Questions tagged [biology]

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

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4
votes
5answers
366 views

The anatomy of an organic microwave generator

I have a concept for a species of arctic-dwelling organism (let’s just call it a polar bear) that evolved an organ that was able to produce microwaves, which it uses to tunnel through ice. If such a ...
2
votes
1answer
19 views

Could a non sentient land animal evolve an innate knowledge for making boats?

I understand that some non human animals build structures that they innately know how to build, such as how birds innately know how to build nests, and spiders innately know how to make webs, and ...
26
votes
6answers
4k views

Would it be possible to have a GMO that produces chocolate?

I am inspired by some people who apparently believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. I know that for sweet, delicious chocolate to come into existence, we need to do things to cocoa. Ferment it, ...
9
votes
3answers
272 views

What would a Pegasus actually do with its legs while flying?

The question is just as simple as it sounds. Would it tuck them under like a bird? make running motions like it does when running on the ground? some other movement that actually aids in flight ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Noble Gas Ionization by Enzymes

I am simply wondering if an organism could possess an enzyme that could ionize a noble gas such as argon, krypton, or xenon. I was thinking that the organism could obtain energy through light or maybe ...
48
votes
13answers
4k views

Natural Projectile Weapons

I'm not aware of any animals which have evolved projectile weapons that they fire. There are a number that spit venom but none that even throw rocks, let alone using projectiles. On the other hand ...
10
votes
2answers
112 views

Algae using UV light from auroras for photosynthesis

I was reading some questions on Quora and I found this claim: The polar regions have a very odd reason for them to have so much oxygen production. You see the Polar aurora run day and night in the ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

how plausible is this method of humans breathing fire?

My method of breathing fire involves humans stomachs producing ethane or methane and them holding a lit flame near their faces and just breathing out of burping . Fire breathing in this is more ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

Effects of Ammonia

This is a continuation of a question I made earlier! The atmosphere consists of 80% N2, 17% O2, 1% CO2, 1% NH3. I am not extremely familiar with the chemistry of ammonia, but I do know that it ...
5
votes
4answers
538 views

Human with super efficient metabolism

So I read recently this article as I was trying to design a sci fi alien race for my story and I found out that a human only has an efficiency of converting food to energy of about 25%. What would ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Physical causes of multiple births in humans?

The setting I'm building has a race of people, derived from modern humans, whose primitive survival as a species relies partly on very fast reproduction, and I think I want them to have a tendency for ...
1
vote
3answers
76 views

Interesting Atmosphere Chemicals

I am currently working on world-building a planet, and I wanted to try to diverge from Earth's atmosphere a little bit, but not extremely. I am planning on still having it be a oxygen-nitrogen rich ...
5
votes
3answers
976 views

How large could a giant turtle get?

Assuming a turtle or tortoise evolved adaptations to become large comparable to that of sauropods. How large could they become (in weight or potentially carapace size)? The turtle needs to be ...
11
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8answers
6k views

How many people would you need to pull a whale over cobblestone streets?

A whale, lets say a humpback (~40 tons) has to be pulled about 250 m from the port to the town square. The road is classic cobblestone. People put hooks into the whale meat with ropes attached and ...
3
votes
5answers
234 views

Could women become as strong as men while still having less muscle mass? [closed]

My story includes a government plan to create woman who are as strong as an average man. The biggest factor in the sex-strength difference is muscle mass as far as I know. However, the ratio of fast-...
2
votes
6answers
139 views

How can reincarnation lead to a second personality? [closed]

The reality that we live in exists in the same dimensional space as another reality inhabited by demons. We cannot see them, and yet they are there watching us. Where we sleep, eat, work, where are ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

How Developed Would Baby Mwindo Be?

In real life, humans get pregnant for only nine months. Once born, the baby has a long way to go before it can stand, walk and talk. But don't tell that to Mwindo! The African saga of the hero ...
-1
votes
0answers
80 views

What will the next evaluation get to human! [closed]

gets confused about what all changes to human body and his nature as the time passes. As the surrounding and his living atmosphere getting changes. did human body was adaptive!!
14
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? ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How big would my character's wings realistically be?

I'm not a professional at world building or character building, still starting out, but I do want to make an attempt at having my fantasy character be somewhat realistic. He's 11 years old, 4.8 ft (...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

What happens when a person with some edited genetics (like say, eagle eyes) reproduces with a person with regular genetics?

If person A has had the genes dictating their sight/ the internal structure of their eyes, replaced by say, eagle eyes or cat eyes. What happens when they reproduce with person B who has regular ...
0
votes
6answers
127 views

In what way can I increase the likelihood of miscarriages across a species?

Exowombs have become feasible from a technological standpoint. A number of trials conducted on animal embryos have proven successful, and talk has been made about how this can be beneficial for ...
2
votes
3answers
121 views

Would falling (not impact) from the Cliffs of Insanity actually have killed the Man in Black? [closed]

If you’ve read The Princess Bride by William Goldman, you may remember the scene where the kidnappers are taking Buttercup up the Cliffs of Insanity and the Man in Black is climbing up after them. ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How do I determine whether hybridization would be possible between various creatures? [closed]

I ask because the world I'm building has eight distinct races of humans on one planet, as well as various non-human animals that don't currently exist in the real world. I'd like for some forms of ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Dinosaurian Gamma Diversity

Gamma diversity is defined as the entire species diversity of a landscape or region. Assuming we have a region of 100 square miles of temperate deciduous forest inhabited by cretaceous fauna. How many ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

What element could be used on a fictional metal-poor planet for biological oxygen exchange?

