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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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2 votes
2 answers
411 views

How would living underground (bioluminescence) affect a humanoid race?

I'm writing a story set in a Middle Ages type setting (Game of Thrones, LOTR style). In the story, I have a race of people who are "faeries", based off of Celtic legend and lore. They're associated ...
13 votes
10 answers
3k views

How much time is needed to judge an Earth-like planet to be safe?

A colony ship has been sent to deep space to colonize an earth-like planet. Through astronomical spectroscopy, the atmospheric composition was found to be suitable for human life. But of course, ...
-1 votes
0 answers
67 views

Mercury-based synthetic blood

I've been describing a synthetic biopunk style rocky planet with lakes of blood, a metallic surface and a variety of organisms with various substances that wouldn't be in terrestrial organisms, and ...
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Could alien species with blood based on different elements eat the same food?

In my Science Fantasy galaxy, I have several humanoid alien species with blood based on different elements, including iron (essentially human blood), copper (like Vulcans from Star Trek with green ...
5 votes
2 answers
237 views

Can a Pterosaur-style wing membrane attach directly to the exoskeleton?

art by ticklemecthulhu In my world of arthropod-like creatures (in that most of the creatures have an exoskeleton rather than an endoskeleton), I wished for a group of my aliens to convergely evolve ...
16 votes
17 answers
5k views

Can a reproductive system that allows interspecies breeding be made believable?

I have in mind this alien species that can reproduce with humans. The result will always be of the same species as the alien; the human is used only to vary the genetics so the newborn won't be a ...
6 votes
3 answers
815 views

Could alien microorganisms "infect" our own microbiome clouds and then "pollinate" us?

I'm trying to make my idea make sense. I wanted to create an parasitic/symbiotic alien species which reproduces/breeds by air or touch, which they are unaware of. They do not understand why their ...
5 votes
0 answers
154 views

Blood on this ammonia planet

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and is 2.3 earth radii long. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some dissolved water ice, ...
9 votes
9 answers
2k views

How do floating plants get their trace nutrients?

The planet is a cold ammonia world. Its ocean is mostly made ammonia, with some traces of ices (mostly water ice) at the bottom of the ocean. The ambient temperature is 225ºK, and the pressure is 4 ...
4 votes
4 answers
650 views

Possible binding agent for Chlorine in blood?

It is as the title says, is there any good agent for binding to chlorine in blood, for fauna that respirate such a thing. Like iron bonds to oxygen in our own blood, in order to transport it? I tried ...
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

What are some biochemical alternatives to carbon?

I am making a universe and I thought that it would be unrealistic for all life forms in my entire universe to be based upon carbon. I am aware of silicon as a possible replacement, but I'm looking ...
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Could an exomoon be bombarded by electromagnetic radiation from its parent gas giant and still be habitable enough for life to evolve? [closed]

What I'm trying to accomplish here is having a setting where complex electronics are not feasible or so difficult to shield that they're not worth the time. Mechanical technology is the rule on this ...
2 votes
0 answers
60 views

RE: Built In Terrariums [closed]

Back again! Hi, I've decided to add context to this question and my previous oneby providing how I'd think the environment would work, as well as the relationship between the host and terrarium ...
2 votes
1 answer
124 views

How do these plants capture cosmic rays?

The planet is a cold ammonia world. Its ocean is mostly made ammonia, with some traces of ices (mostly water ice) at the bottom of the ocean. The ambient temperature is 225ºK, and the pressure is 4 ...
2 votes
2 answers
199 views

How plausible is a Cryovenom?

In my science-fantasy world there is a creature that secretes a venom (called a cryovenom) whose proteins catalyze a spontaneous crystallization of the water inside the interstitial fluids and ...
5 votes
3 answers
771 views

How do these trees not collapse? [closed]

I'm currently building a planet, an ammonia world with an average temperature of 225ºK and has a mass of 2 earth masses and a radius of 1.25 earth radii. The average pressure at sea level is 4 ...
3 votes
1 answer
133 views

Could a biological organism power itself with electricity like a smartphone (or something similar)?

Imagine an alien world where there are are shallow lakes where electricity generating beings (like electric eels or whatever) would power many of the land dwelling creatures, including the dominant ...
7 votes
1 answer
329 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
177 views

Designing giant space creatures becomes a popular fad in a super advanced post-scarcity society. How large can space creatures get?

This is a completely post-scarcity society. Robots and automated systems run the economy and most research. AIs are commonplace, and available to all in the human-like, completely obedient, and super-...
11 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is it possible for a creature to exist as a biological nuclear reactor?

This is somewhat different to this question on the possibility of biological fusion reactors as I am curious if a living FISSION reactor is more plausible.
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

Beryllium photosynthesis for floating plants?

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and it's radius is 2.3 times larger than that of earth's. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with ...
3 votes
1 answer
131 views

How does life on this planet get enough iridium?

