New answers tagged

3

They already exist, if you throw in enough pareidolia. Amoebas are pretty good at changing the shape of their unicellular body, and it can be happen that they might look, at a certain point, like a human shaped figure, like this photo demonstrates.


1

Would it evolve naturally? Most likely no. Is it possible? 100% yes. There is no need for a land based creature to have a skeleton. Muscular hydrostats can work well. Biology is just a unit of self replicating chemistry. Chemistry obeys the laws of physics. A muscular hydrostat can be strong enough and efficient enough with the proper geometry to walk or run ...


4

It will be too hot I had to do numbers. Human body temperature is 37C or 98F. 335K is 61C or 143 degrees F. Let us say your endotherms have body temperature set to 47C. They will still always be struggling to cool themselves and struggling a lot. Consider what a struggle it is for humans at 40C or 104. If humidity is too high to evaporate sweat, 40C is ...


0

In humans longer arms (or longer arms spans) are correlated with better throwing ability Link (this contradicts an article from Scientific American though, so not sure) . The only reasonable constraint i can come up with is that that shoulder to elbow distance should exceed the shoulder to ground distance to prevent the elbow ramming in to the ground. ...


4

Pretty long. Let us use an orangutan as a model of a long armed primate. Their arms reach down past their knees. https://www.boredpanda.com/the-standoff/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic I have seen videos of orangutans throwing rocks. This one throws overhand but it is not a gentle toss - he puts some heat on the rock and ...


3

I would answer the question in two manners: Is it possible for an species which can control autonomic function to exist? Yes Is it possible for an naturally evolved species which can control autonomic function to exist? No, unless you can come up with strong evolutionary or cultural advantage why that would be beneficial and that can't be compensated for ...


2

You can already control your breathing, just not to a full extent, the reason you can control your breathing but not to the point of being able to stop breathing forever is that it's an autonomous function that works subconsciously, and your subconscious decisions, putting it in a simple way, have priority over your conscious ones,especially since breathing ...


9

TL;DR: Such species already exist. As @Jonathan already mentioned, most mammals can control their breathing and, to a lesser extent, their heart rate. This doesn't quite qualify for what you're wanting, as there's still an automatic backup to keep the animal from dying. However, there are some species that do have full control. For example, dolphins and ...


1

Breathing is an automatic function in humans, however, you can choose to control it manually. I think it would be theoretically possible (with enough willpower) to hold your own breath until unconsciousness, but at that point, automatic control would take over before a person could kill themselves by refusing to breathe. ed: There are hidden dangers in ...


2

Herbivores have very short sleep period, for the obvious reason that they need to feed often and even more often be alert against predators and evade them. For sure in a hot environment being active during the cooler hour is an advantage, while the day can be spent just seeking shelter from the light and limiting the activity as much as possible. This is for ...


4

It is a goat. A freaking mountain goat. I here assert that because your creature is a goat, its name is Goaty Goaty Goat. Also the skull look like this: Image Source


2

JUST COPY THE NORMAL CATS It doesn't make much biological sense to be honest... The horns on animals are made of the same materials as nails and are practically dead tissue. That's the main reason why animals don't bother much once their horns are broken off or fall off. The only living part of the horn is actually beneath the skin, the one that holds it in ...


5

As the comments pointed out, horns aren't very ideal as a cooling device for a fair few reasons. Horns are nowhere near as efficient at cooling a creature as opposed to ears for example. As ears have a constant flow of blood, the blood can carry the heat directly to the thin outer edge with the biggest surface area and airflow, where it quickly gets ...


0

Both prehensile tail and gliding! Because you like them both and the combo is awesome. And it could work. A gliding cat would have an attack something like a hawk, which could work. Cats can survive falling long distances because they are small and light and spread out in flight, increasing drag. https://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae411.cfm ...


0

It could be some sort of colony, like an ant colony, where the host is the "queen" and the organisms it creates are hatched by it. They would perform their duties like ants do, though their duties could be different and they would be anatomically different so they could, for example, maybe excrete a substance that reacts with the air around it and ...


