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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.

18
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17answers
5k views

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 ...
4
votes
6answers
93 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
148 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
669 views

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 ...
10
votes
10answers
3k views

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, ...
2
votes
4answers
132 views

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 ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
200 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

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 ...
26
votes
13answers
9k views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
124 views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
526 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
87 views

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 ...
2
votes
6answers
224 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
175 views

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 ...
5
votes
4answers
359 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
469 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
230 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
148 views

How can I change life on a planet and the presence of Nitrogen in the nitrogen cycle and what effects are there [on hold]

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
128 views

How could the Tayan keep its victims from moving?

Below the surface of Dalia, there exists a monstrous beast that eats humanoids alive. This creature is called the Tayan. The Tayan is 150 feet tall, and 35 feet wide. It nests itself underground, and ...
0
votes
3answers
85 views

Human Survival on Alien Flora/Fauna [duplicate]

Allow me to pose yet another hypothetical. Your spaceship has crash-landed on an earth-like planet. The air is breathable. The gravity is a bearable 1.2 g. The planet is teeming with fauna and ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

Is a species that uses males of related species plausible?

I'm worldbuilding a species X that doesn't have males. All members are females. X reproduces sexually using males from related species Z. There it combines the shared chromosomes but passes unique ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Alternative origins for the lungs

The terrestrial "vertebrates" of my planet must breathe air, and therefore must have lungs of some kind. They are descended from fish-like creatures, which breathe through gills. However, I would ...
-2
votes
1answer
134 views

Deep-space species [closed]

How feasible are these characteristics for a species based on Earth-like biology? Living entirely in space. That is, being able to survive in a vacuum. Having a method to propel itself without using ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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
159 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
209 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
274 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
290 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
237 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
96 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
508 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
98 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
235 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
317 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
209 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
199 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
219 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
474 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
99 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
16answers
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
132 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
56 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
144 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
161 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
87 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?