Mom Says It's My Turn On the Xbox: The Next Dominant Species

Pax Christi, Everybody!

If humans were to go extinct, considering that Earth goes about its business without interference, what animal do you think might fill our niche?

Same one as now: the cockroach.

Seriously, it is hard to define our niche as humans. Top predator? Parasite? Terraformer? In some respects, if we disappeared, little would change in some respects. Some species,like domestic cattle might disappear in a few generations as they are poorly adapted to survive without us. Sheep perhaps sooner. No animal seems to have the capacity to evolve to a dominant intelligent species other than the apes. So, some other type of monkey. Dolphins and whales are intelligent, but no real capacity to use tools. Octopi or octopuses or octopods. maybe.
How would you define dominant? Most widely distributed and numerous? Yep, go with roaches. Or if you count oceans, maybe krill. Arthropods rule.

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I was thinking of intelligence, communication, and use of resources

We should genetically engineer cephalopods, cetaceans, great apes, hive insects, canids, felines the lot, although none would survive on Putin’s world.

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We could use Chenobyl as one actual, limited case study. Also interesting to see the long, long term effects of exposure to fallout on mutated wildlife. Perhaps they are already preparing for life in a possible Putinworld.

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I’m not sure that would be inevitable. Dinosaurs never got around to it, despite likely social behavior and plenty of time available.

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