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and it's radius is 2.3 times larger than that of earth's. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with ...
3 votes
3 answers
165 views

A Better Genetic Polymer?

This is a long one. (TLDR at the bottom) The prospect of alternative genetic polymers has attracted the interest of people for almost as long as we have known about DNA. Indeed, many alternative ...
1 vote
3 answers
376 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 ...
4 votes
0 answers
94 views

Pathogenic Hive-Intelligence When Critical Mass is Reached

Could there be a virus or amoeba or protist or bacteria (or fungal but that is over-used in pop culture) that infects humans (and possibly other lifeforms) that by itself is not sentient but as they ...
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

Fire-analog on an ammonia planet

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and it's radius is 2.3 times larger than that of earth's. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with ...
2 votes
4 answers
139 views

How would these floating plants not need to constantly adjust their gas bladder?

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and it's radius is 2.3 times larger than that of earth's. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with ...
4 votes
1 answer
113 views

How would these floating plants concentrate neon?

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and it's radius is 2.3 larger than that of earth's. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some ...
5 votes
1 answer
97 views

What's an effective swimming stroke for a species with gliding membranes?

I'm writing about an alien species of lean-bodied, long-limbed bipeds who have vestigial gliding membranes stretching between their elbows and hips (female) or knees (male); see: https://...
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Life in the core of a rocky planet

Background First of all, I’d like to state that I know the entire premise of this question is hypothetical and the life probably quite unlikely to form in the first place at best. Despite that, I’d ...
4 votes
2 answers
266 views

Xeno Nucleic acids on an ammonia planet

Background I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and is 2.3 earth radii long. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some dissolved ...
4 votes
3 answers
136 views

Radiosynthesis using radon?

I have made a few chemosynthetic and photosynthetic organisms as bases of the food chain for my worldbuilding project, and I thought why not make a radiosynthetic one? Radon forms from the decay of ...
3 votes
3 answers
570 views

How could an alien race convert an Oxygen-Nitrogen atmosphere into a Methane one?

For a story I'm working on, humanity meets an alien race of aggressive methane breathers, whose technology is as much biological as it is mechanical. When they locate a suitable planet for ...
2 votes
1 answer
105 views

Chlorophyll-alternatives for plants in an Ammonia planet

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and is 2.3 earth radii long. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some dissolved water ice, ...
5 votes
2 answers
91 views

Microorganism chemosynthesis on an Ammonia planet

I am currently building a planet that weighs about 4 earth masses and is 2.3 earth radii long. It is an ammonia planet (as the title suggests), and has ammonia oceans with some dissolved water ice, ...
3 votes
1 answer
128 views

How could a Massive Animal Thermoregulate?

In my world, there are massive vertebrate creatures that live on the planet's savannahs and rainforests. Alongside others that live in the frigid south pole and deep in the ocean trenches. I'm ...
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is Plausibility of a Megalodon sized creature attacking a human? [closed]

I have a speculative zoology world with large sea creatures. The astrobiologists don't have a submarine, but they have hi-tech scuba suits. I'm wondering about the reasons for why such large creatures ...
23 votes
5 answers
5k views

What else is involved in "silicon based" life?

Silicon is often brought up in science fiction as being very similar to carbon, just below it on the periodic table. The silicon-based "organic" molecules are more tightly bound and thus would find a ...
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

How do you determine age of a humanoid species comparative to humans?

In my book, there are humans and there are Shaye, a humanoid species that are a little like harpies but with other features that distinguish them. Comparitively to humans, they live far longer so the ...
9 votes
10 answers
4k views

How would a sentient species without technology derive General Relativity?

I can expound on the specifics, but simply put my species is the only sentient one on their planet, receive their energy from photosynthesis, and are otherwise completely closed systems, recycling ...
16 votes
9 answers
3k views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
257 views

Biped species with trunk evolved to use for locomotion

So currently in my speculative evolution scenario, I have a creature with an elongated trunk that it uses for rock climbing. This species transitions to a savannah like lifestyle and I was wondering ...
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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
120 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 ...
10 votes
5 answers
350 views

What mechanism for the transmission of signals between neurons can be faster than our sodium-potassium?

I decided to describe the evolution of scientifically plausible alien creatures and thought about how alien neurons can transmit signals to each other and is it possible in theory some mechanism that ...
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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
184 views

How would a bioengineered warbeast get energy from fossil fuel products?

In the somewhat far future, mankind has become fairly adept at wet nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Allowing them to not just modify what exists in nature, but build beyond it with almost ...
2 votes
2 answers
97 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
317 views

Alternate Biology/Xenoforming:Could the moon have a Chlorine atmosphere?

So I have this idea that a super advanced being travels across the galaxy and is terraforming/xenoforming every planet that CAN be modified for life, not just Carbon based Earthlike lifeforms but ...

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