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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Is there room for a secondary circulatory system within a humanoid?

Specifically, would there be room within a proportionate humanoid body for a complete duplicate of the circulatory system to grow from birth? Assume: That each branch of this circulatory system needs ...
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2 votes
5 answers
154 views

What evolutionary pressures would result in metabolic INefficiency?

What evolutionary pressures would result in metabolic IN-efficiency being a fitness-increasing adaptation in an animal? By "metabolic efficiency", I mean "percentage of usable energy ...
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1 vote
2 answers
229 views

Genetic Plausibility of All-Male Half Giants and All-Female Witches

So, this problem is kind of a two-in-one; arguably two different issues but very closely related, so I'm posting them as one question. I'm designing a lineup of fantasy races for a roleplaying setting,...
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5 votes
3 answers
320 views

Is there any sort of natural mechanism that would explain why my giants are taller or shorter depending on how many horns they have?

So I've got a species of humanoid giants in the setting. Each individual has their own set of horns, between 1 and 5, that extend from their forehead. The horns determine their adult height, with ...
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Tunnelling Spores in Asteroid Belt

I am trying to justify a fungal life-form that lives in an alternate version of the Kuiper Belt. The life-form is (loosely) based off of this article: https://www.zmescience.com/science/geology/fungus-...
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6 votes
3 answers
474 views

Biological siege weapons: Part 2 - Can a living thing effectively perform the role of ranged siege weaponry such as trebuchets?

As was pointed out by the great answers of my first question regarding biological siege weapons, organisms can be rather capable of making it through fortified defenses at close range, but what about ...
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15 votes
14 answers
3k views

Biological siege weapons: Part 1 - Are living things capable of breaking down the gates of a medieval gatehouse?

The setting features biomancers who, to summarize, are magic users who can create living things as minions or servants through various ways(seeds, modified eggs, whatever), have the option to directly ...
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8 votes
1 answer
316 views

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Limpet-Style Metal Superbones

Some context, right off the bat: I am a mad scientist. This means that evolution has been defenestrated; as such, I am not interested in determining what evolutionary pressures might lead to the ...
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16 votes
5 answers
3k views

Would human life expectancy increase by a significant amount of years if all organs had the regrow/self-repair ability that the liver does?

The world has come to regularly use genetic modification for cosmetic purposes, hair colour, eye colour, height, etc, relatively useless stuff. A breakthrough has been made that has produced the first ...
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13 votes
4 answers
2k views

What biomaterials with higher compressive strength than bone can I use to make big but proportionate humanoids?

One of the many problems with making really, really big creatures is that their bones are, eventually, incapable of supporting their own weight. Eventually, they get to be all leg and no body. This is ...
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4 votes
1 answer
287 views

How big can a tentacle be before it can no longer support its own weight?

A tentacle is a muscular hydrostat; that is, it is a boneless, coreless appendage that's essentially all-muscle. Instead of pushing and pulling off of a solid core of bone or a fluid, the muscles in a ...
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5 votes
2 answers
127 views

Create a species of Intelligent Coldblooded Creatures

I want to have a species of intelligent coldblooded creatures. I don't need a hard-science explanation, but I don't want to handwave it alltogether. I want to know why they are how they are (and learn ...
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6 votes
4 answers
158 views

What would cause this specific method of reproduction to become prevalent?

I have a class of animals in my world that have a bit of an unusual method of reproduction. Members of this class produce pod-like eggs. These pods are buried in the ground to incubate until the first ...
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5 votes
1 answer
96 views

How would mallard ducks with Clawed fingers on their wing be able to handle guns?

How would mallard ducks be able to handle guns from say around World War 2 tech level? I assume with clawed fingers on their wing that it would be likely easier for them to handle a rifle, but not ...
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7 votes
3 answers
641 views

Is it possible to induce prions/protein-folding diseases via a magnetic field of sufficient strength?

This logbook entry from Destiny 2 states that WARNING. Novel prion detected in body collagen. Hypothesis: Jovian magnetosphere promotes highly abnormal protein folding. Prognosis: massive sloughing/...
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3 votes
1 answer
120 views

Would this be able to glide?

On my planet there is a fish that acts as a pollinator. It has 2 fins, one on each side. When it jumps from the water both it’s fins spilt into two revealing a web of skin. The reason it does this ...
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4 votes
2 answers
121 views

Would a species of giant ape be able to live in an taiga?

