Questions tagged [ecology]

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

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1answer
50 views

How do I Cram Many Different Biomes Into a Very Small Landmass?

In my book series, there is a planet called Ryu 108 that is almost entirely a water world. It is the furthest planet from its star (a supergiant), and has a relatively cold-but-still-habitable climate ...
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6answers
252 views

How would an environmentalist society deal with pests?

Imagine from birth you are taught that all life matters, no matter how small. From the enormous elephants to the tiny mice, it is immoral to harm them. A person of this culture would rather die to a ...
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3answers
183 views

Could intelligent animals stop civilizations from colonizing too much land?

I am trying to create a world where humans can survive and thrive, but they are unable to colonize every piece of fertile land available. There are great civilizations (early medieval technology) and ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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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2answers
139 views

How plausible are underwater trees?

In the process of developing an ocean world setting for my fiction, I have often pondered whether to give the sapient species of the world access to some form of wood or other resource from underwater ...
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2answers
166 views

Could Giant Bats Fly with Giant Pterosaurs?

Last year, the Adult Swim program Primal treated us to perhaps the most Halloweenish episode yet, "Terror Under the Blood Moon", in which our two unspoken protagonists--the caveman "...
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1answer
152 views

Which animals would Ents (tree men) want to cull? [closed]

Imagine you were an ent, a tree person, and the day is going just fine, until.... TERMITES!! You panic, stumbling through the glen as you try to scratch the annoying, horrifying and perhaps even ...
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3answers
91 views

How to have controlled forest burning with medieval technology?

Related to my previous question, I figured that the method of hunting a dragon by burning the forest it was in has to be sustainable to make it reliable. The fire must have minimal impact on the ...
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1answer
107 views

What if Theia Never Hit the Earth? [closed]

Let's say that for some reason, Theia never hit Earth during the formation of the solar system. However, the two heavenly bodies ended up in a stable orbit around each other. Due to this, the Earth's ...
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5answers
576 views

What is the minimum viable ecological pyramid a terrafoming project would introduce to world with no life to make it suitable for humans?

An unmanned, AI-controlled, terraforming ship arrives at an earth-like planet (i.e in the goldilocks zone of its star, with a magnetosphere, an atmosphere, plenty of liquid water, earth-like gravity, ...
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2answers
116 views

How quickly can a swarm of insects eat 1kg of meat? [closed]

In my story a swarm of insects (ants, beetles, etc) can be controlled and directed to devour a carcass. Assuming there are enough insects to actually consume that much flesh, how long would it take ...
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What life forms would appear around decaying animal carcasses in a temperate, rocky desert?

My biome is a rocky mountain in a temperate climate. There is little-to-no soil, and little growing except scraps of grass, moss, and maybe some shrubs. However birds frequently die in a certain area, ...
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3answers
140 views

poison warning on a sonar world

Let's say there was a planet where sonar dominated instead of visual sight. In this case I'm referring to life above the water, walking or flying in the air. This inspires several questions: What ...
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2answers
96 views

What are ways for a renaissance culture to combat my invasive species? [closed]

My world is on the verge of being overrun by animals and plants from other planets that are well-adapted. Some of these creatures are magical in nature and more powerful and long-lived than the native ...
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1answer
107 views

What would Martian Life be like? [closed]

Basically what I'm asking is how would hypothetical life be able to survive on Mars? Would they need to be created from scratch in some effort to make life on seemingly uninhabitable worlds or ...
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2answers
164 views

Unicellular organisms evolving extremely rapidly in tiny forest ecosystems

My story takes place in dense woodland on highly uneven terrain in a temperate climate on Earth as we know it (e.g. central Europe), except a certain sort of magic is in operation. In this woodland, ...
7
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2answers
141 views

Gardening in an Alien Biosphere

Take a world with the same physical characteristics as Earth, but where biochemical development has "rolled the dice" differently in some cases. The simple chemistry are the same compounds ...
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4answers
206 views

A world with extremely limited fossil fuels

So this is a slight revision of my earlier idea, of a world that entirely lacks fossil fuels. So basically the big idea I'm interested in is an industrial revolution that fully goes through with the ...
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2answers
143 views

Could Prehistoric Species of Animals Eat Modern Species of Plants and/or Animals?

One of the most recurring elements of paleofantasy is anachronism. For instance, this still is from the 1966 film One Million Years BC, and yes, that is a Triceratops fighting off a Ceratosaurus, a ...
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4answers
1k views

Planet unhabitable by certain demographic [closed]

Space explorers with same tech level as in alien franchise found a planet. Planet had some carbon based, earth-like flora and fauna on it, but it still needed some additional touches, not a full blown ...
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4answers
154 views

What Might Cause Massive Landfall Of Dead Marine Creatures?

There is a stretch of coast in my world, fairly typical mudflats and beach (a bit smaller than the Wadden Sea). It is often called the Dead Shore because year round the place is littered with the ...
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1answer
59 views

Would This Chosen List of Animals Occupy the Earthworm Niche?

To say that the earthworms are essential to the health of the planet Earth would be a gross understatement. So much so that there is no way that I can list you all their benefits at once. But what ...
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1answer
155 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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4answers
441 views

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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7answers
577 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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2answers
80 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 ...
7
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2answers
399 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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3answers
397 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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4answers
154 views

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
93 views

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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1answer
35 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
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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 ...
3
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2answers
133 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
81 views

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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8answers
3k views

A world with no carnivores

I have, what I hope to be, a fairly simple question. I am designing a planet where there are no carnivores. Assumptions The creatures would all be very complacent and would feed and live in very ...
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3answers
303 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
196 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
200 views

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
608 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
147 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
150 views

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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3answers
373 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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2answers
293 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 ...
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2answers
225 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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3answers
448 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 ...
4
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1answer
131 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 ...
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1answer
136 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
599 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 ...
6
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2answers
257 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 ...