Questions tagged [ecology]

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

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15
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8answers
3k views

How would a free floating ecosystem on an ocean world function?

The world in question is an Earth-sized planet with a deep global ocean and core of water-ice. Given the lack of an accessible sea floor to root oneself to, how would a complex free-floating organism ...
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1answer
115 views

What are the best predators to spark intelligence in these aliens? [closed]

I want my aliens to have some very interesting adaptations, but with these adaptations comes the question "why do they even need intelligence in the first place?". My solution to this is predators. It ...
6
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2answers
233 views

How could this flora/fauna symbiosis work?

I'm building an alien world for an artistic project. The world circles an m-dwarf star, and so the flora have evolved to photosynthesize longer wavelengths of light than on Earth, primarily in the ...
1
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1answer
114 views

Flora Ecology on a M-Dwarf Planet with Slow Rotation [closed]

I'm building a world for an artistic project, and I'm struggling a bit with how the photosynthetic organisms would likely be different from Earth's plants. I'm not looking for wild idea generation, ...
6
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2answers
248 views

A 40km alien saucer is floating 1km above central Africa for a long time. What are the effects on the rainforest below?

Earlier this year, a second alien saucer came to Earth and stopped 1 kilometer above the central African nation of Wakanda. The Wakandans are fine with this and refuse to let anyone investigate or do ...
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1answer
154 views

What keystone species would be necessary to create a sustainable ecosystem on a barren planet? [closed]

In my world humans have found a barren planet that is capable of hosting life. What species do they send down to establish a sustainable ecosystem? Just a few or thousands? How many species of plants ...
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2answers
175 views

How quickly would society be able to transform into utopia if everyone worked together? [closed]

How far into the future would my story have to be set in order for cities to change into an entirely eco-friendly and eco-intertwined utopia? A gas is released in every major city that is able to ...
2
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3answers
376 views

Making a Rainforest

Say you have a region that is not a rainforest, but you want it to be. What would you need to do to engineer a rainforest? My current best guess for what all you'd need is: relatively constant ...
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3answers
696 views

A World Without Bugs

Winter is finally upon us! With winter comes a delightful break from the year-round torment of bugs flying your face. Winter is cold - as a result, you can peacefully breathe the winter air without ...
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4answers
476 views

The soil of mushroom island

If you have ever watched Tintin: Or played Minecraft: Then you may have dreamed, as I have, of an ecosystem dominated by Fungal life. As part of a Hard Sci-Fi RPG I'm running, I'd like one of the ...
61
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9answers
14k views

A 40km diameter alien saucer is floating 2km above the ocean for a long time. What are the effects on the sea ecosytem below?

Twenty years ago, a 40km diameter alien saucer came to Earth, and stopped 2km above the Atlantic ocean, somewhere near the midpoint between Casablanca, Morroco and Natal, Brazil but over international ...
32
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3answers
5k views

A pack of velociraptors in a modern ecosystem, that would be pretty horrible, right?

So there's been some industrial espionage committed against T-Rex Forever LLC. The method for how they acquired their T-Rexes has been stolen. Terrible Lizards Inc has acquired a mated pair of ...
0
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1answer
99 views

How would be an earth-like planet with its axis pointing to its sun-like star? [duplicate]

I have noticed that the planet will have a perpetual day zone, a perpetual night zone, and a ring, in its equator, with different grades of perpetual "twilight". Am I right? If I am, how will be ...
18
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6answers
3k views

What measures might an ancient civilization take to protect itself from extreme heat?

An ancient human like civilization exists on a planet like our own but warmer, with more deserts and smaller oceans. Climate change is forcing the daytime temperature slowly upwards. What measures ...
2
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2answers
182 views

Argyria and Dwarven Industrial Runoff

The two stereotypes that I've seen the most about Dwarves are that they live in mountains and mine for precious metals and the like. Recently, I've been thinking of an interesting place to take that. ...
4
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6answers
335 views

Can the Iceworld civilization feed itself?

