Questions tagged [parasites]

For questions about organisms that feed off living hosts without consent or reimbursement.

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How is the Alien Parasite's Empire in my Story going to Justify Bans on Clone Bodies for the Parasites?

PREMISE: A sentient race of neural parasites is in a civil war between the Symbiotes, who've used their extensive knowledge of genetic engineering to alter themselves into symbiotes, and the Parasites ...
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4 votes
6 answers
231 views

Psychological Consequences of a Symbiotic Relationship with a Sentient Symbiont that was supposed to be Consensual, but was not?

PREMISE: A sentient race of neural parasites is in a civil war between the Symbiotes, who've used their extensive knowledge of genetic engineering to alter themselves into symbiotes, and the Parasites ...
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  • 1,307
4 votes
4 answers
471 views

Reality Check: Are these aliens feasible?

I'm working on a Space Opera novel featuring a group of aliens that call themselves Species 0001. Here's what you need to know about them: They are a species of squid-like aliens that evolved on a ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How long would it take a parasite that transmits via parent to child to spread through a population?

So here is the basic setup. The parasite lives in the cells of it hosts and can only spread via reproduction, and will spread 100% of the time to a child regardless if the infected was the mother or ...
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5 votes
3 answers
182 views

Are there animals that can choose a caste/role/ability?

Just had cool dream, mostly a nightmare that woke me up multiple times on a loop during the night, but it was so cool I forced myself to back to the same nightmare after falling a sleep again. The ...
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5 votes
4 answers
330 views

How much would this alien parasite increase crop yields?

It is a bizarre prokaryotic flowering plant parasite which has graphene reinforced cell walls and is so distinct from all other organisms to warrant placement in its own domain of life (indeed it only ...
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  • 2,041
2 votes
4 answers
191 views

crystalline fungi: is it possible, or should I excuse it with mAgIc/

A species of fungi known as Golloriee is a fairly uncommon creature I've come up with. Its origins are certainly very unnatural, but have been shrouded in folklore over time, they say the crystals ...
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  • 89
2 votes
2 answers
103 views

Brain-Controlling Bacteria

As a Star Trek fan, I’ve been fascinated about the concept of the Borg and how they have used nanotechnology to assimilate every valuable species. They not only incorporate their technology into their ...
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18 votes
6 answers
2k views

Parasitoid wasp targeting humans: which tissue would they target?

Parasitoid wasps are kind of a nightmarish bug: they lay eggs in their target, usually a caterpillar; the eggs hatch and the larvae grow inside the body of the target, feeding on non essential tissue ...
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  • 241k
2 votes
0 answers
54 views

Explaining The Evolution of a Bioengineering Species [closed]

Re: Ultimate Alien Parasite It's been well established that parasites can alter their hosts. Gall wasps, for example, use viral or bacterial vectors to make a plant form galls around their young. ...
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6 votes
3 answers
675 views

Could alien microorganisms "infect" our own microbiome clouds and then "pollinate" us?

I'm trying to make my idea make sense. I wanted to create an parasitic/symbiotic alien species which reproduces/breeds by air or touch, which they are unaware of. They do not understand why their ...
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  • 189
1 vote
1 answer
227 views

Can a symbiotic alien species reproduce like a virus through pollinated microscopic microbiomes clouds?

Working on a story of an alien body-snatcher invasion type of story. Basically this is a parasitic symbiotic species that evolved to reproduce through their own microbiome cloud by air and touch. ...
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  • 189
13 votes
8 answers
4k views

Would mermaids be affected by tongue-eating lice evolving alongside them?

The tongue-eating louse is an absolutely monstrous parasite that eats and replaces a fish's tongue. This of course poses a problem for mermaids; if these things evolved to do that for fish, why not ...
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8 votes
7 answers
2k views

Sentient parasite

Realistically, how could a parasite become sentient? It doesn't have to be one that can control it's host like a yeerk from Animorphs, but that wouldn't be a disqualifying factor.
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4 votes
2 answers
104 views

Effects of a theoretical parasitic superfungus on the ecosystem

I came up with an idea for a parasitic fungus for my world, and I was wondering if it would be biologically viable/possible. Here are its traits. After the target organism breathes in the spores, they ...
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5 votes
5 answers
215 views

Plausibility of a fungal radiotroph that behaves similar to cancer

I want to create a fungal organism that feeds off of radiation from nearby stars and replaces cells within the body of other organisms with modified copies. The planet on which this fungal organism ...
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  • 1,528
5 votes
4 answers
925 views

Why can’t gene stealing parasites transform their hosts into magic users?

In my modern-day setting, people who use magic are called Fjǫlkunnigr, who gain four different powers based on core aspects of their personality called Megin. There are only three ways for someone to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
206 views

A brood parasite that mimics humans, plausible?

I thought of a brood parasite that co-existed with humans and has evolved to mimic humans and to infiltrate human families as a brood parasite -- similar to a cuckoo birds -- as adopted children who ...
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1 vote
6 answers
393 views

How can a demonic parasite protect its future investment?

