Biology Thread

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Biology Thread

Post by Darkel on Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:11 pm

Discuss things related to biology, anatomy, and related fields here. This would be a good thread to observe for ideas for your race, if you have one.


Last edited by Darkel on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Randomnator on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:11 pm

I'm thinking of adding another race, known as the Hithe. I intend them to be bio-engineered warrior organisms that are ridiculously hardy and able to fight in nearly any environment.

Is being able to survive for short periods in space by having temperature/pressure resistant hide and having a large air bladder for oxygen storage too much?
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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Darkel on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:31 pm

I would think that that would be ok. But despite my interest in science I am no expert so I'm not sure how possible that would be. Ask Zar, he's pretty good with that stuff.

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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Randomnator on Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:45 am

I might as well list their pros and cons for context's sake then:

PROS

- Very strong and well muscled

- Thick hide is temperature/pressure resistant

- Air storage bladder allows Hithe to hold breath for up to 20 minutes

- High pain tolerance

- Blood clots quick

- Aptitude for operation of machinery and weapons is hard-wired into the brain Nervous system

- Completely lacking in empathy

- Strong ribcage protects vital organs

- Merciless

- Lacks a brain, instead has a neural web that spreads across the body.


CONS

- Stupid and reckless

- Low population size

- Unstable genetics

- High infant mortality rate

- Incapable of developing technology, weapons made by Hithe hands are crude.

- Weak to disease, one Hithe getting sick spells doom for others around it

- Hithe wear little armour

- Completely unorganised

- Aggressive and therefore predictable

- Incapable of alliance outside of own species

- Completely lacking in empathy

- Lacks a proper brain, gets stupider with every wound thanks to the severing of the neural web.


Last edited by Randomnator on Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Biology Thread

Post by ViperaUnion on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:55 am

In space, the dangerous environment involves a highly unstable temperature that fluctuates between hot and cold extremes, both of which can kill most organisms (Save for a few micro-creatures). There is also no air pressure in space, but I would imagine that gas inside a body would expand in an attempt to fill the void. The indication of a hollow cavity inside the body would definitely require a very thick, tough skin/organ that could insulate against the harsh environment.

There also needs to be a way for them to move in space. There is no air or land or water for them to use for movement, if they don't have this, they'll be stuck floating off into the void without a way to return to safety. In the cases of races that I myself have that can travel through space, one is capable of mildly distorting space-time in order to travel through space, and the other has slits all over its body that expel gasses in order to give it balance and movement

There also was another aspect that was left out that you should probably include as either an alteration to strengths or weaknesses. In space, there is no atmosphere to block out harmful electromagnetic rays, (Ultraviolet and Gamma Rays). If your species does not have something to protect them from exposure to these rays, it would probably cause them to have a high rate of genetic mutations that cause cancer, or they would technically suffer from 'sunburns' in space, which would probably be just as dangerous. One of my races has an exoskeleton adapted to absorb/reflect radiation, and the other generates a slime on its skin that safely absorbs it.

In the end, I really do like designing space-faring fauna, but the difficulty is making it where they could somehow be scientifically explained.

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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Vara Lord on Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:38 pm

I'm hoping to introduce a monster called the Drogg, not as a race, but as a plot thing (I hope that's allowed). It's a Godzilla-sized monster that can travel through space, moving from planet to planet. I'm not sure how it moves, but it protects itself by creating a force field around itself.
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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Zaroas on Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:23 pm

The Revisionist says hello, although it's not exactly a biological creature... It's similar to what you described but an artificial construct created by the Eldraunn.

What Vipera said about organic species needing to survive in space seems about right. Other than that it seems pretty good.

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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Randomnator on Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:48 pm

Thanks Vipera and Zar, these problems help me flesh my idea out.

I could just wave away the radiation problem by saying the Hithe hide can absorb/dampen it to render it harmless (they then shed it to prevent it poisoning them afterwards) though a better idea would be great.

As for mobility, the Hithe have none except for some way of clamping down on surfaces (biomagnets? Talons? Suction pads?). The way I imagined it was for the enemy cruiser hulls to crawl with Hithe trying to break it open.

EDIT: Whoops, suction pads don't work in space. Maybe a sticky resin secreted from the hands and feet?
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Re: Biology Thread

Post by ViperaUnion on Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:49 pm

Biomagnets could work, but that might backfire in the story if your Hithe become a great enough threat. It is possible, even in real life, for people to design metals that do not have magnetic properties. Empires might catch on too quickly to your race, and they would probably make their ships so that the biomagnets don't work. Worse, they might make their ships produce the same magnetic force as your Hithe, which would repel them and send them flying off into space. Biomagnets are good in the case of the Arachnarche, who use it as a metal detector to find nesting materials, but it would be risky as a form of traction.

I would suggest the sticky resin, or specially-designed scales/bristles that create friction that help them move. You're right that suction cups probably won't work in space.

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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Zaroas on Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:57 pm

Personally, what Vipera described with scales or bristles would work best for your purposes in my opinion. I agree with the statement that biomagnets could be problematic, however I don't think that many civilizations will change the composition of all new ships unless the Hithe become a very, very large threat, and even then many empires will still use older ships.

A quick question of my own, and possibly more of a hypothetical. For plot reasons I need Eldraunn worlds to be rather detailed and identifiable, however I don't know what conditions would lead to that species evolving a natural ability to use psionics. It's important to note that Eldraunn are similar to amphibians but require less water, have bioluminescent organs such as their eyes, fins, and "eat" by absorbing nutrition and energy through photoplast-like cells in their skin and pores.

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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Randomnator on Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:12 pm

I'm gonna go with the bristles, but they'll also be able to secrete resin from organs in their jaws, Xenomorph style. This could be used to plug holes after they burrow into them.

Psionics would require an incredibly hazardous environment to suddenly spring up at about the time when the species minds are developing. Things like super predators that cannot be defeated by physical properties alone would drive them to be more intelligent and unlock more brain powers. Other than that it could be common on that planet and most developed organisms harness it in some way.
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Re: Biology Thread

Post by ViperaUnion on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:12 pm

Bioluminescent organs would develop in dark environments where normal light isn't as readily available. The ability to absorb nutrients rather than eating could develop, I think, if your race was forced to deal with plants or animals that had ridiculously strong armored exteriors that strong jaws couldn't break through. If your race is amphibious, they could secrete something acidic that ate away at tough substances, and since amphibious skin is already thin, you could say the ability just randomly mutated.

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Re: Biology Thread

Post by Zaroas on Thu May 21, 2015 3:33 pm

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Say hello to your Krathunian overlords.

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