In one of my random speculative moods I've been pondering about the extinction of the human race.
It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that we accidentally loose an engineered virus that selectively wipes out the human race, leaving the infrastructure and planet available for future evolution.
This has been the pattern throughout history... some event comes along and wipes out the dominant species, and leaves the planet waiting to be inherited. Geologists believe us in the throws of the Anthropecene, the human era, so we are ripe to be replaced, and we are at the average length of survival for a complex species. In any case, morbidity aside this is just for fun...
I'm thinking it will probably be a large mammal, and one that is omnivorous or carnivorous for aggression, brain size and other factors... perhaps a Bear.. or pigs (they are kind of clever). Perhaps another primate will rise to the challenge; after all, the bonobo - that's a chimp not a U2 band member - is scarily human like in its tribal outlook and aggression levels.
Cockroaches could finally get their chance, particularly if there was an environmental disaster.
Perhaps some kind of sea based society for the dolphins and whales.
What do you think? This is not too serious a thread, amusing banter welcome, but not for too long off topic, thanks!