If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?

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Offline chris

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Posted on behalf of Richard Poolton, via Facebook...

If humanity suffered a similar extinction to that of the dinosaurs, what form of life would most likely go on to evolve intelligence in the fullness of time?

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Offline RD

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #1 on: 04/10/2010 09:16:16 »
Humans do not have a monopoly on intelligence …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPGknpq3e0&NR=1&feature=fvwp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE4BT8QSgZk&feature=related

Would it necessarily be a good idea for our successors to be as intelligent ?

If humans became extinct because of their inventions, (e.g. via anthropogenic global warming or nuclear holocaust), then we’d have been better off had we been too stupid to create such things, i.e. in the long term species which develop high intelligence may be going down an evolutionary cul-de-sac.

If any other creature did develop human-level intelligence I’d bet against it being a cold blooded reptile or a vegetarian : big brains are power hungry …

Quote
It takes a lot of energy to run the brain. Even though it weighs only about 2% of our body weight, it uses about 20% of our blood supply and 20% of our energy
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/04/22/1090374.htm?site=science/greatmomentsinscience

If our ecological niche became vacant something similar would replace us, i.e. convergent evolution .
So our successor would probably be similar to ourselves : omniverous, warm-blooded, social, biped, (in your face dolphins).

Can I have an each way bet on meerkats ?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_eVEW_Y02o&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hfOt1qoALo&feature=related
« Last Edit: 04/10/2010 09:32:06 by RD »

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Offline Don_1

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #2 on: 04/10/2010 10:09:07 »
I always wonder why we humans are so set in the idea of comparing our intelligence to that of other species.

Humans have only been around for the mere blink of an eye, bacteria have been around for 100's of millions of years longer than humans. Would that not suggest that bacteria have all the intelligence they need?

Perhaps humans do not need to be 'superseded'. We consider ourselves at the top of the tree, but are we? Bees and ants have developed highly advanced social colonies, perhaps they are way ahead in the intelligence race than we are. Any species in which the individual works for the common good of the whole must surely be more advanced than humans, who continue to display the survival of the individual trait.

Our successors may already be among us. Intelligence is relative to requirement.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline Bass

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #3 on: 05/10/2010 06:09:39 »
Posted on behalf of Richard Poolton, via Facebook...

If humanity suffered a similar extinction to that of the dinosaurs, what form of life would most likely go on to evolve intelligence in the fullness of time?




cockroaches
Old enough to have a grandson
Slow enough to study rocks
Thirsty enough to find a pub

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Offline echochartruse

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #4 on: 10/10/2010 02:59:12 »
My choice is ants, or possibly that modified pig with human hormones.
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Offline RD

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #5 on: 10/10/2010 10:17:15 »
... possibly that modified pig ...

Going to be difficult using tools with trotters.
« Last Edit: 10/10/2010 10:20:24 by RD »

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Offline echochartruse

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #6 on: 11/10/2010 12:20:06 »
I read today that bacteria can walk upright, and that is just the begining........
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Offline BenV

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #7 on: 11/10/2010 17:02:24 »
I read today that bacteria can walk upright, and that is just the begining........
Pardon, sorry? Bacteria can walk upright?

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Offline Geezer

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #8 on: 11/10/2010 19:28:13 »
You could take the view that the most intelligent beings are the ones that adapt to form a symbiotic relationship with their environment, as this will allow them to survive for the longest time.

On that basis, humans don't seem to be terribly smart.
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Offline echochartruse

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #9 on: 12/10/2010 00:40:11 »
I read today that bacteria can walk upright, and that is just the begining........
Pardon, sorry? Bacteria can walk upright?
pardon me, "Bacteria can stand-up and 'walk'"
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007171424.htm

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Offline RD

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Offline Don_1

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If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.


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Offline geo driver

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #15 on: 04/11/2010 03:26:42 »
Im gonna go with dawkins, and say rats, these small mammals get everywhrre a try to live off anything
board of ignorance

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Offline JnA

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #16 on: 04/11/2010 15:06:40 »
I would expect a new niche filled.

Although those octopodes already have the leg up on problem solving, prehensile limbs and locomotion...

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Offline CliffordK

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #17 on: 29/11/2010 10:17:05 »
Interesting question.

Given that mammals have been on earth for about 300 million years.
Hominids about 5 million years
Homo Sapiens about 200,000 years
And most of the advanced human development from the last 10,000 years.

It might take a while.

Humans have a mix of skills that have led to our current niche.

1) Intelligence (so they say)
2) Good "manipulators"
3) Leisure time (not required for food gathering).
4) Minimum of 50-100 lbs or so, but can be much larger...  I.E.  a mouse brain just won't cut it.