4

The main issue is that, while carbon is pretty common in the universe, being the 4th one for abundance in the Milky Way, fluorine is much more scarce. Therefore making a whole ocean of perfluorocarbon seems highly unlikely, because with the known abundances it would be diluted in something much more available. And those are not equivalent to perfluorocarbons ...


2

This organism (the "microscopic life" - I'll call the big organism the Xenomorph) clearly has a long evolutionary history of its own. You want it to be an intelligent pet, so start with an advanced eukaryote (such as the fungus from another answer), or even an animal. Consider the crab hacker, a barnacle that has evolved into something like a &...


3

I'd have suggested a fungus of some kind... there's already some biological precedent there in the form of leafcutter ants and the fungus they farm. It provides food and secretes antimicrobial chemicals, and the ants understand its chemical signalling so they know what is and isn't a good food for it, etc. Unfortunately, you have these requirements: It ...


3

Antifreeze proteins plus urea Most real animals use antifreeze proteins. they have independently evolved multiple times. by itself this is not enough however, the limit on known antifreeze proteins is -13 degrees C. However another common method is retaining Urea in the blood, many deep water fish do this. so try combining these methods.


3

I'll just put it into a few categories. Pro In nature we can see both fungi, worms and bacteria controlling organisms. The Cordyceps is a fungi mostly found in insects and will root itself in the brain. It is unclear to me if it directly controls the brain with electrical signals or with brain damage and hormones. Parasitic snail worms can take over motor ...


1

I do not think this is a complete answer, but I saw an opportunity to grind some of the rust off of my chemistry skills and give us a starting point for the "how much complexity could life on a rogue planet have" portion of your question. As this is an estimate of available chemical energy from hydrothermal vent fields on a planetary scale, these ...


7

The easiest thing would be to use ethanol... it mixes nicely with water, and you can choose a sufficiently alcoholic mix to fit your cold-weather needs. 40% ethanol by volume is enough to keep a pure water/ethanol mix liquid at -20°C, and I'm sure it can work for your needs, too. Ethanol is readily synthesisable from a whole range of carbohydrate feedstocks ...


3

Whatever color you want them to be. Even here on earth, there are a number of pigment chemicals in leaves. Consider whether they use photosynthesis, or whether they, like the deep-sea sulfur bacteria, live off the vulcanism. (Or, of course, both, in some combination.) You don't have to use chlorophyll for the first, but the second gives you a much freer ...


4

Take a look at the masses of all those isotopes, for Carbon, Boron, Nitrogen and neutron: $C^{11}$ = 11.01143260 $C^{12}$ = 12 $C^{13}$ = 13.00335483521 $C^{14}$ = 14.003241988 $B^{11}$ = 11.009305167 $N^{14}$ = 14.00307400446 $n^0$ = 1.00866491588 The process you describe is (neglecting the electrons emitted in the beta decays) $3 C^{12} \rightarrow 2 C^{...


1

Frame Challenge: No Explanation Needed You ever hear of Rule of Cool? It's a trope where something just happens because the writers think it's cool, and the audience willingly suspends disbelief to enjoy the awesomeness of that thing. This is the "science" behind giant spiders, dragons, and countless other staples of fantasy and sci-fi. In other ...


3

They cook the dragon. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/bizarre-bee-havior-in-the-battle-against-the-giant-hornet-129395782/ Your wyverns are bee analogues. Your dragon is a killer hornet. As the hornet is immune to any sting or bite a bee might have, so too the dragon is immune to the weaponry of the wyvern. The hornet is not vulnerable to ...


2

What is the relationship? Eusociality almost by definition involves a caste system, so I'm not sure if your wyverns meet the technical definition, but that's semantics. However, without a caste system, every individual represents a reproductive unit and has an evolutionary incentive to avoid self destruction unless it is clearly to the benefit of their own ...


