New answers tagged

1

Engineer here. Dehumidifiers are portable air conditioners that pump the hot air and the cold air out together. The input is wet, room-temperature air. There is an air-conditioning coil (essentially) that cools the air below its dew point. When this happens, some of the water in the air condenses into liquid water. That water is trapped in a drain. The ...


0

It would be easier to drink saltwater and filter it then warm up the mass amounts of ice to get enough water to survive (I'm assuming warm-blooded as it's in the arctic, but maybe it has "antifreeze" in its blood and are cold-blooded). The only reason it would do it is if there were "plankton" in the snow and it is a filter-feeder.


1

This ectothermic creature filter feeds from the ice for the algae and organic material it contains. Imagine something that is (1) black, so it absorbs energy from the sun in order to melt the ice and pull out the organic food material from it. Or (2) have a body temperature below that of the melting point of ice, and instead of melting, physically crushes ...


3

I'm going to disagree with the above answers and suggest that it might be possible. It'd be a fairly unusual metabolism, but you could conceivably have a marine creature live in the Arctic eating mainly ice. Around the edges of Greenland's ice sheet, for example, the habitat contains both solid fresh water (ice) and liquid salt water. If your creature "...


0

The problem is energy. Ice is, unsurprisingly, quite cold. In order to get hydration value out of it, you need to pump in enough heat to melt the stuff (a fair chunk) which still leaves it at the same temperature, and then enough heat to warm it up to whatever your body temperature is. That body temperature needs to be adequate for whatever metabolic ...


4

Nuclear powered creatures and osmotic balance in hypersaline waters. The creature actually has a nuclear metabolism using some kind of subcritical isotope concentration, you will need to handwave this part, or ask it as a different question. Your creature uses the ice to dissipate heat, it swallows chunks of calving glacier for trace minerals including the ...


5

The Black Surface Stingray from Auriga IV is what you are looking for. Auriga IV is one of those ice planets. Along the equator it has a thin 200 km wide biome with some weird creatures in it. The climate is pretty stable since the planet does not wobble when it spins, and because other factors you can ask climate scientists about. Temperature is between -5 ...


6

TL;DR: no. Unless you were some kind of plant. Possibly a weird alien plant with acid for sap. Even if you could get energy from water (spoiler alert: you're not going to) you'd still need to consume other things, because you can't make any kind of structural compounds from hydrogen and oxygen alone, unless you're actually made of ice, Do you want ice ...


10

As L.Dutch stated in his answer, no creature can live on ice alone. There simply is zero nutritional value in it, and a significant energy sink for melting it. But this does not mean you can't have a creature consume ice for other purposes. Here are two: Hide from heat sensing animals This creature could be a predator, trying to hunt creatures that can ...


0

Nutrition would be a main key factor because the creature would need energy to melt the ice into water to absorb it. So they would need to have some sort of energy intake before the ice. And that's why polar animals (bears or penguins) don't drink water/eat snow. when you need to eat first why not take the water with that caloric intake?


31

Ice is just water. Water helps with staying hydrated, but carries no nutrients. Dirty ice sometimes can be contaminated by algae and other things. They could supply some nutrients, but being a small percentage of the ice, the underlying ice needs to be eaten in large amounts. And here comes the second problem: ice is cold, and melting it takes away quite ...


0

There's no clear evidence oxygen levels were any higher in the dinosaur age, the study discussed here says they were actually lower. And after all blue whales are air-breathers too, if modern oxygen levels are fine for them I don't see why they should be a problem for a modern version of a large land animal like Supersaurus which has been estimated to be ...


3

There are many possible choices. But the one that comes to mind is: Bunnies! I'm using the term "bunnies" very generically to mean either rabbits or hares (even though technically bunnies are baby rabbits; give me some creative license here). European Hares are known for "boxing." Increase their size to match the frogs and make them fully bipedal. They ...


