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Questions tagged [ecology]

For questions dealing with the interactions between organisms and their environments.

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7 votes
3 answers
776 views

Feasibility of a bio-engineered, floating tree lifeform in the Venusian atmosphere?

Would it be possible, given many advances in genetic engineering that today remain speculative, to design a lifeform capable of withstanding the hostile conditions of the Venusian atmosphere? I'm ...
Aeolian's user avatar
  • 71
15 votes
5 answers
6k views

Life on a planet with never-ending rain

I'm intrigued by the notion of life on a planet where rain is a constant presence. Imagine a world where precipitation never ceases, where the skies are perpetually gray, and the sound of raindrops ...
Alessar's user avatar
  • 521
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Using real examples, how long might it take for the species in a forest/jungle to respond to sudden climate change? [closed]

In my world, thriving forests/jungles experience abrupt and permanent shifts in climate. They remain wet enough to avoid desertification, but some species that thrive in one temperature range would ...
spraff's user avatar
  • 2,239
5 votes
2 answers
89 views

Growth rate of super moss

Following an answer to aprevious question I posted, this world does is filled with moss and lichen fields that make other plant growth (and crop cultivation) impossible. But after researching mosses ...
Rhomaioi's user avatar
  • 1,314
3 votes
1 answer
119 views

What life would thrive on land which is frequently -- but not always -- doused with seawater?

Take a large piece of normally-dry land and flood it twice a day with seawater. We expect to see seaweed, crabs, and the like set up an ecosystem. The flooding is tens of metres deep, and turbulent, ...
spraff's user avatar
  • 2,239
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Would the diet described below sustain a human?

In my world I need to feed a colony of Kobolds. I'm modeling my Kobolds' dietary requirements on humans. My question is whether or not the following foodstuffs would meet the dietary needs of human ...
Roger Perry's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
201 views

What would our world look like if it only got 160 days of sun in a year?

A while ago, I encountered a YouTube and Spotify playlist called "songs for an empty world" by LAIN. The description was especially interesting to me: Only 250,000 people left. 160 days of ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
197 views

In a setting in which South American megafauna and current African animals coexist, which if any could be suitable for domestication?

In my book series, there is a large area of the Planet Aurea called Zebusylvania with a similar climate, flora, and (some) fauna to the Cerrado and Caatinga regions of Brazil in our world. ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
290 views

How would sensible waste disposal be accomplished for terrestrial creatures in a primitive society? [closed]

Necessary context: Various real animals like birds, foxes and snakes plus fictitious ones like qilins/kirins, gryphons and gloomstalkers (raven-like birds with some minor serpent features) possessing ...
KeturiosBlue's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
238 views

The miraculous substance of carrangan: can it exist, and what does it change about its planet of origin?

First, this account is a replacement for my old one, Jobah_HigherMind, because I forgot the password after being inactive for four months. But I’m moving away from Algennon questions, at least for now,...
Jobah619's user avatar
  • 117
1 vote
1 answer
98 views

Fluvial systems: Are they necessary for human survival in domed cities on waterless planets

A world with a natural water cycle has rivers which generate a lot of transportation and ecological benefits. But gravity and sunlight drive those engines. An artificial domed community doesn’t have ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,179
2 votes
4 answers
142 views

Which natural process could make the surface of a planet temporarily uninhabitable for some, but habitable for other species?

I want to tell a story about two sentient species inhabiting the same planet, but never meeting. Essentially, some kind of random event (every couple of days up to every couple of months) causes ...
C4X's user avatar
  • 23
12 votes
15 answers
5k views

How can kaiju exist in nature and not significantly alter civilization?

I'm building a world where kaiju-sized creatures exist alongside regular-sized creatures. How these kaiju don't crumble under their own weight doesn't matter, and can be explained away by them being ...
M Arif Rahman Winandar's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
113 views

What would the geological effects of erosion due to extreme megafauna be like on large timescales?

Whenever I see fictional biospheres with massive or otherwise extreme megafauna capable of significant short-term erosion (such as toppling large rock formations, leveling mountains, digging huge ...
Ch phorr's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
3k views

Where do forge-worms live outside of forges?

Forge-worms are large bugs which flutter about the hearths of forges. They rely on the high temperatures of the forge to stay active and immediately fall into torpor when their body temperature falls ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
271 views

How large could an animal that only eats blood become?

Sanguivores, also known as hemophages, are animals that consume blood. They include obligate sanguivores, like vampire bats, or facultative sanguivores, like the vampire finches from the Galapagos ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
284 views

Can ecological collapse happen in a person's lifetime?

