What species will take over after humankind is gone?

Let's assume something which is very likely to happen: mankind self-destructs and passes from the earthly scene. What creature is next in line.

Many might assume that chimpanzees rise to the occasion and become intelligent beings. A long shot, perhaps, but some might think dolphins.

Don't overlook a creature that exists right under our nose in North America. In fact, it's not at all unlikely there's one within 100 feet of you right now, even if you live in the city. In fact, increasingly, especially if you live in the city.

I'm speaking of the raccoon. They are among the smartest of wild animals and their front paws are more than halfway there to being akin to human hands. Watch Raccoon Nation and judge for yourself.

Tags: intelligent, life, raccoons

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Back in 1971 Nils Hellstrom Ph. D. predicted it would be insects.

There was even a movie called The Hellstrom Chronicles.

Voice over starts at 4:20:

I'm going with cockroaches.

I'm inclined to bet on roaches too. Back in the 1970's, Hewlett Packard  manufactured pocket calculators that were legendary for their durability.There were numerous accounts of HP calculators exposed to weather for months, accidentally buried, accidentally being run over by heavy equipment, etc. We used to joke that the only survivors of a nuclear war would be HP calculators and roaches.

    Well, the rugged HP calculators are but a memory, (They still sell a few cheaply built calculators that are not as tough as the original ones), but roaches are still going strong.

i wonder how come no one mentioned Ants .. They are smart, strong, organized, have good communication skills, and already can build .. it's only a matter of time till they know how to build pyramids :D:D

 Why would the next dominant species be intelligent? Collectively, the human species doesn't see very intelligent. A short survey of the politicians running things should prove that.

+1

In order to dominate an environment, it isn't necessary to be smart. In fact, being smart might turn out to be the first sign of a species doom. LOL

They are strong for their size. As they get bigger, they will have to shed the exoskeleton and get an internal skeleton to be strong. But even then, their strength will no longer be proportional to the strength the have as tiny animals. Many of the fascinating traits of insects are due to their scale. There's a reason why the largest insect, a beetle and only gets to be 4" long! As for organization, that is hard-wired instinct. Intelligent? Their intelligence doesn't even make it much past zero on an IQ scale. Whatever they do is instinctive and not due to intellectual brightness.

@Unseen:

"Their intelligence doesn't even make it much past zero on an IQ scale. Whatever they do is instinctive and not due to intellectual brightness."

Your original question:

"What species will take over after humankind is gone?"

Does not mention intelligence.

I'm sticking with cockroaches.

Your original question:

"What species will take over after humankind is gone?"

Does not mention intelligence.

It was implicit in this line from the original question:

"Many might assume that chimpanzees rise to the occasion and become intelligent beings. A long shot, perhaps, but some might think dolphins."

And the response has been intelligence will not matter.

It is human hubris to think that the next dominate species must have a human trait, this planet has seen many dominate species that wouldn't make your IQ chart.

cockroaches, and some invertebrates and some microorganisms that have a high tolerance to radiation.

Yeah, the ants who occasionally invade my microwave oven have ignored my attempts to exterminate them there.

Those who invaded the freezer compartment in my refrigerator became history.

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