Questions tagged [biology]

For questions about the biology of life and organisms in works of science fiction and fantasy. Always use in conjunction with the relevant work tag. Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms. With regards to science fiction and fantasy works, it is generally associated with the practicalities of invented forms of life or life-supporting habitats.

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Why did Superman relinquish his powers before pursuing a sexual relationship with Lois?

In Superman II (1980), and I am guessing in some other sources, Superman relinquished his powers prior to engaging in sexual intercourse with Lois Lane. Why though? Was it because he couldn't have had ...
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2 votes
1 answer
184 views

Book about a genetically engineered virus that causes prion disease

This book had a few arcs there. Firstly, a government lab is experimenting with creating viruses that use a type of xeno-nucleic acid that contains some iron compound as its genetic code instead of ...
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Infection & Immunity in the Matrix- How did Neo not get sick upon leaving?

For context, I've only seen the first film, and only all the way through at a social event. When Neo is unplugged, he's leaving a sterile or at least very isolated environment, getting dunked in ...
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16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Book about a group of kids that were cloned from criminals

I remember, as a kid, reading a book about a group of kids, who were cloned from tissue samples taken from violent criminals. I am pretty sure that all of the adults are in on it, if not most. It was ...
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5 votes
0 answers
76 views

Short story or book in which a man turns into a giant and is climbed by another man

Looking for a short story or book in which a man turns into a giant and is climbed by another man, who runs into interesting flora and fauna on the giant, and even resorts to eating a mite on the ...
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13 votes
1 answer
770 views

What was the name of this horror/science fiction story involving orcas/killer whales?

I'm looking for a horror/science fiction story involving orcas/killer whales. It was written by someone who was either a marine biologist or someone who used to work with cetaceans, and in their ...
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7 votes
2 answers
443 views

Are there the equivalent of chimpanzees, etc. on other worlds with humanoids?

I mean, on Vulcan or Chronos are there "primates" that resemble the humanoids that correspond to humans on Earth? EDIT: Reading about Klingon evolution it seems very possible that during the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
266 views

Force Sensitivity: How much potential in the Force can a human be born with naturally? (Legends or Canon Material)

Ok so... I should probably break down what I mean - take Anakin Skywalker, has what is widely considered the greatest potential in the Force of all time, he was quite literally conceived by the Force ...
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2 votes
1 answer
107 views

What about biochemistry in Stephen King's Autopsy Room Four? [closed]

I have just listened to (the Polish version, if that matters) of "Autopsy Room Four" by Stephen King. Either I am missing some part or something obvious or the whole story is simply ...
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3 votes
1 answer
178 views

Do Vulcans lose muscle and bone mass after living long term on Earth?

It was said that Vulcans are stronger than humans because the planet Vulcan's gravity is 1.4G (according to Memory Beta), which requires stronger muscles to move around. But we also know that humans ...
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4 votes
1 answer
313 views

Biologist tries to clone dead wife

I remember a movie in which a biologist/scientist tries to bring his wife back to life after she dies in a tragic fire accident at her studio (she was an artist). He has a junior colleague who helps ...
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6 votes
4 answers
403 views

What is the earliest example of an accidental origin of life or civilisation?

The trope The essence of the trope goes like this: Somebody creates a new biosphere or civilisation by accident, such as leaving some sandwich lying around. Often, the product is microscopic with ...
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2 votes
3 answers
867 views

What is the physical difference between a male Moclan and female Moclan?

At the beginning of The Orville, we are told that Moclans are an entirely male species. However, the third episode reveals that, in rare cases, Moclans are born female and that corrective surgery is ...
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5 votes
1 answer
236 views

Is it known what conditions caused the Gungan species to diverge morphologically?

It is well known that the Gungan species is divided into two races, the Otolla and the Ankura, even to small children. However, the astonishing biological diversity of Naboo seems a subject still in ...
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2 votes
0 answers
81 views

What is the energy source for the spice-sandworm cycle? [duplicate]

The lifecycle of the Maker apparently contains stages when it produces spice (actually its precursor), and stage when it feeds on sand plankton, which are said to consume spice. Where is the source ...
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8 votes
1 answer
567 views

Has human child-bearing age been extended in Star Trek?

