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**Isle of Resurgence: A Breathtaking Wildlife Haven Rich in Evolutionary Wonders**


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Question: Write an alternate scenario where there is a very large island (twice the size of Madagascar) that is more than 50 miles off the Pacific coast of North America (more specifically, off the coast of Mexico and California), being filled with various species and subspecies of animals descended from mainland animals from the Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene that swam, rafted, or flew to the island, thus resulting in the unique island ecosystem filled with many different fauna and megafauna, including but not limited to adapiform primates (lemur-like primates, aka American lemurs, which fill the niches similar to true lemurs of Madagascar and monkeys of South America and both Asia and mainland Africa), native brontotheres (rhino-like relatives of equids, descended from the extinct brontothere genus Megacerops), entelodonts (omnivorous, predatory pig-like ungulates related to hippos and whales, descended from the extinct genus Daeodon), chalicotheres (bizarre ungulates with three-clawed forelimbs instead of hooves, including three living genera, the Moropus, Tylocephalonyx, and Chalicotherium), native Pacific/American mastodon (elephant relative) descendants, native Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) descendants, native Megalonyx (aka, Jefferson's ground sloth) descendants, various North American rhino descendants (including modern species of Teleoceras, Metamynodon, and Menoceras), native California tapir (Tapirus californicus) descendants, native skunks, native armadillos (nine-banded armadillos and Glyptotherium), native cougars, native lynx, native ocelots, native saber-toothed cat (Smilodon fatalis) descendants, native American camel (Camelops) descendants, native weasels/stoats, badgers, fisher cats (smaller carnivoran mammals related to wolverines), wolverines/gluttons, native black bears, native spectacled bear species, native giant short-faced bear (Arctodus) descendants, native gray foxes, native coyotes, native gray wolves, small native descendants of anthacotheres (primitive/basal relatives of hippos, with the modern amphibious species that is descended from the extinct Heptacodon being about the size of a medium-sized dog), native peccaries, native Planetetherium (North American colugo/flying lemur) descendants, native deer, native Amphechinus (extinct North American hedgehog) descendants, native Proterix (extinct North American moonrat/gymnure) descendants, native opossums, native platypus-like monotreme mammals, various native rodents, various native bats, various native modern-styled birds (descendants of ones from both North and South America that flew to the island), native enantiornithine (birds that, depending on a species/genera, have toothy jaws, toothy beaks, or toothless beaks, and either clawed-fingered wings or fingerless wings) descendants, native Gastornis (large flightless herbivorous bird with a large beak) descendants, native dwarf caimans, native Mourasuchus (large caiman genus that lacked teeth and filter-feeds in order to eat small fish and other small aquatic animals) descendants, native alligators, native gharial-like fish-eating crocodilians, notosuchians (fully terrestrial relatives of crocodilians, coming in carnivorous, omnivorous, insectivorous, and herbivorous species/genera), native gopher tortoises, native giant tortoises, tuatara relatives (rhynchocephalians, which also includes tuataras of New Zealand), and many more. This island would also be home to late-surviving descendants of troodontids (bird-like, feathered, omnivorous, yet-mostly-carnivorous theropod dinosaurs), thescelosaurs (bipedal herbivorous ornithopod dinosaurs), and azhdarchid (medium-sized to large quadrupedal pterosaurs (flying reptiles with membranous wings and fur-like filaments that are related to dinosaurs) adapted to hunt smaller animals on the ground), being the last refuge for these long-thought-to-be-extinct remnants of the Mesozoic that once ruled Earth (these three survived the KPG extinction by being tiny generalistic burrowers or ground-dwellers, being small and fast-reproductive enough to escape the extinction event). This island would be colonized by human settlers/colonists during the early Holocene, sometime between 4,000 and 2,000 years ago, which developed their own unique cultures and religions originating from the island (as well as domesticating one chalicothere species for meat, fat, and milk, as well as domesticating horse-sized brontotheres as beasts of burden, and domesticating a medium-sized troodontid species as a companion animal), and the island is now home to around 1 million native people, and the first Europeans arrived the island during the late 19th century, developing some modern cities and suburban environments on the island, however the island would still have most of the wilderness (and listing native species to protect them from becoming endangered or extinct) as part of conservation movements/acts.

Asked by PedigreeDinos

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As an alternate scenario for your speculative zoogeography, this large island — let's call it "Superbia" — situated approximately 50 miles off the Pacific coast of North America, spanning the countries of Mexico and California, would vastly change our current perspective on geographic evolution, biology, paleontology, and world history. Superbia is approximately twice the size of Madagascar and offers a wealth of biodiversity unparalleled anywhere else in the world; it's a treasure trove of mega-fauna descended from mainland ancestral species dating back from the Paleocene to the Pleistocene eras. The islands diverse ecosystem exhibits a fascinating plethora of native Entelodonts, Brontotheres, and Chalicotheres, each representing the best-adapted descendants of their terrestrial predecessors. Superbia showcases a dazzling array of unique mammalian species, such as Pleistocene descendants of the Mastodon, the Jefferson's ground sloth, various North American rhinoceros, the California tapir, and a myriad of large and small carnivores, including descendants of the Smilodon fatalis, or saber-toothed tiger. Adding to the diversity are various primate, bird, and reptile species. Adapiform primates (lemur-like primates) are common, filling ecological niches analogous to true lemurs and monkeys of Madagascar and South America. Bird species range from descendants of toothy Predentates to filter-feeding Gastornis and Enantiornithine, depending on the species or genera. Reptiles include gharials, dwarf caimans, and a vast array of terrestrial Notosuchians. Remarkably, Superbia also acts as the last refuge for Mesozoic-era reptiles, namely Troodontid dinosaurs, Thescelosaurs, and Azhdarchid pterosaurs, which were thought to be extinct. The first human settlers arrived during the early Holocene, between 4000 and 2000 years ago. These settlers developed their own unique cultures and religions based on the island's unique wildlife, and even domesticated certain species, such as Chalicotheres and medium-sized Troodontids. They also tamed horse-sized Brontotheres as beasts of burden, leading to a unique blend of human-animal symbioses. Superbia was eventually discovered by European settlers in the late 19th century, leading to colonization and the establishment of modern cities/suburbs. The global demand to preserve the unique wildlife of Superbia led to the majority of the island being designated as protected wilderness areas, with heavy restrictions on industrial development and strict species conservation policies. In this alternate scenario, Superbia would be a fascinating testament to our planet's evolutionary history, nurturing an astounding diversity of life unseen anywhere else on earth, and offering unique insights into our planet's past and future.

Answered by gpt-4

Feb. 21, 2024, 9:57 p.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user PedigreeDinos'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: Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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