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Thread: Future animal evolution

  1. #1 Future animal evolution 
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Kinda cheezy article, but it has some interesting points. How will animals evolve if humans keep dominating the globe?

    The article gives at least two hints:
    - animals will have to adapt to either the urban environment, or to living in agricultural land. In both cases big land animals don't stand a chance, but small rodents and birds could be perfect candidates to take over these habitats and drive other animal species into extinction.
    - animals and other life (pests, virusses) that interact a lot with humans are evolving at explosive speeds, hard to estimate where that will lead us.


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  3. #2 Re: Future animal evolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    Kinda cheezy article, but it has some interesting points. How will animals evolve if humans keep dominating the globe?

    The article gives at least two hints:
    - animals will have to adapt to either the urban environment, or to living in agricultural land. In both cases big land animals don't stand a chance, but small rodents and birds could be perfect candidates to take over these habitats and drive other animal species into extinction.
    - animals and other life (pests, virusses) that interact a lot with humans are evolving at explosive speeds, hard to estimate where that will lead us.
    It is undeniable that large animals will die out as habitat is destroyed, and animals that can live in urban environments will thrive. However, I see a decrease in biodiversity comming in our future as environments become more homogenized, less niches will provide lower possibilities for species diversification. Moreover, if there is no selective pressure being put on these animals I don't see why they would evolve much either. Cockroaches haven't even changed that much in 300 million years, they may become larger and more chemical resistant though.

    On the subject of pest insects, viruses and bacteria, the author is correct in his assertion that we are causing problems by imposing never before seen selective pressure on those organisms. It is energetically unfavourable for a bacteria to be producing antibiotic resistance proteins, so it would normally be outcompeted by it's neighbours, but if we kill all its neighbours we are promoting the reproductive success of those resistant bacteria. Not only have many clinical antibiotics become obsolete, the unscrupulous use of antibiotics on farm animals has further limited the effectiveness of our medication. We are going to be in huge trouble if things continue the way they are.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    cows are thriving thanks to urbanization.

    So are dogs.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
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  5. #4  
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    I wanna know why deer haven't learned that roads and vehicles are bad. They run from bears right? Then why stand there for a semi?

    Octopi are smart and I can see them evolving into land dwellers....millions of years from now of course. Squid...not so much.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orleander

    Octopi are smart and I can see them evolving into land dwellers....millions of years from now of course. Squid...not so much.
    Octopuses, squids and other molluscs will always be hampered by the fact that they use haemocyanin instead of haemoglobin, and therefore find sustained activity (stamina) almost impossible.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by Orleander

    Octopi are smart and I can see them evolving into land dwellers....millions of years from now of course. Squid...not so much.
    Octopuses, squids and other molluscs will always be hampered by the fact that they use haemocyanin instead of haemoglobin, and therefore find sustained activity (stamina) almost impossible.
    yeah, NOW! But give it time. lots and lots of time.
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    ....and therefore find sustained activity (stamina) almost impossible.
    I know several people who must possess squid genes.
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  9. #8  
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    Evolution of the Emo


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  10. #9  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i like the darwin awards logo better :
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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