Elves are born with different amounts of mana, which increases as they age and will determine their potential of magical power. Elven maidens with large reserves of mana usually produce powerful ...
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6 votes
5 answers
181 views

Physiology of a heart hijacking parasite?

This is a question regarding my little critters that hijack of their victim. By doing so they get direct access to a steady flow of nutrients through the bloodstream and get shelter with optimal ...
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4 votes
2 answers
256 views

How big and numerous do ticks needs to be to threaten human life?

A world has grassy plains infested with larger-than-normal (perhaps even giant) blood-sucking ticks. Ignoring their main diet for the time being: They should be dangerous enough to threaten humans ...
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5 votes
3 answers
101 views

Limits of useful parasites and waste systems

This is something I’m struggling to find answers for online. I need to be able to explain and justify the biology of a species that capable of surving in multiple environments including changes in ...
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22 votes
13 answers
8k views

What can a parasite offer its human hosts in a mutualistic relationship?

Working on a story right now where parasite-controlled humans essentially become the apex predators in the world, and harvest uninfected humans to further spread the organism. These kinds of mind-...
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  • 1,337
3 votes
4 answers
315 views

What would be the most effective way for a parasitic alien lifeform to spread and grow on a post-apocalyptic Earth?

The background is that Earth is the victim of a massive comet strike, that wipes out a large portion of humanity (let's say 80-90%). Let's say that the comet was carrying an alien parasite that's a ...
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14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could a cockatrice have parasitic embryos?

I had an idea to make cockatrices "realistic" (as in make a bit more sense) for what ever reason the noble cockatrice has evolved to use other species eggs for its own. It does this by "sitting" on ...
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6 votes
3 answers
373 views

A parasite that infects humans who are over the age of 25

I want to know if the disease I invented is logical or just a total fiction. A parasite (parasitic fungus) lives within the human brain. It infects other humans by releasing spores while invoking ...
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  • 153
1 vote
2 answers
127 views

How would a cursed mask work? [closed]

I want to write a novel in which the main antagonist has a cursed mask that determines his "mischievous" attitude. Why would a symbiotic mask attach itself on this guy and make him bad (except from ...
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5 votes
9 answers
11k views

How long could a human being survive after being swallowed by a whale?

In the short story, a man is swallowed by a giant, fictional fish. In fact, he is swallowed whole along with his log cabin and a bunch of hand-crafted tools. In a "The Martian"-like narrative, he ...
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8 votes
1 answer
639 views

Could The Thing take over the world?

In the critically acclaimed horror film, The Thing, Blair determines that if the Thing was to reach civilization, it would take over all life on Earth in only 27 000 hours or a bit over three years. ...
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  • 55.2k
7 votes
3 answers
528 views

The plausibility of a mind-controlling and genome-altering pentastomid

CONTEXT/EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY A book that I'm currently writing called Surge features an enemy faction called the Degenerates that are heavily inspired by the Scythians (Indo-Iranian horse nomads that ...
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10 votes
5 answers
939 views

How plausible is a parasite that reverts hybrids back to a primal state of mind?

In the story I have been writing and asking questions for, the main conflict is parasites. What I have so far is that the parasite lives dormant inside of "pure-bred" aliens (which have softer brains),...
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  • 419
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to identify a new species?

If a parasitic creature was discovered, how would officials determine whether that parasite was a new species or an existing parasitic species? How long would that process take? Assume the species ...
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2 votes
3 answers
278 views

How could a parasitic organism spread through humans?

I have an idea for a crazy super-organism which could wipe out the human race. Essentially, it is an organism (plant or fungus or bacterium depending on what would be more effective or what would be ...
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43 votes
9 answers
18k views

Could a plant grow on a restrained, living human?

My question is: Could a macroscopic (e.g. visible) plant grow on a living human, provided that the human is completely immobilized?
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9 votes
4 answers
811 views

What conditions would lead a hyperparasite (whose host is itself a parasite) to develop civilization?

A hyperparasite is "a parasite whose host is itself a parasite" and is the closest analogy to an apex predator in the ecology of parasites. Human sociability, intelligence and status as apex predators ...
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  • 7,200
7 votes
2 answers
927 views

Why would a parasite evolve sapience?

Parasite are very unusual creatures, their entire livelihood relies on an unwilling host to allow them to live, some parasite even control the creature itself! Despite this, to my knowledge, there are ...
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  • 55.2k
8 votes
4 answers
554 views

What's a good structure for biological parasitic mind control

So I thought up this alien parasite that enters through the mouth (usually of a predator) where it attaches to the throat and simultaneously takes control of the brain and replaces the esophagus of ...
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  • 3,517
6 votes
2 answers
330 views

Alien aliens, parasitic spreading of the young

What kind of a society would exist for an intelligent species that lays it's eggs/young in a host to gestate/grow? We have the spider wasps which paralyze their prey and lay eggs. While sometimes ...
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