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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).

9
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5answers
433 views

Why would an entire biosphere evolve to reproduce with three parents instead of two?

So I have an alien biosphere in which trisexual reproduction predominates. As far as we can tell, trisexual reproduction does not offer an advantage when it comes to shuffling genes. The biological ...
5
votes
3answers
141 views

Alternate paths to orthostasis

I've asked a whole array of questions, so far, centered around an ongoing project of mine that features a world, in an alternate evolutionary timeline, where a variety of well-known mythological ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

biologically speaking, what would a centaur and human hybrid be like? [closed]

essentially, i need to know what would happen if a centaur and a human were to have a child. what the child would look like, what their internal anatomy would be like, etc. currently, my idea is that ...
5
votes
2answers
151 views

What would the size constraints on my creature be?

Context This creature right here is one of the decedents of placoderms that that transitioned from rivers to land. The got onto land during the Middle Devonian and remained isolated from all other ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

What are reasonable rotation rates of an Earth-like world?

I have the radius, volume, mass and density figured out. It does not have a moon. I do wonder how that will affect the rotation. The Earth's rotation was considerably faster before the creation of the ...
6
votes
5answers
309 views

Why would a biped evolve into a monoped?

Say that you have a medium-sized, bipedal, vertebrate-like creature. It no longer has the need to have arms, so they atrophied until they disappeared entirely. Now imagine an animal that shares ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Might it be possible to work while sleeping without significant long term health complications?

One aspect of the world I'm conceptualizing is that some employees might opt to work while in a medically induced coma, or work at night while they sleep by using brain implants that induce a type of ...
10
votes
3answers
353 views

Would having ZW sex-determination system have any drastic effects on humans?

I'm trying to make a world where my "humans" have ZW sex-determination system that means sex is determined in the ovum instead of the sperm. Could I just easily hand-wave everything else as being the ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

What would happen to us if animals, excluding human being, were mute? [closed]

Most of us live in big cities where we hear unnatural (mostly unpleasant) sounds, created by things we've made ourselves. We hear less natural sounds like birds' songs or other animals making sounds, ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Virus-like contagion with limited activity time

I'm looking for ideas for a highly contagious airborne biological weapon (virus, bacteria, other) that would kill its host in a matter of days to a week or so, but that, once all infected hosts are ...
2
votes
3answers
139 views

Alien Senses: Active electrolocation

In the course of designing fictional species I often find myself wishing to use exotic senses which we humans lack. This poses a unique and interesting challenge as without possessing the sense myself ...
9
votes
3answers
254 views

How to prevent rupturing internal organs while web slinging?

According to the Film Theorist's video on Spider-Man Peter Parker would undergo extreme g-forces during his swinging around. This is not so much of a problem, as any g-force based loss of ...
17
votes
9answers
4k views

How does a mimic move?

Alright, so take your basic (not DnD or any other universe specific) mimic: an unassuming treasure chest that turns out to secretly be a monster as soon as you open it. This particular creature is one ...
61
votes
22answers
13k views

How can waste from the body be removed without being expelled from the anus?

Humans are savage creatures. This is indicative in the way they get rid of bodily waste. Squatting over a glorified hole in the ground or aiming their spear tip toward same hole and hoping for success ...
3
votes
2answers
736 views

What Mid-Life Triggers Make Sense?

A small minority (on the order of one in one million to one in ten million or so) of men and women in this world tend to suddenly manifest their supernatural heritage/psychic abilities/superpowers not ...
13
votes
2answers
231 views

What would a hexapodal skeleton look like?

Having looked at some of the questions regarding creatures with more than four limbs, I've found some useful info, like the idea that additional limbs increase stability while requiring more brain ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

How can one sex taking longer to gestate than the other affect a mother biologically? [closed]

There s an old rumor which says that boys generally spend more time in the womb and take longer to gestate. This has been proven to be untrue, as the time depends more on the child's' growth than ...
5
votes
3answers
652 views

Giant Velvet Worm

Would it be possible to have a giant velvet worm? Not huge but big, like the size of a small dog, 20 kilograms?
1
vote
2answers
162 views

What profession would a person with super-immunity benefit have advantages in?

In my fictional world, we have our John Doe (main character), an ordinary man who happens to be given a drug in the initial stage of testing that gives the user super-human immunity to biological ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Effects of travelling Widdershins [duplicate]

(Widdershins is a Scottish term which means "contrary to the sun's course".) It's quite simple: part of the worldbuilding is that certain people are forced to travel around the globe perpetually ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

How do I create the largest possible space habitat for humans? [closed]

So I'm making a post-FTL world in which humans are the first, and so far only, species to explore the stars. It's thousands (if not millions) of years in the future, and we've become post scarcity. ...
4
votes
3answers
342 views

What’s the ideal size for a human factory?

Context: The world has been in a world war lasting centuries. Casualty rates are through the roof and can’t be lowered. The warring countries' solution was to make human factories by incubating ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

How would GMO tree houses affect the economy? [closed]

Imagine a future world...only 2,000 people remain, 500 years after the apocalypse. Their world has been heavily modified by GMOs and new inventions. It is almost a modified medieval time, with kings ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Secondarily Plantigrade Limbs

So, this came about when I was attempting to construct create a unified Kaiju universe, and wondering about a hypothetical evolutionary path of Godzilla. However, I figured that it could also open up ...
10
votes
13answers
3k views

What is the most efficent way of killing prey much larger than yourself?

The title sums it up pretty well - I'm basically trying to envision the ultimate predator of much larger prey. A couple of requirements: The predator must weigh 44 kilograms or more (Megafauna) It ...
20
votes
16answers
6k views

Is it dangerous for a ship's crew to get stranded in a nebula?

