Questions tagged [xenobiology]

For questions related to the biology of extra-terrestrial organisms. This tag implies the use of the science-fiction tag. Use the science-based or hard-science tags to impose greater scientific restrictions (see warning in tag wiki). The goal of this tag is to answer the question using known science.

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14 votes
8 answers
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Why do the plants glow?

On this planet, volcanoes are constantly spewing ash, polluting the already dense atmosphere and darkening the world. In addition, the star which this planet orbits is dimmer, resulting in a very dark ...
alkahest's user avatar
  • 942
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it possible for an animal to have a plant stage in its life cycle? [duplicate]

I'm designing an alien species with a somewhat unique life cycle. When these aliens reach maturity, both males and females start producing thousands of tiny spores filled with hydrogen gas that float ...
ΓΙΑΝΝΗΣ ΜΙΧΑΗΛΙΔΗΣ's user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
2k views

How can I make two hearts work?

It’s an occasional trope in sci-fi where warrior species get two hearts to better survive combat. Like the Star Trek Klingons (apparently), Halo Sangheili and the 40K Space Marines. However, two ...
Demigan's user avatar
  • 45.3k
2 votes
0 answers
100 views

Feasibility of Battlefield Grown Biological Weaponry [closed]

In a worldbuilding project I am working on, its main focus is around a zerg-like hivemind species hell bent on devouring biomass, while also having the ability to weave their genomes to form ...
ArcticSad's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Feasibility of organic winged flight on 4g planet

Premise This is somewhat of a follow up to an earlier question of mine. Taking the premise of that very large, ~4g planet, and set the case that complex life does develop on it, there are some ...
MarsMagnus's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
88 views

Debris protection for spiracle-like breathing holes, except 'nose' hair

Follow-up from: Where to place breathing holes/spiracles on a bipedal humanoid My humanoid bipedal species and other creatures sharing a common ancestor primarily breathe through spiracle-like ...
SaintDiabolus's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Do Plantimals exhale CO2 or just Oxygen?

If an animal could photosynthesize would it need to breathe since it makes its own? Also if it does breathe, would it exhale CO2 or Oxygen?
Flirtz's user avatar
  • 41
11 votes
7 answers
3k views

Will changing the range of EM that my aliens can see affect how they can relate colors to humans?

We have humans, who can see in the spectrum of 380-740 nm. Let’s take the aliens, who can see in the spectrum of 500-860 nm. This gives them vision into the infrared. They also cannot see purple as ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
695 views

Equal exchange on Ahmokea

Me and my friend have a passion project where we mainly focus on a habitable planet; Ahmokea. For a little while we wanted to include ammonia in the atmosphere on a large scale so it could be part of ...
StellarMike's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
136 views

What chemicals could convert CO2 into oxygen within a living organism?

I'm trying to create an original species within semi-realistic biological constraints. I need a way for a giant (7-8 feet long) arthropod to convert large amounts of CO2 into breathable oxygen for ...
Brimstone's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
251 views

A creature gaining Energie through Movement [closed]

I basically have a Facultative anaerobic organism that lives in space (not from another planet but the vacuum of space) and the creature needs to travel to survive. It's not just movement that keeps ...
Lumi's user avatar
  • 19
0 votes
1 answer
102 views

Questions about Pycocyanin [closed]

Okay, so I have been reading on phycocyanin for blue plants, for a spec bio project, and I have several questions. Which are all closely related in terms of how it functions.They are essentially all ...
DanceroftheStars's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Minimum amount of land a planet can have and still be habitable?

I read in a paper, posted by L.Dutch, that: It turns out that water worlds may be some of the worst places to look for living things. One study presented at the meeting shows how a planet covered in ...
DanceroftheStars's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
150 views

Is silicon-based blood possible?

I'm building a project featuring several very exotic alien worlds, one of which I had a question about the blood of aliens since the amount of Metals like iron are scarce, so I opted for something ...
M. S. Cancris 's user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
3k views

How do serpentine aliens move their eggs to reach tall trees?

Imagine there lives a serpentine alien species on a hospitable terrestrial planet in a galaxy far far away, they are found around the swampy area and the entire place will become waterlogged during ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 47.8k
1 vote
2 answers
203 views

How could the Electrokinesis of this race I’ve created be enhanced by Pyrokinesis?

Ok, so in one of my stories, there’s an extraterrestrial species known as the Zareians, which possess a variety of superpowers. Much like humans, there are a variety of races of Zareians, each one ...
Godzilla Louise's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
500 views

Could alkaline digestive system work?

