Speculation: Animals That May Evolve After Human Extinction

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Anonymous

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As posted in Ananova

Scientists sketch out life after mankind

Scientists say mankind will be replaced by giant land squid, flying killer fish and intelligent baboons.

Evolution experts have been asked to predict the kind of animals which will be around in the next few million years.

The results will feature in a new TV series called The Future is Wild which will get its debut at a film festival in Bristol next month.

Scientists based their predictions on the kind of climate and geographical changes expected to take place in the distant future.

If areas such as the Mediterranean and the Amazon become deserts as expected new lifeforms will evolve to take advantage.

The 120 million tonne Toraton could become the largest creature ever to walk the Earth and a half-metre tall snail will bounce along the sandy wastelands.

So called Ocean Fish will live in cliffs and will be able to fly as well as swim, while tiger-sized Snowstalkers will be bear-like creatures living in a future European ice-age.

All 16 scientists taking part in the series, to be shown on Discovery International's Animal Planet channel, agree mankind will have been wiped out within the next few million years.

The Daily Mail reports the scientists as saying a new kind of intelligent ape will most likely evolve from baboons.

Story filed: 10:11 Wednesday 11th September 2002
I can honestly say, I never saw a single simian with a big red posterior in any of the Planet of the Apes. Baboons, Gibbons and Proboscis Monkeys were given short shrift if you ask me.

After all...

You don't need pants for the victory dance
cause Baboon's better than Weasel!
I. R. Baboon big star of cartoons!
I Am Weasel!
I. R. Baboon reigns king in his mind!
He's just as good as the weasely kind!
 
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Anonymous

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Are these the same scientists who predicted we would all be living in houses on the moon and driving flying cars by the mid 80's? Excuse me while I reach for a large pinch of salt :)

And thanks for the reminder of I am weasel and IR Baboon. A brilliant and much neglected cartoon series.
 

escargot

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Half-meter tall bouncing snails, they'll be my grandchildren then.
 
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The giant land squid intrigues me - good news for the footwear industry!
 

stu neville

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Hang on...

The 120 million tonne Toraton could become the largest creature ever to walk the Earth
120 million tonnes!

The same weight, walking on land, as a million blue whales?

Baboons, OK, snails, well, yes, alright then but 120 million tonne creatures?

Sorry, lost me right there.

Mind you..
The Daily Mail reports the scientists as saying a new kind of intelligent ape will most likely evolve from baboons.
Gives the Mail something to look forward to then :p
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Hang on...

Stu Neville said:
Mind you..

Gives the Mail something to look forward to then :p
It's already happening if you take Dubya as an example :D
 
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Anonymous

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I'm confused: if evolution is the result of the way chance mutations apply to the environment, how is it possible to predict the way life will evolve in future?
 

river_styx

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Aren't baboons generally considered the most vicious and aggressive ape around?

Bet the first thing they invent though is trousers to cover those bright red arses, especially when homosexual baboons evolve as well.
That's of course if the homosexual land squid don't get too frisky with them....
 

naitaka

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A similar thing was done about 20 years ago, in a book called After Man: A Zoology of the Future. Whales were extinct, so penguins evolved to giant size to replace them; baboons had become predators that walked on two legs like velociraptors.
 

evilsprout

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It all sounds a bit silly to me. I may join in. Maybe there'll also be...

*A 12 foot tall flamingo with fins, which eats wasps.

*Giant woodlice as big as Volkswagens, that can speak Flemmish

*Tiny tigers the size of gerbils, which can jump up to ten foot high, and hunt baby deer in packs of up to 300.

Ok, I'll stop now.
 

mejane

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Crude Druid said:
I'm confused: if evolution is the result of the way chance mutations apply to the environment, how is it possible to predict the way life will evolve in future?
Well, first of all I think you're quite right to link random genetic mutations to environmental changes. The question then becomes one of cause and effect - does enviromental change cause mutations, or do genes (and hence creatures) adapt? Or does the evolution of new life-forms cause environmental change?

Dammed if I know the answer, but I'll hazard a guess and say "both".

Humans have obviously had an impact on the environment, but whether that's good or bad is a matter for a different debate ;). Equally, its obvious that the prevailing conditions have had an impact on humans... as I said, dammed if I know the answer. For all I know, the Universe really was created 4000 years ago (about tea-time) by a god with a really odd sense of humour.

I just hope the 120-million tonne thingies don't settle in California (or Manchester). They could cause earthquakes.

Jane.

(that post started off being serious, but got a bit silly at the end. Sorry. Its the lack of nicotine and sleep. Or possibly just me. I forget which now)
 

rynner2

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Crude Druid said:
I'm confused: if evolution is the result of the way chance mutations apply to the environment, how is it possible to predict the way life will evolve in future?
The future climates can be predicted with what we know about the Earth's orbit and the activity of volcanoes and the atmosphere.

Life already has sufficient variation that it could probably develop into new species even without genetic mutation (think of all the varieties of dogs, horses, cats, etc), but some mutation is inevitable and will only accelerate the process.

But only mutations that survive better in the new environments will prosper, so it is the environment that does the selecting in Natural Selection. (That's using the word 'environment' in its very widest form, to include geography, climate, and the rest of the biosphere.)

But there is a large random element, so all these educated guesses may well be wildly wrong! :D
 
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half metre high snails sound like the ideal replacement for all our trains, we could just get on their backs and away we go. and dont even get me started on how much fun fishing would become
 

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Great pics. It's interesting that when they make up these hypothetical futuristic critters that most resemble long gone prehistoric animals.
Why not?. If it worked once, it can work again.
 

INT21

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Not the ants,then ?
 

Mythopoeika

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I think dogs will evolve to become bipedal and highly intelligent, and they will take over from humans as the dominant species.
Many years hence, they will devise a method for time travel and will occasionally be seen by their human predecessors.
 

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Anybody ever watch Life After People, i think its History Channel, I loved it, bit of everything to do with, well, the title says it all, i loved it
 

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I thought this recent article suggested some intriguing conclusions and might be of interest.

What would happen to Earth if humans went extinct?

By Emma Bryce
livescience.com

Deep within Guatemala's rainforest sits one of the most famous remnants of the Maya civilization: a roughly 2,000-year-old citadel turned to ruins called Tikal. When Alan Weisman hiked through the surrounding region, he discovered something fascinating along the way: "You're walking through this really dense rainforest, and you're walking over hills," said Weisman, author and journalist. "And the archaeologists are explaining to you that what you're really walking over are pyramids and cities that haven't been excavated."

In other words, we know about sites like Tikal because humans have gone to great efforts to dig up and restore their remains. Meanwhile, countless other ruins remain hidden, sealed beneath forest and earth. "It's just amazingly thrilling how fast nature can bury us," Weisman told Live Science.

This scene from the rainforest allows us a glimpse of what our planet could look like, if humans simply stopped existing. Lately, that idea has been especially pertinent, as the global COVID-19 pandemic has kept people inside, and emboldened animals to return to our quieter urban environments — giving us a sense of what life might look like if we retreated further into the background. Weisman, who wrote "The World Without Us" (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007), spent several years interviewing experts and systematically investigating this question: What would happen to our planet — to our cities, to our industries, to nature — if humans disappeared?

https://www.livescience.com/earth-without-people.html
 

Sgt Girth

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Birds re-evolving or is it de-evolving into dinosaurs! They were pretty successful the last time around until that pesky rock dropped in from outer space and ruined the party!
 

Mythopoeika

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With humans gone, dogs may continue evolving into smarter creatures.
 
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