5

...Large storks. In fable, fiction, and fact, the natural enemy of the frog is the stork. See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Frogs_Who_Desired_a_King


1

I'm afraid you're already dead. If the world is truly 'alien', it would have evolved a completely different ecosystem, in a completely different way. The odds of the billions upon billions of mutations and evolutionary changing events being identical to Earth's (to our time period too) is virtually non-existent. Even on Earth a small difference in ...


-1

No extraterrestrial life form will be edible. To be edible the food should contain nucleic acids or proteins, also fatty acids and vitamins that are specific to erthy life and won't appear in extraterrestrial organisms.


8

Don't bother. There is no reasonable chance that any non-earth life will be "edible". The human digestive system can only derive nutrition from a tiny fraction of the lifeforms on Earth. That's true of both biomass and number of species. And for the lifeforms we can eat, we can only eat a fraction of them. We can't eat wood, chitin, bone, hair etc. We will ...


3

Assuming a realistic alien world, the simple option is assume everything is non-nutritious or poisonous. You'll probably be able to get some micro-nutrients such as calcium or iron from native plant life, and if you're very lucky, you'll find something that produces ethanol. Most likely, though, is that everything has the same nutritional value as a rock.


4

The best method is a tiered combination of methods. Under the assumption the colonists are trying to find a suitable food source before their own stores run out a tiered approach is best. Common sense, don't eat scavengers or parasites (both mobile and not), be wary of anything immobile, don't eat anything that is dramatically colored compared to other ...


6

Bring a monkey and eat what it eats.” I have no supporting evidence at this time but an old saying in my area is “bring a monkey and eat what it eats” It may come from the fact that monkey is so close to human such that if something is safe for monkey, it is safe for human. Birds, on the other hand, can eat stuff that is not suitable for human.


4

Why would space travelers "go native" and start eating food that grows on an alien planet? If their spaceship can keep them alive on the journey to an alien planet presumably it can keep them alive while exploring the alien planet and on the journey back to where they came from. Presumably the spaceship would have food synthesizers to convert stored ...


24

Apply the Universal Edibility Test (it is universal!). Summary: Separate the plant into its various parts—roots, stems, leaves, buds, and flowers. Focus on only one piece of the plant at a time. Smell it. A strong, unpleasant odor is a bad sign. Test for contact poisoning by placing a piece of the plant on your inner elbow or wrist for a few ...


41

A multi-pronged strategy. First, simple chemical tests would be performed for heavy metals and strong acids/alkalis and to give a general profile of the plant or animal's chemical composition. Gas chromatography should throw-up a number of interesting results and help identify known poisons. This, whilst being careful to identify any specific part of the ...


1

Framing Challenge You're getting a lot of pushback over the specification on radiation levels, but realistically (and most in what I think is the real spirit of your question), it's not actually radiation that's going to kill all the humans, it's starvation. From a 2007 study on widespread global nuclear war: "A global average surface cooling of −7 °C ...


11

The capability to survive the event depends, in part, on the species capacity to heal its own genetic and cellular structure. Higher-order mammals that evolve quickly have the least ability to repair this kind of damage, since its why we evolve so quickly compared to creatures like crocodiles and cockroaches. Mammals have changed immensely while other ...


2

Its a semi-inteligent plant like creature from a alien world with dark and light seasons, possibly a planet with a slow rotation. This makes for nights that last as long as a Earth months, with days equally long. This creature is kilometers wide, like a forest. It takes solar energy from the sun and grows fruit like appendages. These 5 meter wide "fruits", ...


2

I feel like it could end up like Zootopia after all. Not exactly as it, but pretty much parallel to it. Since your example is solid, I assume you remember the world setting of that movie. Animals were equal in law, but "predators" were socially superior, getting leadership positions and "aggressive" jobs more. It's pretty similar to our world, where in most ...


1

In my opinion, the rats would win. Because, the larger numbers, the better chances for evolutions, ideals, inventions, etc ... even with lower rate.


