Questions tagged [ecology]

Ecology is the scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment.

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5
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1answer
104 views

What are the risks and consequences of colonizing an inhabited Earth-like planet?

The planet I have in mind has an abundance of plants and animals, but no sapient species or civilizations (think Earth before humans came along). Wouldn't Earth micro-organisms wreak havoc on alien ...
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2answers
76 views

What impact would a magical curse that saps the life from plants have on bodies of water?

I have a region in my homebrew D&D setting that used to be grassland/fertile farmland, and the breadbasket of the elven empire, until some wizards did a collective magical ritual that permanently ...
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7answers
538 views

The food chain was destroyed. How is it remade?

There was a nuclear war in my world Anthropocene. It caused a mass extinction of numerous animals on the planet, so many I can’t cover them all completely, so I’ll tell you what animals are left: ...
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3answers
217 views

What would be the ecological impact of short days in summer and long days in winter?

While working on the cosmology of a flat world, I came up with a satisfactory arrangement that would result in the following: Summer: Short, hot days and long, dark, hot nights. Winter: Long, cold ...
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2answers
299 views

What If Kangaroos Became An Invasive Species In Eastern North America?

What if kangaroos (specifically eastern grey kangaroos) became invasive in the eastern part of North America? How would they effect native flora and fauna? What would they compete for resources with? ...
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4answers
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Most important/useful animals and plants to save from the apocalypse?

So, nuclear war is on the horizon. I’m order for humanity and Earth to survive on, organizations, both public and private begin to construct massive underground shelters, each with the ability to ...
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2answers
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Kinetically powered plant

This contributor to Deviantart had this idea that on eyeball Earths some plants might grow in the shadow of bigger plants and get energy from the wind, like a naturally occurring wind turbine. My ...
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2answers
142 views

How many types of zombies? [closed]

So everyone who knows a little bit about biology has a vague idea that after catastrophic events or Apocalypses there's always a boom in the variety of animals which evolve. Creatures like us only ...
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1answer
32 views

Could a population lemurs evolve to suite colder climates and fill the niche or similar niche of squirrels?

In my world there is a southern continent that features some of the fauna from Madagascar and this includes the lemur. I’m wondering if the lemurs that live on this warm southern continent could ...
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8answers
449 views

What would encourage multiple animal species to evolve human features simultaneously?

The setting is fifty-five million years in the future on Earth, with multiple humanoid species that have different ancestors, but share similar characteristics. Their ancestors would be animals that ...
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2answers
118 views

What would a biosphere with naturally occurring undead population look like?

There exists a planet with a similar biological history of Earth that experienced a sudden inundation of the undead during it's equivalent of the middle Pleistocene. These undead are capable arising ...
7
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1answer
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Number of small herbivores per acre

I am interested in world building of a alien biospheres, as is done for example in Alien Biospheres series. In this context, I would like to know some rule of thumb how to estimate number of animals ...
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4answers
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Where can you find berries that eat people from the inside out?

My low-fantasy setting features the deadly plant known as the wormberry. It produces small berries of a bright-but-overall-undecided color, all of which contain a small, edible seed. They have two ...
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3answers
269 views

How do I stop Megalodon from going extinct?

A long time ago, the 60 foot long Megalodon roamed the oceans. Fast forward to 2.6 million years ago and they went extinct. In the story I'm writing Megalodon hasn't gone extinct surviving at least up ...
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1answer
180 views

What would be the repercussions of Megalodon never going extinct? [closed]

A long time ago the 60ft long Megalodon roamed the oceans, fast forward to 2.6 million years ago and they went extinct (and yes they definitely went extinct don't let the discovery channel fool you). ...
7
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4answers
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How to create fictional earth ecosystems with lots of megafauna which can plausibly coexist?

Ecosystems like the african savanna have lots of megafauna which to some extent compete with each other for the same prey/vegetation, but still coexist just fine. So how do I construct similarly ...
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7answers
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What Stops Dragons From Causing Ecological Collapse?

