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Animals are multicellular eukaryotes with differentiated tissues. They rely on plants, microbes, or other animals for food. Animals are usually self-mobile in at least one phase of their life cycle.

Important Animals for Martian Colonization

Certain types of animal may be of great importance for settlements.

Use of animals as food sources is open to ethical debate. The Feed conversion ratio is a measure of efficiency in conversion from vegetable sources to edible meat.


Most insects are not vital for a colony, but some may be important.


Pollinators, such as moths, butterflies, and bees, are a critical part of agriculture. Small greenhouses may be able to accommodate pollination needs by direct human action. More efficient means, such as natural pollination, are needed for large greenhouses. Bees also produce honey and wax as a by-product.


Other insects, such as mealworms, silkworms[1], or crickets may be raised for food.

Natural Fiber

Silkworms generate silk, but require a diet of fresh mulberry leaves.


Spiders are a source of natural fiber - spider silk.


Species of fish such as tilapia and catfish can be fed on waste biomass, and may provide a source of food and amusement.


Humans are the most important mammal to Martian colonization. Other small mammals, such as rodents, cats, and dogs may be brought to Mars as pets.

Mice and Rats can serve a triple role - food, research subjects, and pets. Rabbits and other mammals can serve as sources of meat.


Birds can serve as pets, elements of a biosphere in a settlement and as food. Eggs can serve as food as well.