Questions tagged [ecology]

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

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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 ...
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5 votes
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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, ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
119 views

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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Could stromatolite formation be significantly speeded up?

Stromatolites form at an incredibly slow rate of around 0.5mm a year but I was wondering if more favourable conditions could speed this up? These stromatolites will exist on an earth-like alien planet....
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8 votes
2 answers
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How far across the sea can mosquitoes disperse?

One of the more interesting facts about the biogeography of Hawaii is that mosquitoes were not always present; they only arrived in the early nineteenth century, as stowaways aboard oceangoing ships. ...
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Humanity is gone. What's the timeline of vermin infestation in an abandoned wholesale supermarket club?

Due to an accident during a transdimensional handwavium experiment, every sentient being on Earth was whisked away into another dimension. Humans are gone in a fiat. Somewhere, during temperate summer,...
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17 answers
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How can plants reliably intentionally poison those that eat their fruit?

For sake of metaphor, I want to include a plant that bears fruit that is poisonous, with the intent that when an animal eats it, it will walk away and die within a few hours, such that their corpse ...
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6 votes
2 answers
502 views

How does ocean productivity vary with depth?

I'm trying to figure out the optimal sea depth on an artificial world (a Banks Orbital as it happens, though I think this would also be an important parameter for many other kinds of megastructure). ...
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99.9% of the flight-capable birds died at once. How screwed is the rest of the world?

When a massive handwavium accident happened on Earth, 99.9% of all flight-capable birds worldwide, instead of dealing with it, answered with "Nope, gone to heaven." Basically, they died ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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How do Eagle-Men hunt?

The eagle-men are a race of aquiline creatures found in the wilderness. They are flightless and wingless creatures about 4ft in height, with legs like an eagle, a body partway between humanoid and ...
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Can this town gain ecological advantage from their limnic explosion region?

I want a war between two iron-age cultures, Town A and Town B, based on the "haves" and the "have nots" where they both exist in the same exact climate and geography, however, Town ...
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Survival on a dark hycean world

As a follow up to my previous question: Surviving a dark hycean world I ask this: how could life adapt to a tidally locked ocean world with thick atmosphere and perpetual storms? That's the definition ...
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Surviving a dark hycean world

A dark hycean world is supposed to be a hot water world with a thick atmosphere around a red dwarf star. This means it's tidally locked with one side forever facing the sun and the other forever ...
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Is this a hycean world?

In the speculative astrobiology book Teeming universe by Christian Cline, there's a planet called Hurcelion. It's described as a hybrid of rocky and gas giant planets. Most of the life floats or flies ...
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At what point does a human civilization on a dead planet require petroleum?

I’ve gone and designed an entire earth-like planet where life had never evolved. Oil can be reached if needed—the purpose of this question is to find how far they can go and avoid it. (Oil is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Ecologically Correct Hugag [closed]

The hugag is a fearsome critter with an inefficient-seeming anatomy: They are quadrupedal mammals, similar to ungulates. However, their limbs are jointless, with a single long segment that connects ...
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Ecologically Correct Troglodyte

The troglodyte is a strange humanoid creature found in histories from Rome and Ancient Greece They live in caves (as the name implies), and do not use much technology. They do have a language, which ...
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17 votes
5 answers
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Ecological niche of a horse sized wolf

In many fantasy settings, soldiers (generally orcs) ride on wolves the size of horses, plundering and raiding to their hearts' content. The only issue I see with this image (aside from using a ...
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7 votes
2 answers
160 views

Agriculture on a 15th century era Tidally locked Planet

What would humanity's most reliable method for food look like on a planet where the sun never sets, great winds raged across the land, and large-scale storms were commonplace? I'm curious if large-...
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189 views

Is a rainforest (or any single-biome) planet feasible

Various sci-fi movies often have single-biome planets (such as Tatooine, for example). Obviously a desert planet is possible (witness: Mars), but what about a more complex ecosystem, such as a ...
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Could an ecosphere realistically survive in space long enough to plant life on a new celestial body

I’m not taking about the ecospheres by the brand “ecosphere”, but the type you see on the channel life in jars. These type of ecospheres are essentially a sealed clear container with water, dirt, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why would a small climbing herbivore have tusks?

The muscaliet is a small arboreal mammal, similar in some ways to the wolpertinger. It is found in places like South Asia It has a hare-like body, with the feet and legs more like a squirrel. The tail ...
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5 votes
2 answers
145 views

Ecologically Correct Wolpertinger

The wolpertinger is a hybrid animal similar to a jackalope, that is found in places like southern Germany It resembles a squirrel overall. The head is like a hare, with a pair of antlers and fangs/...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Would These Three Actions Allow the Ecoregions to Regrow?

This scenario begins with multitudes of vanishings from around the world, at the same time. All of the domesticated animals (dog, goat, pig, sheep, European cattle, zebu, cat, chicken, Guinea pig, ...
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3 votes
4 answers
151 views

How much biological overlap would there be between a mirror life ecosystem and an Earthly ecosystem?

Background: Chiral molecules or ions are particles which cannot be made congruent to one another via flipping one or rotating one. For example, the same property applies to your hands, assuming that ...
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3 votes
2 answers
106 views

Ecologically Correct Onocentaur

The onocentaur is a mythological creature that is, contrary to its name, not truly a centaur, but instead has become a quadruped They have a humanoid upper body, with arms and hands, and a donkey-...
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7 votes
2 answers
225 views

What would be the largest animal that could exist within a grassland ecosystem dominated by machines?