In my setting Dragons evolved on a n isolated continent far from where man evolved. But in the past thousand years dragons have been introduced to the human inhabited continent, which is filled with ...
4
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1answer
136 views

Could an Environment Sustain Large Eusocial Animals?

Eusociality, is the most sophisticated level of organization of sociality, is defined by the following characteristics: cooperative brood care, overlapping generations within a colony of adults, and ...
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4answers
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How long could this wildlife habitat sustain itself?

In my story a group of characters will be sent to a space habitat which contains some of the deadliest alien creatures for a survival training mission. The majority of the species will be carnivores ...
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2answers
222 views

Penguins in the Not-Arctic, how would this affect the poor seals

In a not so different fantasy world, whose physics and thus are similar to our own how would including penguins affect the look and function of a typical arctic ecosystem. For the purposes of this ...
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2answers
268 views

How big can Europan fish get?

Assumptions: Jupiter's moon Europa has a salty subsurface ocean in contact with a rocky mantle. The ocean is populated by hydrothermal vents produced by tidal heating. Global heat flow is similar to ...
7
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3answers
334 views

How does the ecosystem of the Underdark/underground world work?

The Old Ones build continent-sized bunker complexes to protect themselves from the enemy, which followed through the cosmic ocean. The Hunter succeeded easily despite their efforts and their corpses ...
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3answers
331 views

What would happen if all stars disappeared?

I'm imagining a hypothetical scenario based on the Big Rip theory of the end of the universe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip), where eventually the expansion of the universe causes everything ...
3
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1answer
128 views

Minor terraforming that allows people, and doesn't inconvenience local flora and fauna

What I'm looking at doing is a small game where you land on a planet, and the atmosphere is not survivable by a human being, but there is local life. Over the course of the game, terraforming has to ...
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3answers
439 views

How big is a dragon's hunting territory?

Dragons are very territorial apex predators. They build lairs on mountaintops, roost whenever they aren't hunting, and they hunt from the sky. With their size, wings and firebreath, there is no ...
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1answer
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How do I place my biomes realistically with only a köppen and topographic map?

I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out how to place the biomes in my continent. Though I have researched which biomes can occur in a certain climate, I'm still confused when it comes to ...
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2answers
224 views

Foraging behavior of a forest slime

The continent of Enyvea is home to a diverse population of slimes. These amorphous creatures are blobs of viscous goo of mostly homogenous composition. In order to move, they draw magic from the ...
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1answer
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What kind of planet environment could best host aliens like *Battle: Los Angeles*?

If I want a home for aliens like those which invaded in Battle:Los Angeles, what would be the best fitting features? The aliens: Burn water for fuel (assume they are using deuterium for fusion) ...
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What Australian Megafauna Would be Suitable for Domestication, if Any?

Imagine an alternate universe where the aborigines' impact on the Pleistocene Australian ecosystem was much less severe than it was in our timeline, and the Pleistocene megafauna managed to survive ...
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1answer
79 views

Could a Greater Number and Diversity of Marine Plant Species be Possible?

As landlubbers, we often let ourselves think that if salty seawater is undrinkable for us, it could be even worse for plants. However, certain types of angiosperms have found ways to not only thrive ...
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1answer
158 views

If Vikings Settled on a Tropical Island, How Would That Affect Up The Native Ecosystem? [closed]

An ice age has hit the already cold planet of Ryu 108. Its inhabitants, with the culture and technology of Scandinavia at the height of the viking age, are forced to feed themselves with a drastically ...
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3answers
220 views

Does or could a collection of regions like this exist on Earth?

I initially assumed my world was going to be pure fantasy, but the more I think about it, the more I consider having the story take place somewhere on Earth, either as alternate history or the far ...
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4answers
199 views

How do semi-sapient yeti/ogres live in the wild?

Assume that a species of bigfoot-type animal/person exists. Most of this also applies to ogres or trolls, whatever big dumb giants your particular setting has. My world's specs: They range 7-10 feet ...
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2answers
230 views

Which modern organisms would survive a new K-Pg level impact?

