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Q&A

Posts tagged ecology

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Q&A What conditions would cause an extremely dense (dark) coniferous forest to grow?

It is said that in dense rainforests, only 1% of sunlight (sometimes less) reaches the forest floor, which greatly restricts the types of plant and animal life that can survive there. My (limited) ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by xtal‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Q&A 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 tha...

8 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Lizardsaurus‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Lizardsaurus‭

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Q&A 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...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Clockwork Parzival‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Clockwork Parzival‭

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Q&A 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...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by icewar1908‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by icewar1908‭

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Q&A 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 d...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Vakus Drake‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Vakus Drake‭

Question biology fauna ecology
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Q&A 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 wit...

7 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by NixonCranium‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by NixonCranium‭

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Q&A 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, a...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by NixonCranium‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by NixonCranium‭

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Q&A 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 l...

5 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Alexander R. Hunt‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Alexander R. Hunt‭

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Q&A 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 corpse...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by TheDyingOfLight‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by TheDyingOfLight‭

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Q&A 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...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Zxyrra‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Zxyrra‭

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Q&A 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...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by The Imperial‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by The Imperial‭

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Q&A 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 everythin...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Rick D‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Rick D‭

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Q&A 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...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by willmag‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by willmag‭

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Q&A 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 t...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by MartinArrJay‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by MartinArrJay‭

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Q&A 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 vir...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Archtea‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Archtea‭

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Q&A Avian adaptation to microgravity and low gravity environments

I like to hear the sound of birds when I travel amongst my orbital and planetary habitats scattered around the outer system. Most of these settlements are very densely populated - what you might ...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Chairman Yang‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Chairman Yang‭

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Q&A 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) ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Vogon Poet‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Vogon Poet‭

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Q&A How could this flora/fauna symbiosis work?

I'm building an alien world for an artistic project. The world circles an m-dwarf star, and so the flora have evolved to photosynthesize longer wavelengths of light than on Earth, primarily in the ...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by n_bandit‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by n_bandit‭

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Q&A Could a Greater Number and Diversity of Marine Plant Species be Possible?

As landlubbers, we often let ourselves think that if salty seawater is undrinkable for us, it could be even worse for plants. However, certain types of angiosperms have found ways to not only thri...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by JohnWDailey‭

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Q&A 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 ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Maddock Emerson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Maddock Emerson‭

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Q&A 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 f...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Maddock Emerson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Maddock Emerson‭

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Q&A 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 ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Maddock Emerson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Maddock Emerson‭

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Q&A Can a land-based organism get to be at least 100 ft. in length and still be plausible?

Basically, I'm trying to see if a land-based creature roughly between 50-100 ft. long could exist on Earth at the moment and still be scientifically plausible. I know that whales and other creatur...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by bsideswiped‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by bsideswiped‭

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Q&A Fertilizing desert in magical medieval world

Suppose there exists a magic-based civilization. Their mining techniques are medieval and their understanding of organic chemistry and biology are on the Enlightenment era level. However, they are ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Мікалас Кaрыбутоў‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Мікалас Кaрыбутоў‭

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Q&A Ecological implications of osmotic portals

Suppose some magical civilization on Earth-like planet can create portals. Any given portal entrances are spherical surfaces of the same radius. Any particle enters one sphere and exits another in ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Мікалас Кaрыбутоў‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Мікалас Кaрыбутоў‭

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Q&A How to cause a surge in large carnivore diversity, roughly 5-7 million years hence?

I have had an idea for a possible story, where the protagonists are some kind of future, sapient hominid descendants (Not descended from humans; bonobos or gorillas or something). The main premise...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by SealBoi‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by SealBoi‭

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Q&A Ecological balance in a pleistocene+ world

So a friend is working on a worldbuilding/rpg project and I'm "beta-testing". He drew up an earth-like map and set the players start locations. Then I ask him about fauna. Will it be modern earth? ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Riggy‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Riggy‭

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Q&A Why do Ichisongas hate elephants and hippos?

In the mythology of the Lambas people of Zambia, there is a creature called the Ichisonga. It is a herbivore, and very rhinoceros-like in appearance. Upon hearing a hippopotamus, it allegedly sne...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by SealBoi‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by SealBoi‭

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Q&A Eating one whale every three thousand days?

