Scientists Create Artist Impression of What ALIEN Creatures Could Look Like
THIS is what life on other worlds may look like, according to a biologist who has been studying the history of evolution on Earth.
Since humanity first grasped a basic understanding of the universe, almost everyone on Earth has likely had a shot at speculating what alien beings might look like – with the usual conclusion being little green people.
But Dr Brian Choo, from the School of Biological Sciences at Flinders University, Australia, may have given us our most logical expectation of what life on other planets might look like.
He studied the biology of life on Earth and how the characteristics of animals are defined by their environment.
Coupling his knowledge of life with an understanding of red dwarf worlds, Dr Choo has come up with what flora and fauna could look like on these celestial bodies, and they have been illustrated by Steven Grice.
Red dwarf worlds are planets that orbit red dwarf stars – the most common star in the universe, making up 75 per cent of the stars in the Milky Way.
The stars are faint and relatively cool, and if one of its planets sit in its habitable zone – the region around a host star that is not too hot or too cold – then it is a candidate for hosting life.
According to Dr Choo and Mr Grice, a typical example of a plant on a planet like this could have a propellor on top to help catch the wind and carry it across continents, helping to disperse its seed.
It would also be cactus-like in the sense that it may have to store water for prolonged periods of time in either above ground buds or underground roots.
Dr Choo described the plant, saying: “Harsh surface conditions could drive plants underground. Like mushrooms, most of its anatomy may be out of sight – protected from the winds, heat and radiation.”
He added: “The fleshy body of this ‘plant’ is mostly underground, save for the spectacular rosette of petals that trap moisture and, with the aid of symbiotic microbes, harness sunlight.
“While the mature organism is immobile and unthinking, its wind-blown seeds possess the limited degree of self-awareness necessary to navigate it to a site suitable for germination.”
And animals would be amphibian-like and evolved to survive in desert-like conditions as plants could be scarce, he said.
They would be armed with a protective shell on their backs to block out the harsh heat from the sun and wind-blown debris.
Strong front legs would also be a necessity to help dig into the surface as they search for food, with a mouth beneath its head to make it east to eat the small plants that could litter the surface of the planet.
It adds that they could have transparent skin as “red dwarf stars emit a smaller spectrum of radiation, animals are likely to have translucent flesh which will capture as much light as possible.”
Dr Choo: said “This odd creature grazes on low growing lichen-like vegetation and digs for buried tubers.
“The low-slung body and armoured carapace permit it to forage during the blistering windstorms that scour surface.
“The paddle-like tail and vestigial fins betray an aquatic larval stage in the cool lakes at the edge of the melting dark-zone glaciers.”