EDIT: As many have pointed out, the whole Lunar Collision aspect I originally envisioned is probably more extreme than I predicted. I don't know where to start as far as the math goes, although my gut ...
7
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3answers
185 views

How many human inhabitants could Earth host in a far future? [closed]

Assuming a technologically advanced civilization that has grown sustainably from the resources of its own planet (and maybe "a few" additional resources from its own solar system), what would be the ...
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14answers
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Retroactively modifying humans for Earth?

I understand, of course, that humans evolved for this exact environment! However, if you could travel back in time 2,000 years and modify our species (without any unintended health consequences), ...
6
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1answer
76 views

The Microecology of Living Quarters

A Question on the Balance of Ecosystems on the Microbial Scale Say that we had some living quarters on an Earth-like planet, within a moderately-sized base. The inhabitants of this base can freely ...
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3answers
411 views

Fertilizing desert in magical medieval world

Suppose there exists a magic-based civilization. Their mining techniques are medieval and their understanding of organic chemistry and biology are on the Enlightenment era level. However, they are ...
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3answers
156 views

Limitations of the interactions of fact and opinion thoughtforms in the Aethernet

The Setting Long story short, we cracked the code of the universe and then reprogrammed it to give ourselves admin privileges. But then, we realized that having top-level access is boring. There is ...
6
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1answer
126 views

Ecological implications of osmotic portals

Suppose some magical civilization on Earth-like planet can create portals. Any given portal entrances are spherical surfaces of the same radius. Any particle enters one sphere and exits another in the ...
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3answers
179 views

Ecological balance in a pleistocene+ world

So a friend is working on a worldbuilding/rpg project and I'm "beta-testing". He drew up an earth-like map and set the players start locations. Then I ask him about fauna. Will it be modern earth? ...
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2answers
250 views

Solar insolation/flux's effect on biome diversity/richness on an alien world

The Questions I'm trying to answer three main questions: Does a three-axis biome chart make sense for my world? How productive/life-rich should a biome be given a specific level of solar flux (...
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3answers
2k views

Why do Ichisongas hate elephants and hippos?

In the mythology of the Lambas people of Zambia, there is a creature called the Ichisonga. It is a herbivore, and very rhinoceros-like in appearance. Upon hearing a hippopotamus, it allegedly sneaks ...
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4answers
786 views

Realistic Alternatives to Dust: What Else Could Feed a Plankton Bloom?

Phytoplankton are not to be taken for granted. Not only do they form the core of marine food webs around the world, they also release half of the world's oxygen. But phytoplankton, being plant-like ...
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1answer
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Could an isolated cutoff valley sustain a diversity of animals alongside humans?

My world has an isolated valley between high mountains like the Himalayas that is practically cut off from the world by high elevation mountains and steep cliffs. The valley is about five miles in ...
6
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1answer
302 views

Eating one whale every three thousand days?

My current ongoing project, about which I've asked many questions, is about a world in which evolutionarily plausible legendary and folkloric creatures roam the Earth. One such creature is the sea ...
4
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1answer
86 views

Can Aspen forests have other species of tree present?

In a world dominated by steppe, the warmest regions give way into parklands dominated by stands of Aspen. My research suggests that Aspen groves may tend to exclude other species of tree, but I am ...
6
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1answer
277 views

What tree type grows into the most dense forests?

"Tree" is (apparently) not a very well defined term as far as scientific classifications are concerned, so I'll put my own restrictions on it for this question: Typical healthy adult specimens must ...
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2answers
299 views

Life in the Northern Hemisphere if Beringia Never Drowned

When one hears the name "Beringia", we most often think the land bridge that formed as a result of a drop in sea levels during the Pleistocene, resulting in a connection between Alaska and Russia. But ...
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3answers
235 views

Can black algae promote a global warming on a cold planet?

My world is at the outer edge of the habitable zone. There is enough heat and geological activity to start life, but a snowball earth is looming and threatens to freeze it all. There is some spring ...