For the story that I am writing currently, it is set on a colonized planet thousands of years after machines wiped out most of the human colony that were established there, and would go on to form an ...
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5 votes
1 answer
102 views

Ecologically Correct Land Fish

The land fish is a species of fish that is, as the name implies, fully terrestrial. Their anatomy is still fish-like, though. Specifically, they have a wide head like a monkfish, with the mouth on the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
130 views

Ecologically Correct Juvenile Phoenix

The phoenix is a bird that closely resembles a large eagle, but is distinguished by its life-cycle: Rather than laying eggs, they produce 2-3 small worms as they die and burn up, which feed on their ...
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1 vote
2 answers
155 views

Biochemistry of a sulfuric acid world?

Much like the Cannonball world with iron carbonyl seas, Stephen Gillett, in the book World-Building proposes a world with sulfuric acid seas and oxygen atmosphere, with life based on silicone (...
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4 votes
2 answers
137 views

Biochemistry of the Cannonball world

In his classic book World-Building, Stephen Gillett briefly describes a proposal for a "Cannonball" world, depleted in volatiles and with a large amount of surface iron, with life based on ...
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4 votes
1 answer
93 views

Molecular ecology for endogenous formamide formation?

Kind of a follow-up to this earlier question: How could formamide lakes form on an exoplanet? Suppose the problem of how to get an initial quantity of formamide is solved, and microbial life has ...
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1 vote
1 answer
162 views

Ecologically Correct Hōsōgyo

The Hōsōgyo is a sea creature that roughly appears to be a humanoid shrimp Their torso is shrimp-like, with a hard carapace on the pereon and a long, narrow abdomen like a tail. Their body is 2.2m ...
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4 votes
2 answers
987 views

Could Toxodon, Macrauchenia, and Megatherium be Domesticated, and if so, What Would Their Uses be? [closed]

In my book series, there is this huge flat savannah in the tropical north of my continent (it's in the southern hemisphere), very similar to the Brazilian cerrado in terms of plant life and animal ...
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7 votes
2 answers
223 views

Determining Predator/Prey Relationship for Plop and Chompers

Yes, I know I've created two different questions that resulted in a Plop or Chomper predator, respectively. However, given that Plops and Chompers are among the most common monsters in Alendyias, it ...
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7 votes
1 answer
100 views

Ranges of aurochs, bison and wild horses

I'm working on a setting where one of the large continents is similar to North America before the arrival of humans, including a biome containing the three large grazing ungulate species: aurochs, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
254 views

Impact of Chaos Sense

Monsters are creatures who lived in a world that was absorbed by the Fracture in Reality ; this exposed these once-normal animals to Chaos Energy that mutated them into fantasy-style monstrosities. ...
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4 votes
4 answers
224 views

How much could honey-production be scaled up

Worldwide 1,850,868 tonnes of honey is produced per year There are eight species of bee that produce honey, it's not just apis mellifera. Supposing honey became a main food source for humans, and ...
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1 vote
2 answers
82 views

Would You Fit All the Domesticated Animals on This One Continent?

There is an alternate Earth somewhere in the multiverse, one in which there are three continents, all separated by an interconnected network of seaways that make up only 45% of the planet's surface (...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How would merfolk sustainably magically grow coral?

This question is a modified version of my earlier question, where I will clarify some of my worldbuilding. In my world, merpeople are capable of manipulating coral by making it grow at a faster rate ...
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3 votes
2 answers
96 views

What consequences could arise from merpeople magically growing coral?

In my fantasy world there are merpeople who have a magical ability to manipulate coral, they can make corals grow at a much faster rate than it naturally would, as well as control the shape it grows. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
161 views

O'Neill Cylinder atmosphere on Moving "Day"

In short what effect would thrust induced pseudo-gravity have on the atmosphere of a sealed cylindrical habitat that was already generating spin induced pseudo-gravity? Assume that the thrust is along ...
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2 votes
2 answers
94 views

Ecologically Correct Ompax

Ompax spatuloides, a hoax, was thought to be a unique type of fish found near the Burnett River in Queensland, Australia. Presuming (for the purpose of this question) its reality, it has generic ...
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1 vote
1 answer
106 views

What would be an environment conducive to the evolution of varanids based Naga?

I already made this question Naga evolution based on varanids related with the viability of varanid nagas. Any ways here I let the most relevant part from that question to explain my reasonement. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
102 views

Flatworm's features kept in convergent evolution with vertebrates?

Flatworms part of the clade platyhelminthes are one the more primitive groups of bilateral animals, probably the most primitive bilaterial animals were very similar to flatworms. I had the idea about ...
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6 votes
2 answers
98 views

In which kind of enviroment the frogs' "multiple legs parasite" could turn symbiotic?

There is a parasite which make different amphibians specially frogs and toads to get multiple extra limbs during the transition from tadpole to adult. The objetive of the parasite is to harm the host'...
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4 votes
2 answers
63 views

What environmental pressures would drive arthropods to evolve a more "efficient" circulatory and respiratory system?

I already made two different questions about similar things, How could an efficient respiratory system evolve for giant arthropods? and How could an efficient circulatory and cardiovascular system ...
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12 votes
6 answers
2k views

Would honey work as money?

Would honey be feasible as a kind of money? It seems ideal to me and I'm wondering if I'm missing something. Honey is: imperishable (like gold is) hard to mass-produce or massively scale production ...
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  • 353
6 votes
5 answers
527 views

What would be a propitious environment in which centaurs could evolve?

This isn't a question about an anatomically correct centaur and its features, but I will assume general characteristics of a centaur and the objective is to find what environment would allow an ...
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