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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6 votes
7 answers
3k views

Is it possible for a living creature to have no need for oxygen or some other gas

Is it possible for a multicellular living creature to have no need to intake oxygen or some other gas? So this question came to mind when I was pondering the plausibility of space-dwelling life forms. ...
5 votes
3 answers
131 views

Could my planet sustain life?

Could my rogue planet sustain/evolve complex multicellular life in its oceans? Details The planet is very volcanically/tectonically active. The planet is about 1.25 the size of earth. The planet has a ...
0 votes
0 answers
70 views

Evolution of animals with more than two sexes [duplicate]

On Earth, while there are organisms with more than two sexes, especially fungi with their many "mating types", such breeding systems have never evolved on larger creatures, the main ...
2 votes
1 answer
84 views

Hydrostatic skeletons on a low gravity world

So I'm working on an inhabited planet with around half the gravity of Earth (assume everything else is the same, just the gravity differs). While thinking about what kinds of terrestrial creatures ...
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Would it be biologically possible to have a species that use a photochromic material instead of an iris to control light intensity?

So in real life there is glasses that use photochromic lens to adapt to the light intensity Would it be biologically possible to have a species that use a photochromic material instead of an iris to ...
5 votes
2 answers
162 views

Alt. Biochemistry - Which of these is a suitable alternative/mirror to DNA?

This question is tied to the “Glass Trees” question I asked earlier which everyone seemed to like. Since y’all had such good opinions on that, I figured I’d bring this particular quandary to y’all in ...
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Abiogenesis ocurring inside an organism

Some time ago I pondered about where does our gut microbiome come from, and upon research it apparently comes from outside, of course, but then in a speculative biology kind of way I envisioned an ...
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Glass Trees - how feasible is it?

Edit: For clarification, this question is in regards to silicate use in carbon-based biochemistry, not silica-based biochemistries. The microorganisms you see above are called diatoms; they are a ...
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could a plant analogue have a temporary motile phase?

I've seen somewhat similar questions to this one (mostly about outright mobile plants or "planimals") but the idea I'm trying to conceive for my worldbuilding is not exactly that so I wanted ...
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4 votes
2 answers
282 views

Can a creature have an endoskeleton of chitin and silica?

I've been doing research for the worldbuilding of my planet and I'm going back to design the details of the basic body plan for all creatures. I was interested on using something different than Earth'...
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4 votes
2 answers
529 views

Could supercritical co2 act as a biosolvent?

Let me break it down: Having failed to terraform venus, I am now trying to the process of pantropy to inhabit this world, (pantropy = to adapt humans/Terran life to other planetary environs through ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
62 views

Would creatures with many limbs find creatures with fewer limbs funny looking? [closed]

My story’s alien planet is dominated by eight-limbed vertebrates. The design and purpose of these limbs varies greatly depending on the creature, as it does on Earth, but they generally tend to retain ...
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4 votes
4 answers
152 views

What kind of material could tooth enamel be made out of to change the tooth colour besides iron?

The world I'm making isn't hard science fiction nor science fiction, really, but I'd like to be somewhat realistic in some aspects, like this one. I'd like my humanoid fantasy/alien species to have ...
1 vote
3 answers
225 views

What do you call fishing on a planet where there are no fish? [closed]

When Plato gave Socrates the definition of man as “featherless bipeds,” Diogenes found and plucked a chicken and brought the poor creature into Plato's Academy, placed it on the ground and announced, “...
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2 votes
1 answer
84 views

Could this alien species of scorpion lemurs exist?

I’m working on a third-person shooter game within my sci-fi Safespace setting. The plot isn’t complete, but basically this training robot named Obby is reprogrammed to be a Mechanid (robot with free ...
4 votes
3 answers
117 views

Replacing proteins with starch in alien biochemistry

So, I am trying to come up with forms of alien biochemistry that are different but not so different that these life forms are drinking battery acid or breathing methane. One idea I read about on Orion’...
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1 vote
2 answers
69 views

Could an alien creature plausibly detect human magnetic fields?

I am designing an alien species that evolved to use magnetoreception to aid in navigation on its homeworld in a manner similar to some terrestrial animals. What would it take for an alien creature ...
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6 votes
3 answers
708 views

What are the best shapes plants can use to condense water?

