Questions tagged [ecology]

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

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3
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2answers
200 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 ...
11
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2answers
191 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 ...
6
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3answers
220 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 ...
0
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3answers
244 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
82 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 ...
4
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3answers
237 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 ...
4
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1answer
86 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
163 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 ...
3
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1answer
73 views

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) ...
15
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
77 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
142 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 ...
3
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3answers
181 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 ...
3
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4answers
171 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 ...
6
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2answers
221 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
173 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 ...
17
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14answers
3k views

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
74 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 ...
7
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3answers
390 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 ...
4
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3answers
152 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
121 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
161 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? ...
6
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2answers
183 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 (...
10
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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 ...
9
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4answers
770 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 ...
5
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1answer
76 views

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
282 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
83 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
172 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 ...
4
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2answers
292 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 ...
7
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3answers
229 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 ...
4
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3answers
280 views

Building a Realistic Food Web

So far, I've begun developing a food web for a swampy biome. Currently, the result of this free building is shown in the mess below (built = orange, aquatic = blue, producer = green, not built yet = ...
4
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1answer
131 views

How quickly would an ecocircle propogate over an unlimited flat world?

Suppose a universe with similar physical laws to ours, with the major exception of gravity not existing as we know it, with an analogous force (hereafter called gravity for simplicity) acting as a ...
4
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4answers
170 views

Hypothetically, should cultural/genetic Homogeneity in Aliens be considered the Exception, or the Rule?

Humans all belong to a Single Species, localized on a single small-ish planet... Yet we are incredibly diverse in both Culture and Individual Appearance/Adaptation to our environment. This also seems ...
7
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1answer
94 views

How much does the ecosphere weigh?

So, we've gone off to another star system and decided to build a Dyson bubble--a continuous statite, supported by radiation pressure, surrounding a star--with a surface gravity of 1g to live on. Now, ...
2
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3answers
376 views

How to develop ecosystem in science based way? [closed]

I want to create artificial ecosystem. I don't want to do it in random way like "We have cats but lets name them kads. They live in forest... of mushrooms. And there is a river. I think it is enough....
8
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3answers
176 views

Avian adaptation to microgravity and low gravity environments

I like to hear the sound of birds when I travel amongst my orbital and planetary habitats scattered around the outer system. Most of these settlements are very densely populated - what you might ...
-4
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5answers
239 views

Can a land-based organism get to be at least 100 ft. in length and still be plausible?

Basically, I'm trying to see if a land-based creature roughly between 50-100 ft. long could exist on Earth at the moment and still be scientifically plausible. I know that whales and other creatures ...
3
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4answers
612 views

Could a new species wipe out the rest of an established ecosystem?

I'm not asking about an exotic species in the modern world we know all too well the havoc that can be caused by the introduction of an alien species into an existing ecosystem. I want to know if a ...
4
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2answers
270 views

Could the World's Rainshadows Have Spiny Forests?

There is no other way around it--Madagascar is an evolutionary uniquety. 80% of the island's species live nowhere else on Earth. Among this uniqueness is a habitat that seems to come out of science ...
8
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2answers
167 views

How would you go about seeding oceans of Europa with adapted Earth life?

How do you go about building a working Earth-like ocean ecosystem from scratch in Europa's subsurface ocean? On Earth, abyssopelagic species have evolved to live more than 6km below the surface. ...
6
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6answers
824 views

Producing oxygen without plants

Obviously, current oxygen levels should last us years, so we are talking about a long-term solution. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, plants have stopped releasing oxygen but haven't stop ...
-4
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1answer
93 views

World with 2 billion people [closed]

How much would fertility rate need to drop for the world to stabilise at 2 billion people in 200 years time? Would the world with this amount of people be vastly more peaceful and prosperous?
5
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4answers
226 views

Why would smaller be better for anteaters?

In the world of this question, ants and especially termites are the dominant herbivores by mass. There are no large grazing mammals competing with the bugs for the siliceous grasses and thorny trees ...
4
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4answers
289 views

Can a continental scale creature develop it's own ecosystem? How?

I am designing a monster that is as large as a continent. It flies across the planet very slowly and has basically a snake form. Life cannot exist on the planet's surface so the animals are drawn to ...
2
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3answers
119 views

What would an industry do with a microbe on Titan? [closed]

The setting would be on Titan in the 2200s. Because the institute preventing intrusions on new worlds that have possible organisms has very little money, they scan Titan on the surface, they don't see ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

A Raptorial Parrot

This scenario is based on the kea, the world's only alpine parrot. Even though it eats plants like other parrots, it also eats meat, and therefore could be New Zealand's answer to the smaller diurnal ...
28
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3answers
6k views

Wasp hives in a walking corpse. Why would wasps do this?

Just a bit of background: one of my favorite zombie causers is from the Dead Rising video game series. In it, the undead are reanimated by a wasp-like insect that lays eggs in a corpse (I think. It's ...
8
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4answers
234 views

How to cause a surge in large carnivore diversity, roughly 5-7 million years hence?

I have had an idea for a possible story, where the protagonists are some kind of future, sapient hominid descendants (Not descended from humans; bonobos or gorillas or something). The main premise of ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Planet-sized creatures floating in breathable system-wide atmosphere

In the future, we created a Dyson Swarm. Each node (which I'd like to call a Gigalga) is an asteroid-sized, biotechnological, space-adapted, sentient plant that speaks the same evolved language as we ...