Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

0
votes
0answers
10 views

Adrenaline-fueled cognition

So, I'm currently toying around with the idea of a hypercarnivorous sapient race on a planet in my universe, and I'd like to make them scary, but without abiding only by the "rule of cool". (Also note ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

Brine pool ecosystems

(Question in highlighted text) So, the chances are that you've heard of brine pools, which form when methane erupting from the seabed expose ancient salt deposits - the concentrated salt mixes with ...
0
votes
0answers
87 views

Sentient, but not Sapient Aliens [on hold]

I'm working on a hardish sci-fi setting that focuses on people colonizing a planet. I've come to the conclusion that I want to include sentient, but not sapient alien flora and fauna. I've been trying ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Would wide hips be a wiser evolutionary trait for digitigrade, biped humanoids?

I was asking a deviantART.com artist why they often draw their anthros and furries with wide hips regardless of gender, and they told me this (copypasting): "I'll see if I can't whip something up for ...
0
votes
2answers
250 views

If a human had metal bones that were completely inflexible, would this cause any ill effects?

I've got a subspecies of human, Homo Volantes, that has been designed to live both in zero-G and in surface gravity. Several adaptations have been made, one of them including the replacement of ...
5
votes
5answers
274 views

Why would a biped evolve into a monoped?

Say that you have a medium-sized, bipedal, vertebrate-like creature. It no longer has the need to have arms, so they atrophied until they disappeared entirely. Now imagine an animal that shares ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

How can my creature keep sand out of its mouth?

Excerpt from the great Dalian Holy Book ”The Dark God, the Tayan, was first formed when the gods above sent a curse down to the surface, to remind our people of our dependence on our gods. If the ...
2
votes
5answers
220 views

On what conditions would a four-eyed creature evolve to have six eyes?

I'm designing an alien world on which its creatures evolved from four-eyed early life forms. However, there is a fair amount of other beings that have six or even eight eyes. How could such creatures ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Could a species evolve a defensive ability to excrete a super acid?

I am working on creating a sapient reptilian species from a mineral-rich Planet that has very little flora. I was wanting this species to use a super acid (specifically fluoroantimonic acid) excreted ...
6
votes
6answers
497 views

How can my Tayan creature excrete waste, whilst buried underground?

Beneath the sands of the Planet Dalia, their lives an abominable creature, a creature that eats beings whole and slowly, slowly digests them for years at a time. This creature is...The Tayan. ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Can the cooperative eye hypothesis still exist in eyes with no sclerae?

I just want big cat eyes (i.e., lions, tigers, etc.) in a humanoid that can be just as expressive as a human's yet not having our very conspicuous eye-whites. Doable, yes or no?
-2
votes
4answers
217 views

Logical reason why this creature saves its digested victims consciousness?

So, there is a monstrous creature called the Tayan. It was created many thousand years ago by a hyper advanced race that created it as a sort of biological torture mechanism. It’s so huge it can ...
13
votes
5answers
265 views

How might kinetosynthesizing “plants” look?

Suppose that there is a moon, orbiting a gas giant, and that gas giant is a rogue planet - it moves freely through the universe, unbound by the gravity of a star. This means that one, the moon will ...
-2
votes
6answers
202 views

Is it possible for an alien organism to survive on earth?

Let's assume that our intelligent alien organism is living on an earth like planet with an atmosphere but higher gravity. Its world is on the verge of doom. Somehow it could make it to earth with a ...
3
votes
4answers
189 views

Flying Nightmare

I found this thing source: http://aliens.wikia.com/wiki/Flying_Nightmare In its dormancy it folds itself and it rooted to the ground. However when it detects prey, it hovers above and engulfs its ...
4
votes
4answers
183 views

What would the biochemistry of a vacuum dwelling creature look like?

I'm playing around with a story idea that includes vacuum dwelling intelligent life, but I'm not sure I understand the constraints of biochemistry I need to deal with. There's lots of potential ...
4
votes
12answers
463 views

How to escape from a Tayan’s maw?

