What would be the most likely species to evolve into a high intelligent society if humans were extinct or if we never evolved?
There are several very intelligent animals on Earth. Some are similar to our intelligence and thought process, like apes and other primates, others that are not quite so similar but still have immense problem solving skills, like crows, and other birds…and then there’s the strange intelligence. The octopus or squids and other cephalopods.
Primates – would most likely evolve into something very similar as homo sapiens. So I wont go into the what ifs.
Birds – these would be different that humans. For one they don’t have hands or useable digits. Their feet have dexterity and could conceivably be used to fashion tools, writing, music. But so many interesting questions come up. Would they still fly? Would they retain their feathers? Would their beaks shorten?
Cephalopods – are the ones I find truly interesting. For one, there could be an entire evolved civilization somewhere in the deep. They have incredibly accurate tentacles each one with dozens of suction cups that could be used as fingers. They seem to be able to understand notions like screws, locking mechanisms and other mechanics. They communicate with pigments, as varied as our own language. But living underwater would lead them to evolve so differently that us.
Why am I asking this? The next book in my series will have one such species. I’d call them alien but they would be terrestrial. So I have to think a bit at how they would evolve. What systems would atrophy and which would evolve into new roles.
So what do you think could be a species that would evolve to self awareness with a rich culture? I’d like to hear your thoughts!
Signed, Somebody that just had calamari.