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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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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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
178 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 ...
Chromatic Realms's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
760 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
3 votes
1 answer
164 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-...
user107900's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
109 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
3 votes
0 answers
82 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 ...
Zip Zap's user avatar
  • 105
3 votes
1 answer
58 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
2 votes
1 answer
189 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
2 votes
4 answers
125 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
3 votes
1 answer
124 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 ...
Mishima's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
100 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
5 votes
0 answers
129 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, ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
5 votes
1 answer
96 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://...
Christopher Bennett's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
106 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
3 votes
3 answers
160 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 ...
Baron_vonCernogratz's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
562 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 ...
Hewholooksskyward's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
257 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
4 votes
3 answers
132 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 ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
2 votes
1 answer
95 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, ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
3 votes
1 answer
126 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 ...
New_Archaeoceti_325's user avatar
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, ...
Neil Iyer's user avatar
  • 1,452
8 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
New_Archaeoceti_325's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
95 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 ...
BubbleQueen's user avatar
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 ...
Anthony Khodanian's user avatar
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 ...
alkahest's user avatar
  • 1,161
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
  • 45.4k
2 votes
0 answers
115 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
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 ...
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
706 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
172 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
256 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
107 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
171 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
  • 48k
1 vote
2 answers
208 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
523 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
  • 462
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
245 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
116 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
197 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
122 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
142 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
  • 1,452
6 votes
3 answers
312 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

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