Do Changelings generate heat?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by doctorfoto, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. doctorfoto

    doctorfoto Commodore Commodore

    Feb 16, 2001
    Obviously when impersonating a humanoid, a skilled changeling would emulate all the physical qualities of that species, including internal organs.

    But in episodes like The Forsaken and A Simple Investigation, Odo makes statements about how, in "Odo-form', he lacks internal organs (like a heart or a digestive system). Lwaxana does mention that he 'looks warm' as he starts to lose integrity.

    Kira said he's a 'solid' 18 hours a day. And he must have some sort of skeletal structure to hold himself together. But do the cells of a changeling self-generate heat? ...Curious.
  2. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 2009
    In the Before Time - the Long, Long Ago
    More adept Changelings can clearly emulate humaniods at least down to a cellular level. In "The Adversary," Dax scaned the Krajensky Changeling and later told Sisko that he registered as Human. Odo, however, would not need to fool sensors and scanners, and so would not bother to emulate internal organs, or anything other the outer appearance of a humanoid.

    As for having a skeleton in his Odo-form, I doubt it. It's implied that his molecules simply hold themselves together in whatever configuration he wishes. So I guess he holds himself up and together through sheer willpower.

    As for what Lwaxana and Kira said.... Lwaxana only said he looked warm because he looked like he was melting - something melting tends to look hot. Kira probably meant that he was either simply emulating a solid for eighteen hours a day or holding just that one shape and not shapeshifting a lot.

    As for whether Changelings actually do generate heat.... I have no idea. ;)
  3. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 20, 2009
    America after the rain
    Any object above 0K emits some radiation and no physical process is 100% efficient. So I'll say that the Changelings definitely generate detectable heat, regardless of their form.

    The bigger question is what their ultimate energy source is.
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    They might be nature's greatest opportunists. Name a metabolic system or process, and they have it in use within seconds. They might decide to look like plants while persisting on oxidizing the metals they extract from the rock beneath them, or like racoons while relying on photovoltaic fur. They might eat your sarium krellide Duracells when you look the other way, or plug themselves to your wall socket, burn your brandy, borrow Dr. Bashir's imaging radioisotopes or tap into the local subspace field by materializing a warp coil in their tummy.

    Since they seem to be able to shunt some of their mass, uh, elsewhere (body weight, so that they can be light as rats, or foreign objects like communicators, so that they can be transparent like drinking glasses or fog and be light enough for the part), they might also have good reserves of mass and energy there, to be tapped whenever other opportunities don't present themselves.

    Timo Saloniemi
  5. Photon

    Photon Commodore Commodore

    Mar 13, 2006
    But their Vorta do

  6. Captain Randy Hall

    Captain Randy Hall Commodore Commodore

    May 16, 2001
    Columbia, Maryland USA
    That was a big discussion when DS9 first came on. As you recall, Odo changed into a mouse and back, and the guy (whose name escapes my mind right now) in charge of the Nitpicker's Guild liked my suggestion that that must have been one heavy and hot rat if it compressed all of Odo's molecules into one-twelfth the size! :cardie:
  7. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

    Oct 1, 2008
    Los Angeles
    In the Deep Space Nine Companion, one of the show's writers (don't remember which one off the top of my head) said that Odo was like a "four-dimensional projection of a five-dimensional being" and that all that extra mass when he changed shape was moved "probably to subspace".

    EDIT: The writer in question was Robert Hewitt Wolfe
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  8. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

    Jul 22, 2001
    Third Planet of the Black Hole
    Heat is basically just the excitement of molecules. Changelings control the state of their molecules and can alter it at will. So yes, if they want to, they can generate heat.