I am currently designing the ecosystem for a planet within my world building project. The quick rundown is that it's tidally locked with its host star and is a very dry planet. I was thinking that one ...
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1 vote
1 answer
121 views

Manage Exotaxonomy [closed]

My story is set on a huge ring megastructure (Banks' Orbital), with properties (E.g. axial tilt, diameter, rotation) that allow it to have an Earth-like atmosphere. The biosphere is similar to the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
96 views

Could alien organisms evolve to utilize Thermoelectric cooling(the Peltier effect) to cool themselves down?

I was brainstorming ideas for my sci-fi world building project and I wanted to make a planet that had more interesting organisms. I had the idea for an extremely hot planet with perhaps a day ...
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2 votes
3 answers
429 views

What would cause glass to replace calcium carbonate in shells?

Sea creatures have some very pretty shells. Unfortunately, these shells are quite opaque, and much more boring to look at than they could be. So what if they were made of glass. It’s not unheard of, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Maximum speed of a slug-like animal

I am designing an alien life form adapted to an Earth-like world, descended from cuttlefish-like ancestors. It has adapted its undulating head-fin as a rippling “foot”, similar to a slug or other ...
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10 votes
2 answers
163 views

A planet with acid rains but its atmosphere is breathable

I am trying to create a planet that rains acid, and that has acidic oceans of water, but a breathable nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. This planet has native lifeforms that have evolved to withstand these ...
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3 votes
1 answer
97 views

Can we modify sportsmen to have muscle latches for spring-action punches and kicks?

Given that safe and reliable genetic modification are relatively common and accessible in my setting, I got interested in all the possibilities and implications that would occur by this, one of these ...
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2 votes
1 answer
86 views

Eyes that work like mirror telescopes [duplicate]

So the thing is, I made a question regarding seeing all of the EM spectrum(or at least all that it's possible through biological means) and someone pointed out that the image would be distorted ...
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2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Leg structure in a shallow sea world [closed]

I am currently building an alien planet that is based around a creative drawing exercise, where I drew an alien with different bug like features. They are bipedal humanoids, but along with other ...
3 votes
2 answers
142 views

Minimal-Hydrogen Carbon-Based Biochemistry in a Hydrogen-Free, Non-Oxygen-Reactive, Non-Oxidising solvent (Such as Liquid CO2)

Over the course of my worldbuilding, I have looked into many alternative substances from which oceans could be composed that would serve as a viable solvent for biochemistry, and I often run into the ...
2 votes
2 answers
74 views

Supercaviating Aquatic Creature

Ever since I watched this video theorizing about how Aquaman could dislocate in water at supersonic speeds via supercavitation I got interested in implementing this hability in some sort of aquatic ...
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4 votes
1 answer
216 views

How can a planet remain in algae bloom over millions of years?

I've been developing a planet for an original scifi setting and I'm not sure if it's scientifically plausible. Said planet is in a state of global algae infestation across all major oceans, resulting ...
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3 votes
1 answer
152 views

How would amphibious cone-aliens have 150 feet of tongue?

The Esuriensi are slick-skinned amphibious cone creatures. They hatch in water and drift on currents for a few days, then hit rock. Once they hit a rock, they anchor to it and live the rest of their ...
-2 votes
2 answers
121 views

How would a sapient species with two tongues organize their language? [closed]

I created a species of catlike aliens called Raachtunami (singular Raachtun) or Tutoans. They have extremely perceptive ears, a syrinx, and two tongues. This allows them to use several human phonetics ...
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

Nibiru hypothesis [duplicate]

Starting from the infamous "Nibiru hypothesis", I'd like to craft a world identical or at least similar to the one described within the works (more SF than Hard Science if you ask me) of ...
4 votes
5 answers
391 views

How can my sapient sea-star centaurs have four different sexes?

The Cochlequestrians (from the Latin for “snail horse”). are a sapient species much older than humans. They have much more advanced technology than other sapients. They resemble Pierson’s ...
6 votes
2 answers
445 views

How Could Bioluminescence work as a Flashlight?