We know that life expectancy has been radically increased due to significant medical advancement. For example, Dr. McCoy lives to be at least 137 per his depiction in "Encounter at Farpoint"...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does a xenomorphs acid blood make it vulnerable to water, or any other base/buffer solution?

For humans, a sudden change of blood pH from 7.4 to say 7.5 would be quite significantly harmful https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkalosis this is because of all the highly specialised proteins in the ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Where does the energy come from in the Dune ecosystem?

In Frank Herbert's Dune books, the planet Arrakis has an interesting and well thought-out alien ecology. As summarised in this answer, the sandworms eat sandplankton (which consists, at least in part, ...
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12 votes
2 answers
7k views

How do Togrutas hear?

I was watching Ahsoka videos when it suddenly dawned upon me that she has no ears. After doing some research, it seems neither her horns nor her tentacles serve an auditory function. The other ...
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8 votes
1 answer
475 views

Strange alien planet with sentient trees, human colony - a novel

These trees have offspring that undertake a pilgrimage over water and land to a mountain, then return to their home, take root, and become part of their family forest. There are several, sometimes ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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Is there any evolutionary advantage to the position of the Vulcan heart?

We know both from the original series and Star Trek Beyond that the vulcan heart is located where the human liver is. It seems an odd and inconvenient position deprived of the protection the rib cage ...
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17 votes
5 answers
9k views

Where/What are Venom's eyes?

Disclaimer: I have zero Spider-Man comic lore experience. When I think of Venom from the Spider-Man universe, I picture this: I always thought of the big white areas on his face as his eyes. Not ...
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0 votes
0 answers
125 views

Why does Dr. McCoy have difficulty with Vulcan biology? [duplicate]

I've been watching The Original Series and on any occasion when Mr Spock has some health issues McCoy seems either baffled or unable to help him without taking risks or being completely unable to ...
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did life evolve in Star Wars, or was it created by the Force?

I was wondering how exactly life originated in the Star Wars universe. Did life arise through natural processes (eg. Darwinian evolution) like on earth, or did the Force somehow "create" life? Did ...
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10 votes
5 answers
420 views

A person contracts a biological pathogen that is collectively intelligent, forming a symbiosis [duplicate]

Trying to identify a story where: A person (man/woman?) somehow contracts a pathogen that leans to communicate with him. The pathogen is something like an amoeba. the person is hunted by others ...
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How many alien species are compatible with humans?

In the various incarnations of Star Trek across the decades, there have been some important characters who are half-human, one of their parents being an alien: Mr Spock, from TOS, is half-human and ...
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7 votes
1 answer
321 views

Novel with intelligent sperm whales and their legendary heroes

A novel with intelligent sperm whales which I PARTIALLY read in a supermarket book display back about the 1980s I guess. Obviously it counts as at least partially fantasy and science fiction. I ...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What Star Trek humanoid species has the longest natural lifespan?

I don't mean due to advanced medical technology, cryogenics, stasis, time travel, etc. I don't mean due to being a Q or a Borg or some other non-corporeal lifeform or a totally alien biology. Which ...
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5 votes
1 answer
426 views

Are Gallifreyans reptiles, mammals, or something else?

I recently saw a claim that Gallifreyans are reptiles. I know that their normal internal temperature is significantly lower that that of humans. From Wikipedia (emphasis mine): Physiological ...
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37 votes
10 answers
8k views

Why does human racial diversity exist in Star Trek?

In Star Trek, humans of different racial appearances exist, such as Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura. But I assume that if humans have been able to travel easily around Earth, and that there is ...
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is Priss' death plausible for normal humans? [closed]

We have no doubts that Priss is a replicant: we see Deckard read her file, then we see her showing off in front of JF Sebastian, and finally the matter of her death: ...
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7 votes
2 answers
366 views

Are Formic queens the only fertile females?

We know that Formics supposed to be similar to our ants, which have only one fertile female - the queen - that is a mother to the whole swarm. Is the same true to the Formics as well? I remember that ...
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22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are the humans in the Star Wars Galaxy really humans?

