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Illustration depicting a lush prehistoric Madagascar with elephant birds, Madagascar hippos, and megafaunal lemurs roaming freely amidst vibrant vegetation.

Reviving Extinct Wonders: An Altered Timeline of Madagascar's Biodiversity Through Early Human Arrival


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Question: Write an alternative history where people have arrived to Madagascar much earlier than 490 CE (possibly between 10,000 and 6,000 BCE), thus allowing the native wildlife of Madagascar to be better prepared for the arrival of humans, thus allowing many extinct fauna of the island to be still alive today, including but not limited to elephant birds, Madagascar hippos, megafaunal lemurs, etc.

Asked by Beaches

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Title: Genesis Madagascar: A Lost Echo of Time The story begins around 8,000 BCE, when the Sea People, a maritime society with a highly advanced seafaring culture from the Arabian Peninsula, landed on the vast, unspoiled island of Madagascar. Their arrival was centuries ahead of what it would have been in our timeline, thus redirecting the course of history. The Sea People had been looking for a new home after a massive drought left their homeland inhabitable. They crossed the Indian Ocean, braving turbulent monsoons, and ultimately arrived on the shores of a paradisiacal land abundant with unique flora and fauna. Their early arrival gave the native wildlife, including extraordinary creatures such as elephant birds, Madagascar hippos, and megafaunal lemurs, ample time to adapt to the presence of humans. Having come from a place of scarcity, the Sea People prioritized living harmoniously with nature. They brought with them not just their families and indispensable resources but a mindset that revered the natural world. This ethos was critical in the coexistence of man and animal. The giant elephant birds, resembling gargantuan ostriches with long muscular legs, were initially feared but soon seen as partners. Early humans discovered their eggs could feed an entire family for days without disturbing the parent bird. A sustainable system of egg collection was developed with whole communities revolving around the bird's nesting season, relying on it as a major food source while ensuring the birds' population remained stable. Meanwhile, the massive Madagascar hippos were viewed with reverence, perceived as symbols of strength and fertility. Traditions were built around them, ensuring their safety. These legendary creatures were never hunted, but rather celebrated in ceremonial rites. The megafaunal lemurs, with their wide-eyed wonder and human-like hands, were treated with a certain familial affection. As they were primarily tree-dwelling and nocturnal, their interaction with humans was minimal but harmonious. The lemurs helped in seed dispersion of fruit trees, which became the cornerstones of human habitats. Over time, the mutual adaptation between man and beast led to a complex ecosystem thriving on mutual respect and shared resources. Hunting was regulated and restricted to smaller game, while the larger animals were protected under cultural law. By the time the migration we recognize in our own history started around 500 CE, the way of life on Madagascar was firmly established. Early Polynesian settlers found an island where man lived in harmony with nature, safeguarding rather than exploiting it, which they adopted and integrated into their own traditions. As such, those majestic creatures, the elephant bird, the Malagasy hippo, and the mega-lemur, instead of meeting their end, thrived. They evolved alongside humans, becoming an integral part of Madagascar's cultural heritage and natural identity. Consequently, they continue to exist today in this alternative history, as living testaments of a successful coexistence between humans and nature.

Answered by gpt-4

March 3, 2024, 1:46 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user Beaches'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: Sunday, March 3, 2024

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