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In my story, there is a modern-fantasy setting, think magic but with 1990 tech. I know that most living things capable of movement can't subsist off of photosynthetic processes alone,but I don't know much about what in general would be edible to a group of Treants.

The Treants are between 6-8 feet tall.

The Treants have a digestive system similar to a human's, but hardier, as they can eat a broader range of plant matter. Their stomachs can digest "anything" plant based, including other treants.They can digest most plant-like materials,and can consume small amounts of meat,but not certainly more than 100cal/day. They move more slowly than people, being made out of wood. They have lower but sapient levels of intelligence. Their organs are all plant-based,but in general, serve a similar purpose to humans' organs.

They have muscles stronger than most humans' muscles, but are also heavier than the average person and thus move slower.

They, in general,possess a small amount of innate magic that animates their brains and gives them sapience. Some of their species, albeit more rare than humans, possess magic. These spellcasters range in power, mostly stereotypical magical runes and enchantments, etc.

I'll just say that they digest food at the same rate as humans do, and need around 2000 calories per day to function.

Counting small amounts of photosynthesis, what would be their primary food source? I can include magical foods but am also wondering if they can graze or eat things besides human fruits and vegetables as part of their diets.

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    $\begingroup$ The creature-design wiki states, Keep in mind that this site is not meant for broad idea generation, so you should be specific and provide all the relevant detail, or risk seeing the question put on hold until you narrow it down. You need to explain the biology of your treants. Do they have stomachs? muscles? blood vessels? Do they utilize magic? Obviously wood doesn't compress easily, making movement a challenge. We can help you design your creature, but we can't design the creature for you. Before describing a food source, we need to know how it moves & digests. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 17 '20 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ Fixed! Sorry about that, I've not used Stack much but have had it for a while. $\endgroup$ – Salami-tsunami Aug 17 '20 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @SalamiTsunami! I've removed my close vote. Let's see what the community does with this. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 17 '20 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ do they have mouth and teeth? or are they eating it through the equivalent of tree roots? $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Aug 18 '20 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ May I ask why you're asking about a DnD trademarked monster? Even they changed the name to avoid copyright problems with the Tolkien estate (Ent -> Treant). It might be wiser to change the name again to avoid problems with Wizards of the Coast. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Aug 18 '20 at 7:54
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Peat.

peat fire

(Source)

  1. Energy dense. Peat can be burned instead of coal.

  2. Made of plants

  3. Available at the surface for gathering.

  4. Kind of exotic for American readers.

  5. It might stain the treants brown with peat juices. It might be kind of chewy.

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    $\begingroup$ Hooray for Peat! $\endgroup$ – Daron Aug 18 '20 at 1:13
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    $\begingroup$ Though I believe peat takes a very long time to form. $\endgroup$ – Daron Aug 18 '20 at 1:14
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What objects would Treants be able to digest?
-Salami-tsunami

The Treants have a digestive system similar to a human's, but hardier, as they can eat a broader range of plant matter. Their stomachs can digest "anything" plant based, including other treants.They can digest most plant-like materials,and can consume small amounts of meat,but not certainly more than 100cal/day.
-Salami-tsunami

This solves the question in the title.


Counting small amounts of photosynthesis, what would be their primary food source?

If they can eat whatever humans can, then their primary food source will be as varied as humans'. There are 300+ million people in India who won't eat meat, there are some Inuit populations which at times eat only meat. And then there are Americans, who eat... Stuff, I guess. If your treants are able to eat what humans eat, they'll be able to live anywhere, off of anything. They'll probably have very interesting gastronomical relationships with humans. Each species might even eat people from the other every now and then.

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  • $\begingroup$ Honestly given 1990 tech.... exactly what modern vegans eat. Hell, since their plant matter tolerance seems greater than humans, our normal vegetable waste would be prime pickings for treants. The cut off ends of cucumbers, watermelon rind, etc. $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Aug 17 '20 at 18:04
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Treant Draught

It's just like Ent Draught except it has "Tre" in front of it.

You could limit it's source to one magical spring and claim that it runs through a long abandoned resovoir system deep in the local mountains, bringing with it concentrated nurtients from millions of years of decaying inland sea.

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Walking Fertilizer Factory

Your treants work like sea-cucumbers. Every day they take in a huge amount of soil, leaf-litter, dead logs and so on, and process it to filter out microscopic life forms.

They absorb some nutrients and break down the others, so what comes out the other end looks and acts like potting compost. They wander around the forest fertilizing the trees and redistributing nutrients from one place to another. Tree Shepherds indeed.

This also explains is why they are so slow. Most of their metabolism is devoted to processing energy-low food. There is not much energy for anything else.

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Ignoring the fact you answered your own question

Treants are plants which means they can get their energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil.

Now carnivorous plants exist in poor soil and supplement the nutrients with captured insects.

The treant is simply a larger type of carnivorous plant that requires larger prey and is an ambush predator. It's evolved the ability to walk so it can change hunting grounds if the prey learn to avoid it.

It would has a simple digestive system similar to a pitcher plant that just dissolves everything

enter image description here

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