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If humans were gone, who would be the dominant species?

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
If humans were gone, who would become be the dominant species on earth and why? Assume that we just vanish, and there was no nuclear war to screw up the eco-systems.

I think birds of prey will be the dominant species. While everyone else battles for supremacy, the birds can strategically monitor from afar as well as feeding off the scraps from the casualties.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
If humans were gone, who would become be the dominant species on earth and why? Assume that we just vanish, and there was no nuclear war to screw up the eco-systems.

I think birds of prey will be the dominant species. While everyone else battles for supremacy, the birds can strategically monitor from afar as well as feeding off the scraps from the casualties.
I think there would be different "dominant Species" depending on location.
For example, in Africa surely Lions and other large Predators would reign supreme.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
My kids.

Not quite human but cunning, smart and deceptively powerful...
 

Inferno

Distinguished Member
Apes, then proper big felines.
 

Cobb

Distinguished Member
Cockroaches. The horrible buggers have persevered since before the dinosaurs and breed like crazy.
 

Suave

Distinguished Member
Hi All,

Well, I think I read somewhere that according to science, it would be Rats by a long country mile - they are second only to humans apparently as the most successful & adaptable species of life on earth.

Millions of amazing species our planet has & if the above is true, man, not a good reflection!

Suave!
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Same as now - mice. Then dolphins.
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
What makes you think we're the dominant species now? We're simply the most widespread large mammal. There are huge areas of the Earth we don't dominate (deserts, polar ice caps, all the oceans below about 10 metres).

Whatever, we've only been around for a million years or so; not really long enough to create permanent ecological shifts. If we vanished, the Earth would quickly revert to its pre-human state. Different locales would have different dominant species. In fact, it's very rare for a single species to dominate. In Africa, say, you could argue it's the big cats, but even that raises the question of what you mean by dominate. There are vastly more wildebeests than cats, so who's to say which is the dominator? It's all in balance.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Wikipedia seems to define the Dominant Species as the one with the most individuals and/or biomass, within a given habitat/eco system.

Dominance (ecology) - Wikipedia
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Wikipedia seems to define the Dominant Species as the one with the most individuals and/or biomass, within a given habitat/eco system.

Dominance (ecology) - Wikipedia
Thanks for that.

So in fact 'dominant' has to have a qualifier, such as tree or mammal, and that could be as wide or as narrow as you like. Not an especially useful general term, in other words.

So the dominant bird on most continents is the domestic chicken (which is probably also the dominant large animal). The dominant large mammal worldwide is probably us (though it might be the domestic sheep), but the dominant primate in parts of Zambia is possibly the gorilla.
 

=adrian=

Distinguished Member
Just reading a book about a different world (fiction), where two dominant species are (intelligent) spiders and ants battling it between themselves. Pick a favourite
 

wilbanat

Distinguished Member
Just reading a book about a different world (fiction), where two dominant species are (intelligent) spiders and ants battling it between themselves. Pick a favourite
Well, I was wondering what my nightmares would be about tonight. Now I know :smashin:
 

wiz

Distinguished Member
Mozzies!
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
I don't think there would be a dominant species for many thousands of years but fast forward those years and it would be a Monkey as the dominant species.
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
Ants. Always have been.

What makes you think humans are the dominant species?
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
All the above is a bit OT, I think. Nit-picking on "dominant", when I think we all know what the OP intended.

If he'll allow me, I'll rephrase it to 'which species will inherit the Earth in the way that humans have now?'

Put like that, I'll say another primate, probably orangs or chimps, have the potential to develop human-like intelligence and start the whole thing over, but personally I think it's very unlikely to happen. Ecosystems will remain in the same kinds of balance which existed before humans.
 

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