Questions tagged [ecology]

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

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1answer
142 views

Will owls become extinct without airglow?

Given a planet in most ways very similar to Earth (gravity, daylight, atmosphere etc.) with a full transplanted biosphere (all the familiar plants and animals), where the main difference is that as a ...
27
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20answers
6k views

How would you build a road system that respected nature?

How would build a road system or transportation system that respected nature with the following constraints: No paved roads or less than 10% paved roads can’t use gasoline (oil) allow nature to ...
5
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2answers
141 views

Could Plasma be used by a monster to detect prey?

I have a monster in mind (based on something I saw in a dream) that is blind and deaf but finds prey by sensing faint electrical currents. It uses naturally generated plasma bursts to enhance ...
11
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4answers
3k views

Is the universe old enough to have an ecosystem of feral self-replicating spacecraft?

Is it possible that, through any plausible history of alien life, and any plausible method of propogation for a self-replicating spacecraft, that the universe, as seen from present day Earth, could be ...
1
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2answers
139 views

The Ideal Ecosystem for a Self-Sufficient Space Station

Oh no, Earth has exploded! Luckily, we have a backup plan: a single space station and enough storage to keep DNA samples of: Humans, 5 plant species, 5 vertebrate species, 5 invertibrate species ...
5
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3answers
185 views

What environments wouldn't be present on a recently terraformed planet?

What environments wouldn't be present on a recently terraformed planet? Just to be clear: this hypothetical planet had no magnetic field and didn't have materials present on the surface required to ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Magic liquid that falls like rain, how will that affect the weather patterns and landscape? [closed]

So, my knowledge of weather patterns and geology is very limited, but I'm writing a book where magic is an abundant liquid substance that behaves similarly to water. I'm not sure exactly what it'll be ...
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0answers
100 views

What would happen if the salt in the oceans disappeared? [closed]

Based on current understanding of how ecology processes work, what would happen in the short term as well as the long term if the salt in the Earth's oceans disappeared?
3
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4answers
704 views

What circumstances would lead to griffins abandoning their mountainous habitats for castles?

Castles have high towers for them to roost in and scout, lots of surrounding land for food and water. Obviously the biggest problem would be getting the people living in them to either clear off, or ...
4
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2answers
87 views

How would this Eusocial species deal with large Dragons?

So, I have 3 species of eusocial animals in this world, however for now I'll just be talking about this one considering the other two have fairly obvious answers for how they would murder large ...
2
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1answer
65 views

What environmental and ecological effect would a massive wind turbine mountain construct have on it's surroundings to an indefinite distance?

For the contest, the construct is a massive tetrahedron shaped construct that extends into the lower stratosphere of a roughly earth-like planet with several holes, tunnels in it containing wind ...
3
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0answers
45 views

What would a carbon-based organism encounter deep in Saturn?

Saturn's predominant lifeform begins with allotropes of elemental carbon: graphene, diamond, nanotubes and geodesic shapes. These are doped in places with nitrogen, phosphorus, and germanium. (...
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1answer
57 views

What would an erosion resistance ecological system look like?

I was thinking about how given a whole host of sci-fi scenarios, you end up with landmass but no form of geological activity or plate tectonics, and so ensuring you end up with a lot of scenarios ...
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1answer
90 views

How would a low-tech city look like? [closed]

I would like to imagine a city/society built only on Low-tech technologies. Those are the critters of this world: Cheap options, preferably things that can be found locally. Easy to build by people ...
8
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7answers
2k views

What might cause evolution to produce bioluminescence in almost every lifeforms on a alien planet?

On a planet similar to Earth, is is possible for all living creatures to have bioluminescence? If yes, what role would it fulfill? What other traits would be useful in such an environment? Larger eyes?...
8
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2answers
176 views

What would be the climate patterns on a lush life-bearing moon orbiting a gas giant in the goldilocks zone?

The moon would be similar to Earth in size and composition and the gas giant comparable to neptune or uranus. Will the periods of eclipse of the the giant have an effect on climate? What about the ...
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2answers
84 views

How would aquatic life adapt to the oceans becoming highly corrosive?

The reason for the corrosion is relatively unimportant beyond that it is "high tech" in origin, in contrast to the society in my setting (It could be a complex mix of industrial pollutants ...
4
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3answers
181 views

How Should Cuisine Vary Across a Geographically Diverse Empire?

The Argentolian Empire is a massive land that spans a region roughly the size of the continental United States. Located in the southern hemisphere of its planet, the north is generally tropical, the ...
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4answers
127 views

Orphan planet life plausibility

Some say life could exist on an orphan planet by using radiation like plants use sunlight. This seems plausible since some fungi do the same. But how much natural radioactive material could ...
9
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4answers
593 views

Fruit and liquivores

Fruit usually works in symbiotic relationship with animals by giving them food to take in and seeds to "deposit" elsewhere. But let's say you had a world where the dominant feeding method ...
5
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3answers
506 views

A perpetual storm

If there were a perpetual storm, like a hurricane, but in the middle of a continent, what would be the ecological effects? The storm is big enough that it would take 20 days for someone to walk from ...
2
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2answers
169 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 ...
3
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6answers
288 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 ...
5
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2answers
188 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 ...
3
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3answers
204 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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1answer
162 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
100 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 ...
2
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1answer
166 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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0answers
47 views

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, ...
6
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5answers
592 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, ...
2
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2answers
120 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 ...
3
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3answers
141 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 ...
3
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2answers
102 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 ...
2
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1answer
113 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
172 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 "...
7
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2answers
152 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 ...
4
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4answers
237 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 ...
2
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2answers
153 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 ...
10
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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 ...
5
votes
4answers
158 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 ...
2
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3answers
212 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, ...
2
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1answer
62 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
0
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2answers
89 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 ...
6
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7answers
587 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: ...
4
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3answers
408 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 ...
7
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2answers
474 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? ...
6
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4answers
195 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 ...
2
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2answers
100 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 ...
3
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1answer
37 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 ...