Related: Why are there humans in the Star Wars Universe? This is a subtly different question because I'm not asking whether there's a historical relationship between the two lineages. I am asking this ...
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11 votes
4 answers
6k views

How does the Space Slug (Exogorth) breathe in the vacuum of space?

Whilst answering this question, an interesting question came to mind. In the chase through the Hoth asteroid field in The Empire Strikes Back, the Millennium Falcon takes refuge in a cave, which ...
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why doesn't zombie blood coagulate?

In The Walking Dead (as opposed to the book World War Z, for instance), it has been consistently shown that zombies have red, liquid blood, apparently indistinguishable from human blood. But we know ...
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1 vote
1 answer
596 views

Do characters in Star Wars address how odd it is the universe is filled with humanoids?

In Star Wars, basically everyone is a human with facial make-up; is there an attempt at an in-universe explanation of this within this franchise? Note:formerly this question was for Star Trek and ...
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10 votes
2 answers
454 views

Do Shapeshifters, like Odo, shift just shape, or composition as well?

When Odo is shaped as a humanoid, for example, is his eye just the outward shape of an eye? Or does he have a lens, and a retina, and an optic nerve, and a brain made of neurons processing images?
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2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can tree frogs modulate their infrared output? [closed]

In Jurassic World one of the scientists said that tree frogs can modulate their infrared output. Is this science fiction or science fact?
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6 votes
1 answer
860 views

Infection by dead Things

Based on John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing and its 2011 prequel (also titled The Thing), is it possible for someone to get infected by a dead Thing?
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6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Was the Thing trapped in its current form until assimilating another, or could it retake the form of previous assimilations?

In the 1982 film The Thing, was the creature trapped in its current form until it could assimilate another, or could it retake the form of previous assimilations?
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11 votes
2 answers
933 views

Is Superman's strength related at all to his muscles?

Superman is generally shown in most appearances with a single iconic physique: buff as hell. He's also super-crazy-ultra-mega-strong. But as any fan knows, the two aren't generally related: he draws ...
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8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is Ferengi behaviour better explained by biology or culture?

Obviously some characteristics will be based on biology (Trills not being good in the heat while Cardassians are for example.) However, in the various incarnations of Star Trek, there appear to be ...
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3 votes
0 answers
573 views

Are there Star Trek Species that are explicitly biologically incompatible? [closed]

We know that Klingon and Human DNA is compatible enough to reproduce (B'Elana Torres); same with Human and Vulcan DNA (Spock), and Cardassian and Bajoran DNA (Tora Ziyal). Are there any examples of ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the gestation period of a Klingon?

I am aware of the gestation periods of Betazeds is 10 months and (obviously) humans, but is the time span ever addressed of Klingon gestation? (Perhaps VOY might have a reference with B'Elana's ...
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8 votes
1 answer
794 views

Short story about mis-delivered cloning kit from the future

Short story about mis-delivered cloning kit from the future. Subject man clones himself using scanner and ingredients from the kit (add water), agent arrives (from future) to reclaim the kit, but ...
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4 votes
1 answer
768 views

What function do Xindi cheek holes serve?

All 5 of the extant sapient Xindi species have the same holes (and a line of bumps) on their cheeks, as can be seen below: Has it ever been explained what purpose they serve, or how such different ...
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3 votes
2 answers
421 views

Do ST:DS9 Changeling/Founders Regenerate Their Matter?

On a number of occasions, e.g. S07E21 with Odo, Changelings give a sample of themselves for studies. As they don't seem to eat or consume, are they permanently losing mass when they do so? They seem ...
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16 votes
4 answers
10k views

Why aren't there any recognizable elf children in Middle-Earth?

Why aren't there any recognizable Elf children in Middle-Earth? I don't remember reading about younglings, only adults. Hobbit children, goblin imps and human children are all represented in the LOTR ...
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is Wolverine sterile?

Pretty much just that...it seems like there would be a lot of little (and not so little) Wolverines running around by now if not. Surely this is addressed somewhere in the comics.
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10 votes
1 answer
789 views

What about all the dragon-poop?

Was there ever a definitive description of how dragons and fire lizards defecate and what was done about it? I have read some descriptions saying that they do so between, while other sources stated ...
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