I have a world which is (nearly) a single-biome planet; it is mostly covered in shallow, ice-choked seas. There are few continents, but many archipelagos. Think northern Canada or Alaska as this ...
2
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0answers
70 views

How would a nitrogen-based-photosynthetic microorganism affect Earth and its inhabitants? [closed]

Let us assume that mankind genetically-engineered a microorganism which can photosynthesize using the following chemical reaction: 2N2 + 6H2O -> 4NH3 + 3O2. Then, this microorganism is released ...
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12answers
6k views

How to wrap the Moon in plastic to make her a giant, supported by the atmospheric pressure, greenhouse

Moon's surface is about thirty million square kilometers large. That's a lot of plastic, but no bigger effort than many other terraforming projects we have discussed. Description: A global bubble ...
4
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3answers
271 views

How To Make Lightning

I am writing a sci-fi setting with space travel. In this there is an alien world important enough to require that I put thought into the ecosystem. Unfortunately, due to plot reasons, the usual ...
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2answers
99 views

What conditions are necessary to support lightless radiotrophic ecosystems?

There are few examples of radiotrophic ecosystems on Earth. Of those discovered, the radiotrophs are limited to single-celled organisms and unique mutant fungi. The reason seems to be due to a lack ...
3
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4answers
370 views

Would it be possible for a population of snakes to survive by eating nothing but fruit?

I was thinking of a scenario in which a population of snakes gets stranded on an island in which they are literally the only animals. This hypothetical island does not even have insects for the ...
3
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2answers
221 views

How long would it take for animals, plants, and insects to die off during nuclear winter?

Not a total extinction, mind you. Just how long do you think it would take for the residents of a small town of survivors to notice? Obviously this varies from place to place and ecosystem to ...
3
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1answer
153 views

What unique ecology could emerge on an alien world where half of organisms were Organic, and half were Silicon-based? [closed]

Imagine an alien world teeming with exotic organisms; verdant ecosystems and advanced megafauna. On this planet life emerged twice, billions of years ago. Present day, roughly half of plants and ...
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4answers
204 views

The westbird. Could this exist?

Situation: A terrestrial environment on a megaworld (artificial construct). I'm thinking of how invasive species tend to dominate the ecosystems they move into--how about the ultimate invasive ...
6
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1answer
168 views

Phonosynthesis - ecosystem where “plants” extract energy from sound, not light

I have an idea about a planet that is cold and dark, but very loud. Constant rolling storms, crashing glaciers and icesheets, earthquakes, volcanoes and so on. Instead of photosynthetic plants, as on ...
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2answers
156 views

What kind of effect would removing all species of mosquitoes or spiders have on the global ecosystem? [closed]

Any kind of annoying pest really, but I chose arthropods because I hate them. And someone else hates them too. Let's say he's some sort of well-intentioned but reckless mad scientist who really needs ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Is a single stable planetary ecosystem even possible? [duplicate]

Think of some famous outside-of-the-solar-system planets from say, Star Wars. Tatooine. Hoth. They all have something in common: No matter where you land, the landscape is pretty much the same: on ...
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10answers
7k views

Is it a forgone conclusion that any exo-bacteria discovered on an alien, albeit Earth-like planet will be deadly to human life?

Would the discovery of alien bacteria found on even an Earth analog planet preclude the possibility of colonization due to the potentially deadly nature of bacterial/viral infections? Put differently, ...
7
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1answer
129 views

The Geography and Ecology of a Supervolcanic Planet

What would be the geographical and ecological implications for an Earth-like planet that experienced intense volcanic and supervolcanic activity on a scale that, while decreasing over time, was far ...
4
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4answers
253 views

Defensive adaptations for lagomorphs

We all know how rabbits and hares escape ending up being a meal to a fox or a hawk, with long ears to hear danger coming, burrowing, long and powerful hind legs for speed and also living a social life ...
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3answers
1k views

What animals live in mushroom forests?

A followup to this question. In my world, mushroom producing fungi have developed a symbiotic relationship with algae (or cyanobacteria) similar to Prototaxites. These fungi exist alongside all the ...
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6answers
1k views

Why would common city people want to protect a forest

I have a city on the edge of the sea and an ancient forest. The forest was protected for generations by local rulers but current ruler get bribed by foreign guilds to allow logging. The trees are old ...
3
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1answer
202 views

How will the first New Martians evolve?

