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Questions tagged [xenobiology]

Use this tag to mark questions related to creating plausible alien biologies that may be close to or far removed from Earthly biology but within the realms of hard science.

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is it possible to create light emitting creatures using selective breeding?

Suppose I take a group of alligators select the ones that emit the highest frequency of radiation (since all living creatures emit thermal radiation), and I breed those, and get rid of the rest and ...
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2answers
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How would plants evolve with longer days?

(First post on StackExchange, hello world!) The project that I'm currently working on involves a Binary Planet system, both with life, although I'm only focusing on one. This planet has a climate ...
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1answer
85 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, gland and tissues to change quite ...
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Interplanetary/Interstellar World Blight

I have a bacterial organism called the "World Blight" this creature's life cycle revolves around being introduced to a new planet, spreading across the planet and terraforming it to its liking, and ...
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Plausible reasons for multiple hot seasons in one solar year

Setup: A planet generally with an earthlike climate, although slightly wetter and warmer as a general rule, with a little more oxygen in the atmosphere, but habitable by unmodified humans. Still has ...
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Would carbon-based lifeforms be able to eat silicon-based lifeforms?

In the South Galaxy, the overwhelming majority of life lives on planets, breathes air, and is carbon-based. All sentient life is carbon-based. However, in the vast reaches of space, there are some ...
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Sentient Cephalopods in Exoskeletons

On a distant planet covered mostly by water a species of highly intelligence cephalopods have evolved and even developed space travel. The problem? Most other species are land dwellers and the ...
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2answers
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What could be used as an alternative to ATP in boron based biochemistry?

I have created a life form that is based on the element boron. As a substitute for DNA it instead uses Diborane as a building block. I've come across a problem however that I can't seem to get around. ...
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Chemical process for a radiosynthetic Ganymedian organism?

I'm trying to build an underwater ecosystem under the ice crust of Ganymede. I know Jupiter emits a large amount of ionizing radiation and synchotrons and thought that would maybe be able to replace ...
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What are the uses of colour in a world where nothing can see?

In a previous question - How might kinetosynthesizing "plants" look? - I introduced a worldbuilding thought experiment of mine centered around a habitable moon, heated by tidal forces, which ...
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Internal Body Heat of Giant Animals. At which point would their size cook them from inside? [closed]

It is my understanding that one of the reasons for why massive lifeforms (as depicted in fiction) aren't possible is the fact that the heat radiated by their body after a certain point would be too ...
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4answers
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Speaking three sentences at the same time?

TL;DR - I want my angelic race to have the ability to speak in a way in which up to three sentences are communicated at the same time. (Assume English for the sake of simplicity. I want physiology ...
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2answers
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Pangenesis and alien life

Darwin's hypothetical mechanism of inheritance was called pangenesis, whereby the body continually produced particles of information - gemmules - which aggregated in the gonads, and that that the ...
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Could humanoids without a skeleton be viable?

It's tempting to think that anything with the outer shape of a human would simply collapse in a heap if its skeleton were not there. That is surely true if the internal structure was the same as ours ...
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What would be the usefulness of both arms and fins on a sea dwelling, amphibious organism?

I am currently designing a highly intelligent species for a sci-fi project I am working on. They are quite similar physically to prehistoric salamanders or similar amphibians, but I am having trouble ...
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How plausible is a civilization, or life, that perceives time in reverse?

Humanity, with modern science, has established that the Big Bang happened 13.8 billion years ago. The universe appeared in a low-entropy state, and for billions of years has been expanding and moving ...
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Do these plants make sense in the way I want them to establish in my world?

(Beforehand I'll excuse myself for my english. If you didn't need to know that you can just ignore it) There's a network of root-like life forms in the top layers of my planet. They use some kind of ...
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4answers
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Can I make the carbon cycle shorter - by metamorphosis from plant to animal and vice-versa

EDITED to address the above suggestion. See below. Most animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon-dioxide. Most plants take in carbon-dioxide and release oxygen. Waste products from animals ...
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blood chemistry of blue-skinned elven race [closed]

If you were to discover blue-skinned humanoids, whose blue blood is bioluminescent turquoise blue, based on silver colloid, could one use the idea that they are germanium based lifeforms? Would ...
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1answer
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How would endo-skeletal systems adapt to the atmospheric pressures given?

Surface gravity: 1G Info regarding of altitude, pressure, and atmospheric density: ...
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1answer
151 views

Near spherical alien species - How can they move?

The setting On an Earth-like planet but with completely different flora and fauna there is the Great Plain. It is similar in size to the Serengeti National Park on Earth. The Plain is surrounded by ...
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3answers
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Digestive System Within Limbs

This one might be a bit weird, but here it goes... In designing the evolutionary history of my world, I've devised an evolutionary branch of animals adapting to terrestrial environments. Lacking rear ...
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Potential adaptions / features for life adapted to the level of atmospheric pressure given?

Atmospheric composition: | 2% Trace gases | 58% Nitrogen | 26% Oxygen | 11% Argon | 3% Carbon dioxide | Average surface temperature: 36 degrees Celsius Surface gravity: 1.36x Earth gravity ...
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An animal that is physically separated into multiple parts

One of my fictional planets (which is largely terran in nature) is notable for an unique animal. Said animal is a dangerous predator that is notable for several things: It is physically separated ...
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Swimming in space. What is the mechanism?

