The Allocene is a new and different time period that takes place after the Holocene mass extinction. The Allocene was a very diverse period of time, which started around 15 million years after the mass extinction. I'll be focusing on the golden age of the Allocene, which was around 25 million years after the mass extinction. Most species of large terrestrial animals like bears, big cats, african megafauna and large ungulates have gone extinct. The same has occurred in the oceans, wiping out cetaceans and large shark species. The result of this extinction is a new, diverse time where life flourishes.
The Holocene Mass ExtinctionEditThe Holocene Mass Extinction is hard to pinpoint, but it will happen and soon. The cause of this extinction is a giant asteroid roughly about the size of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. The extinction is the same as the Cretaceous mass extinction but instead of the reptiles going extinct, most large mammals have gone extinct. The impact caused seismic activity across the planet, including tsunamis, and earthquakes. Ash from volcanic eruptions and the asteroid itself, blocked out the sun which caused a temporary ice age that lasted 5 million years.
Once the ash cleared and the Earth warmed again life was relatively the same. Most small creatures like rodents, insects, and reptiles remained the same size and shape for a couple million years, only taking control of minor niches. Around 15 million years after the mass extinction the rest of life caught on and natural selection really started to kick in. Humanity has been nearly wiped out by the extinction and small pockets of humanity remained all over the planet. These pockets completely died out during the new ice age due to humanity not adapting fast enough to the bitter-cold environment.
The Allocene took about 5 million years to fully develop. The whole time period is 15-35 million years after the mass extinction (or AME for short) Here is a timeline of events since the mass extinction
5 Million Years AME Edit
The world is now mostly glaciated due to the ash from volcanoes blocking out the sun. The ice caps have extended all the way down to Northern Italy and in the Southern Hemisphere, the ice rose as far as the Southern tip of Bolivia in South America. Like the end of the Pleistocene, most animals have only evolved thicker skin or shaggier coats. Also, some creatures have burrowed deep underground to avoid the bitter cold. Humans haven't adapted fast enough and slowly declined to extinction.
10 Million Years AME Edit
The temperature finally warms to the average temperature of a spring day in the present. The world is now mostly temperate and most of the habitats resemble the ecosystems of Europe and North America. Wildlife barely changed in the past 5 million years.
15 Million Years AME Edit
The Earth"s temperature climbs steadily and the constant release of greenhouse gases has caused the world to become tropical. Even the poles are experiencing somewhat warmer temperatures. The partial melting of the icecaps has caused flooding, in some areas by nearly 800 feet. Most species of animals that were in severe decline were returning, including parrots, tapirs and small antelope. Most species are starting to split into certain niches.
25 Million Years AME Edit
The Allocene is in its golden age of diversity. The Earth's temperature soars and the Earth is lush with all sorts of trees, bushes and grasses. The animals here have taken to immense sizes and are extremely adapted to their environments. The top of Antarctica is a giant taiga filled with wildlife similar to Canada and Russia. Shallow seas have opened up in various places on most of the continents including Australia, South America and Africa. South America has broken off from the rest of the Americas and has wildlife unlike anywhere else in the world.
The Aftermath Edit
The creatures that survived the mass extinction were mostly small in stature. But over time, they grew to tremendous sizes in order to fill certain niches. The survivors of the mass extinction were:
- Tapirs, Boar and Small Deer/Antelope
- Rodents and Lagomorphs
- Monotremes and most Marsupials
- Insects and Arachnids
- Amphibians and most Reptiles
- Some Parrots and Parakeets
- Seabirds and Penguins
- Domestic Animals
- Most Fish and Invertebrates
- Molluscs and Cephalopods
These creatures have diversified into niches left behind by megafauna, and other extinct creatures. The result is a widely diverse ecosystem full of remarkable creatures. The Allocene is probably even more diverse than the Holocene, including many creatures that reflect the past greatly. For example, the Wombeasts are descendants of the wombat, but they greatly resemble the Diprotodon of the Pleistocene. Even though these creatures survived, most of the species that were adapted to tropical environments have faced a severe decline during the new ice age.
As time went on, the diversity on Earth continued to grow, spawning several families of creatures. This includes the Predatory Rats that replaced the big cats and the Hyraxoforms that have evolved to replace large mammals like rhinos and hippos. Creatures like these have been extremely successful during the golden age of the Allocene, around 25 million years AME.