As a break from feeling sad about Roger Ebert’s passing, I thought this would be fun.
So a genius mad scientist gets some old DNA and starts resurrecting extinct species. For the purposes of this thread, I’m not really interested in how humans would respond (so we’ll pretend that there are no people in the area), but how the natural world would- for example, how might the local ecosystem change, how would predator-prey relationships change, etc. The mad scientist does the following:
Drops several dozen adult T-Rexes (males and females) into the uninhabited (by humans) parts of the Congo Basin (not all in the exact same area, but over a few dozen square miles or so).
Drops several dozen Megatheria (giant ground sloths) into the South American Pampas region.
Drops several dozen Megalodons (those huge extinct sharks) into the Pacific.
Drops several dozen Brontornis (giant terror bird) into Patagonia.
Feel free to come up with your own scenarios. What cool and interesting stuff might happen?
Well, dinosaurs are probably impossible. But more recently-extinct species such as the Passenger Pigeon might be feasible. In which case … probably nothing very interesting would happen, except that they might go extinct again pretty fast.
As for your actual examples above … I don’t think T-Rexes in the Congo Basin would last long; they’d be wiped out by poachers. Likewise the Megatheria and probably the Brontornis. The Magalodons might have the best chance of surviving long enough to build up a population. In which case … a new series of *Jaws *movies?
If protected, the mammoths might do well in Canada, Siberia, Alaska. There is a theory that the mammoths actually helped the tundras become grasslands (by trampling the non-grassy plants, and fertilizing the land).
I’d say go for it! (Anyone know how the mammoth cloning is going?)
The T-Rexes had smallish forelimbs which they weren’t using for locomotion, obviously. So those limbs would evolve into arms with hands and opposable thumbs. Kangaroos would do likewise. Now, suppose these T-Rexes were in Africa rather than South America. A land bridge might form between there and Australia, allowing T-Rexes to move into Oz, where they and the Kangaroos would compete for the right to be the master opposable-thumb-bearing race.
Driven by competitive evolutionary pressures, the T-Rexes would develop fire (that is, they’d become fire-breathing dragons), while the Kangaroos would develop primitive tools, leading to such implements as stone axes, bows and arrows. Eventually, they would learn to create fire artificially.
There would eventually be massive bloody (ETA: and fiery!) wars of dominance between the T’s and the K’s. Other lesser species would be brutally subjugated all along. All the fires would pollute the atmosphere and create greenhouse gases leading to global warming. The glaciers all over the world would eventually melt and Australia would be inundated. All the T-Rexes and Kangaroos would drown.
That’s because the history books are written by the victors. In my scenario, neither T-Rex nor Kangaroos are the victors. Most of the sloths got eaten by the T-Rexes, but a few survived in the trees, where they escaped drowning. The sloths were then free to evolve into the next master race in the newest World Order, and they were the ones who eventually wrote the history books, where T-Rexes and Kangaroos appear, at best, as footnotes.
Or, MAYBE, the Gauchos of the Pampas domesticate the Terror Birds (aka Aves del Terror) and learn to ride them like horses. Then they load them onto a large ship bound for Australia and they ride, RIDE, through the Outback with their fearsome *boleadoras *, causing widespread destruction among the T. rexes and Fire Kangaroos.
I’ll tell you what would happen sonny. You take your godless ideas, set them on fire, and bury them where even the moles wouldn’t be able to find them. You want fear? You want terror? Then you take the most unstoppable and unchanging predator in the last 300 MILLION years and you dump them into a world that’s taken that long to be able to sleep at night again. God made a mistake when he created those things and it was only after untold millenia of cowering and pissing himself that he was able to rectify it, but even He could not eliminate the most efficient killing machine ever to exist, only nerf its power into the modern sharks we have today.
If tomorrow the world opens its eyes and giant, prehistoric sharks once again rule our oceans, the first thing that would happen is that we’ll all need new pants. The second is that all fish in the seas bend over backwards and kiss their own asses goodbye. This is like tossing a rabid badger into a nursery. Unleashing a volcano into a 7-11. Fighting Japanese tentacle rape monsters when you’re a man made out of only vaginas. We’d have to change shipping lanes to avoid these monsters. Hell, ocean travel might be completely eliminated, not by governments, but by a scared human race that will find it hard not to piss themselves at the sight of a natural body of water. Orcas will evolve the ability to commit suicide by seppuku for fear of the shit they will be facing from the God of All Sharks for daring to attack modern Great Whites.
Nowhere on earth would be safe. You think you’re safe living inland? These things can FUCKING JUMP! I’ve seen those documentaries on the SyFy channel, you aren’t even safe in a plane! Instead of Snakes on a Plane, you’ll have Snakes Shitting themselves on a Plane because NOWHERE will be safe! And they’ll take over Paraguay too. You know why? Because its a landlocked country that thinks its safe from the super sharks. The Megalodons don’t care about Paraguay, they can’t even spell Paraguay (“pair of gays?” they’ll laugh). They hate Paraguay for the sole reason that that country will be the first to declare their country a haven from the sharks, safety from a water beast due to their landlocked nature. That’s why the sharks will kill them first, as a message. Vatican City, you’re next. As the only certifiably religious nation in the world, the megalodons will first be puzzled, then pissed that they aren’t worshipping THEM. Indeed the Prophecy of Malachy will come true because this will be the end of the Popes. Who would fucking worship a HUMAN god when you can have shark gods??
In the end, I predict that those animals that won’t submit will be extinct, and those who survive will be servants to the sharks. Our first shark president will be elected in 2015 (no more 4 year intervals because sharks don’t have fingers), shark fin soup will be banned under penalty of death by shark feeding frenzy, and the megalodons will take bites out of the coast of Australia until its shaped like a shark (it will only take them 10 total bites to do so). For many of us, this will herald a world of unprecedented suffering and chaos, as roaming street hobos will try to imitate our new shark overlords by biting random passersby until there are no more passersbys, random or purposeful. Sharks SS troops will disguise themselves as people and infiltrate underground tuna canneries, you’ll hear a lot about mass slaughters at factories and other underground facilities. But for the few of us loyal to the sharks, we’ll be up to our eyeballs in shark women and human women missing some of their limbs (eaten by sharks, of course). Once you get used to that, some of us will be able to live out our lives in semi-comfort, “semi” because we’ll all be in the oceans and not on land, and because our lives will be cut short at about 40, when sharks deem us delicious enough to eat.