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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6 answers
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Is it a reasonable idea that malnutrition can cause insect or other similar types of aliens to lose limbs?

In the creature type I asked about in my last question, there are some lower caste members who seem to have metal limbs. However I don't think they would waste resources to build the legs for lower-...
LucineAura's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can an insectoid race have a flexible exoskeleton?

I'm fond of a insect race in a videogame, and want to base a race off of them, or write a fan fiction, but they flex a bit in the torso, and I wasn't sure... Hope this makes sense. :) Animated ...
LucineAura's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

How far could a planet be from its star and still be kept habitable by intense greenhouse gases?

Epimetheus is a planet with about three times the mass of Earth orbiting a sun-like star in the Andromeda galaxy. However, two major factors separate Epimetheus from Earth. First, it has a thick ...
ckersch's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
168 views

Would it be possible for there to be a life form that has a time symmetric life cycle?

All known life forms have life cycles that are not time symmetric as they look different when time is reversed. I was wondering if there could be a life form that would have a life cycle that would ...
Anders Gustafson's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
1k views

Biophage: A creature that kills all other creatures

Concept: For some twisted reason, a xenocidal space-race living somewhere in our vicinity decides that nothing deserves to exist. So they make a species. Any feasible size, any kingdom. It eats ...
Caleb Woodman's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
201 views

What genetic modifications would make easier for humans to survive on a volcanic planet? [closed]

Humans crash land on a planet filled with volcanoes. The lava flowing from these volcanoes runs in to an acidic sea. Most animal and plant life is in the sea. The animals and plants are much more ...
Bryan McClure's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
453 views

Creating a planetary system that can support six different types of biochemistry

First type - Fluorosilicones in Fluorosilicones, 400° to 500° C Second type - Fluorocarbons in Molten Sulfur, 113° to 445° C Third type - Proteins in Water, 0° to 100° C Fourth type - Proteins ...
Stephanie's user avatar
  • 2,319
4 votes
2 answers
437 views

Growing Alien Eggs

I have an alien species that is my pet project. Now I'm to reproduction, which I have a specific idea for, I'm just not sure exactly how it works. My creatures are aquatic, and everything goes on ...
Xandar The Zenon's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
883 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 ...
Coleps's user avatar
  • 91
5 votes
3 answers
215 views

Could a humanoid species live on top of massive growths of fungi?

Something I'm working on- originally I intended for this particular species to build cities up in the treetops of massive forests, but that's been done before. So I considered maybe they built their ...
king of panes's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
324 views

Making a plant as energy efficient as possible

Essential Question : what adaptations can be made to a crawling vine that would allow them to obtain as much energy as a top level consumer if the vine was on a planet 1 au from a sun sized star?
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
326 views

Methanol/Ethanol (other alcohol) based life-form and its planet? [closed]

This is the second part of my first question, where I've asked about an alien-civilization which uses methanol/ethanol/other alcohol as a solvent instead of water. In this question, I'm more ...
Jotunn's user avatar
  • 616
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Methanol/Ethanol (other alcohol) based life-form - aliens?

Purely hypothetical and kind of creative quesiton. My idea is an alien humanoid-like civilization (and basically everything alive on that planet) which uses methanol/ethanol or other alcohol as a ...
Jotunn's user avatar
  • 616
2 votes
1 answer
384 views

Is there any biochemistry that could support life on a hypothetical moon of Planet Nine?

I know water would be out of the question, but what about liquid nitrogen or liquid hydrogen, Would silicon work instead of carbon?
Stephanie's user avatar
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18 votes
6 answers
3k views

How small can an organism get?

In my world, I am attempting to design a primitive organism to be the ancestor of life on an artificial planet with all chemicals necessary for life. I want the organism to be as small as possible (...
user avatar
9 votes
8 answers
3k views

Does all life have to use Proteins?

I understand that Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen are the source of a lot of great cheap chemistry and I understand why aliens could be made out of those elements. I don't understand though why ...
King-Ink's user avatar
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19 votes
7 answers
4k views

Alternatives to DNA

I am in the process of creating my universe, and have based it on semi-hard science. The universe that I have created is quite extensive, and I thought that it would be unreasonable for the only kind ...
user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
905 views

Making Beaks More like Hands

For a highly intelligent avian dinosaur whose grasping and manipulating appendages have all but vanished, there are options : for the species to evolve beaks that are better fine manipulators, or ...
user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
1k views

Could mammals and dinosaurs coexist as the dominant animal group?

The title is a bit different to the question, but there's a reason to that. I am currently in the worldbuilding stage of creating an alien planet, mainly the wildlife, and I may have run into a ...
XenoDwarf's user avatar
  • 3,637
15 votes
3 answers
770 views

Microbial Civilization Precursors

Would a creature similar to semi-aquatic slime mold living on a mostly freshwater planet with shallow seas be able to build technology to the extent that modern humans do? Assuming that each ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
709 views

Thermosynthetic Life-form

As recommended by another user, on a different question I asked, I pose this new question under the following criteria: The creature I'm trying to create has evolved, though it may not have been ...
Anonymía's user avatar
  • 325
17 votes
6 answers
2k views

Could complex, macroscopic life arise and exist without cells?

For the purposes of this question only, I am making the following definitions: Cell: a microscopic, membrane-bound subunit of a living organism. Living organism: an entity composed primarily of ...
ApproachingDarknessFish's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
145 views

Increased intracranial space

The brain is 1 major developmental difference between us and these humanoids. These humanoids start off with larger brains to begin with and so brain development in the womb happens at about the same ...
Caters's user avatar
  • 4,159
2 votes
1 answer
498 views

What environment would support an electric alien species?