So, there is a great beast called the Tayan. It burrows itself into the ground, and eats all creatures unfortunate enough to fall in. The Tayan’s throat has muscles that push food down into its ...
-2
votes
2answers
95 views

Made of Metal: effects on society? [closed]

Writing a story about a civilisation of humans with either metal a) skin or b) skeletal systems. Setting: 1800-1900s on a fictional land that has both desert & rainforest. I felt the Middle-East/...
8
votes
15answers
1k views

What is a plausible reason why the creature keeps its victims alive in this stomach?

On planet Dalia, there exists a creature that supplies Dalians with horrific fear. The Tayan. Tayan is similar to the Earth pitcher plant, and employs similar methods to capture prey. XENOBIOLOGY ...
7
votes
4answers
115 views

Are Extraterrestrial's pagoda trees plausible?

In the National Geographic mini-series Extraterrestrial or Alien Worlds, they featured a hypothetical gas giant moon called the Blue Moon. The Blue Moon orbits a binary star, has a very dense ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Planet-sized creatures floating in breathable system-wide atmosphere

In the future, we created a Dyson Swarm. Each node (which I'd like to call a Gigalga) is an asteroid-sized, biotechnological, space-adapted, sentient plant that speaks the same evolved language as we ...
1
vote
5answers
132 views

Boneless Humanoid - Is it possible?

In my story there is a humanoid alien race, that looks almost exactly like humans, but as you might have guessed, are boneless. Just to be clear, I'm not interested in reasons why they would evolve ...
2
votes
5answers
152 views

Evolutionary reasons for humanoid species to develop third eye

I have a humanoid species that developed a third eye in their forehead and was wondering what could be the reason they evolved this way or what advantages it would bring?
2
votes
4answers
77 views

What would be evolutionary reasons for a humanoid species to develop multiple arms?

I have a species that is humanoid but has two sets of arms and I was wondering what reasons there could be for why they evolved that way?
21
votes
12answers
3k views

Other than tentacles and jointed digits, what methods of holding items are there that provide similar dexterity?

I'm trying to envision a creature that is highly dexterous, and adept at using tools, but every time I try to think of a possible grasping appendage, the only two I come up with are either tentacle ...
-3
votes
3answers
87 views

Is the evolution of my aliens realistic?

So, I have thought about the evolution of my aliens and how they could evolve things like lactation but still retain their reptilian characteristics. Here is my best thought about it so far: ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Would a nictitating membrane, eyelid AND eyelashes get in each other's way in the same eye?

Or would that eye be the most well-defended from external debris and whatnot in the entire world? Cats seem to get by just fine without eyelids and a membrane but no eyelashes...likewise humans with ...
11
votes
1answer
180 views

How could an Earth-like planet develop huge pinkish-purple forests on ocean surfaces?

I'd really like to write a story taking place on an alien world that involves a totally new kingdom of life, and I'd like it to be at least somewhat realistic. The idea I have right now is a whole ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Are there alternative ways aliens would think and feel emotions?

Before I start, let me say that I know that what animals think and feel and whether they do it is a highly, highly debated topic. But, for this question, let us just assume that many animals think - ...
38
votes
17answers
9k views

How would a tripedal animal walk?

Animals on Earth have 2 or 4 legs they use for walking. On another world, however, animals have 3. I want to know how these animals will walk. How will their legs be placed and how will they move them ...
6
votes
2answers
794 views

How would coral reefs thrive on this super-earth world?

I have a super-earth world. The surface of the world is shallower due to extra gravity, so shorter mountain ranges and less ocean depths. The world orbits a binary star system at a distance of the ...
1
vote
5answers
215 views

Why might obesity be seen as attractive in their culture?

So, on the Jungle world of Qualis, the Qualian species evolved from small, tiny lizards to intelligent humanoid who dominated their planet. They built cities, from small towns to large metropolises, ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Could there be a helium based life form somewhere in the universe?

I've been thinking, could there possibly be an organism that is based on the element of helium? If yes, what would it look like? (Images are welcome)
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What biology could effectively get a species “drunk” on sugar?

