2021 Darwin Game - Human Garbage Dump

by lsusr6 min read6th Oct 20217 comments

35

BiologyExercises / Problem-Sets
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The human garbage dump is a place you can find anything. It was also (to me) surprisingly popular with 90 species submitted.

Name Carrion Leaves Grass Seeds Detritus Coconuts Algae Lichen
Human Garbage Dump 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

In each of our previous biomes, there was one primary source of forage. This is our first biome with many different viable options to forage. However, individually, none of them are very large. Even if there's no predators, the diverse primary production should ensure a little more biodiversity among foragers.

Generations 0-1

We start with Anti Predator Flak. It's just like just like the Ocean's First Round Predator Distractor except it was created by Multicore.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
1 Anti Predator Flak

Generations 1-10

Most of the initial populations crash, as usual.

The Seed Beetle is exactly what it sounds like: a tiny organism with the ability to digest seeds and nothing else.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
6 Goo
6 Beauconut
8 Gelatinous Cube
8 Ivem
10 Chittering Harvester
10 Boot Nipper
10 Dump Leaf Blight

Generations 10-100

The Seed Beetle Population explodes. I think what's going on is something Multicore pointed out at the game launch. The Seed Beetle is so small that it provides inadequate nutrition to large carnivores. At first, predators eat the Seed Beetle, then the carnivores starve. The Seed Beetle is thus left without predators.

The Mutant Two-Headed Speed Snail is a Grass forager with Speed 2. The Beauprey forages for Seeds and Lichen and has Speed 1.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
11 Trash Lobster
11 Carrion Condor
11 Roaches
11 Trash Panda2
11 Muk1
12 Small CocoCrab
12 The Fart Brigade
12 Thread-Nibbler
12 Dump Aphid
12 Slime Mold
12 mediocre 2-2-s2
12 Muk2
13 Olchi
13 TrashMonster3-2
14 Sentient Bio Reactor
14 BottomFeeder
14 SpeedDemon
14 mediocre 2-2-g
14 TrashMonster2-2
15 TrashMonster3-4
15 TrashMonster4-3
16 Big CocoCrab
16 Unpalatable Coconut Crab
16 TrashMonster4-2
17 Rabbit
17 Lazy Stationary Glutton
17 sc511
17 trashSeeds
18 Grease Monkey
19 Garbage Dump Shai-Hulud
19 Trolley
20 Coconut Crabs (tiny)
20 TrashMonster3-3
21 Robot
21 Rat
21 CP445957
22 mediocre 2-2-s1
23 Frogger
23 Coconut Cruncher
23 Yonge_Dump
23 TrashMonster4-4
24 All-eating Leviathan
24 Inquisition
25 Bleh
25 Robber Crab
27 Hyper fly
28 Coconut crab
28 Slow Moving Nuclear Waste
29 Garbage Disposal
32 Blitz Leech
32 2-8-0 A algae-carrion-coconut-detritus-lichen
32 Jibbers Crabst
33 Snail-Eating Snail
34 Micro Swamp Dragon
37 Mecha giraffe
37 Twangoola
38 25kg Racing Snake
38 Redneck
40 weaponized human
44 Garbovorous Mirages
45 Dirge Bat
47 AI Lawnmower
48 Trash Locust+
50 gumbler
50 Cubic Carrion Crawlers
56 Trash Dino
56 CarrionSpeedTank
75 COCONUT511
89 Lary
89 Gigantic Cockroach
99 Roomba

Generations 100-200

Species die out more slowly but there are no dramatic shifts in population.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
105 hoover
105 Living Garbage Can
107 Ironshell Crab
109 Zigzagoon
157 Adventurous Giraffe

Generations 200-500

Nothing to see here.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
330 Timblewinks

Generations 500-1000

Nothing to…wait what?

Let's take a closer look at what's going on.

There are nine species of consequence.