I'm writing a story for a character who is a an old monster hunter. In his younger days, he used to make a living by hunting the most dangerous monsters which are basically the story's equivalent of ...
M Arif Rahman Winandar's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
148 views

Anatomically Correct Chupacabra [closed]

This is a submission for the Anatomically Correct Series. The Chupacabra is a legendary cryptid animal from North American folklore. It is a strange bear-like or reptilian creature that sucks the ...
Rhymehouse's user avatar
  • 3,563
2 votes
1 answer
261 views

What biomes would Gondwana, a supercontinent consisting of South America and Africa have?

Hundreds of millions of years ago, there was a supercontinent named Pangaea that had almost every landmass on Earth. Later on, that landmass drifted apart into continents. It first became smaller ...
Rhymehouse's user avatar
  • 3,563
1 vote
3 answers
441 views

Would a carnivore that can only see in infrared be an effective predator?

I'm trying to design new animals. One animal I came up with is a type of nocturnal & carnivorous predator that is shaped like a very large wolf. This predator sees in infrared light instead of ...
Rhymehouse's user avatar
  • 3,563
7 votes
6 answers
1k views

Balancing ecosystems with monsters [closed]

When worldbuilding, I am trying to fill my world's nature with a lot of dangerous monsters. However, there was something I realized I forgot to do, and something that I notice many fantasy creators ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 2,605
1 vote
3 answers
197 views

Introducing animals to a terraforming Mars by air-drop

So, the moment has arrived: Mars is habitable. Plants, fungi, and even insects have been introduced by air-drop, along with fish and crustaceans introduced as eggs. However, what larger animals could ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,593
3 votes
6 answers
443 views

How can human feed themselves on a planet without organic compounds?

I have a planet that is mostly inhabited by "animals" that aren't carbon based, with intentions for humanity to eke out a way of living there. Now, easily I could reason that they just ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
0 votes
1 answer
137 views

How would plant life be affected by rapid fluctuations in temperature?

In my fantasy world I'm constructing, there is not a traditional day and night. Rather, magical lights cross the sky. As soon as one sets, another rises. There are three of these lights, each ...
WasatchWind's user avatar
  • 3,207
4 votes
1 answer
136 views

What is the best non open-air farming method for a country in an environmentally degraded planet?

The surface and skies of Earth have been heavily polluted through various issues. Climate change, war, biological/chemical warfare, nuclear weapons etc. The sky is blanketed in a permanent semi opaque ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
2 votes
3 answers
169 views

Can we use consistent ashfall to help reclaim or create topsoil?

Earth has reached a point of significant desertification due to issues such as climate change, deforestation, pollution, etc. Because of this there's significant topsoil loss across the planet. What's ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
3 votes
2 answers
156 views

If a planet wide mist/thick cloud layer covered the planet that let little sunlight through, what does large scale farming look like?

Imagine a thick layer of clouds, mist, ash etc of sorts that blankets the higher atmospheres of a planet such that nights are nearly pitch black and daylight is range of greyish (think of a heavily ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
5 votes
4 answers
795 views

Can my city be full of giant rats?

The rodents of unusual size in question are not implausibly large from a biological standpoint, being roughly the same weight as an American Beaver, but much more adapted for land living and with an ...
user avatar
21 votes
9 answers
5k views

Could a pine forest with year-round snowfall survive?

I am trying to design an alien forest ecosystem. The forest looks like this (from Dreamstime.com): The relevant difference between the real-life Swedish forest pictured and mine is that my world ...
Mark Price's user avatar
  • 2,358
7 votes
2 answers
622 views

How would prey animals adapt to large aerial predators?

Let's say the world's natural history evolved along much the same lines, but the modern species of large herbivores we're familiar with - ie cattle, deer, elephants, antelopes, etc - had to deal with ...
Nascence's user avatar
  • 738
6 votes
3 answers
755 views

Would paper pulp or resin be preferable to build giant beehives?

I have a hive-based, man-sized creature based on a honeybee. It still builds combs and produces/consumes honey, but (I think) honey wax isn’t strong enough to support the massive increase in hive size,...
Neutralmouse01's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
123 views

Which large marine animals could live in an ocean 60 m deep? [closed]

The setting I'm currently working on, has a sea that is large in area, but even the deep ocean, far from land, is only sixty meters deep. (It's a Banks Orbital, but I don't think that matters in and ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 4,907
1 vote
3 answers
158 views

The variety of colour in a world under a red dwarf [closed]

I'm designing a world orbiting a red dwarf. Now, I want the life on my planet to have a rich variety of color just like life on earth does. The problem is that I don't know if that's feasible. From ...
ΓΙΑΝΝΗΣ ΜΙΧΑΗΛΙΔΗΣ's user avatar
8 votes
8 answers
3k views

Make a tiny island robust to ecologic collapse

My world is to have a tiny island that will periodically be inhabited by a person or small group of people. By tiny I'm using a fuzzy yardstick: 1-50 hectares. When people are here, they will be ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
20 votes
9 answers
3k views

What's a reasonable environmental disaster that could be caused by a probe from Earth entering Europa's ocean?

