1.07.2004

Blogging is going to be very slow, if at all. I used to have a goal of once per week (which ended up being closer to bi-weekly, but c'est la vie) but now it'll only happen if something really strikes my fancy.

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I spent some time thinking about which species would rise to dominance after humans. It's a topic that attracts my attention from time to time.

I remember reading that ants have the greatest biomass of any species. They would be a great dominant species. The problem would be the warring. They're ants for crying out loud! Some of them are even called army ants! I can imagine the bloodshed already. "Queen declares patriotic deaths worthy. New larvae needed on the front." If humans can't stay at peace very long, how much better are 2 ft-tall, screeching ants going to do? How can you develop a reliable system of government that has dictatorship built into it's breeding? Ants have a shot but slim chance of doing anything with it.
Rating: Maybe, but needs at least three branches of government.

Dolphin sounds like a good bet seeing as they have the same brain/body size ratio as chimps and humans. They live in the ocean so would probably have decent odds of surviving whatever wiped us humans out.
Rating: Great outlook. Keep an eye on these kids in the future.

Cockroaches? That's a joke. Their reputation is deserved but sentience seems out of their reach. Sorry, you filthy bastards.
Rating: No chance. Die, vermin.

I would like to see rats take a shot at it. Tenacious, crafty, work well in groups. The dark horse, to be sure, but able should the call come down the line.
Rating: Underdogs. Underrats? Under-rated, in any case.

Cephalopods (squids and their kraken-like ilk) have a decent brain-size for invertebrates. They are dextrous, and live deep, deep in the ocean. These beasts have survived eons. If we're gone, these guys will easily be around to pick up the pieces. sadly, these guys were last in line when they were handing out nervous systems. They have a LOT of evolutionary ground to cover before Squidtropolis shows up.
Rating: Still living under the sea, terrorizing sailors but not with their cultural contributions.

The real winner here: raccoons. They already have these pseudo-opposable thumbs. They can readily outsmart a good 50% of humans. They freakin' live in cities already; hell, they prefer it. Good family units, scavenger and hunting skills, omnivores, stripes. They got it all, baby, the complete package. If I'm drafting my all-star team of post-human planet rulers, raccoons are going first pick.
Rating: Head of the pack. Darwin says: "These bandit-looking buggers are going all the way."