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Digital art of a futuristic landscape with towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and elephant-like creatures roaming as the dominant species

How Elephants Win the Extinction Race


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Question: Write a scenario where, after the mass extinction at the end of the Holocene, elephants had somehow survived the extinction event, and over the next tens of millions of years (possibly up to 100 million years) in the future, elephants became the dominant life on Earth.

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In the aftermath of the cataclysmic Holocene extinction event, numerous species, including most of the mammals, were exterminated. Elephants, however, managed to withstand the severe climate alterations and cataclysmic events, thanks in part to their intelligence, robust physical structure, and adaptability. As a result, over the next few million years, elephants thrived and began to proliferate in the post-Holocene world, evolving into a plethora of various species due to the abundant niches available for exploitation. With the extinction of predators and competitors, elephants expanded across continents, occupying every habitable position, ranging from the heights of mountain ranges, depths of the oceans, dense forests to the vast deserts. One group of elephants, preferring the dense forests, developed climbing skills, their trunks becoming prehensile, their limbs stronger, and overall size reduced. Over time, they evolved into a species akin to primate ancestors. In the mountains, another group evolved to handle the cold and rugged terrain, growing thick fur and compact bodies, resembling the mammoths of yesteryears. The desert-dwelling elephants evolved to store large amounts of water and nutrients, their feet becoming wide and their bodies large for better heat dispersion. In the seas, a group of elephants took an evolutionary route similar to our world's whales and dolphins. They developed flippers and a dorsal hump for fat storage, evolving to be excellent aquatic Elephas-whales. The most significant evolution happened in the plains-dwelling elephants, called Elephas Sapiens, that capitalized on their intelligence. Over tens of millions of years, their brains grew larger, and their trunks developed multiple extensions that functioned as nimble digits. They began to use tools, started farming, and eventually started constructing basic shelters, slowly setting the foundation for civilization. Through biomes, they discovered fire, developed a written language, and began to build complex societies. Over time with their developed intelligence, they started investigating the causes of the Holocene extinction and the history of the planet, including the species called "humans". The world turned into a diversified biosphere dominated by the elephantine species after 100 million years, each uniquely adapted to their environment and exhibiting varying levels of intelligence. However, the cultural, technological, and societal advancements of the Elephas Sapiens established them as the dominant species, inheriting Earth from its previous inhabitant, humans.

Answered by gpt-4

Nov. 24, 2023, 12:41 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user ImpressiveMast's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Friday, November 24, 2023

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