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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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6answers
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What kind of environment would favor hermaphroditism in a sentient species over regular, old sexes?

I'm trying to create alien species that is hermaphroditic, with strong sexual conflict. In essence each being tries to trick or force (by mechanical or hormonal means) its partner to take role of ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

Would advanced Plantoids be plausible? [on hold]

Could it be plausible that if enough time given and favorable conditions are met, the dominant species of an alien planet could be a species of plant and by dominant I mean achieving sentience and ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Solar insolation/flux's effect on biome diversity/richness on an alien world

The Questions I'm trying to answer three main questions: Does a three-axis biome chart make sense for my world? How productive/life-rich should a biome be given a specific level of solar flux (...
0
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0answers
56 views

A name for an invading Alien Species in an alternate version of Earth [closed]

Context I have an alternate version of earth, where man kind is now advanced to have populated several planets in our solar system. In this version of earth mankind has evolved nearly the same, but ...
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0answers
39 views

Life without free water? [closed]

In connection with a world that has no oceans, & possibly not free surface water, & an atmosphere 2-6x denser than Earth's, what might biology look like? A chemotroph? Something that converts ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

Advantages of being covered in taste buds? [closed]

On my conworld, I am developing a creature that is covered externally in taste buds. What would be the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of having this adaptation?
3
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5answers
519 views

What would an animal that absorbs nutrients though its skin be called? [closed]

Animals that eat meat are carnivores, animals that eat plants are herbivores, animals that will eat anything are called omnivores. But what are animals that absorb 25% of their nutrition directly from ...
11
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4answers
2k views

If quadruped mammals evolve to become bipedal will their breast or nipple change position?

As the title says, you know stuff like minotaur, lycanth or werewolf, cat or dog folk, etc especially for the female specimens. I want to know what happen if quadrupedal mammals which usually have ...
3
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4answers
192 views

Could a tree build its bark out of Starlite-like material?

How could trees in an environment with 23% Oxygen (The atmosphere is identical to earth in all other respects.) grow bark with Starlite-like qualities? Starlite is a material claimed to be able to ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

Fireproof liquids that are non-toxic to carbon based life?

What sort of fireproof liquid could be used by carbon-based life without causing harm to the organism? Whether it be absorbed from exterior sources or produced in the organism's body. I say organism ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Could a passive radar-sighted creature see by space radio emissions?

I am working on a world which is very dark due to an opaque gas layer in the hight atmosphere; but it is opaque mostly in the terahertz range. The creatures in this world therefore rely very little on ...
3
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4answers
464 views

Feasibility of lava beings?

Could a creature be made entirely, or mostly of magma or lava? Could it sustainably live in or near a volcano for an extended period of time? Rocks around the outside are optional, and encouraged. If ...
4
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4answers
131 views

What sort of hip bone is required for quadrupedal animals to locomote on their hind legs?

I am designing a creature that is quadrupedal but can run after prey on its hind legs. What kind of hip bone would allow for the excess stress to be put on it during bipedal locomotion? The animal is ...
9
votes
4answers
224 views

What sort of qualities might a tortoise-like animal the size of an argentinosaurus need to support its own body?

I am wondering what kind of physical qualities (E.g. Short, thick pillar-like legs) a creature such as this would need to support such an incredible size. The world that it evolves on in almost ...
2
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0answers
97 views

Planet builder? [closed]

I've got questions I haven't been able to get a grip on for two different planets. One has its axis at about 90deg (like Uranus), with day & year like Venus (day longer than year), orbiting a ...
11
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5answers
383 views

What minerals that are more durable than calcium would be suitable for bones?

Edit: I am asking in the context of alien life, should have specifyed that to begin with. I have many ideas for fantasy/sci fi races, and one that I kept coming back to is a species with bones that ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Feasibility of Thermoelectric Metabolism

Larry Niven's "Known Universe" (KU) features "The Outsiders" as one of its most prominent alien races. As per KU canon, the Outsiders evolved in a frigid moon (similar to Nereida) and they sustain ...
5
votes
2answers
274 views

What range of colors is it physically possible for a humanoid race's skin to have? [closed]

My story takes a sort of Shadowrun-esque approach to the concept of fantasy races, in that all members of fantasy races are, or are descended from, former humans transformed by magic, though in this ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Can a possible humanoid species capable of changing their sex in a crisis be the dominant species of an entire planet like us?

I had an idea of a concept a while ago. If a planet that for some reason or another had only one giant continent like Pangea, but bigger, for more distinct habitats and giant lakes assuring ...
17
votes
14answers
2k views

Would an alien lifeform be able to achieve space travel if lacking in vision?

Think of this alien life form as something resembling earth bats, placed in a planet with Earth-like conditions. Micro-bats have small and poorly developed eyes. Similarly, this alien species is ...
41
votes
15answers
9k views

For what reasons would an animal species NOT cross a *horizontal* land bridge?

