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After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981, ISBN 978-0312011635) is a 1981 speculative evolution book by the Scottish geologist and author Dougal Dixon. In it, he presents hypotheses which mainly concern the variety of possible organisms after a mass extinction succeeding our own time.
The hypothesized future
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 around 10 million years later), 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 animal groups
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. They are descended from antelopes, 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.
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.
- The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution (1981)
- Last and First Men
- Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future (1990)
- Future Evolution (2001)
- The Future Is Wild (2003)
- The World Without Us (2007)
- Life After People (2008)
- Codex Seraphinianus (1978) - a book with artistic depictions of fictitious/bizarre zoology and botany, in addition to many other sciences.
- While the British ITV series Primeval mostly focuses on prehistoric life, several of its creatures, most specifically the Mer and Future Predator, are from the future. The latter in particular appears to be based on a combination of the purrip bat and the nightstalker.