2

When we think of discrimination, we often think about populations being forced into poverty, but there is also the inverse where it leads to populations that are forced to rise as high as they need to too survive. In the middle ages, Jews were barred from many industries, which forced them into high paying financial sectors. This made them become more ...


3

No, but... If you want a creature that has to eat its own body part to survive, make it the second iteration of eating. It'd be sort of like how cows burp their food back up and chew it a second time, except it burps up its whole belly and leaves it somewhere to digest for a while.


2

Some answers already get rid of the "can you" part. But I guess in worldbuilding, find a workaround is also a good way to answer. Let's suppose the creature lives in an environment less likely to infection, and that its health is very powerful: it can for example live in desert where the sun is able to kill bacteria in the wound. Then, let's assume that ...


3

Not really. Unless... Other answers do a fine job of explaining why it wouldn't be possible. Mainly, regrowing a body part costs as much energy as you get from eating it in the very best case (but probably more). However, if between severing a body part and that body part getting eaten again, energy is added to that body part, it could theoretically work. ...


8

This happens to an extent when a tadpole metamorphs into a frog. Most tadpoles are herbivores. They have small teeth that chew plant matter growing in the water. Their gut has enzymes which break down cellulose and other plant tissues. On the other hand, adult frogs are insectivores. They capture prey with their tongues. Their digestive system has ...


14

Sort of. As others have noted, this is essentially what you do when burning body fat. But you are asking it an organism could INDEFINITELY sustain itself...and the answer to that is no. The laws of thermodynamics prevent it. But, if geckos could eat their own tail, they would have less body mass requiring calories for maintenance, while receiving a ...


12

The answer is yes and no, but probably not in the way you intend. The first answer is from thermodynamics: the creature cannot gain more energy from eating the tail than it expended growing it. In fact, due to the inefficiency of metabolism, you will gain quite a lot less. Then again, nearly every creature alive does this on a regular basis. Mind you we ...


6

Defying established thermodynamics, and in order to play the Devil's advocate: If you do not assume that "sustain itself" implies "forever", then the answer is yes. This is something we (and all animals) technically do on a smaller scale whenever we exercise beyond the point where glucose/glycogen is near-fully depleted, and still more energy is needed than ...


50

Building on the previous answers, no. But there could be a weird adaptation, where a creature has an "edible" organ/tissue, which grows steadily with the intake of excess food, and can be eaten later to sustain the creature when external food sources are scarce. We do the same by growing our fat cells. It's more efficient that way, but evolution doesn't ...


11

The short answer is: Yes with magic, no without magic. Wouldn't you rather have a magical bowl that is always full with fresh nutritious food, perfectly matched to the species that approaches it? A lot less disgusting and utterly painful for that poor creature. And the magic is the same, or perhaps less. You need a lot of energy or magic or power to ...


67

No. To regenerate requires more energy than the part itself will supply. To eat the part you have to break it down chemically and then those chemicals are transported through the body and recombined to make new cells. All of that requires energy. You started with a severed limb. It cost you energy to digest it and for your body to "build" a new limb ...


6

It depends on how you define the regenerative power. If the regenerative power is similar to that of Werewolves, Trolls and that kind of magic regeneration then yes, he could. These types of regeneration rarely take into account Newton's laws and will generate matter and energy on the fly. So if the creature eats its own limbs and regenerates them for "free"...


2

At our tech or slightly better? It will matter most which species is in control of the robots. Physical differences among humans are becoming less and less relevant over time as our tools improve. Given disability access in more and more nations, medical devices to restore or augment the body, and mass manufacturing creating specialized tools... it’s all ...


14

It doesn't matter Both will be able to get manual labor jobs unavailable to the other. The elephant will be favored for jobs requiring strength while the mouse will do better with jobs requiring fine detail. But neither of those jobs will pay well. The best paying jobs will be those that require thinking. Unless the physical size comes with different ...


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