Name Venom? Weapons Armor Speed Forage? Creator
Seed Beetle Neither 0 0 0 Seeds DaemonicSigil
Mutant Two-Headed Speed Snail Neither 0 0 2 Grass DaemonicSigil
Nuclear Waste Antivenom only 0 10 0 Carrion Henny
Brown Bear Neither 3 0 6 elspood
Beauprey Neither 0 0 1 Seeds;Lichen Luke
Trash Slime Antivenom only 0 10 0 Detritus Yull-Rete
Forest Finch Neither 0 0 3 Leaves MA
Snark Neither 0 0 10 Leaves Vanessa
Hopsplitter Neither 0 0 10 Grass;Seeds Nem

We have four invincible foragers: Nuclear Waste consumes Carrion. Trash Slime consumes Detritus. Snarks consume Leaves. Hopsplitters consume Grass and Seeds.

The Forest Finch competes for leaves with the Snark.

The Hopsplitters compete for seeds with the Seed Beetles and the Beaupreys. The Seed Beetle is a tiny organism optimized to consume seeds. The Beauprey is less efficeint at eating seeds than the Seed Beetle but makes up for it by also being able to digest Lichen.

The Mutant Two-Headed Speed Snail eats grass, where it competes with the Hopsplitter.

The Brown Bear is a pure predator. It cannot eat the invincible foragers but it can eat the Seed Beetles, Snails, Hopsplitters, Forest Finghes and Forest Finches.

Putting this all together, we have two kinds of foragers: small foragers that can be eaten by bears and invincible foragers those that cannot. If the bear population increases the small forager population decreases which increases the invincible forager population which decreases the bear population. This cycle works in reverse too. We have a stable ecosystem.

But if it's stable then what happened around generation 690?

The Seed Beetle population decreased because the Beauprey population increased. The Beauprey Population increased because there was lots of Lichen available. The Beauprey is the only species which can eat Lichen. Around generations 550 to 650 there were very few Beaupreys. The Lichen accumulated. The Beauprey's growth around population 680 ate that accumulated Lichen. After the Lichen was consumed, the Beauprey population decreased to something stable.

Generations 1000-9000

The dynamic equilibrium is maintained until generation 8101 when the Beaupreys suddenly go extinct.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
8101 Beauprey

Let's zoom in.

What happened is the Brown Bear population randomly rose for long enough to extinguish the Beaupreys, which were already in a precarious position due to competition from the Seed Beetles..

But that's not all. I just counted the common species. There are a few rare species hiding on the bottom edge of our graph, like Snarks. The Snark is a 10-speed Leaf eater by Vanessa. The Beauprey, having Speed 1, comes back from time to time too.

Winners

Species Creator Social Media
Seed Beetle DaemonicSigil Twitter
Mutant Two-Headed Snail DaemonicSigil Twitter
Nuclear Waste Henny None
Forest Finch MA None
Brown Bear elspood None
Trash Slim Yull-Rete None
Snark Vanessa None

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7 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 7:45 AM
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So far this is the only biome with non-invincible winners. I suspect that having just one large primary source of forage (like previous biomes) pushes too much towards "maximal-efficient invincible foragers eating this". Now I'm really curious to see how it went in Grassland-Rainforest-Temperate Forest.

Damn, now I'm upset I didn't spend more time thinking of a good name. A brown bear isn't even a pure predator! Really wish I had called THIS one the Trash Panda, instead. :)

I'm curious what caused my Ironshell Crab to die out (Antivenom, 0/10/1, Coconuts). It seems like all the other coconut-eaters had already died out and nothing can eat the crab. Was it just random fluctuations?

Of all the things, the coconuts were by far the most difficult to get anything to survive on. In my simulations, usually the coconut eaters that survived were also eating something else.

In theory, coconuts should sustain a 13.1 E creature; In practice, with such a small food source this size creature gets outcompeted at first by much smaller organisms that then get hunted to extinction by predators.

The equilibrium population for my crab (size 13.6) is around 110. I guess its population must have been so low by the time the last smaller coconut-eater was hunted out that a random fluctuation killed it before it could recover.

If it had managed to recover, it should have eventually migrated to establish itself in both River and Shore.

The Beauprey is the only species which can eat Lichen. Around generations 550 to 650 there were very few Beaupreys. The Detritus accumulated. The Beauprey's growth around population 680 ate that accumulated Detritus. After the Detritus was consumed, the Beauprey population decreased to something stable.

 

Should 'Detritus' here read 'Lichen'?

Fixed. Thanks.