I'm working on a story involving life on Europa (or at least a place just like it) being upturned dramatically by contact from a probe sent from Earth. Found this community while researching, and have ...
Brooke's user avatar
  • 261
5 votes
4 answers
320 views

How could creatures in a zero-G but otherwise Earthlike environment move around?

Humanity has just discovered a massive, derelict space ark containing its own ecosystem. Its artificial gravity has long since failed, and it's been drifting undisturbed for millennia. Assume that: ...
JustasidequestNPC's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
482 views

Guam - Revenge of the Birds [closed]

To quickly recap how Guam became eerily devoid of chirping sounds, it is supposed that an invasive species of snake hitched its way to the island on a cargo ship and began multiplying and exploiting ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

The "Exciting" Drilling company dug an underground canal connecting Death Valley to the Pacific. How does it change the Mojave climate?

Badwater Basin, part of Death Valley, is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level at its lowest point. The "Exciting" drilling company, based in Nevada (they are exciting and not at all like their b**...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
16 votes
16 answers
7k views

If a creature's best food source was 4,000 feet above it, and only rarely fell from that height, how would it evolve to eat that food?

Setting No sunlight reaches the area where these creatures live, but the food it eats has fairly easy access to sunlight. The ground below the creatures is nutrient-rich soil, and is heated by ...
shootbuildthink's user avatar
22 votes
11 answers
6k views

Why would a creature both have carnivore teeth and side-facing eyes?

So, after a long unplanned hiatus, I have started designing alien creatures again, and one image that eve before that hiatus I could not get out of my head is that of a creature which has both the ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
1k views

Energy in a food web of robots

I'm working on a planet with robotic life, until now I think I know how they work, the only problem is that, unless I want to make all lifeforms autotrophic, I have no idea how the energy might move ...
MewTheCatsaur's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
192 views

What niche would werewolf looking creatures have in an environment? [closed]

By werewolf, I'm not talking about normal humans who can transform into big beasts and transform others to be like them. I'm just purely talking about could the werewolf form be its own wild animal? ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,401
2 votes
1 answer
379 views

Could a quantum computer be integrated into a biological medium?

I'm working on an idea for an AI in a short story and have been circling around the idea of a biologically-integrated quantum computer — think, diamond qubits suspended in a biological medium (goop?) ...
hwy4's user avatar
  • 23
6 votes
7 answers
1k views

Is there a scavenger or carrion feeder (Or anything associated with death) that's actually BAD for the environment?

I'm designing a dualistic pair of factions of post-apocalyptic scrappers with views based on opposing concepts of scavenging; renewal, re-use, and removal of hazards versus thievery, opportunism, and ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
2 votes
1 answer
156 views

If the USA was hit by a bombardment of nuclear warheads, what would the landscape look like?

In my world, technology that could alter a living creature's biology (later called Lazarus Tech) became incredibly popular in many places, until the overuse of the technology cause countless millions ...
50calbulletshrimp's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
168 views

How would a planet having a high concentration of metals like an asteroid affect it's ecosystems?

I am working on a Sci-Fi/ Fantasy world called Atterra which is an very alternate version of earth that has been artificially injected with metals and materials from the asteroid belt. Long story ...
anthony gutierrez's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
414 views

How do we tell a biosphere has been tampered with? [closed]

How could one distinguish a naturally evolved biosphere from one which has been manipulated in a subtle manner? Think slight genetic tweaks, targeted extinction events and so on. The process might ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why are there so many mosquitoes in the Arctic?

TL-DR: How to create a world with ecology similar to ours, that doesn't have such abominable plagues of mosquitoes in its Arctic summer? It is tempting to think of mosquitoes as a pest of the tropics, ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 4,907
3 votes
3 answers
617 views

How would life develop/adapt in an Earth-like planet but with less sunlight?

Here's the setting: Advanced human civilizations of an ancient time destroyed the ozone layer of the planet. They managed to create an self-sustaining artificial layer which would function exactly as ...
Lulullia's user avatar
  • 155
3 votes
1 answer
181 views

Can I Passively redirecting air currents with forest gardening?

A group of evil farmers have developed a technique for manipulation of the weather on a large scale whereby the land is altered to effect the temperature of the air above and to act as a trap for ...
ProfessorMoreRight's user avatar

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