If you could be any **extinct** organism, what would it be?

After reading Extinct animals, I thought it would be interesting to add this topic to the forum. Although, I am unsure if I should simply add this to my previous topic of If you could be any organism besides a human, what would it be?

Anyway, if I had to choose to be an extinct organism, I would be any member of the genus Anomalocaris. Why?

But to get back to the original question, my favorite extinct organism would be Anomalocaris. I mean, when was the last time a giant shrimp was the apex predator of the ocean?


A depiction of Anomalocaris canadensis. Original image “Anomalocaris2019.jpg” by PaleoEquii from Wikimedia Commons, 2019, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anomalocaris2019.jpg. Accessed 17 December 2020.

*As an aside, I had no idea that images could be included in Blockquotes.

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Thylacine!

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I’d have to say Hell Ants. They just look so weird and cool, almost like what an ant would say an alien would look like.

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Extinction Rebellion thinks we are already fast forward to that.

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Otodus megalodon :shark:

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One of those shape-shifting reptilian humanoids that used to rule humanity in ancient times.

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Koolasuchus maybe? My favourite extinct amphibian, and its lifestyle looks pretty chill. My favourite extinct mammal is Diprotodon, so that would be fine too: not many natural predators when you’re the size of a tank, so long as nobody brings the giant lizards back. Favourite extinct reptile is Minmi/Kunbarrasaurus (they were considered the same when I chose them), but I don’t think that would be as nice to be as the other two.

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I think it’d be awesome to be a pterosaur, if I had to choose any in particular, it would be Caiuajara dobruskii. Land based extinct animal would have to be either Dilophosaurus or the Thylacine.
Water based creatures, I’d probably go with some species of mosasaur or early whale. Trilobites would also be top tier for me. In terms of plants, I would absolutely love to be a lepidodendron

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Honestly, Homo erectus would be pretty interesting. All sorts of large megafauna still around, entering new areas where bipedal primates were unknown to the local wildlife, and being able to discuss it with your compatriots.

One of the issues faced by being any animal is that you’re prey unless you’re above a certain size (then it’s mainly your young that are prey). This makes a lot of otherwise interesting choices somewhat unpalatable.

If it’s got to be a non-human one of the enormous beardogs (Amphicyonids) from the Miocene would be ok.

Being a long-lived tree wouldn’t be bad either, but choosing which type would be difficult. Maybe one of the early oaks or magnolias.

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Thinking of the Taung child – now known to have been killed by an African crowned eagle. Early humans, too, were prey as well as predators. The cave bear would have been a formidable foe if all you had were stone age weapons; so would a saber-tooth cat, a pride of cave lions or a pack of dire wolves.

That said, if I was going to be a non Homo sapiens, it sure would be nice to have the cerebral capacity to understand that I was having experiences. So I will say it is between Nsungwepithecus (currently the earliest known monkey), Rukwapithecus (the earliest known ape), or the last common ancestor of both. That would put it in the Oligocene.

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I’d be an Ivory billed woodpecker and then go around eating at bird feeders until somebody notices. It’d be great fun to mess with all the scientists who think I’m extinct.

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I think we need clearer parameters here. Am I going to be that extinct animal in its environment and time, with its cognitive abilities and memories? Am I going to retain my own cognition and memories, and be in its time, or mine? Am I going to be it forever, or just until it stops being fun?

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Hmm, how about Neanderthals, then? They were very accomplished and thoughtful and ~very~ strong! (I am reading “Kindred - Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art” by Rebecca Wragg Sykes.)

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… perhaps a Cypress or Redwood overlooking the ocean?

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That’s hilarious!

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Probably this T. rex. https://duelingdinosaurs.org/

All extinct animals are dead so I’d like to, at least, be well known.

LUCA to kill myself and stop everything :sweat_smile:

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Dickinsonia, so I could leave a beautiful fossil.

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I’d have to agree, I’d be a neanderthal. Most people in the world have a bit of Neanderthal DNA so we really don’t even have to pretend.

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I always wanted to fly by my own means, so why not be the largest flying creature of all time, the Quetzalcoatlus, one of the last surviving pterosaurs of the Cretaceous?

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