What if - newest dominant life form
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19-03-2012, 01:21 PM
What if - newest dominant life form
If something happened to humans, what do you think the next dominant life form on the planet would be? I realize that it would be impossible to predict the myriad types of environmental events that would force the evolution of the brain of said creatures, but I think it is a neat "what if" scenario. Just start off with a list of the most intelligent creatures on earth and go from there. According to Animal Planet, the most intelligent from least to greatest are:

10) Rat
9) Octopus
8) Pigeon
7) Squirrel
6) Pig
5) Crow
4) Elephant
3) Orangutan
2) Dolphins
1) Chimpanzees

Most are obviously mammals. The apes are already in a good position to be the dominant life form given that they are our closest cousins. The geological record shows that Africa rapidly shifted between periods of lush, green forests to desert conditions, so scientists believe this is what forced our early hominid ancestors to grow larger brains. This could easily happen to chimps in the future. But what if pressures pushed Dolphins to leave the water and grow bigger brains? What if elephants grew bigger brains and more ape-like postures? Then there really would be giants walking the earth. What if environmental pressures produced more than one type of super-intelligent creature? It would be interesting to think about what their individual cultures would be like (that is if they didn't kill each other off to begin with).
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19-03-2012, 01:43 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
Don't know if you *could* wipe out all humans without taking out most of other life as well. We're so many, so damn adaptable - we'd maybe have a population crash but to wipe us *out*. Maybe a specific quickly spreading disease? Something non-lethal (if lethal, won't spread far), hard to detect, highly infectious, but which a few years later kills your ability to reproduce.

Otherwise if we go, whole world goes with us and it's back to bacteria to start evolving again Tongue
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19-03-2012, 01:49 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
Really, that's what animal Planet says?

African Grey parrots have the intelligence of a 3 year old, they pass intelligence tests designed for 3 year olds (fit colored blocks in the right places, order shapes etc etc) and they can have a vocabulary of hundreds of words, knowing what they mean and using them accordingly. Granted, you have to spend the time teaching them. But they can learn.

Whichever animal figures out how to subjugate other animals and nature will win.

My bet would be with the Orang Utans, because of their ability to manipulate the things around them with more ease.

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19-03-2012, 06:57 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
Whatever animal it is will have to be able to communicate ideas to others, think ahead, make and manipulate tools.

Chimpanzees, ravens, dolphins each get two out of three. Still a bit of a way to go.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-03-2012, 07:12 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
Don't think much would change without humans. Insects would still be the predominant animal lifeform. The bats, birds, and spiders would have to fight it out amongst themselves for dominance. Think the spiders might evolve to become gorilla-eating spiders but not sure they'd get big enough to take on the elephants. ... They'd probably just develop a new venom to take them down. My money's on the spiders. Especially mutant brown recluse spiders. Wink

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19-03-2012, 08:25 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
I'd like to see a marine species to evolve intelligence like ours, so dolphins or octopuses, they innate understanding of a 3D environment would be a trait I'd like to see developed in an intelligent species Big Grin

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19-03-2012, 08:46 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
(19-03-2012 08:25 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I'd like to see a marine species to evolve intelligence like ours, so dolphins or octopuses, they innate understanding of a 3D environment would be a trait I'd like to see developed in an intelligent species Big Grin

Ever seen a wolf spider's eyes? Pretty sure their innate understanding of the 3D environment is far more sophisticated than mine. Wink

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As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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19-03-2012, 09:29 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
This is not news. We've all known since at least 1968 who would rise to power should humans die off. And humans don't have to disappear for it to come true. A place where humans are inferior and Apes are superior!




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19-03-2012, 09:48 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
(19-03-2012 08:46 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(19-03-2012 08:25 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I'd like to see a marine species to evolve intelligence like ours, so dolphins or octopuses, they innate understanding of a 3D environment would be a trait I'd like to see developed in an intelligent species Big Grin

Ever seen a wolf spider's eyes? Pretty sure their innate understanding of the 3D environment is far more sophisticated than mine. Wink

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THOSE EYES!!! THEY STARE INTO MY SOUL!!!! :O

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19-03-2012, 10:40 PM
RE: What if - newest dominant life form
Nothing - as nature lives in perfect harmony all by itself in it's homeostatic balance.

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