So I have a Koosh-like organism which uses bioluminescence. I've recently realized that there aren't really any organisms on earth which can direct their bioluminescence into a flashlight-like beam (...
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0 votes
2 answers
57 views

What compound could life use to get sulfur from to use as an oxidant?

I'm working on a planet which has a biosphere that breathes sulfur as an oxidant. What is the most efficient gaseous (By "gaseous" I mean gaseous at the temperature of my planet, which is on ...
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0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Can a Biosphere Exist With Sulfur as an Oxidant?

I've been looking a lot at hydrothermal vents recently, because I was making a moon with a subsurface ocean that has life in it, and I found out that Sulfur can be used as an oxidant. My question is: ...
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2 votes
3 answers
670 views

Can my Deep-Sea Creature use its Bioluminescense as a Flashlight to Find Prey?

My intelligent alien species looks like a Koosh Ball: Image Source They use biological "Flashlights" based on bioluminescence which uses sulfur as an oxidizing agent instead of oxygen. ...
  • 401
2 votes
1 answer
96 views

How can a World Produce Oxygen Without Photosynthesis? [duplicate]

My alien species uses bioluminescence for communication. They live at the bottom of an ocean 50km deep. Since there is no light, the ecosphere is based on chemosynthesis. The losest rung of the food ...
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1 vote
2 answers
96 views

Could this be a plausible way for unicellular organisms to possess intelligence?

Basically, instead of neurons, the "brain" consists of organelles that can transmit information and thus function like neurons. Of course, this organism is gonna be super huge to contain all ...
3 votes
1 answer
54 views

Genetically variable cells that through natural selection achieves evolution in a single individual

I posted a question some time ago about how could genetic engineering design people that could adapt to changing conditions beyond what simple acclimatization or activation/deactivation of genes in a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
62 views

Irrigating the muscles with lubricant blood so it loses less energy to heat

Having a character that has denser tissues means that heat could be a problem, right? And because I imagine the human body, after millions of years of evolution, already deals with heat through every ...
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1 vote
2 answers
135 views

Feasibility of genetically engineered human "seismolocation"

So, after watching Because Science's video about spider sensory organs that could enable Spider-Mans' Spider-Sense, where it states that if the slit sensila on the spiders exoskeleton joints were ...
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Would it be possible to have hair/fur that change color quickly (Aka "Chameleon hair/fur")? [duplicate]

I was thinking about replacing melanin with an electrochromic organic material. Basically when you pass a small current in an electrochromic material, it change color depending on the current. Would ...
-1 votes
1 answer
99 views

What plants could live on an island in perpetual darkness? [duplicate]

In my book, an island resides in an area called the Scourgesea. The Scourgesea is a place with perpetual storms and almost complete darkness because of the perpetual dark thunderstorms. Altavista is a ...
10 votes
2 answers
197 views

Could a microbe draw in dust using electretic quartz?

The microbes reside in the rings around a gas giant, adhering to cosmic dust and feeding on sunlight and carbon minerals. While it seems there should be enough collisions to keep the microbes in ...
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10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is there any alternative way to eliminate CO2 buildup than by breathing or even an alternative to cellular respiration that don't produce CO2?

The reason I ask is because I want to create a terrestrial species that hunt fish underwater by holding their breath for hours without having a large lung capacity. In someway they are buffed Bajau ...
3 votes
2 answers
126 views

Could biologically generated flux tubes be a thing?

I have a project about organisms that use ammonia as a solvent. The creatures live on such a cold world that chemical reactions are slow and inefficient. Due to the inefficiencies, the organisms move ...
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5 votes
3 answers
143 views

How does Jimmy Hopkins the giant unicellular organism reproduce?

(Previous Question) Recap: Jimmy Hopkins (yes, that's his name) is a extremely weird organism. For one thing he is extremely large, but on the other hand, he is extremely weird, because of one thing- ...
8 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the most biological energy-dense fuel for a giant unicellular organism?

Jimmy Hopkins (yes, that's his name) is a extremely weird organism. For one thing he is extremely large, but on the other hand, he is extremely weird, because of one thing- He is an unicellular ...
3 votes
2 answers
111 views

Could biological radio be limited to family members?

I have a creature with high-frequency biological radio transmitted via an antenna growing from their heads. However, the creatures can only freely communicate at range with their blood relatives (...
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