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Humanoid
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Humanoid

In science fiction, a humanoid is any sentient creature whose body structure resembles that of a human, either living or a robotic model.

Usually, humanoid refers to a species that has the same basic body outline as a human, being bipedal, but differs in details such as coloring, ear form, presence of hair, average height and weight, size of nose, "extras" such as horns, plates, claws and tails, form of skin, and taxonomic lineage (being descended from reptiles, fish, rodents, marsupials, or a phylum not evolved on Earth, perhaps, instead of primates).

Most of the alienss in television and movie science fiction shows are humanoid, since it is easier for an interactive character to be a disguised human actor. However, there are various methods for presenting non-humanoid characters, for example computer graphics, creative costuming, and puppets.

Some fans find that it rings false to have a universe populated by creatures that look human, although other people (including some biologists) believe a species would naturally drift towards bipedalism when achieving sapience as we know it (e.g. Russell's troödon-descended sapient). Occasionally, shows present a reason for this to be the case. For example, the episode "The Chase" of explained the humanoid denizens of the Star Trek universe by advancing the story of a primordial humanoid civilization, the Progenitors, that seeded the galaxy with genetically-engineered cells that guide evolution toward humanoid life.

In most cases, however, the reason for the similarity is not explained, and it is regarded simply as a dramatic convention.

Humanoid can also used to describe Neanderthals and most non-human primates.

See also list of fictional humanoid species.