My Kepler Bb humanoids are in the middle of a spectrum that goes from complete hunter gatherer (and thus having to go long distances for food and rely on ketosis to survive) to complete agriculture (and thus not having to move far or risk as many injuries)

They have more endurance, speed, and strength in their muscles as result of a set of hormones that are specifically for protein storage/usage in case of excess protein supply (in which case protein is stored as polypeptides for later use) or high protein demand (in which case polypeptides are broken down and transported to the muscle or muscles in need). This means that they are better long distance runner than we are. Their anatomy and physiology has a lot of similarities and a lot of differences from ours.

And every unit of time except the second is longer so that will have an even more profound effect when converting Kepler units to earth units (because Earth has the smaller units) and comparing them that way.

So I am thinking that being right in the middle of the spectrum (growing plants but still hunting and gathering for 100% of animal protein and most of their fat and certain vitamins and minerals that are more bioavailable in animals than in plants (iron is just one example of that)) should be perfectly plausible and thus it should be perfectly plausible that any given humanoid will have one home area where they grow plants and a much wider hunting radius around that area and be able to go from the home area to the edge of the hunting radius and back in a reasonable amount of time.

But is it perfectly plausible or is there something that prevents it?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Their anatomy and physiology has a lot of similarities and a lot of differences from ours." it's a pretty vague statement... $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 16 '17 at 6:21

Being a farmer is a tough job. You don't plant the seed and sit on your porch sipping a beer waiting to harvest, but you have to take care of the soil, keep away weeds and animals, spread fertilizers, etc. which are all pretty demanding jobs (expecially if you have no mechanical helpers).

Hunting is also a demanding job: you have to seek for the pray, ambush it, slaughter it and then bring it back home.

So the two jobs are not compatible to the full extent for a single person, but what you can have is a mix of the two: a farmer can still set some traps to hunt for small herbivores (rabbits, wild goats and the like) harrassing his cultures. The prey can then act as dietary integration.

Or a family can have members specialized in farming and other specialized in hunting, for mutual benefit.

  • $\begingroup$ One should not overlook the so-called "complex hunter-gather" cultural family. Definitions vary, but one might be a society that takes active measures to manage their foraging resources. These measures have included re-seeding resources after harvest and controlled burns to remove competition or prepare the ground for desired species. That is, they perform some tasks that might be naive classified as belonging to agricultural societies, but are not primarily dependent on crops and don't engage in agriculture full time. $\endgroup$ Jul 16 '17 at 15:28

Yes of course it's plausible.

Human beings didn't go from being hunter-gatherers to farmers overnight. It took literal millenia (~ 5 thousand years). I have no idea why you would think it would be even remotely implausible. Or why you thought you needed to explain how better at hunting your aliens are.

It is absolutely possible, moreover inevitable for any hunter-gatherer species who have discovered agriculture to go through a long, long, long (unimaginably long, I doubt most people even have a grasp on how long a century truly is, I know I don't) period of transition.


In the Middle East, domestication of an animals and development of agriculture were more or less synchronous - I think goat herding might have actually come first. But draft animals are so useful for dryland farming that I think domesticated animals to pull plows (cattle, or donkeys, or later, horses) are necessary. In the Middle East once agriculture was discovered it spread very quickly to all adjacent areas with a climate anywhere near suitable, with hunter gatherers giving up that lifestyle.

Wetland agriculture is different. The domestication of rice in China predates domestic pigs, with other animals coming along later (probably acquired from the West). Maybe it is because once you have your own tame pond full of plants, animals show up that you can eat: pigs, ducks, fish, crawdads. So: I propose that your humanoids who have agriculture but no domestic animals practice wetland agriculture: rice and other wet edible plants.


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