In my worldbuilding project, 2 continents located on roughly the same latitude are connected by a land bridge. Both sides of the bridge are surrounded by a temperate grassland, and the lack of seasons ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Could an entirely (or mostly) hydraulic muscular system work in terrestrial vertebrates?

In Invertebrates, Muscular Hydrostat, which is a form of biological hydraulic, is used for locomotion. On Earth, (as far as I'm aware) no system exists where hydraulics perform in conjunction with a ...
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33answers
5k views

On a tidally locked planet, would time be quantized? [closed]

Assume a planet that always presents one side to the sun. No moons. The orbit of the planet around the star is essentially spherical, very minor and undetectable aberrations. The orbital period of the ...
4
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3answers
116 views

Biological touch based high bandwidth communication

My alien race is supposed to have the ability to communicate a lot of information extremely fast, more akin to uploading something to your partner's mind than telling him. This should happen via ...
2
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3answers
149 views

Other Mouthparts For Aliens?

What other kind of mouthparts might an alien (intelligent or non-intelligent) have besides the typical jaw with teeth or mandibles? To avoid being too broad a subject, let's assume the aliens need to ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

on sentient reptiles/ectotherm behaviors [closed]

so, I was searching and reading things about reptiles trying to build a guideline for any kind of cold blooded peoples/aliens I still have a hard time finding precises idea on how temperature ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

How could an amorphous species work? [closed]

In the setting I'm building, then there are two lifeforms to have existed; Angel and Demons. Both are closely related, as speciation between happened rather recently in their history. They both also ...
8
votes
6answers
552 views

How to design an organic heat-shield?

When they started dropping from the skies.. or no, they landed. They were so similar to us, yet so different. Like nothing we would've ever designed or created - but so much like everything ...
3
votes
4answers
165 views

Can you create a living vehicle fueled by organic material?

In this world, the vehicles are effectively re-engineered insects; enlarged bio-manufactured nervous systems used instead of engines; factory grown lightweight chassis / [wheels]. The fuel station ...
5
votes
2answers
62 views

What would Define Ecosystems in a “Frozen Moon with Ocean” World

What factors would influence ecosystem development in an ocean on an ice world? It is thought that several moons in our solar system (e.g. Europa) may have significant oceans under their icy crusts. ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Origin of life on a waterworld

Take a planet like Gliese 1214 B, which has no land, an ocean 100s of kilometres deep and a seabed of Ice VII. For the purposes of the question, let's assume that the pressure and/or temperature near ...
4
votes
2answers
191 views

Evolution adapted to technology

...kill every protohuman who tries to leave the African continent. This comment made me think about one question. Suppose you have robot guards, like futuristic lasers, who just shoot at any landing ...
5
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1answer
230 views

Realistic alternatives to oxygen-based respiration? [closed]

Background I'm developing 6 to 10 sapient alien races for a short story. Basic Story Setting The short story takes place in the Milky Way sometime in the next 1000 years. These races will be at ...
6
votes
6answers
324 views

Dwarfism in a 9 foot tall humanoid race

My story has a race exactly like humans, except they grow to be on average 9 feet tall. One of characters belongs to this race, but she is considered a dwarf to her people. This causes her to live ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

How fast could a large creature feasibly grow and how much would it need to eat?

A creature in my story was largely inspired by the xenomorphs of the Alien franchise. In wondering how long it would take one of these creatures to grow from conception to maturity, I decided to look ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

Determining factor(s) for making creatures robust to square cubed law

Premise and research I am simply trying to find a reproducible framework for use with creature-design. In my research I have found the larger an animal is, the more likely that animal is to break its ...
7
votes
3answers
732 views

Life on a gas giant?

I know of the conceptualized "Sinkers", "Floaters" and "Hunters" that Carl Sagan and Edwin Salpeter of Cornell conceived of - as possible life forms that might inhabit a gas giant. At the time they ...
28
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25answers
9k views

Elf-like race: What could prevent overpopulation?

For an elf-like race whose people do not age beyond physical maturity (the accumulated DNA damage associated with aging does not occur), what would prevent overpopulation? This elf-like race is ...
4
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3answers
102 views

Electrolysis Assisted Aerobic Organisms [closed]

Hi this is my 2nd question on the site and I hope it is intriguing to you all. My question is: How feasible is it for an organism to sustain an Aerobic lifestyle (ie. the standard oxygen cycle found ...
5
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5answers
747 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
831 views

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 ...
4
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5answers
230 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
154 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
151 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, glands and tissues to change quite ...
4
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6answers
177 views

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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10answers
273 views

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 ...
16
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
11
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7answers
2k views

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 ...