inspected by an outside Class III civilization. If the Class I civilization has made progress then they will move on. If the Class I ...
53
votes
8answers
9k views

Does a grenade kill you the same way a gun does?

Disclaimer This seems a particularly stupid question, but the more I think about it, the less trivial I find it. Worldbuilding possess the most appropriate tags. It does not fit in physics-network ...
7
votes
4answers
441 views

What does my dragon sound like?

My dragon So to give a quick description, this is a 2 mile long, nuclear powered dragon of doom. I think I’ll going with a fission/fusion hybrid creature for this beast. Another piece of relevant ...
4
votes
6answers
231 views

What changes to the livestock industry would slowly evolve the animals to become a threat to humanity?

We, humans, hold a lot of livestock. 19 billion in chickens alone. Cattle, sheep and pigs each also number over 1 billion. Currently these animals cannot evolve freely; they are selected on certain ...
5
votes
2answers
177 views

Verbally communicating with a no-lips, no-nosed, spiked tooth alien

In my world, humans encounter an alien species. They want to communicate verbally with each other, so I'd like to know what sounds could be shared by both species. The species has no/very thin lips, ...
12
votes
11answers
3k views

At great altitude, what conditions are needed to support a human community?

In my part of this (Earth-like) world, there is a stable community of completely isolated pre-industrial humans, numbering perhaps 1,800. They live at an altitude of (at least) 25,000 feet (7620 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Superheated wing blast!

So, we know that big creatures will generate lots of heat if they’re active. We also know that wings are very good at venting excess heat. Now for most animals, this heat isn’t exactly spectacular, a ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Absorbing heat from unlikely places

Living in polar climates can be quite difficult, and staying warm can often be such an issue. But not anymore with the heat sponge! This nifty little organ draws heat from even the coldest water to ...
8
votes
1answer
154 views

How to boost the human immune system, realistically?

As stated in the title: is there any realistic way to either evolve (in our evolutionary past) or acquire via genetic engineering an immune system better than what we already have? I tried to do some ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

What are the effects of mass extinction? [closed]

In an “Ancient Greek” technological world a magical plague causes the extinction of all animals larger than a chicken, or say 5lbs/2kg. Some Humans and small animals (cats and dogs) survive this by ...
7
votes
3answers
518 views

Aliens selectively breed humans to be bigger. How big could they get and still look human?

Can we go from this: to this: Suppose over millennia (or as long as it takes) humans on Earth are artificially selected by aliens to be big and healthy. Is there any theoretical reason that they ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

Electric muscles

There is a popular belief that the muscles of our body are controlled only by electrical impulses. This is not entirely a lie, but ... From what little I have researched, the nerves send a command for ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Full-body bioluminescence

A creature I am imagining is a small mammal about the size of a domestic cat which - through symbiotic bacteria which live in its fur - is covered its whole body over in blue-white bioluminescence, 24-...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Exploding vertebrates

Colobopsis ants explode when they are losing a fight, a behavior which is probably meant to discourage predators from hunting that species. It may also turn tides when in ant wars for territory. ...
11
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I maintain the demigod powers of my clan while ensuring the purity of its bloodline?

We, the house of Habsburg, are a royal family that descend from the gods. Our founder, Cersei Habsburg, conquered Europe and brought peace and stability to the dregs of the continent. After taking her ...
3
votes
3answers
195 views

Can trees and plant life grow on rock?

So I’m creating a world where the ground is mainly made of different rocks and stone in most areas - soil is sparse. Could trees and plant life grow on the stone ground if a water source is nearby? ...
3
votes
5answers
163 views

How can humans naturally develop the ability to control their mental faculties while suffering the physical effects of fear?

Fear has been a helpful trait that has kept our race alive since back in the day. It continues to be necessary for survival as a species. However, it can be just as harmful. When faced with death or ...
5
votes
2answers
304 views

How long does it take for biological matter to decay in space?

I have been looking up a few different theories lately. And one of those is the idea that intelligent life cannot exist for any long period of time without eradicating itself or being destroyed by ...
8
votes
7answers
816 views

Is a Selective Breeding Program to Create Enhanced Humans Plausible?

The idea is that the concepts of DNA, inheritance, and micro-organisms were discovered significantly earlier in history. Roughly 50 years after the founding of Alexandria as a city state in 332 B.C., ...
5
votes
5answers
729 views

Why would a species require multiple inseminations in order to reproduce?

The Eldar are a psychic species with a similar body design to humanity within a galaxy-wide empire. They are far more advanced than other races, technologically and philosophically. Eldar have a ...
5
votes
9answers
749 views

Why can't different runes that enhance the human body be used together? [closed]

Runes are used to enhance the human body's capabilities. They are inscribed onto the skin with through a ritual and work by the individual accessing the mana inside themselves. This mana is forced ...
24
votes
7answers
6k views

How durable would a person need to be to survive impact at terminal velocity?

