Evolving ecosystems in maximum radiation

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wapcaplet
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Evolving ecosystems in maximum radiation

Post by wapcaplet » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:58 pm

I have recorded a few time lapses of evolution in an experimental substrate, and combined three of them into this video:

Evolution Timelapse - Maximum Radiation

As the name says, these colonies are mutating with the radiation slider set to the maximum = 0.090. This level of radiation is likely to cause deadly mutations in any complex or smart organism, but in the simplest organisms is far from lethal. While it may not encourage complexity in an individual organism, it does encourage a kind of complexity in the ecosystem--with often many distinct variants and sub-species.
max-rad-swimmers.png
max-rad-swimmers.png (47.93 KiB) Viewed 879 times
To encourage two mostly-separate ecosystems within the same substrate, you can use a short-range light, and a density gradient that makes cells settle in the middle (or upper) area. Then "contaminate with random cells" using photocytes, and adjust other settings as needed until you get two nice self-sustaining colonies. It's easier than you think. Don't forget to increase radiation! I suggest at least 0.030 (one-third the way up the slider) for any noteworthy effects).

Try these substrates if you want something ready-made: plant faces or photodev beasties

I said "mostly-separate", but the video includes several of the ways an organism may break the rule, and bridge the gap. Sometimes the photocytes will simply build high up enough to fill the top of the substrate and flood both halves. Sometimes they find a way to swim across. Other times they'll just build a literal bridge, like this one did:
photocyte-reach.png
photocyte-reach.png (25.17 KiB) Viewed 879 times
Afterward, the right side exploded with genomes similar to what had been living on the left side. This happens almost exactly at 1:00 in the video, but it goes by fast, so don't blink! Before long it's taken over with a menagerie of phagocytes before mutating into a huge photocyte blob that cares not for taking sides.

In all three clips in the video, the organisms start to look fairly uniform by the end--mostly having the same color(s) of cells and means of reproduction and locomotion. You could almost call them all the same species, if you weren't looking too closely. This can happen especially fast if you get a population bottleneck, and are reduced to only a few viable reproducing cells (or just one!)
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Megathosto14
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Re: Evolving ecosystems in maximum radiation

Post by Megathosto14 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:52 pm

The radiation is too much for them too handle, but they manage to continue living thanks to the abundance of food. This sure made any mutated child survive easily. I love seeing evolution of spesies and try a few experiment.

I have a gamete swimmer and devourocyte swimmer live in a plate with 0.003 radiation. The gamete swimmer changed to swimmer with lipocyte egg. It assexual now, then the egg changed to nitrocyte eventhough there's nitrogen there, I wonder why. The devour swimmer are doing just fine, and they also left behind keratin-devourocyte everywhere in the plate to feed over unlucky swimmer. Then I tried adding the radiation to 0.030 and the devourocytes was wiped out.Now, there's only swimmers and and phagocytes in the plate. I only run the plate bit by bit. I put a little bit sunlight on the top of the plate but still no photo creature. The substrate itself is only 25k hrs. I'll incubate it when I have time.
Killing one makes one a sinner.
Killing hundreds makes one a hero.
Killing thousands makes one a king.
Killing millions makes one an emperor.
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wapcaplet
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Re: Evolving ecosystems in maximum radiation

Post by wapcaplet » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:33 am

When you say your swimmers changed, like adding a nitrocyte, did this change get inherited by a lot of the population, or was it only a temporary (and probably useless) mutation that only affected some of them? Radiation is bound to introduce all manner of weird stuff, but it seems unlikely for any trait to be kept long-term in the population, unless it's beneficial somehow.
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Megathosto14
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Re: Evolving ecosystems in maximum radiation

Post by Megathosto14 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:27 am

Yeah, first it's only a few that have nitrocyte egg, then all of them. Now, they use myocyte as an egg and dropping useless virocyte everywhere. Maybe there's too much food, making them do whatever they want. Yeah, it's long-term. All that I mentioned populated the plate. Why myocyte as an egg? My guess is that the other die while this one get lucky and reproduce. Food lumpiness sure can affect evolution. A swimmer that encounter a lump of food can reproduce a lots of offspring at one time.
Killing one makes one a sinner.
Killing hundreds makes one a hero.
Killing thousands makes one a king.
Killing millions makes one an emperor.
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wapcaplet
Posts: 306
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Re: Evolving ecosystems in maximum radiation

Post by wapcaplet » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:54 pm

You have a good point about overabundance of food. If it's too easy, even inefficient organisms may do well. In my evolutions, I tend to keep nutrients and/or light just barely enough to maintain reproduction, and try to keep population low (less than half of substrate maximum) to allow fast simulation and plenty of room for growth. There might be different dynamics with an extra-fertile environment.

Nutrient lumpiness is something I haven't played with much yet. As you say, a lump can give a burst of food and reproduction to a struggling organism. I wonder if lumps have potential to support little pockets of sub-species development as well, like islands of evolution.
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