Questions tagged [ecology]

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

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2answers
229 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Slowing or Averting Global Warming With the Help of Elemental Powers: Part 1 (Fire)

Other posts from this thread will be posted here as these are updated: Info Part 1, (Fire) focuses on what the fire elementals can do. There are 200 such beings that exist (and have existed for a long ...
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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 ...
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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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What would happen if the minds of predators and prey suddenly swapped? [closed]

Just a silly idea for some sort of potentially major event, but what would happen if say the mind of cat entered the body of a mouse and vice versa, for every animal on Earth? Let's also assume that ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What evolved weapons could be used against graphene skin?

Life had been good for a certain class of tetrapods. They evolved two layers graphene in a specialized collagen creating a relatively thin yet seemingly impenetrable hide. All of their natural ...
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672 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 "...
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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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All conditions being ideal (gravity, ecosystem, etc), what are the physical limits of tree growth on earth? [duplicate]

I ask the question, not as a subjective "well, Dale, what do ya reckon?" but as a perfectly factual question about tree growth here on earth provided a finite set of physical (natural, real) ...
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What types of lifeforms might this cold world have?

The average temperature on this world surface is −55 degrees Celsius. 80% of the surface of this world is covered by liquid ammonia oceans. This planet has a surface gravity of 0.75 g. The ...
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Faux-natural barriers between environments in a world-sized zoo

Suppose a K-II civilization built a terrarium or zoo, featuring life and ecosystems from different worlds as it travelled through the universe. (By K-II I mean in terms of resources and energy budget ...
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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 ...
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3answers
292 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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6answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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What vegetation/biome could I expect in a tropical region at an average temperature of 8-9 degrees Celsius?

So, my climates are extreme due to a 31.1 degree axial tilt. The maps provided show a climate classification system based on prevailing winds and elevation. Based on Reddit user u/shagomir's Planet ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 = ...
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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 ...
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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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299 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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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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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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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. ...
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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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 ...
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4answers
618 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 ...
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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
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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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How would an ecosystem survive pitch-black winters of about 3000 years [closed]

I won't describe in much detail the geology and astronomy of the world I'm creating here, whose unnatural shape and so far unexplained non-Einsteinian large-scale mechanics to maintain it may not be ...
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2answers
284 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 ...
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2answers
117 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 ...
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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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
127 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 ...