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"In WWII, they had a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. I think the modern equivalent of that is that there are no jaded, bored people in the high-tech industry, in the land of really good hardcore geeks."
- Neal Stephenson

Megadont  
  An engineered mastodon, used to convert vegetable matter into energy.  

How else will you wind up your kink-springs?

Lalji and Shriram had been standing in the winding room of Ganesha Kinetic, watching a misplaced ton of SuperFlavor burn into joules. Shriramís paired megodonts labored against the winding spindles, ponderous and steady as they turned just-consumed calories into kinetic energy and wound the shopís main storage springs.

Priti and Bidi. The massive creatures barely resembled the elephants that had once provided their template DNA. Generippers had honed them to a perfect balance of musculature and hunger for a single purpose: to inhale calories and do terrible labors without complaint. The smell of them was overwhelming.

From The Calorie Man, by Paolo Bacigalupi.
Published by F&SF in 2005
Additional resources -

Compare to the power-wagons from Jack Vance's 1967 novel The Last Castle for an interesting inversion of this idea.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Calorie Man
  More Ideas and Technology by Paolo Bacigalupi
  Tech news articles related to The Calorie Man
  Tech news articles related to works by Paolo Bacigalupi

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