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If humans didn’t exist, what would be the next leading race?

If humans didn’t exist, what would be the next leading race? (Y5D from Swansea)

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3 Responses

  1. That depends very much on what you mean by “leading”.

  2. This is a really interesting question. If humans did not exist, and seeing as we are the only species of humans to survive to day (even though there have been many species of human and their ancestors in existence before us) then it certainly would not be something like us. The most successful group of animals around is arguably the insects. There are somewhere in the region of 900,000 different types of insect that have been named in the world and thousands of new ones are discovered every year. Of all the insects, the beetles seem to be the most diverse (with around 400, 000 different species). Insects can also be present in huge numbers. My bet is that the insects beat us already even though we think we are the most dominant species – there are lots more of them, there are lots of different types, we rely on them to pollinate our plants, some of them are pests or cause diseases, they usually work ways to tackle the chemicals we design to kill them, and many of them make and do useful things too. I think that they might be dominating the world already and that they would carry on doing it even if we weren’t here to get in their way.

  3. Bacteria are more numerous and more diverse than insects. They probably also have a bigger impact on the planet than even us.
    Although if humans had never came about the most obvious difference to life on Earth to a passing observer would probably be the presence of large roaming herds of mammalian herbivores, which used to be all over this planet till we came along.

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