I was thinking, and I came up with an alien race, which enthralled me. I was just wondering if these creatures would plausibly evolve this way. (Info dump time These aliens are humanoid. While they ...
Xandar The Zenon's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

What would happen to a high-pressure creature in a low-pressure atmosphere (50atm)?

Answer this question: "What would happen to a high-pressure creature in a low-pressure atmosphere? The hypothetical creature has evolved on a planet with an atmosphere that's much more pressurised ...
IJoinedCozIcan's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What would happen to a high-pressure creature in a low-pressure atmosphere? (3atm)

The hypothetical creature has evolved on a planet with an atmosphere that's much more pressurised than that of Earth. It's humanoid in appearance, in that it has two arms and two legs as well as a ...
IJoinedCozIcan's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
767 views

Is it illogical to have a species that goes through two metamorphoses and ends as an asexual being?

I came up with an alien species that has the following reproductive life: They hatch out of eggs, tended by their mothers, and by the end of the first year (about two Earth years long) they are ...
Mary Wildfire's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
4k views

What metal or compounds will make blood silver?

I have a race of people who have silver blood. Thing is, I'm really trying to keep it as realistic as possible despite this being a fantasy world. The blood has raw magic energy in it as well, but ...
Asralyn's user avatar
  • 151
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do mermaids' ears work?

Whales and dolphins surely do not have ears similar to ours and yet they can pick up ultrasound underwater without fear of water pressure damaging the eardrum. Any idea how the mermaids with ears like ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 46.4k
6 votes
2 answers
659 views

Could plasma be a building block for life?

I'm talking about ionized gas not the plasma in our blood. I have been reading science articles about plasma and they keep hinting at the idea of plasma based life. Here is my first example and an ...
Night_Fox's user avatar
  • 383
4 votes
1 answer
236 views

Eutectic Iron Life

I was reading about the rogue planet PSO J318.5-22 which is thought to have molten iron rain and things like that, and I vaguely remembered from uni that almost all iron mixtures have a slushy ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 435
10 votes
4 answers
1k views

Alien Griffin Design

Another question for my comic: my friend has made a demand that I give one of her characters a flying mount, preferably griffin-like. I have some designs but I want them to be plausible: How bulky ...
XenoDwarf's user avatar
  • 3,637
6 votes
2 answers
761 views

Endothermic or ectothermic? Alien biology

Hey guys so I've posted on this site before and I've finally made an account so I'd like to ask again about mine and my friend's webcomic WIP. Biology wise, I've made three main groups of animals, a ...
XenoDwarf's user avatar
  • 3,637
39 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to evolve biological radios?

Radio Thinkers Creatures that communicate by biological radio pops up in science fiction occasionally and it's a fun idea. However, there are some practical concerns with regards to evolving a radio ...
Green's user avatar
  • 52.7k
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Pharbohydrates vs Carbohydrates

Question: Are there are any serious biological or evolutionary plausibility issues with separating the energy storage/production function from the production of structural/regulatory biomass? ...
rumguff's user avatar
  • 4,198
3 votes
1 answer
245 views

Unusual reproductive method for a particular species

Basically, it starts as a variation on the seahorse, once the ova are fertilized within the mother the embryoes are drawn back into the father who then carries them to term (there's actually a second, ...
king of panes's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
406 views

Life on a small Neptunian/big super-Earth planet?

I want to create an alien life for a planet which is at about 6–8 Earth masses. It has a thick atmosphere made of hydrogen, helium, methane and nitrogen. I want that life to evolve slowly and be quite ...
Eithne's user avatar
  • 103
10 votes
3 answers
622 views

Non-Eukaryotic multi-celled life?

All multi-cellular life as we know it is composed or eukarotic cells -- cells with a nucleus. Some single-celled organisms are eukarotic, some are prokaryotic (cells without a nucleus, such as ...
LindaJeanne's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
3k views

Xenotaxonomy: the Science of Categorizing Extraterrestrial Life

On Earth, we use taxonomy to organize biological organisms into an identifiable hierarchy in which organisms that are evolutionarily related are placed in close proximity. This evolutionary approach ...
Frostfyre's user avatar
  • 25.2k
22 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to become accustomed to an alien environment

There is a really obvious problem with going to a planet we have deemed "habitable". Even if the temperature is perfect, the air composition is perfect and the terrain is perfect we still have the ...
Varrick's user avatar
  • 3,683
7 votes
2 answers
235 views

Suggest online sites/forums to get technical support with Xenobiology

Those who have read my recent questions posted here will have noticed that my questions are often related to hardcore biochemistry, atmospheric processes etc. While I have had some good answers to ...
rumguff's user avatar
  • 4,198
31 votes
2 answers
1k views

Hydrogenenic Photosynthesis: Strategies for animals

Hydrogenic photosynthesis reduces methane and water to build biomass ($\text{CH}_2\text{O}$) and releases hydrogen: $$\text{CH}_4 + \text{H}_2\text{O} + \text{photons} \to \text{CH}_2\text{O} + 2\...
rumguff's user avatar
  • 4,198
7 votes
2 answers
594 views

Could We Simulate Alien Life?

Imagine that, without any aliens having been ever found, we get to a point where we can build sub-atomically precise simulations of reality, spanning at least something the size (if not the likeness) ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
425 views

Mycolaria: How can radiotrophic fungi symbiotically assist an animal species to mitigate effects of solar radiation?

Mycolaria is my working name for an alien planet featuring a much more visible role for fungi of all kinds, large and small. There are also animals and plants on this world. This is the second in a ...
rumguff's user avatar
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