So a human digestive system is generally acidic, especially at the stomach part, when it goes down to even 1.5 pH. Similar things must be happening in other mammals and to an extent, probably in all ...
Yulian's user avatar
  • 442
8 votes
8 answers
1k views

Are Liquid Brains Possible or Viable?

I'm designing an alien species roughly based on starfish. Starfish in the real world don't have brains or blood, they just let seawater run their nervous and circulatory systems, but I figure a ...
Julia Lang's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
6k views

How long would it take humans to notice a civilization on Venus?

Now I know this is a very weird and impossible question, there is clearly no civilization on Venus. But for the sake of the story I'm cooking up in my head, Venus remains habitable and develops life ...
Dono's user avatar
  • 181
1 vote
5 answers
238 views

How would researchers on an alien planet be able to support their dietary requirements?

A group of scientists travels to a newly discovered planet shown to support life in the form of plants and animals. Obviously they can only bring so much food with them so at some point they would ...
PompousPamplemouse 's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
107 views

How reasonable is my hypothesis regarding ring-tailed orthostatic bipeds?

So, in my process of designing humanoid/humanesque sapient aliens, I often find myself wanting to have a species which are orthostatic (upright) bipeds like humans but which nonetheless have long ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
184 views

Is my alien foot design viable for a compromise between arboreality and cursoriality?

I keep trying to design humanoid and humanesque sapient aliens, but I often run into issues with the feet; In an orthostatic biped, an enlarged first toe (big toe) is probably essential to maintain ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
121 views

How could my organism lose most of its water?

I'm writing a short hard-science story about an organism that loses most of its water much like tardigrades before entering dormancy but this organism is the size of a cat, how could I explain this ...
Z Z's user avatar
  • 65
1 vote
2 answers
137 views

Could Aluminum-Based Placoderm-like Tooth Structure Break a Human Skull?

I have a monster in mind, but a major part of its introduction to the story is that I want to have it bite a human soldier's skull clean off. Its teeth are similar in structure to a Placoderm's, but ...
TheDarkeLordeReturns's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Muons as an Energy Source for Life

I had an idea of making a bacterium use muons from cosmic rays for energy storage purposes. Muons are heavier versions of electrons, but unlike electrons, they aren't very stable and last only for 2.2 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 945
6 votes
3 answers
294 views

Plausibility of life emerging and evolving on gas giant moons?

I have been working on the setting for a hard speculative biology/evolution project that for now will simply be referred to as the Gemini Project, and the main issue I've been having is whether or not ...
LordMalecith's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
199 views

Could a planet 2 times the mass of earth have floating organisms in its skies

Can a planet 2 times the mass of earth have floating animals in its skys? I watched the netflix documentary series ailen world's and one of the exoplanets atlas was high gravity but was very dense so ...
Jerry Robinson's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
4k views

How plausible might planimals be, and what would they be like?

This question is in relation to speculative biology/evolution: A genre of science fiction and hypothetical branch of science which seeks to explore "what if" questions about life using ...
LordMalecith's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
356 views

Insectoids and the concept of 'eating well' [closed]

In this project of mine a species of sapient, spacefaring insectoids exists among humans and humanoid species. The insectoids are puzzled by something in humanoid cultures- specifically the idea of ...
king of panes's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
123 views

How to support the evolution of a giant creature across generations [closed]

In my story, in which I want to rely on scientific logic as much as possible, I want a creature to evolve to become at least the size of a country and you can live in space. The means of evolution for ...
The villager's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
393 views

Symbiotic brain [closed]

I like to take mythological humanoid creatures and reimagine them in multiple species of primates. For instance, wendigos are just skinny-but-strong gigantopithecus that wear bones/skull of their prey....
lollo259's user avatar
  • 433
2 votes
1 answer
247 views

Indium and Gallium Toxicity: Part 2

Note: This is the second part of a question. The first part can be found here. Incorporating some feedback from the answers I got to the question above, I have made a few changes. Here is some ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 945
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Indium and Gallium Toxicity: Part 1 [closed]

I am making a planet and my crust is rich in gallium and its heavy counterpart, indium from a cosmic fluke (gallium and indium are both at a concentration of about 0.01% in the crust). However, most ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 945
3 votes
2 answers
173 views

Fingers with extra joints

The second and third editions of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game featured a humanoid race (named an Arcane in 2nd edition and a Mercane in later editions) with a particular anatomical quirk,...
king of panes's user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
611 views

Is there a maximum number of fingers a species can have in each hand? [closed]

We have 5 fingers in each hand (10 fingers in both hands). So we count in a base of 10 (decimal base) which has the accepted digits of 0 to 9. Higher bases have more accepted digits; for example ...
Snack Exchange's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
128 views

Adaptations for a planet with high atmospheric pressure, to avoid nitrogen narcosis?