I'm working on a hard sf novel about humans being forced to survive on a metal-poor planet. They have to take dietary metal supplements at first but eventually a bio-engineer rigs the biochemical ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Is this coral lagoon geologically possible?

BACKGOUND I’m working on a region for my world, and I have a very distinct idea of what I want the physical landscape to look like. Below is a description of what I'd like for the land, and an ...
3
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it possible to grow new organs through exposure to radioactivity?

I was thinking of something like growing extra eyes, heads, or limbs, but in the exposed individual not through his descendant that get the mutation. What I have found is that in individuals exposed ...
4
votes
6answers
413 views

What sort of psychological changes could be made to a genetically engineered human

I'm in the rough outlining stages of this story, and found myself a bit stuck trying to turn this particular corner. Firstly, here are the basics of this world: In the future, it's a common ...
8
votes
4answers
292 views

How would a 4th trimester affect human development?

Newborn humans are born in a very undeveloped stage compared to other mammals. This is because if they stayed any longer in the mother, their head would become too big to fit through the birth canal. ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the bio-mechanical plausibility of a fox with venomous fangs?

For context, I've been working on a fantasy race for use in a science fiction novel, the gist of which is essentially a red fox that has had its genes manipulated by a supernatural force with the ...
7
votes
2answers
307 views

Anatomically Correct “Stranger Things” Mindflayer's Monster

Background, with potential spoilers: In the Netflix show Stranger Things... If we skip the psychic stuff, there's still a pretty interesting creature there. To qualify as a Mindflayer monster, an ...
8
votes
4answers
315 views

What is more plausible, viruses in a host brain or a viral colony becoming conscious?

In my story I have a strain of virus capable of stealing parts of or changing its hosts DNA, so it could copy the abilities in nature for its next host of choice by taking the genes which control the ...
5
votes
3answers
169 views

How can an immortal surrogate pass on genes to a fertilized embryo?

I am part of a group of immortals from the planet Ziest. From the dawn of time we came…moving silently down through the centuries. Living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the ...
10
votes
15answers
3k 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'...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

Increasing muscle power without increasing volume

Some of you may know my mutant thread, and guess what? It's back. I'm wondering if there is any biological means to improve muscular power without greatly increasing the volume of said muscle. My ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Biophage: A creature that kills all other creatures

Concept: For some twisted reason, a xenocidal space-race living somewhere in our vicinity decides that nothing deserves to exist. So they make a species. Any feasible size, any kingdom. It eats ...
17
votes
10answers
3k views

Reasons for using monsters as bioweapons

Let's say the world is threatened by eldritch monsters or nations at war. Instead of investing in tanks, aircraft and such, the government decides to invest in bioweapons that are basically monsters. ...
5
votes
5answers
230 views

What would transhumans developed to live on dark, cold planets look like

I’m envisioning a setting in which human beings have altered themselves significantly to be able to live on alien worlds without significant terraforming. One type of transhuman needed would be one ...
15
votes
19answers
5k views

Best Ergonomic Design for a handheld ranged weapon

I know I’m flirting with “Primarily Opinion Based” here, but I’m hoping there’s some established knowledge out there in the community that I might be completely oblivious to. If you look at pretty ...
2
votes
8answers
497 views

How would Fair Folk-type elves deal with dietary iron?

One of the beliefs about the Fair Folk is that they are repelled or even damaged by iron. For purposes of this question, let's focus more on the latter: namely, how would an elf manage to live to a ...
5
votes
2answers
200 views

Humanity with the Ears of a Fox--What Differs as a Result?

In this question, we're looking at a humanity that has adapted one of the most conspicuous ways of keeping cool--larger ears. Desert animals usually have larger ears to have more room for blood ...
20
votes
17answers
5k views

How would an immortal hide his/her immortality or maintain it publicly?

Suppose you became immortal* or came by the ability to live for thousands of years due to some inexplicable/irrelevant event (you still appear to be human by all standards except aging). What would be ...
39
votes
24answers
8k views

Why can't my huge trees be chopped down?

In my world there is a forest of huge trees which people can't or won't chop down. The trees are similar to redwood trees but they have a large crown and no lower branches. The forest is quite dark ...
22
votes
12answers
10k views

Can a creature sustain itself by eating its own severed body parts?

I was inspired by geckos which can sever their own tails. I wonder if a creature which has such an ability, especially with a high regenerative power to grow its body parts, can sustain itself over ...
5
votes
5answers
271 views

What could explain this unique “fruit” tree?

Our protagonist lives on one of a group of remote islands where she makes her living harvesting a peculiar fruit. The edible part grows in the middle of liquid-filled sacks that hang near the top of ...
4
votes
7answers
393 views

Growing blue trees

What about the atmosphere of earth makes green the best color for plants, and what would have to change to make blue the best color? The fact that these changes could not happen on earth, an so would ...
3
votes
3answers
123 views

Planet with two independent forms of life? [duplicate]

Suppose there is a planet fertilized with Earth-like life (characterized by proteins, nucleic acids, DNA, RNA) and a completely independent form of life, but also water and carbon based with different ...
11
votes
2answers
298 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 ...
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 ...