The most obvious choice would be the Monkeys/Apes/Gorillas/Lemurs
However, Elephants would also be high on the list.
Racoons are small...  but if they grew a bit, they might be able to develop advanced skills.  They already have some dexterity with their hands.
Canines...  are one of the most cunning candidates now, and would have a good size.  They would have to evolve a method to use the front feet as hands.
Whales, Dolphins, and marine Mammals are able to grow the largest bodies with water displacement...  and thus also the largest brains.  Currently they have minimal "manipulator" function, and are also mostly restricted to the underwater world...  but what would 300 million years of evolution bring?

And, of course, the Martians.
If "life" as we know it requires 80% Nitrogen, 20% oxygen, < 1% CO2, with water and seas, and large stocks of terrestrial Carbon/Nitrogen/hydrocarbons.  All with an average temperature of about 70°F. Such an atmospheric/biosphere makeup would only be found on an inhabited planet.  Furthermore, since life as we know it requires a very limited set of 20 proteins, a few sugars, and various triglycerides and etc...   it is unlikely that native food growing on alien planets would be compatible with our needs...  The easiest way to colonize an alien planet would be to find an existing biosphere...  exterminate it, and import terrestrial plants and animals. 
If we followed the "prime directive", we wouldn't do such a thing.  But...  who is to say that if an alien race traveled 1000 years to get to earth...  they wouldn't.  Or, perhaps, they would inadvertently introduce incompatible organisms.

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SteveFish

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #18 on: 02/12/2010 14:49:51 »
I would like to put in a strong vote for Rhinogradentia.

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Offline yor_on

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #19 on: 03/12/2010 00:00:36 »
I read today that bacteria can walk upright, and that is just the begining........


Pardon, sorry? Bacteria can walk upright?

Damn, I thought he looked funny?
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Offline cheryl j

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #20 on: 25/11/2011 06:34:08 »
When I get out of my car and go into the store, my border collie moves over into the drivers seat and places his paws on the steering wheel. When I come back, I say "Hey!, it's my turn to drive today," and he gets back into the passenger seat, the people in the parking lot laugh.

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Offline Don_1

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #21 on: 25/11/2011 11:10:42 »
Highly intelligent dogs are Border Collies and very much 'pack' orientated. It is said that if you don't show a Border Collie that you are the 'leader of the pack', it will try to dominate you.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline yor_on

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If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #22 on: 26/11/2011 17:49:28 »
Yep, females overall are dangerous.
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Offline Nizzle

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Re: If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #23 on: 06/03/2012 08:33:44 »
If any other creature did develop human-level intelligence I’d bet against it being a cold blooded reptile or a vegetarian : big brains are power hungry …

I always knew my sister was dumber than me ^^
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Offline steveculbreth

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Re: If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #24 on: 08/04/2012 04:26:16 »
Could it be Bigfoot, waiting in the wings, so to speak. Since there has been no habitat or direct evidence that they actually even live here. Maybe our space brothers are transporting them to the time of our demise. From all the reports, the Bigfoot hasn't been depicted as violent or bloodthirsty as we humans. Maybe they could become our better selves, which seems to be out of our grasp.

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Offline damocles

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Re: If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #25 on: 08/04/2012 13:53:03 »
From RD (Reply #1 above):
Quote

If any other creature did develop human-level intelligence I’d bet against it being a cold blooded reptile or a vegetarian : big brains are power hungry …

Quote
It takes a lot of energy to run the brain. Even though it weighs only about 2% of our body weight, it uses about 20% of our blood supply and 20% of our energy
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/04/22/1090374.htm?site=science/greatmomentsinscience

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Offline Airthumbs

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Re: If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #26 on: 08/04/2012 19:53:13 »
There is currently no other form of life on the planet that is so destructive to all other life and the very planet we live on.  If something did replace us I hope they learn from our mistakes as we are generally not interested.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)

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Offline CliffordK

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Re: If humans went extinct, what would replace us, if anything?
« Reply #27 on: 10/04/2012 00:40:40 »
There is currently no other form of life on the planet that is so destructive to all other life and the very planet we live on.  If something did replace us I hope they learn from our mistakes as we are generally not interested.
It took about 10 million years for humans to evolve from monkeys, or 65 million years from the demise of the dinosaurs to the rise of humanity.

If something was to wipe out all humans (without destroying all we've built, or the entire animal kingdom), one might expect that it would take at least about 10 million years for us to be replaced.  It is doubtful that much will remain to tell the future of our trials and tribulations.

There is nothing innately humane about the animal kingdom.  Much of it is eat or be eaten.

Would a future dominant species be vegetarian, carnivorous, or omnivorous?