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In my world, an event has happened, some nuclear fall-out caused every animal to grow a special organ that emits light, but I'm wondering what effect that would have on the Food Chain?

The world I'm talking about doesn't contain humans, and it's the world as Earth is today, all humans have died out after a war with each other, which happened roughly 3.000 years ago.

To make the question less broad - what would have happened to the apex predators & their prey?

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  • $\begingroup$ Your question is a bit broad. There is a lot that could happen to the food chain, any aspects in particular you want to know about? $\endgroup$
    – evilscary
    Apr 22, 2016 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ @evilscary what would happend to the apex predators & their prey? $\endgroup$
    – Gerwin
    Apr 22, 2016 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's the "what would happen" part that's too broad rather than the particular animals... As in, anything could happen, it's up to your imagination... $\endgroup$
    – komodosp
    Apr 22, 2016 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ the animals would be more visible, so would that mean that the Apex Predators would die out? $\endgroup$
    – Gerwin
    Apr 22, 2016 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Gerwin, well for one, that would be pretty scary hahaha >< Imagine waking up at night and seeing lights in your backyard and lights wheeling around in the air, and you're like, 'Oh, right. That's just the cat chasing some birds'. Still, it would be pretty fun, I guess. ^^ $\endgroup$
    – ASH-Aisyah
    Apr 23, 2016 at 6:35

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Predators that rely on stealth will struggle, as will prey that relies on hiding. They will need to adapt their behavior, but it's hard to say how successful they will be.

  • Many snakes will be in trouble, as they wait for prey to wander into striking range. This is not going to happen much when their glow is visible from meters away. Hunger will drive them to start chasing prey, but even if they follow the prey back to its nest or burrow, they're unlikely to catch anything.
  • Eagles and such will thrive, since their prey is now even easier to spot.
  • Wolves won't notice much. They track prey by smell, not sight. They don't care about being seen either, since their m.o. is to chase and exhaust the prey.

Among the menu items prey animals, ground-nesting birds will be in the most trouble. After a disastrous breeding season or two, they'll be nearing extinction. In fact, many animals rely on camouflage for protecting their young and will have to find safer places for to keep their young until they can outrun/fly/fight predators.

In summary: diversity will go down a bit, some predators will have a short peak in numbers while they hunt the easy prey to (local) extinction, then fall back from starvation. I don't know of any ecosystems where hiding is the primary strategy for the bulk of the animals, so it's unlikely that there are any total collapses.

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