Some Context I'm creating a universe where humanity has reached the stars. They've colonized a few star systems and, obviously, FTL drives are a common thing. The part of the story I'm currently ...
4
votes
4answers
245 views

Can a continental scale creature develop it's own ecosystem? How?

I am designing a monster that is as large as a continent. It flies across the planet very slowly and has basically a snake form. Life cannot exist on the planet's surface so the animals are drawn to ...
3
votes
5answers
372 views

Avian Crocodylomorph

Today, dinosaurs, alligators, crocodiles, gharials and caimen are all that remains of a special group of reptiles called the archosaurs. Recently, it has been accepted by the public that birds did ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Can the cooperative eye hypothesis still exist in eyes with no sclerae?

I just want big cat eyes (i.e., lions, tigers, etc.) in a humanoid that can be just as expressive as a human's yet not having our very conspicuous eye-whites. Doable, yes or no?
9
votes
3answers
357 views

Asymmetrical Limbs

So, I've been designing an alien species, actually a redesign of something from childhood. However, I've recently come into an issue with its limbs. The creature possesses two arms. The right arm is ...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Why would a big cat have black fur around its face?

A few days ago, I saw this very nice reconstruction of a Machairodus giganteus by Peter Hutzler: More recently, I've been thinking about it, and I'm wondering A) if it would evolve without getting in ...
-2
votes
3answers
122 views

If a human's lungs stretched to the lower abdomen, what would it feel like? [closed]

I was considering a human-like race of aliens, where their lungs are huge. Their lungs would reach to the lower abdomen. Due to the science-magic of the setting, they can survive just fine with ...
0
votes
2answers
129 views

What would determine the strength of a magic gene through inheritance?

This is a follow up question: Why would a society of witches choose to have more boys than girls? witches in this world can do magic, and are exclusively female. Males are unable to perform magic. ...
-3
votes
2answers
108 views

How much time would humanity have to cure complete male infertility? And what is the risk-minimizing strategy?

Imagine that all men in the world became infertile right now. (This would apply also to all new born boys for as long as no cure was found.) How much time would humanity have to find a cure (or lift ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

How Would a Reptile with facial muscles be explained?

(Please note that this question is the sandbox version and the replacement of the original question) I have been wondering about how humans require facial muscles in order to be able to produce ...
6
votes
2answers
164 views

Tusks of a Cyclops

It has been said that one of the inspirations of the Cyclops of Greek mythology was from a skull of a dwarf elephant. Being twice the size of a human, people interpreted the nasal cavity (for the ...
18
votes
11answers
5k views

How can a portal that connects two planets affect the environment?

In my world there are two planets within the same solar system, which are connected approximately every seven cycles through a portal that opens for a few days. The planets are very similar. The ...
10
votes
4answers
450 views

Anatomically correct radio communication

Could animal produce less than 700MHz radio waves to communicate ? I don't want those waves interfere with mobile phones and other intercontinental radio communication my space colonists would use. Is ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Blunt force resistant armor?

In my fantasy world, monsters of several varieties all exist. However, it seems the majority of them have enough stab resistance that blunt force is the best way to defeat them. I want to have a ...
2
votes
4answers
165 views

Biological bonding mechanism

I've been toying with the idea of a society with alternative forms of families or social structures. In one individuals of coming of age (socially imposed) or due to a biological necessity (...
7
votes
5answers
373 views

How to wipe out ALL life on Earth, but leave it habitable?

NB: This is not a duplicate of this question, because A) it only asks to wipe out humans, not any other life-form, and B) it insists that one person must survive. The survival of anything is not ...
5
votes
3answers
240 views

How effective would an iron sulphide carapace be at resisting small-arms gunfire?

I've been designing a race of humanoids with a thick chitinous arthropodal carapace resilient to small-calibre gunfire and physical trauma that would cripple a normal human being. This carapace is ...
13
votes
5answers
412 views

How might kinetosynthesizing “plants” look?

Suppose that there is a moon, orbiting a gas giant, and that gas giant is a rogue planet - it moves freely through the universe, unbound by the gravity of a star. This means that one, the moon will ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Ringstadt: Getting sulphur into my water

You sure lad? For some of you folks normal beer is already an acquired taste, but this... this beer definitely is. You understand that this stuff is brewed with water from the devil's choke? You know, ...
1
vote
4answers
115 views

Physiological way of producing Optical beams of heat

I have an alien race that can emit beams of heat from their eyes. Is their any way this can be produced by means of a highly evolved organ? If so, how would this organ work?
9
votes
2answers
158 views

Plausibility Check: Territorial Trees?

Background In case you haven't heard: there are places in the Amazonian Jungle called Devil's Gardens. The gardens are large swaths of land composed of almost entirely one single tree the Duroia ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Plausibility Check: Armored Birds

How plausible, or implausible, would it be for a lineage of birds' feathers to evolve into sharp, hardened plate-like scale armor (and/or blades), comparable to that of pangolins? And if it is ...
7
votes
1answer
380 views

What Would a Reptile with Facial Muscles look like?

I have been wanting to make a carnivorous reptilian creature with the ability to speak fluently using its speech muscles and its vocal tract, it can also perform facial expressions just like how ...
4
votes
15answers
2k views

Why would time travel affect the body in any major way, especially damaging? [closed]

Obviously, I'm talking about sci-fi time-travel and not just being as time moves by, slowly but surely. Is there a reason one would actually bleed from any orifice? For any pain to occur? Dizziness? ...
2
votes
2answers
293 views

How long could an ecosystem survive without sunlight?

I am designing a terraformed Venus, where the planet has been given an Earth-like atmosphere but keeps it's original rotation rate. Colonists are importing Earth life to Venus to add a biosphere to ...