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In previous questions on this topic, I've devised a genetically-diverse creature that uses a cold fusion internal engine to provide tremendous amounts of short-term (sprint) energy.

However, there have been several concerns raised about such an internal engine. So I am asking the community, what would be the best solution to the problem of sprint energy?

Constraints:

  • Must be able to produce copious amounts of energy on demand
  • Must be able to produce energy for up to 10 minutes at a time
  • Must be organic
  • Must be scalable to creature size (size ranges from caterpillar to whale)
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  • $\begingroup$ Are you looking for thermal, electrical, chemical or 'doesn't matter which type' energy? $\endgroup$ – Scott Downey Jan 14 '16 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ Remember, when humans outreach their limits, they can be severely harmed. Strains, Dyspnea, etc. $\endgroup$ – Kii Jan 14 '16 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ @ScottDowney Doesn't matter which type. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 14 '16 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Kii This question is not about humans, so I'm not sure what you mean. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 14 '16 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Since it's short term, how quickly does it need to be able to recharge? And how do you see these creatures operating? Was the cold fusion to produce electricity for motors? Muscles? Something else? $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Jan 14 '16 at 16:17
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As a starter for ten:

Sugar is actually pretty darn good. It diffuses well, can be broken down immediately by cells needing a boost, and it's pretty simple to get hold of.

If your hypothetical creatures have 'sprint cells' (like the exact opposite of fat cells) lining their cardiovascular system that contain high concentrations of a glucose syrup/oxygen/adrenaline mix (built up over time), then when they're in need of a boost a special hormone/chemical can be released into the bloodstream. This chemical would cause the walls of the sprint cells to break down, releasing huge amounts of sugar (which cells need for high performance), oxygen (which cells need for high performance) and adrenaline (or something similar).

The advantages: Instant high energy, a feeling of heightened alertness, crazy strength (adrenal surges can do really weird things), and a general feeling of invulnerability. This also scales at the same speed as the cardiovascular system of your creature and can be 'tuned' for varying energy release patterns based on hormone strength/number of sprint cells etc.

Potential side effects include: Epic crash after the buzz wears off, Liver failure, Kidney failure, Irreparable brain damage, Cardiovascular disease, Increased risk of stroke, Hyperglycaemic shock, muscle strain and diabetes.

Use with caution.

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The power source
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There are existing biological power sources that your DNA chimera could use to "power" the muscles, like the organs of an electric eel. The organs could produce electricity and provide an electric shock to stimulate the muscle. Multiple organs could be fired in sequence to provide a sustained burst over a period of time.

I remember a lecturer a while back talking about how frogs have a different type of muscle in their legs that is really good for fast movement. (White muscle maybe? it's been a long time.)

Since your creature has multiple DNA types, it's believable that it would have different types of muscle, possibly layered on top of each other. The normal "red" muscle would be used for normal movement, and the "white" fast twitch muscle would be used as a speed and strength enhancer when needed.

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