My current ongoing project, about which I've asked many questions, is about a world in which evolutionarily plausible legendary and folkloric creatures roam the Earth. One such creature is the sea ...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by SealBoi‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by SealBoi‭

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Q&A 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...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Arkenstein XII‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Arkenstein XII‭

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Q&A What tree type grows into the most dense forests?

"Tree" is (apparently) not a very well defined term as far as scientific classifications are concerned, so I'll put my own restrictions on it for this question: Typical healthy adult specimens mu...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Dalila‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Dalila‭

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Q&A 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. ...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭

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Q&A Can black algae promote a global warming on a cold planet?

My world is at the outer edge of the habitable zone. There is enough heat and geological activity to start life, but a snowball earth is looming and threatens to freeze it all. There is some spring...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Christmas Snow‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Christmas Snow‭

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Q&A 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 ...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Christyn‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Christyn‭

Question ecology
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Q&A 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 ...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Ash‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Ash‭

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Q&A How much does the ecosphere weigh?

So, we've gone off to another star system and decided to build a Dyson bubble--a continuous statite, supported by radiation pressure, surrounding a star--with a surface gravity of 1g to live on. N...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Logan R. Kearsley‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Logan R. Kearsley‭

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Q&A 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 scien...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭

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Q&A How would you go about seeding oceans of Europa with adapted Earth life?

How do you go about building a working Earth-like ocean ecosystem from scratch in Europa's subsurface ocean? On Earth, abyssopelagic species have evolved to live more than 6km below the surface. A...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Chairman Yang‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Chairman Yang‭

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Q&A Producing oxygen without plants

Obviously, current oxygen levels should last us years, so we are talking about a long-term solution. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, plants have stopped releasing oxygen but haven't stop prod...

6 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by A.V. Arno‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by A.V. Arno‭

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Q&A 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 tree...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by kingledion‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by kingledion‭

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Q&A Could super-sized and intelligent detrivore aliens exist?

For my story I have an alien species who are detrivore. They are also an intelligent species on par with humans. But many people have pointed out to me that intelligent detrivores don't work, becau...

6 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Amoeba‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Amoeba‭

Question food species ecology
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Q&A 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 t...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Payuka‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Payuka‭

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Q&A A Raptorial Parrot

This scenario is based on the kea, the world's only alpine parrot. Even though it eats plants like other parrots, it also eats meat, and therefore could be New Zealand's answer to the smaller d...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭

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Q&A Wasp hives in a walking corpse. Why would wasps do this?

Just a bit of background: one of my favorite zombie causers is from the Dead Rising video game series. In it, the undead are reanimated by a wasp-like insect that lays eggs in a corpse (I think. It...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Pinion Minion‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Pinion Minion‭

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Q&A Planet-sized creatures floating in breathable system-wide atmosphere

In the future, we created a Dyson Swarm. Each node (which I'd like to call a Gigalga) is an asteroid-sized, biotechnological, space-adapted, sentient plant that speaks the same evolved language as...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Kyle Zabala‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Kyle Zabala‭

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Q&A 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 bud...

5 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by JDługosz‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by JDługosz‭

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Q&A How would coral reefs thrive on this super-earth world?

I have a super-earth world. The surface of the world is shallower due to extra gravity, so shorter mountain ranges and less ocean depths. The world orbits a binary star system at a distance of the ...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Neuryte‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Neuryte‭

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Q&A 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 atmo...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Anders Gustafson‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Anders Gustafson‭

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Q&A Which plant species would be most likely to recover after a decade of no light?

Presume a decade of darkness, after a several months of steadily shortening daylight. Assume that the temperature and weather patterns remain (inexplicably) fairly unchanged. Ten years later, whe...

11 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Hufflehobbit‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Hufflehobbit‭

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Q&A What Other Types of Broadleaves Would Grow in Subarctic Conditions?

As it turns out, conifers are not the only trees to grow in boreal forests, or taiga. At the southernmost ends, the evergreens are mixed with such deciduous trees as: Birch Alder Willow Poplar M...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by JohnWDailey‭