A large (compared to Earth life) species of creatures live in space. They gain energy from interstellar dust and starlight. How they do this is a separate question so not relevant here. However they ...
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6answers
130 views

Extremely heterogeneous life

All life on Earth is surprisingly homogeneous from a biochemical point of view. Every organism known to us is primarily built with carbon-based molecules that also contain hydrogen and oxygen, mainly ...
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5answers
258 views

Is it possible for a terrestrial creature to generate lightning?

Question Context: I've been developing insect-looking bipeds that have evolved on a mostly jungle/ocean planet in addition to small, scattered grasslands. This is justified (from what I've read) by a ...
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1answer
137 views

How humans could establish a colony on this planet? [closed]

Yesterday I created an exoplanet on Space Engine, and then started to imagine how life could be possible on that little rock. I started to think about bacterial cells / archaea, anaerobic organisms ...
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1answer
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Anatomically Correct Triskelion

Triskeles are popular Celtic decorative motifs. Everyone from modern day retro-Pagans to jewelry makers to Celtic bands uses them for the cool factor. But there is a little known creature, possibly ...
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Aliens performing successful medical procedure on humans at first contact?

So, humans have finally figured out how to build a solar-system crossing ship. On the way to the first exo-planet to be colonized, an accident happens, and a few people wind up floating through space, ...
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Biology of hermaphrodite species

How from a evolutionary standpoint hermaphrodite species can exist and have a good genetic diversity, with no self-impregnation? But, this race visually looks more like females, they do have breasts ...
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Would a society with two different species that can interbreed be viable?

One species has two genders, like humans, the other has three(essentially male, female, and one without breeding capabilities that first appears as a genetic quirk but quickly becomes more prominent ...
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3answers
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On the viability of living balloons

This is not a question on whether or not floating, balloon-like organisms are biomechanically viable - I already know the answer to that, which is yes. This instead deals with the plausibility of such ...
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1answer
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How do I explain the compound eyes of my creatures?

Previous to this question, I made a post regarding many questions about the biology of the creature I had been designing. Looking back on it, I realized that I asked a LOT of questions for just one ...
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Could a species with a lifespan of 20 years achieve enough technological progress to reach space?

I'm current planning a story which includes a race of diminutive humanoid aliens, one of whom crash-lands on Earth. They're fully sentient, and have the same average intelligence level as humans. The ...
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1answer
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A reciprocal metabolism is needed on a world overrun by crazy plants

In this paper by Bains et al, an alternative to oxygenic photosynthesis is discussed. Apparently, 4 times the amount of biomass can be produced using hydrogenic over oxygenic photosynthesis. Oxygenic ...
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How to feed parity transformed John Doe?

We do not know how exactly it happened, but poor John Doe made a space-time trip along a three dimensional analog of a Möbius strip (a Klein bottle). He is now back on Earth, but he is now the mirror ...
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1answer
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Photosynthesis analog, plausible?

So on a planet with a chlorine based atmosphere and only a small amount of oxygen, here is my proposed mechanism for chlorine based photosynthesis. Carbon tetrachloride, since it is a liquid at 70 ...
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6answers
230 views

Why do shapeshifters not kill their doubles before taking their form?

Ko’dor are an octopus like species that arise from the swamps of the planet Luvwa. They have the ability to transform their bodies into any form or shape they want. When a Ko’dor wants to infiltrate ...
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3answers
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How to transmit energy through rock and store it in crystals?

I have created a species that is basically a sort of land coral covered in a thick carapace made of rock. They live on an Earth-like planet (Class M as they say in Star Trek) and behave like coral ...
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4answers
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How do the aliens maintain their transformations, even after they die?

So, in my story there is a species of aliens, called the Ko’dor. The Ko’dor are a species of shape-shifters, who can change their forms at will. Naturally, they are four-eyed, green octopus like ...
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2answers
482 views

Would Earth plants grow in an alien environment?

This is a second question about the same world described in this question about human reaction to an alien world. So here's the idea: human beings travel to and land on an Earth-like world with the ...
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3answers
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What would be the human physiological reaction to an alien biosphere?

This is the first question about colonizing an alien world; the second question on agriculture on this planet is here. So here's the idea: human beings travel to and land on an Earth-like world with ...
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0answers
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How can I change life on a planet and the presence of Nitrogen in the nitrogen cycle and what effects are there [closed]

Nitrogen makes up most of our atmosphere, it gets fixed by bacteria, legumes, etc., and enters the soil in a different form to be used by plant life. The nitrogen gets buried in sedimentary rock over ...
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2answers
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Which hydrogen halide to have in blood to replace water?

So I want to have an alien creature on a planet with a halogen atmosphere. It will have to be at a temperature where the hydrogen halide is liquid or solid. This hydrogen halide I would have as the ...
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Could organisms live in the rings in a planet?

Think of Saturn. In this book, some people travel to a gas giant with rings and find an ecosystem in the rings of a planet. It has predators and prey. It has plants and animals. Autotrophs and ...