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"Radiotrophic" aliens

Captainrobh

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POSTS: 51

Report this Apr. 10 2003, 3:24 pm

I came up with this idea for an alien species whose planet is really radioactive, so they don’t need a digestive system. Instead, their cells have adapted to use the radioactivity as a source of energy. (Their cells have also adapted to resist mutation.) I was thinking, since they don’t need to breathe or eat, they wouldn’t have a mouth. How would they communicate? Any ideas would be extremely helpful.

38957

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Report this Apr. 10 2003, 3:30 pm

I think breathing is neseccary to get oxygen in the blood and move CO2 out. The oxygen is necessary for cells to use energy.

They may still need to drink some water.

They probably wouldn’t have hair. (a joke)

If they went on a space voyage, they would have to buid a ship that could blast them with radiation to survive and develope space suits to do this when they landed on an earth like planet.

I doubt they could communicate with radios, there would be too much interference.

I am not sure how to adapt to the radiation because it attacks DNA on the molecular level. Perhaps lead skin?

tribblish

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POSTS: 126

Report this Apr. 10 2003, 5:56 pm

If something is radioactive, doesn’t it give off light or heat? Maybe they could have a sort of Morse code with light or express feelings through heat.

Captainrobh

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POSTS: 51

Report this Apr. 11 2003, 5:35 am

I like the idea of light/heat messaging. Perhaps their blood (if they had any) would glow too. But I’m not entirely sure about if a cell needs oxygen. There are bacteria living in space, and bacteria on Earth that don’t need it. The mitochondria need oxygen in order to create certain chemical reactions which liberate energy. These aliens would be getting that energy directly. Think of how plants work, only substitute radioactivity for light. I’m not sure if they’d need water or not, after all, this is like, several miles outside-of-the-box thinking. But maybe they’ll have a bladder-like organ to store radon gas(’caus the planet would probably be mainly uranium, and radon is an indirect product of it) and they could intake other gases in a similar manner.

Captainrobh

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POSTS: 51

Report this Apr. 11 2003, 5:38 am

I just thought of this...with the light communication, maybe diff. colors would represent diff. sounds in our languages. (I don’t know how they’d control that, but I’ll think of a mechanism.) And I also read somewhere about bacteria that can survive very intense radiation. Perhaps they’d evolve from similar organisms?

gul_Pip

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Report this Apr. 12 2003, 3:00 pm

You’ve just descriped a plant.
They could communicate by body movements, having a system of mirrored surfaces on there skin which rotate to flash bursts of light at others, they could send pulsations into the ground to be picked up by ears on the soul of the feet, pherimones, (a bit cliche but) telepathy, the list goes on...

gul_Pip

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POSTS: 991

Report this Apr. 12 2003, 3:11 pm

They might not need oxygen. Oxygen is neccessary on Earth because there is not enough energy available to power life externally, the combustion reaction is needed to boost the power. But if the surroundings had that much background radiation, it could be possible to live straight off the photons.

Water can easily be absorbed threw the skin membrane or even roots.

You’re right, they would never establish long range communication.

How about small structures in the cells that attract the photons, deflecting them from the DNA (if that’s what they use, exobiologists say there are many other possible genetic molecules)

worfnick

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POSTS: 49

Report this Apr. 13 2003, 10:40 am

THe aliens would proably be teleapathic or a collective like the Borg.

Arathos

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Report this Apr. 14 2003, 10:32 am

You people are all thinking that the species would be a carbon based life form. What about other elements? Maybe they would be a plutonium/uranium based life form or something. As for communication, all the ideas suggested would be acceptable. Another possibility is a form of air-based speech, just because a species does not breath air, doesn’t mean that it can’t communicate using air (or whatever gas was on the planet).
Perhapse a form of sonar variation on echo-location that bats and dolphins and whales use?

Just another Idea.

tribblish

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POSTS: 126

Report this Apr. 15 2003, 9:44 pm

If you have a radioactive creature, it wouldn’t be carbon-based. It would be based on a radioactive element. No offense, but, DUH. Plus, light and heat come with most elements, (I think).

Captainrobh

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POSTS: 51

Report this Apr. 18 2003, 1:39 pm

Who said that they would be carbon-based? Besides, just because it’s radioactive doesn’t mean it won’t be. Carbon is so useful in organisms because of its 4 valence electrons and ability to form a huge number of compounds with itself. Uranium and plutonium, on the other hand, have 6 valance electrons(not entirely sure on the 6, but it’s less preferable than 4), which are inconvient for life because of their lack of reactivity. (Although plutonium is highly reactive.) Plus, carbon is a light element, meaning it’s more common, and also more convienient for making life-forms.

starkindler

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Report this Apr. 21 2003, 10:46 pm

there is the added consideration that depending on the radioactivity of their planet (or system) they would be unable to leave and become spacefaring.

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