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6

It's not just yourself you're trying to feed: I think the fat thing isn't the issue. What you really need is a reason why a species would eat itself when it was starving, and that this is the normal for the species instead of fat. You can certainly have an animal that eats itself, and one that regenerates. Octupi do this already, although it's not usually ...


1

I propose a wrinkle on @Daron's answer (which I've upvoted), which I think is on the right track by remarking on body parts which are costly in terms of nutrients but of lower general function. The animals produce some large appendage, useful only for mating presentations, like a peacock's tail, which cannot be easily re-absorbed (no vasculature?), but which ...


5

Frame Change: Sexual Selection Other answers say fat is not the problem. Most body parts can be re-absorbed if necessary. So what we really need is a reason for the animal to eat parts of itself rather than just reabsorb. I propose it is sexual selection. The peacock's huge useless tail says "Wow I must be strong to be able to survive despite such a ...


2

The ability to break down the fat (and other material) in one's own body, just as anything physiological, is regulated by genes. Your creatures simply don't have the genes to release fat from tissues in order to burn it. Your creatures may go around this by detaching limbs or other body parts during periods of starvation. This has the added benefit that the ...


2

Since the mechanism of packing muscle and fat it times of abundance and auto-consuming fat and muscle in times of starvation comes from the randomness of food resources, you'll need a species that has evolved since million years while never having any issue to find food. They live in permanent abundance of food and never had to worry about it. The species ...


1

It is possible the food or environment of the animals contains toxins that can be safely handled by the digestive system but are harmful when released in the body (like some snakes can eat venomous other snakes safely but are still at risk when bitten). if these toxins accumulate in the animals body absorbing fat (or other parts of the body like muscle of ...


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