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So, I have a species in my story, one of many, called a Baldrethian. They inhabit a planet called Baldreth, which has been moving across the galaxy for eons. It started off closer to the Sun than Venus, and has slowly been drifting away from it due to an unknown force. When it was around the same distance from the Sun as Earth is, Baldrethians appeared.

My question is, as the planet slowly drifted away and got colder and colder, now at an extremely cold temperature, would the species be able to adapt to the temperature or would they die off?

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! An interesting question, but I think you probably need to edit to specify more about the species, the rate and range of the temperature change, and other details of what the planet and its other life forms and ecosystems are like, or else this question is going to be to wide-open to have a clear answer, and may be closed for that reason. Do you mean technological adaptation, or evolving over eons. $\endgroup$ – Dronz Nov 16 '15 at 19:13
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It's an alien creature, on an alien world: you can make up anything you like!

Maybe as the world gets colder, these creatures (do they have technology? Civilizations?) learn to live underground, closer to the core of the planet, where it's warmer (temperature rises sharply the deeper you go), only to reemerge when the planet swings closer to the Sun.

That's only one possible solution.

What about if these creatures are somehow genetically predisposed to radical genetic mutation? If exposed to a new environment, some individuals die, but many others manage to mutate into a new form (like a caterpillar coming out of a cocoon). Thus you have genetic "cousins" living deep in the oceans, or flying, etc. Technically, they could even reproduce with one another, but they have adapted very different lifestyles (kinda like species of dogs have radically different physiques - but more extreme, obviously).

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  • $\begingroup$ Like a planet of Evees! $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Apr 24 '16 at 20:41
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Nope.

Life requires energy to operate. If a creature is evolved to survive on the energy levels available in an Earth-like ecosystem, that same creature is very unlikely to survive in an ecosystem with significantly less energy. That is, if the average temperature drops from 20°C to 10°C, nearly all life on that planet will die. Life is very interdependent, if all other life dies, your species has little to no chance of survival.

If you're providing a very long time (evolutionarily long) for the species to adapt, then by the time it gets to a form that can survive the cold, it will not be the same species anymore, the original species will have gone extinct.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, so perhaps they are still named Baldrathians but scientifically speaking they are not the same species. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Sir Daws Nov 16 '15 at 20:59

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