I'm building a some hypothetical habitable planets for a book, and one of these planets has a thick atmosphere (around 10 bar). I'm not sure if it's even possible, but I want to figure out how the ...
Elhammo's user avatar
  • 975
1 vote
1 answer
124 views

My humanoid aliens inhabit a rainforest planet and are super smart -- what do they look like? [closed]

I'm currently working on a sci-fi game and need some ideas for one of the alien species. They live on a rain forest planet and are one of the most intelligent species in the game. They also need to be ...
SpaceBrandCereal's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
392 views

Feasibility of a convergent neural code across species?

I've got a sort of "mind-reading" system involving interpretation of electric fields/impulses in the brain, basically an advanced BCI (brain-computer interface), but the key point of this ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 889
3 votes
1 answer
122 views

How to Optimize CO2 and H2 Intake for a Sessile Methane-Producing Organism

What features, in addition to maximizing surface area, are necessary to optimize the intake of CO2 and H2 for a sessile, multicellular methanogenic organism? This organism lives at depths of 10 ...
Jhusky's user avatar
  • 53
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Xenon Anesthetic Hazard

I have been designing a planet with an atmosphere of about: Nitrogen (N2) - 61.5% Oxygen (O2) - 21% Neon (Ne) - 15.5% Xenon (Xe) - 1% Water Vapor (H2O) - 0.5% Argon (Ar) - 0.479% Carbon Dioxide (CO2) ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 945
5 votes
1 answer
328 views

Ammonia transporting blood

Okay essentially I am designing an alien ecosystem with an ammonia and methane based metabolism. Here's the formula for the metabolism animal analogs use on this planet: $$\ce{3CH2O + 4NH3 -> 3CH4 +...
Venik Hue's user avatar
  • 1,222
5 votes
4 answers
295 views

What explanations can be used for how a humanoid's body is able to spontaneously combust as a natural part of its early stage decomposition?

Some form of chemical reaction interacting with the digestive system for a start?
Red Axer's user avatar
  • 121
5 votes
2 answers
304 views

How deep underwater can red photosynthesis work?

The Setting: I have a binary star system. First star: K5.2V class Orange Dwarf, 60% the mass of Sol, 17% luminosity of Sol, and at 4.5 billion years old. This star is the only one with a planetary ...
Atlas the Worldbuilder's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
274 views

Are there any alternative genetic systems which could allow for the development of emergent complexity?

DISCLAIMER: I am an (intensely interested) layman, not a scientist. Please take my summation of the following concepts accordingly. I'm currently trying to worldbuild a plausible alien species down to ...
the-protean's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
288 views

How would a hydrogen breathing Life-form respire?

What kind of cellular structure converts hydrogen and oxygen to water and vice-versa. If have calculated the energy released by the combustion of oxygen and hydrogen to be 572 kJ enough to create 22 ...
Jhusky's user avatar
  • 53
8 votes
6 answers
1k views

Biological human-alien language barrier

Something I've been pondering- spacefaring humanity makes contact with alien species who, while being intelligent enough to learn to understand human languages, their throats or vocal cords (assuming ...
king of panes's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
320 views

High Gravity Giant Shell

I am designing a genus of eusocial, high-temperature, extraterrestrials from the planet 61 Virginis b. They are based on tungsten chloride and use sodium chloride as a solvent. This species has ...
Amoeba's user avatar
  • 3,743
5 votes
3 answers
191 views

Is there any plausible way for dry-vacuum based biology to evolve?

Basically instead of being what we would call wet nanotechnology which is what our biology could be described as, imagine if you will, organisms that evolved from 'dry nanotechnology' who are native ...
Demiurge777's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
238 views

Is there any way a species could evolve to run across lava using the leidenfrost effect?

So far all I really know is that the leidenfrost effect would work, just not exactly how the species would have evolved it, but I do know it would require a store of water, likely like that of a camel....
Roku Johnson's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
97 views

How does this microbe recognize specific chemical patterns?

This species of bacteria is electroreceptive, and when it receives an input pattern of electric spikes, it can “translate” that input pattern into a pattern of chemical signals internally via its ...
inkwell87's user avatar
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