After Man

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After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981, ISBN 978-0312011635) is a 1981 book by the Scottish geologist and author, Dougal Dixon. In it, he presents his hypothesis of various organisms apparent after a mass extinction succeeding our own time.

The book is the first of Dougal Dixon's speculative evolution series, including the books After Man (1981), The New Dinosaurs (1988), and Man After Man (1990).[1][2][3]

In 1982, the book was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work.[4]

In 2018, an updated version of the book is set to be released. [5]

Geography of the future[edit]

In this new period of the Cenozoic, called the Posthomic, Dixon assumes that Europe and Africa would fuse, closing the Mediterranean Sea; whereas Asia and North America would collide and close the Bering Strait; South America would split from Central America; Australia would collide with Southern Asia (colliding with the mainland sometime in the last 10 million years), uplifting a mountain range beyond the mountains of the Far East that becomes the most extensive and the highest chain in the world, greater even than the Himalayas at their zenith 50 million years ago; and parts of eastern Africa would split off to form a new island called Lemuria. Other volcanic islands have been added, such as the Pacaus archipelago and Batavia.

Major groups of After Man: A Zoology of the Future[edit]

Some of the larger groups in the future include:

Rabbucks fill the ecological niches of deer, zebras, giraffes and antelope; but they are descended, as the name suggests, from rabbits. They live in almost any environment, and feed on grass. Their anatomy resembles that of ungulates.
The gigantelope take the niche held by elephants, giraffes, moose, musk oxen, rhinoceroses, and other large herbivores. Resembling the ancient sauropods or indricotheres, they are descended from antelope, and range in a wide variety of forms. One subbranch have evolved into the large, moose-like herbivores of the north (called the "hornheads").
Predator rats
The major group of terrestrial predators, who fill almost every carnivorous niche. They evolved, as the name suggests, from rats, and range in forms resembling polar bears, wolves, wolverines, cats, and even aquatic walrus-like forms.
For the most part, Dixon assumes that carnivorans have either gone extinct, or have been forced into peripheral niches like the Creodonts in the Oligocene. A few still exist: the shurrack, pamthret, striger, ghole, gurrath, and nightglider.

Similar projects[edit]

Paleontologist Peter Ward wrote another book on a different perspective on future evolution, one with humans intact as a species. This book is called Future Evolution. Dixon's later work Man After Man also includes man. In 2002, a program on Animal Planet called The Future Is Wild—for which Dixon was a consultant—advances further using more precise studies of biomechanics and future geological phenomena based on the past.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Naish, Darren. "Of After Man, The New Dinosaurs and Greenworld: an interview with Dougal Dixon". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  2. ^ Lamar, Cyriaque. "The horrors of evolution: the 10 freakiest animals of speculative biology". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  3. ^ Nastrazzurro, Sigmund. "Furahan Biology and Allied Matters: An unknown speculative biology project by Dougal Dixon: Microplatia I". Furahan Biology and Allied Matters. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  4. ^ "1982 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Archived from the original on 2011-05-07. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  5. ^ Potenza, Alessandra. "This book imagines what animals might look like if humans went extinct". The Verge. Retrieved 12 June 2018.