The Future is Wild
Speculative fiction, science fiction
See scientists below.
No. of episodes
20 - 25 minutes
Animal Planet/Discovery Channel/BBC/Discovery Kids
The Future is Wild was a 2003 "documentary", which used computer-generated imagery to show what life might look like in the future after millions of years of evolution. This series was accompanied by a book written by geologist and author Dougal Dixon and television producer John Adams.
The basic concept of this show is similar to the concept of After Man; the human species has become extinct and animals reconquer the world. The Discovery Channel made the scenario less harsh by stating that the human race had left the planet instead of disappearing completely. Our descendants would then send probes back to Earth to observe how life has changed. Not only do humans become extinct, but major groups of other animals and plants also disappear, including whales and most primates.
This documentary was based on research and interviews with dozens of scientists though some conclusions these scientists made are controversial and other scientists have critcized many ofthe conclusions in the series
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The Future is Wild was divided into three points in time and twelve different ecosystems. The first four ecosystems are set 5 million years hence, the second set of four are set 100 million years hence, and the last four are set 200 million years in the future.
5 million yearsAbout 5 million years hence, the world is in an ice age. Most of the world's freshwater is locked up in the ice caps and glaciers. The animals who live on the borders of the ice have to adapt to the harsh temperatures and unforgiving winters. The tropical rainforests of this future earth have mostly been replaced by tracts of savanna and grassland, devastating such diverse ecosystems as the Amazon basin. The Mediterranean has dried up as Africa moves slowly north towards Europe, which is mostly covered in ice and tundra. The region of Africa east of the rift valley has split off from the mainland to form its own landmass just as Madagascar did millions of years ago. Australia has moved north and collided with New Guinea and parts of Indonesia.
North American Desert
During this time of cold temperatures, the central region of the North American continent has become a vast desert. It is just as cold as the Gobi Desert was and is frequently battered by fierce sandstorms. The desert also receives snowfall in higher areas and encounters tornadoes. The few plants that live in this desolate region are hardy and adaptable. The inhabitants of this region, including the armored rattlebacks, also have to be wary of huge diurnal bats.
Once a great sea, the Mediterranean has become a large salt basin. The area is about 6,500 feet or 2,000 meters below sea level. It consists of brine lakes and salt flats that turn into salty mush in the rare event that it rains. The islands of the Mediterranean now dot the landscape as mountains. Due to high salinity, only bacteria and algae survive in the Mediterranean lakes. Brine flies have been able to flourish here as well.
The Amazon basin was the most biodiverse region in the world, but now it has been reduced to stretches of savanna. The area now receives very little rainfall, causing the Amazon river to dwindle. Bushfires are common, ignited by lightning or sunlight. The Amazon is now home to the last species of primate on Earth, the babookari.
North European Ice
Northwest Europe is frequented by severe blizzards. Ice sheets cover most of North America, all of Scandinavia, and much of Europe. Sea levels have dropped approximately 500 feet (150 meters). A great deal of the land just south of the ice is covered in barren tundra. Night temperatures drop to -60 degrees Celsius. Very few plants and barely any trees grow from the shallow soil.
100 million years
One hundred million years from now exists a world the polar opposite of ninety five million years ago. Instead of dominating glaciers and dry savannah, the world is rich, moist, and damp. Rainforests cover most of the land and swamps border the coast. The sea level has risen 100 meters causing new reefs to form. The continued existence of mammals is hanging by a thread and the biggest creatures ever walk the earth. Due to continental drift mountain ranges are taller than ever. But there is a dark side to this paradise world. Increased volcanic activity has caused a large mass extinction to occur. Most lifeforms won't survive, but a few life forms will rise up and claim the earth for their own.
When Australia colides with Northern Asia and North America a large mountain Range forms. Three times as high as the Himalayan mountains it is one of the few places in this hot house world that has snow and ice. The summers are faintly warm and the winters are cold. Blizzards are common year round. The area also has a large amount of Ultraviolet light.
I don't think the Poggle would be the way they are described because there would be intense cometition between poggles. Poggles depend on Silver spiders to survive. Despite this there would be intense competition between poggles as each individual poggle passes its genes on more effectively if the spiders capture a different poggle and he/she escapes. Poggles would stop eating before they became fat and slow. Poggles which remain fit and active would pass on their genes. Poggles would be as alert to predation as modern rodents. A significant part of the energy harvested in the tree grass seeds would be used up as spiders try to catch poggles and poggles try to escape.
