Welcome to my Metazoic site! This site discusses the existence of the creatures to come along after humans will be extinct. I first became interested in a world after man when I acquired my first copy of Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future in 1992. However, I unwittingly created creatures that did not exist from the time I was about 8 years old. But it was after I obtained a copy of that book (now a collector's item) that I decided to take these same creatures I created as a child and make them more realistic in an evolutionary sense. Though it may be hard for a lot of us to grasp, humans will soon become extinct. One of the biggest factors of how this will happen is the current overpopulation rate. Which is why I don't contribute to the population. I created this world with little more than mammals fulfilling all ecological niches with the help of some friends. I even gave the era of the age after man a name, I called it the Metazoic, derived from the words for "After-era" (Meta, meaning after, and zoic meaning era). We are now in the Cenozoic era. To view all the animals I have created since I began this project, you can go to the "Meet the Mammals" section of this site. To discuss your own ideas about what you think will happen in the future world, and share your ideas with others, please feel free to leave a comment.
One more thing, some of you may find this site quite offensive, and you have a right to your own opinion. But please respect my right to have an opinion too. I'm not saying there is no GOD, I believe it was HIM who got the ball rolling. But I believe after that, evolution took over. There is so much more evidence of evolution than there is of creation. Even that going on right under our noses. Other than that, enjoy yourself and visit our many links.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Success of the Primates

Many speculative evolutionary scenarios have primates going extinct. However, as we shall see, primates are actually very adaptable and successful creatures, and will very likely survive into the future.

The first primate, Purgatorius, appeared in the Late Cretaceous or Early Paleocene of North America. If one were to look at this animal, the idea that these animals led to monkeys, or even us, would not come to mind. This animals was about the size of a possum, and if one could not tell that this animal gave live birth, one might mistake it for an odd possum as well.

The actual age of Purgatorius is in debate. Some fossils of Purgatorius seem to suggest that it was present in the Late Cretaceous, while other scientists seem to suggest that Purgatorius is earliest Paleocene in age, and the Cretaceous fossils in question were washed out of their original burial position and reburied in Cretaceous strata. However, if the former idea is true, then the primates would have been around during the Cretaceous…and survived the infamous bolide impact that killed off the dinosaurs. Even if Purgatorius is not Cretaceous in age, genetic studies have shown that the earliest primates probably originated somewhere in the later Cretaceous, and even barring that the primates more archaic relatives, the tree shrews, probably evolved during the Cretaceous.

Tree shrews are also around today. Like mentioned above, they are not related to shrews as all, but would be better classified as primitive primates. But the treeshrews are actually classified in their own group, Scandentia, in the grand scheme of mammalian classification. Many species of Scandentia today are considered low-risk, and are rather likely to survive into the future.

Primates themselves have also proven to be adaptable and widespread. Primates are actually rather generalized mammals, retaining five digits on each limb, a full set of teeth (in comparison to other mammals, such as felids and bovids, who have lost many of their molars, canines, and incisors). They have survived for quite some time as well.

Primates have had two great radiations, one of the non-simiomorph primates (lemurs and tarsiers), which include the lemurs as well as extinct groups such as adapids and omomyids. However, due to the Eocene drying, primates began to become restricted in their range. Once found on North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, primates became restricted to Africa. However, once there, primates adapted, and thrived. Then came the radiation of the “advanced primates” the simiomorph primates, which include all of the monkeys and apes of the world today. In addition to the various species of arboreal African monkeys, this radiation also resulted in the South American monkeys, the platyrhines; the baboons, and the lineage that led to our family, the great apes and hominids.

While several lineages of primates, such as the modern apes such as gibbons, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans are critically endangered, and their chances for surviving into the future seem rather dim, many of the other primates appear to be doing okay. There are over 350 species of primates, making it the fourth largest order of mammals outside of bats, rodents, and the shrews. Many of these are very likely to survive, and are not endangered at all. While they may not deviate further from their arboreal lifestyle, primates are very likely to survive into the future.

1 comment:

Quinque viae said...

I think there's fantastic potential for Primates. I could imagine certain primates leaving the trees and adapting very successfully to the world below. Baboons can diversify and occupy more predatorial niches and some could go in the direction that the Gelada is moving in. But what I'm most excited about are primates that would adapt to a northern/winter condition and ones that could become marine mammals. The latter could exploit niches never exploited before by mammals.