Mars gets somewhat nice In about 1.6 billion years, the sun's habitable zone will have moved outward, increasing the carbon dioxide in Mars's atmosphere. According to Wikipedia, its surface ...
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2answers
184 views

Evolving a Militarized Mechanical Ecosystem

How could a civilization create a dangerous autonomous mechanical ecosystem that will not be overly dangerous to its creators? Militaries are expensive; military research doubly so. So what's a small ...
5
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3answers
270 views

Metropolitan Mollusks and Seagrass Serengetis

Knowledge has come to me recently that mussels can suck up pollutants, making them crucial cleanup crews in the New York filth. This knowledge is the inspiration for this alternate scenario, in which ...
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7answers
670 views

How can humanity avoid an AI apocalypse? [closed]

2000-2040 humanity prepares for the AI singularity, during which the growth of artificial intelligence "explodes" leading to independence and true conciousness among some machines Approx 2050 the "AI ...
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3answers
161 views

Could you grow plants from nothing (or very little) using hydoponics?

If you arrive at a distant planet you mean to colonise, without enough food for the long term - just maybe a couple of plants and a bunch of seeds and enough food in storage to keep you going for the ...
2
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1answer
237 views

The creation of Fox-fire and illusions, for the nine-tailed fox

Since I'm getting plenty of great for my other question "How can a nine tailed fox catch its prey? Thought I might try to get ideas for both fox-fire and illusions. So far I've thought of ...
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2answers
239 views

Edestus Gigantus In modern oceans

What are the effects of introducing 2600 sharks of the primitive Edestus Gigantus specie* in modern waters in different places on earth? Will they survive, how ? for how long? can they destroy the ...
3
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4answers
238 views

Would multiple sapient species with similar diets cooperate or compete?

This is connected to a previous question, found here: Realism of a setting with several sapient anthropomorphic animal species Presume that due to outside interference with evolution, a planet has ...
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2answers
525 views

Realism of a setting with several sapient anthropomorphic animal species

The concept of a planet with several anthropomorphic sapient species (furries, if you will) is immensely popular. But would it actually make sense in the first place? I am aware of the issue of "...
2
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3answers
860 views

How to construct a consistent ecology in an rpg fantasy world with monsters [closed]

Many RPG worlds seem to have a fauna and flora that is composed of the organisms found in our world with a more or less well thought out set of monsters added on. I was wondering how to design a ...
4
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2answers
170 views

What creature is vital to an ecosystem, that when wiped out could cause drastic and devastating ecological effects? [closed]

So a little bit of background. I am writing a fantasy novel (non-traditional setting), though the ecology is similar to our world so I'm simplifying to just discussing our world for ease of answering. ...
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6answers
7k views

Can every animal eat most other animals?

An idea for a story I’m working on involves a far away world that was once inhospitable. Scientists - likely alien ones - terraformed it so it could support life (coincidentally, Earth-like life). ...
2
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2answers
213 views

What would the fastest way for microscopic humanoids to spread across the world?

As part of a series of questions that I've been doing about microscopic humanoids ... In my world, there are a race of microscopic humanoid organisms (0.3 mm - 0.33 mm). They live in a variety of ...
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2answers
168 views

What organism would be needed to make mars hospitable?

question 1 : What type of organisms would we have to place on mars for its atmosphere breathable for large mammals ( and human beings Question 2 : are there any organisms that could transform ...
4
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3answers
331 views

If mountain lions were Griffins, how would it affect other animals?

Griffins are the size of mountain lions, with wings that are used to glide. So a group of Griffins, instead of pursuing their prey over ground, could jump off a high rock and glide downwards and go ...
2
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1answer
236 views

What environment would support an electric alien species?

I was thinking, and I came up with an alien race, which enthralled me. I was just wondering if these creatures would plausibly evolve this way. (Info dump time These aliens are humanoid. While they ...
7
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3answers
397 views

Will my worlds not be salty enough to support animal life?

I read on the cooking.stackexchange site that all natural salt on Earth was created by seas and oceans, starting with primordial oceans four billion years ago. This got me thinking about my fictional ...