Rise in sea levels has triggered massive floodings of land to occur. 100 million years later the country of Bengal, India has transformed into a large wetland seven times the size of the everglades. The swamp consists of estuaries and tree groves. The humidity levels are at 43% and have caused the Himalayas to erode to small hills
100 million years from now, Antarctica has drifted north to the equator and is now covered in rich forest twice the size of the Amazon. Rain falls frequently and sunny days are occasional. Most of the species of plant have evolved from the mosses, lichens and algae that inhabited Antarctica in the human era but some seeds and spores have drifted from South America. Most of the forest's inhabitants are birds evolved from sea going fowl. A few bugs and spiders have drifted over from other continents.
The melted ice caps has caused sea levels to rise over 100 meters, flooding flat land and warming up the ocean. As a result large reefs bigger than the great barrier reef have formed. But there are many differences then from the reefs of today. For one thing there is no coral instead large algae reefs have formed. The area is also dominated by tropical storms.
200 million years
The earth is recovering from the mass extinction that occurred 100 million years ago, causing the death of most evolutionary groups, leaving only molluscs, insects, slime molds, plants, and the remaining fish and crustaceans to fill the evacuated environmental niches. All the continents have met up and created a second Pangaea and a large global ocean. A massive desert has formed in the center of the continent and forests border the coastline. Many of the lowly organisms have adapted and have claimed the open niches - most molluscs have taken the place of mammals, for instance. The last backboned animals, fish, now fly as the birds or remain in the seas as the last sharks. Crustaceans and the rest of the molluscs also stay in the oceans, whilst insects populate the central deserts, and a new sapient develops.
The central desert lies in the center of the continent where no rain can fall. This is because of the large mountains that border the coastline that block the moisture from reaching the desert. There is no vegetation. The only water that the desert has is the under ground rivers and occasional oasis. Sandstorms are common as well as tornadoes.
On the east coast of the supercontinent there is an 8,000 (49,709.695 miles) area called the Rainshadow Desert. This is where ocean flish land if they are caught in continues storms called hypercanes with 250 mph (400 kph) winds.
On the northwestern corner of Pangaea II warm currents bring large moisture levels and result in endless amounts of rain. Because of the plentiful supply of water a large temperate rainforest has formed. The Plants and animals of the northern forest are used to the constant moisture of rain. Because of this once low life organisms can evolve into new species. Conifers are now able to grow the size of Redwood trees, and the once dwindling lichen plant is now a tree which bears fruit. Though covering a small range this forest is one of the most complex of ecosystems on land. This forest is the home of a new advanced creature the Terrasquids. This forest could also be the birth place of a new civilization.
With one continent, the New Pangea, only occupying a relatively small region of the planet, the rest of Earth is covered by a vast global sea. Because there are no landmasses to break up currents in the ocean, extremely powerful and large "Hypercanes" batter the coastlines almost year round. The currents of the ocean are extreme from pole to pole, which is why most the bony fish have left the water and evolved into flish and the rainbow squid are large, but not very powerful, for the currents can take them all over the planet without requiring much strength on the part of the squid. Other inhabitants include the silver swimmers and the sharkopaths.
In order to ensure that The Future is Wild had a scientific basis, the production team acquired the aide of 16 scientists. The scientists were of a variety of different fields including paleontology, botany, biomechanics, and climatology.
- Leticia Aviles, evolutionary biologist
- Phillip Currie, paleoornithologist
- Dougal Dixon, author and geologist
- Richard Fortey, paleontologist
- William Gilly, cell biologist, developmental biologist, and marine biologist
- Stephen Harris, mammalogist
- Kurt M. Kotrschal, zoologist
- Roy Livermore, palaeongeographer
- R. McNeill Alexander, specialist in biomechanics
- Karl J. Niklas, botanist
- Stephen R. Palumbi, marine biologist
- Jeremy Rayner, zoologist
- Stephen Sparks, geologist
- Bruce H. Tiffney, palaeobotanist
- Paul Valdes, paleoclimatologist
The Russian biologist Pavel I. Volkov found several inaccuracies in this documentary series. A list of them can be found in the site of his Paleocene project. For the squibbon, cartiladge and muscle couldn't act as a shock absorber when swinging about in the lichen tree tops. Cartiladge and muscles also couldn't support the immense weight of the 8 ton megasquid.