So, I’m designing an alien race, called the ___________. They live on planet ________. My question is, what type of biology could make creature get effects similar to alcohol, but with sugar?
6
votes
2answers
104 views

Vision on Titan/Early Earth and the technicalities of a creature seeing in near infrared

I am trying to develop an alien species that could live on Titan and at first I supposed it would be easy with the species being able to use yellow, red and near-infrared wavelengths of light to see. ...
2
votes
3answers
174 views

Creature Design: Wind world ectotherm

Premise By definition, an ectotherm uses environmental heat sources to regulate its own body temperature. The most common forms of body heat regulation that we observe from ectotherms here on Earth ...
11
votes
10answers
4k views

Liquid nitrogen blood?

Would it be possible for an alien species to have liquid nitrogen for its blood? What would be required for that to work? What kind of environment would it need to exist in?
12
votes
1answer
719 views

Would it be possible for a non-aquatic species to exhibit bioelectrogenesis?

This is my first post on these forums, sorry if I've accidentally overlooked any rules or etiquette. Please let me know if more detail is necessary or would be helpful. This question is about a ...
8
votes
4answers
743 views

Is this DNA absorbing creature possible?

I imagined a creature that would have an expanded lifespan thanks to a regular production of stem cells that would replace the damaged cells. During its very long lifetime, when it eats food (the ...
7
votes
3answers
180 views

Nostrils? why not feathery tentacles?

Simple question I think, I have some Idea of the answer but would like the ol' second opinion. Vertebrates use olfactory glands in their nostrils (or thereabouts) to sense smell, as well as the roof ...
-1
votes
2answers
139 views

What would be a scientific explanation for photon control? [closed]

I have a character who's power is essentially taking control of photons and forcing them to act like atoms to form a sort of "light mass". The character in question isn't a human although they look ...
9
votes
3answers
224 views

Is Space Algae Plausible?

Is it possible for massive clumps of algae to evolve and survive in deep space? Let's say there is an expanding red star in a system with asteroids and planets once containing organic molecules, and ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Alternative skeleton material for an Earth-like planet

On earth, the skeletons of Osteicthyes and all their descendants are made of a mixture of collagen and calcium. We can do this because Earth contains food sources for all these animals containing ...
15
votes
3answers
830 views

Under what pressure/temperature conditions could ammonia or hydrogen fluoride play the role of water in an alien ecosystem?

From my understanding, many of the features of water that make it very important for Earth's ecosystem are a result of oxygen's high electronegativity, which results in hydrogen bonding. As nitrogen ...
29
votes
13answers
4k views

Can a planet harbor plants of different colors without one pigment outcompeting the others?

On Earth, all plants are green because they contain the pigment chlorophyll, which photosynthesizes by absorbing all light except green light. However, it is quite possible - if not likely - that ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Can a large animal get nutrition from minerals?

Lithotrophy is a phenomenon known from microscopic life, where an organism converts inorganic substances, usually minerals, into energy. So, we know that a single-celled life form can do this, but ...
6
votes
3answers
181 views

How would height be affected in an exoskeleton-based humanoid?

I've been curious about writing about a very durable exoskeleton humanoid species, but I have wondered about how the extra weight of a thick exoskeleton would affect their height. I do not see them ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Sugar-bomb tree mechanics

I'm developing a tree that has a peculiar fruit. Instead of having water in said fruit, there is nothing but sugar. The tree pumps sugar into a hollow orb which slowly "bakes," caramelizing into an ...
5
votes
2answers
138 views

Could Organic systems ever power circuits?

I have a race of mainly insectoid aliens known as the Erepo who have virtually bioengineered a ecosystem around themselves. Now I currently have them using either organic systems they can "grow" or ...
1
vote
3answers
153 views

How could a humanoid baby glow from hunger?

I assume whatever organs are used for the bioluminescence must be inside the baby's abdomen and specialized for bioluminescence and since the glow is gone entirely at 6 months, those organs must die ...