For a fantasy race, or for bio-augmented humans, how durable would they have to be to walk away from a 1000ft free fall unscathed? And how would this logically translate to other forms of durability? ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

What animals in North America are rideable?

I thought of this question when I heard Einstein's statement on WW3, and I wondered if humanity was setback, would North Americans have any mounts that would rival those of the rest of the world? (...
25
votes
6answers
5k views

What would birds look like if they used buoyancy to fight gravity?

What would birds look like if they did not have to fight gravity to fly? The question comes from the premise put forward by some that gravity is not real and that what holds us down is pressure ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

How Would a Filter-Feeding Marine Turtle Feed?

Back home, many large planktivores have ingenious ways to trap food and not water. For sharks like the basking and the megamouth, that is no problem, as they have modified their gills into rakers to ...
15
votes
20answers
3k views

How could a plague that killed off the dinosaurs come back?

In my story, something pretty insane happens during the 3rd season. The common conception was that an asteroid strike contributed to the extinction to dinosaurs, but unbeknownst to all it was not a ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Could 'robotic' prostheses be possible in the victorian era?

In my world I would like to have a cyborg-inspired veteran, but am not sure what kinds of prostheses would be possible, ideally without the use of electrics. My main concern is how the prostheses ...
0
votes
3answers
232 views

How can I alter humans to allow them the ability to choose the sex of their child in the ancient world?

Research shows that some creatures in the animal kingdom manipulate the sex of their child in order to maximize the number of grandchildren. Parents in good condition, based on health, size, dominance ...
31
votes
10answers
8k views

In theory, could all mammals be wiped out by a single pathogen?

Pathogen Note: For the purpose of this question I define a pathogen to include viruses and/or bacteria. Edit: I don't exclude other biological agents such as fungi that might have the same effect. ...
2
votes
3answers
824 views

Possible biological adaptations to make current humans more suited to surviving on Earth-like primitive planets? [closed]

Premise My alternate version of the human race has progressed just to the brink of the ability to explore and possibly colonize other earth like exo-planets. the story follows an expedition crew has ...
44
votes
8answers
10k views

Is it harder for an intelligent octopus to live on land, or a human to live in space?

I have a race of octopodes with the same intelligence distribution as humans. I want them to “colonise” land to a similar extent as we have “colonised” space; have regular transport between the ocean ...
0
votes
4answers
300 views

The Galaxy has been colonised but why the big feet?

Far, far into the future, pretty much the entire Milky Way has been colonised by humans. The thing is that now the Empire has fallen, the technology of FTL travel has been lost in most places. Those ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Destroying one of the Great Pyramids without killing the protagonist [closed]

A woman finds herself inside the Great Pyramid of Kheops when a bunch of terrorists starts blowing it down from outside. The woman manages to find a way out but before being able to leave the Pyramid,...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Could crystals grow on living things?

A friend and I are creating a magical bird that eats gemstones then uses them to form a thin coat of crystal armor over its body. Is there any way for this bird (or any living thing) to actually have ...
4
votes
5answers
205 views

Best place on an humanoid body to develop biological radio?

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

Iron based life

Lately I have been thinking about possible forms of life on planets that would have radically different experiences than here on Earth. I was wondering if life based on transition metals was possible ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Would it be possible for an animal to develop pneumatic muscles through evolution? [closed]

I have been pondering the question of how make animals stronger in unusual ways. It was during this process that it occurred to me: "Can living things naturally develop pneumatic muscle systems?" For ...
4
votes
1answer
197 views

Is sleep exercise possible? [closed]

Is is possible to put someone to sleep and, while they are sleeping, attach muscle stimulating pads, causing the muscles to do work and causing exercise to be done without consciousness?
1
vote
1answer
138 views

I Need Help With Human Degenerative Disease (HDD) [closed]

I am currently working on a post-apocalyptic world where roughly 90% of humanity get infected by HDD (Human Degenerative Disease). HDD causes the human brain, glands and tissues to change quite ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

If magic were the manipulation of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation through a biological medium, how would this affect the body?

The idea here is magic is cast by altered mitochondria in-taking a new form of radiation which acts as a sort of manipulation net for ionizing or non-ionizing radiation depending on need. Then ...
8
votes
2answers
138 views

Tolerable range of surface gravities for interplanetary colonists?

Human physiology is adapted for life at 1G, but planets colonised by future humans will likely have different surface gravities. What is the range of values for surface gravity that humans can ...
4
votes
4answers
215 views

Evolution in dragons

I'm currently working on a world where there are two groups of dragons, Continent dragons and island dragons. The basic story is that long ago there was one massive population of dragons that lived on ...
23
votes
12answers
8k views

How can a mortal woman successfully carry a demigod to term?

Demigods are special humans that are born partly divine. These individuals have been extremely rare throughout history, and always have various significant effects for the world around them, leading ...