This world takes place in the remains of the Eastern United States, devastated by 3000 years of neglect and climate change. The Mississipi river is pretty much a gulf now, which has caused everything east of it to either sink, or become part of several new islands.

http://www.floodmap.net/?ll=20,-10&z=3&e=225 was used as a resource to help me with drawing maps.

So, while I have not created a definitive biome map, the islands that were once the east coast are much more lush and jungle like, as are the Great Plains, which are now more reminiscent of true savannahs, though some parts in the west have desertified, and a lot of the coast is swampy mangrove.

My question is, what actually lives here? The mutant apocalypse that destroyed this world was in the 2200s, and before it occured, there were many attempts to clone extinct and endangered animals, some of which were successful, though the extinct specimens were primarily kept in zoos.

The first thing I thought of was jaguars, as they once inhabited the US-Mexico border before they were hunted back to South and Central America. After all, they'd be better suited to a tropical/subtropical climate than their primary competition, which would obviously be Coyotes and Mountain Lions. They would have either headed north due to the flooding of their previous habitat, or been cloned by the Helix Corporation, which inadvertantly caused the apocalypse.

Another thought was Rhinos. Helix originally gained prominence by cloning several species of rhinoceros back from the brink. They would definitely be suited for the tropical grassland that was at one point called the Great Plains. Of course, they would have to compete with cloned bison. Also, mutants ate a significant portion of the cows. I figured that after the destruction of civilization, animals in zoos and other such care facilities would have maintained breding populations provided they weren't eaten by the Biters, most of which were exterminated anyway. They only would have survived, because at the time, most of these facilities were automated by domestic robots and AIs. Chances are, the animals capable of surviving in their new environment managed to survive, but what would these animals be?

So, I'm not an expert on this sort of thing, but I'm hoping someone else on this site is, so what would new species would survive and what old species would die out in this new North America? My list is various South American, South Asian, and African animals including jaguars, monkeys, and possibly even elephants. This is just to give my world an exotic touch, as the whole thing is meant to be a sci fi twist on fantasy tropes, but I didn't want the stereotypically North American-style environment.

EDIT: I recently discovered various plans to restore the pleistocene ecosystem to North America. That could theoretically be my excuse, though there wouldn't be any rhinos or monkeys...

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Populate it with creatures that make it good at what it is for. It is better to be unrealistic but awesome than it is to be realistic and boring. Psychic moose and Diatryma turkeys are not very realistic but they would move the action along. Prairie dogs diversified to fill most herbivore niches would be interesting and plausible but probably not the best for a story or a role playing campaign. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Aug 3, 2017 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ as it stand the answer is basically anything, you have the options of genetic engineering, introduction and normal evolution, you need to ask a much narrower question, try coming up with something on your own ans asking if it is feasible. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 3, 2017 at 4:30
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    $\begingroup$ Cockroaches. They survive everything. $\endgroup$ Aug 3, 2017 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ 3000 years is a long, long time. No one can realistically predict what will happen, evolution is randomness with removal of least successful, not a planned thing. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Aug 3, 2017 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


Questions like this are remarkably difficult to answer. We barely understand evolution and adaptation in hindsight --- you're asking us to move them forward. But, there are a few things we can consider.

1) Birds migrate easily, so you should expect them to simply move inland. What wasn't destroyed in your apocalypse would flourish in the Appalachian mountains.

2) Valley or low-altitude ground animals on the East coast would, I think, mostly die as the only place they can go is the mountains which are less congenial and have more predators.

3) Between the Appalachians and the Sierra Nevadas you would see little change other than what died in the apocalypse and what migrated south from Canada and north from Mexico. Carrion eaters tend to survive first.

4) The West would, I suspect, see little change.

Now, that's based on the fact that desertification is easy with a nuclear war but hard with only global warming. As the water rises, so does evaporation. Local climates might change some, but after nearly 1,000 years, a new balance with rain would exert itself. I wouldn't be surprised if, after than millenial pause, the U.S. would look remarkably similar to what it did in the 1500's.

Keep in mind that ecologists have been crying irreversible environmental doom and gloom since the late 60s. Their predictions haven't come to pass in nearly 50 years and it's not showing significant signs of happening soon. All due respect to the hard-core believers out there. And after your apocalypse, all the trends would start to reverse. Mother Nature is perfectly capable of healing herself. As dramatic as many people want global warming to be, it won't actually be severe unless we keep at it for 1,000 years or more. National Geographic back in 2010/2011 had an article that predicted nearly 5,000 years before global warming was truly irreversible. I actually believe that number.

As for your revitalized animals, life is remarkably capable of sticking around so long as (a) there aren't too many predators, (b) there's satisfactory water for the species, and (c) there's abundant food.

Finally, I'm 100% in agreement with @Will. Focus only enough on this issue to permit the reader to happily suspend their disbelief. Focus most of your energy on a whomping good story.


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