In my world, I plan on having a species (not a race) of giant apes that inhabit an island around the size of Italy. This island is still heavily forested in many places, although the development of ...
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4 votes
1 answer
231 views

Migration of seeds between continents

In my story, life is disappearing from every continent of the world, from small animals to great sequoia trees, except for bacteria, of course, and marine life. except for one continent: Antarctica. ...
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  • 609
5 votes
2 answers
235 views

What are some specific body parts that would irreversibly fail over time in a cancer-immune, biologically immortal person?

Let's say that you have a person who's, if certainly not immortal in the general sense, biologically immortal, as enumerated in this question - not only do their telomeres never shorten, they're also-...
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6 votes
3 answers
282 views

Near-biological immortality and cancer immunity via repurposing telomeres

TL;DR: I have solved aging and cancer with the power of handwaving and genetic science. All rejoice. Yes, there is a question at the end of this all, but you have to read it for it to make sense. In ...
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7 votes
2 answers
362 views

How long and heavy can a tentacle tail get relative to the animal it's on?

While looking about for references on how to make a strong, prehensile tail, I found ProjectApex's answer to that exact question. The solution is to make the tail a muscular hydrostat, a bodily ...
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6 votes
5 answers
914 views

What condition could cause chronically reddened sclera?

I have a character whose eye whites are bright red, and I'd like to make some attempt to justify why. This character's species has eyes that generally become bloodshot in the same way and under the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
243 views

What is the minimum size for a full body cyborgs vital organs?

A full body cyborg is basically a brain encased in a mechanical body. The brain, being the only organic component, needs to be maintained. The brain, being the most complex organ, requires a steady ...
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2 votes
2 answers
246 views

How would Superspeed be Explained?

In the comics, superspeed,- being the ability to move (in particular, run) at speeds typically at least as fast as something like a racecar), whenever it is shown, seems to tend to have the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
134 views

How big animals could survive on an island the size of Madagascar

I've been making a story about an lost world island, roughly the size of Madagascar, (593.40 km²). I have currently estimated that I could have herbivorous animals up to 3 tons in weight (sauropods) , ...
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4 votes
5 answers
438 views

How can the transfer of a soul to a new body lead to physical deformities? [closed]

The soul is the metaphysical spirit of a mortal being and is the seat of human consciousness. It retains all the aspects that we consider makes us human, from personality to memories to how we ...
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6 votes
4 answers
835 views

Feasibility of Velocisharks

This question is all about how a shark can evolve to have the following traits: Amphibious Pack behavior Dromaeosaurid form (bipedal, scaly, with four talons and a sleek but strong frame-resembling a ...
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6 votes
2 answers
126 views

Aliens Using Both L and R-Amino Acids or Sugars - are they possible?

It's fairly common to see discussion of different chirality for amino acids and sugars whenever people ask for advice on plausible alien designs or biochemistry (e.g.: metabolizing left-handed sugars ...
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1 vote
1 answer
164 views

Adapting to normal gravity after spending time in centrifugal artificial gravity

So pretty much, my world contains a lot of space travel/colonisation, and people live on ships with artificial gravity via centrifugal force. The diameter of these big spinny cylinder things (?) is ...
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8 votes
8 answers
2k views

Could silicon-based lifeforms eat carbon-based food? [closed]

Say a group of silicon-based aliens arrive on earth, would their bodies be able to extract any nutrients from carbon-based food?
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5 votes
4 answers
206 views

How do animals evolve to have arms

My question is how/why does my creature evolve into having arms when it has none? Context: I am currently creating a evolutionary tree for the first animals of my planet. My planet is the size of ...
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4 votes
1 answer
121 views

Giant realistic Prototaxites like fungi in a hot climate

My planet is very similar to earth around 359 to 299 million years ago. years ago. It’s mostly covered in deserts, jungles, swamps, temperate forests, and their variants. (The Carboniferous period) ...
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6 votes
3 answers
711 views

Retractable blade

I am busy working on a race of humanoids, to defend themselves against their planets large predators I gave them a pair of retractable keratin blades which are housed just below the Ulna in the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
162 views

(TW: Strangling) Would this character actually have any difficulty breathing?