1

Yes but the conditions don't exist on Earth to make this a viable survival strategy for a complex multicellular organism that could produce a sustain nuclear reaction. But let's assume your in a far off imaginary planet filled with wonder and horror, what environmental conditions would be required to facilitate the evolution of this kind of organism? Firstly ...


-1

Probably not. The colour of blood is red because of the iron containing compound haemoglobin present in RBCs (which constitute about 55% of our blood). There is no precedent for grey blood or bone as far as I know. Silver blood would have to be based on an entirely new kind of biochemistry, though I heavily doubt that. Silver is a much heavier element than ...


5

Before I begin, it's important to tell you that infrared light is something that essentially all warm blooded creatures release (yes we all constantly glow, just not in a wavelength that we can notice), so depending on whether your creature is exothermic or endothermic it'll make it easier or harder to make use of this ability. With that said: let's look at ...


13

XNAs (done) Willk's answer is a good one, though for some reason he left out PNA, the very first of the alternate backbones. Alternate nucleotides There are other nitrogenous bases that appear in our biochemistry as nucleotides (notably flavin and nicotinic acid/nicotinamide)- I have a question up on biology.SE about them. Panspermia Recent work showed that ...


9

Xenonucleic acids Xenonucleic acids are artificial structures that can substitute for the natural nucleic acids. The molecules that piece together to form the six xeno nucleic acids are almost identical to those of DNA and RNA, with one exception: in XNA nucleotides, the deoxyribose and ribose sugar groups of DNA and RNA have been replaced with other ...


1

Dental Battery You mention triceratops teeth. well the "teeth" you refer to are not a single tooth but a dental battery, which is hundreds of tiny interlocking teeth. they continuously grow new teeth that get pushed out but due to their shape and being cemented together by tooth formation they stay interlocked with their neighboring teeth creating ...


3

It sounds like you are talking about the ever-growing teeth of rodents or elephants. Rodents don't have milk teeth, in fact their chisel-like incisors are actually retained baby teeth that continually grow throughout the animal's life. The incisor teeth of a capybara are the same incisors it had as an infant. Elephants do go through two sets of teeth, a ...


10

You Will Need to Make it Flat An animal is limited in how tall it can be. The taller you make it, the more weight you put on any given cross-section of it. So, if for example your whale were about 65 m wide, 65 m tall, and 185 m long (about how big it would be based on your illustration and minimum size), it's belly would be under the crushing force of ~6....


3

I don't believe that all your requirements can be met simultaneously. Bone growth requires living tissue around the bones. You've already ruled out continuously growing teeth and deciduous teeth, and you don't like the structure of eg. mammalian horns. Your idea of tree-like growth is going to be problematic with tooth-like materials, and the prospect of ...


2

Anal teeth Sea cucumbers are a class of echinoderms. Many species are practically sessile. Other animals love to hide inside their anuses. In some cases, they have coevolved into commensalism with said other animals; The sea cucumber is generally chill with having other animals making a nest inside its anus. Sometimes these guests are inconvenient, such as ...


7

We have various living things on earth that prevent erosion: Mangroves Corals Ground Cover Really anything with a root system or with the ability to create durable structures will help prevent erosion. Now, reversing erosion is another issue. The goal here will be to get dirt/soil out of the air. Blocking the wind (enough) will allow dirt to "drop out&...


2

It seems like there would be a finite limit to its growth, due to make a comparison of the limited size of land animals on earth. While biology could certainly allow for the whale to grow larger than most animals on earth,it seems as if it's size would then end up being limited to the strength and forces that the biological compounds and structures that make ...


3

If analogous to our biology, your cell walls are a non-polar lipid layer (in this case could be a tungsten polyoxometalate, $WO_3$) that doesn’t mix with salt which is surrounded on the inside and outside by your polar solvent (NaCl) and held together by a web of surfactants (not sure what you’d use) that has a sodium-phobic end and a sodium-loving opposite ...


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