((Alright, so! I don't even know if this is the right place to ask, but I hope to hear your thoughts. Sorry for the morbid topic and thanks in advance!)) In a comic I'll eventually draw, there's this ...
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4 votes
6 answers
415 views

How potent would a dragon's fire be?

In the Game of Thrones TV series the fire of the dragons is "biological" and comes from two tubes in the dragons' mouth. In the second last episode of Season 6, the dragons Viserion and ...
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1 vote
3 answers
288 views

What's the minimum height of a mountain resolvable to the human eye from 800 miles on a flat Earth?

The Taniquetil / Oiolossë (Mount Everwhite) on the eastern shore of Aman is the tallest mountain on Arda. Far higher than the other Pelóri, it could be seen from the mountain Meneltarma on Númenor ...
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3 votes
1 answer
106 views

Can we "train" the body to be more resistant to internal bleeding/head trauma?

Well, in order to give some background, basically the army of this fictional country is taking military training to its limits, but not in the traditional manner. For example: One of the first steps ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Physical effects of strong magnets under skin?

I should preface this with "I'm a fiction writer." If someone were to implant extremely strong magnets under their skin and attach an attracting magnet to the outside, how would that affect ...
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  • 490
1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Rubberizing's Effects on Giant Caterpillars

Giant caterpillars vs. Plops = Giant caterpillars > Plop It appears, since giant caterpillars lack bones and possibly rigid parts in general, they could serve as a viable Plop predator despite ...
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4 votes
1 answer
215 views

Little Mermaids: Will They Survive?

No, this question is not about creating a subspecies of mermaid that all happen to look and act like a certain Disney princess. Not at all, in fact. You see, mermaids in my setting are capable of ...
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20 votes
5 answers
3k views

Feasibility of Giant Butterflies as Predators

I have asked multiple questions about giant caterpillars, now it's time to account for their evolutions. Sure, giant flowers could and probably would exist in Alendyias; an Engorger dying in a flowery ...
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3 votes
4 answers
149 views

What would make a species of sentient starfish rationally and ethically choose between sexual and asexual reproduction? [closed]

Starfishs or seastars have sexes( they are either male or female) but they can reproduce both sexually and asexually. The latter is possible using fission or fragmentation. In this planet there is a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
205 views

Determining the Best Wild Anklebiter Predator

The natural sequel to Making a Predator For Wild Anklebiters, which was inconclusive. You see, Wild Anklebiters are chimeric monsters-being equal parts flower, worm, and leech-with a rather ...
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4 votes
2 answers
57 views

Explaining Chasers as a Evolutionary Stage of a Caterpillar

I recently discovered Chasers (described here) are basically impossible as a form of giant caterpillar, since caterpillars are a larval stage and need to store energy for metamorphosis. However, if ...
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6 votes
1 answer
216 views

Feasibility of Giant Caterpillar Archetypes

Note: This question is not about the feasibility of giant caterpillars. That is covered by the addition of magic. However, evolution and natural selection still apply to magical beings (and I love ...
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  • 12.8k
4 votes
1 answer
228 views

Hard Science Superhumans [closed]

For my story, I want to create a group of superhumans- to be clear, not humanns with powers, but just humans who have been bioengineered beyond normal human capabilities. This can be something with ...
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12 votes
7 answers
1k views

Is there any kind of biological mechanism that would allow a species with a naturally short lifespan to live longer through cannibalism?

There is a humanoid species whose natural lifespan/period of senescence is very short compared to other sapients of the setting(around 20 years). They have similar levels of intelligence to humans and ...
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  • 4,417
4 votes
5 answers
1k views

Evolutionary pressures for carnivorous elves

In a fantasy world I am creating, there exists a race of elf-like hominids that exist along side other races in this world. Note the "elf-like" portion as while they do have: Pointy ears (...
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  • 3,327
5 votes
4 answers
786 views

is it possible in a given world to ride a triceratops and so how would it work?

I've been thinking about this world that's been in my mind and one of the things in it are drake knights which are warriors who raised and ride domesticate breed of triceratops like the war elephants ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
98 views

Explaining Deathwatt

The Atomic Deathworm. An interesting concept, one I adapted. Living in sand is not likely for a worm, unless, of course, that sand is near or in water-plenty of worms live in wet sand. However, ...
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