Questions tagged [prehistoric-times]

For questions about the historical period before written language, which is considered "prehistoric". This tag is most appropriate to describe the relevant time period on Earth, but it may also be acceptable in similar settings.

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Could complex Precambrian life be possible?

I have a really good question. Could it be possible for complex life to have existed in the Precambrian? I’m aware that only the fossilized remains of bacteria have been discovered from that time ...
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1answer
75 views

Could Sharks Survive a Longer PETM?

First things first, a little backstory: Sometime between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, there was a mysterious, sudden, dramatic rise in global temperature. This moment in time was known as the "...
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4answers
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How would dozens of humanoid species affect early migrations?

In our world, humans evolved and spread to pretty much every place in the world they could reach. Would that still be the case if there were, say, a dozen different humanoid species? Would they all ...
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10answers
4k views

Benefits of time-traveling back to the late Cretaceous period? Economic/financial, resource extraction etc

Let's say a tech company has figured out a way to travel back in time, but for reasons involving the programming of their machine, they can only go back about a 100 million years into the past, to the ...
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0answers
68 views

What if the Triassic-Jurassic Extinction Never Happed? [closed]

The Mesozoic era is mostly known for dinosaurs dominating the majority of the terrestrial niches for nearly the entire duration. Something lesser known is that the Triassic was actually mostly ...
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1answer
118 views

How Different Would the Outcome of the Fall of the Dinosaur Empire Be if Chicxulub Hit at a Different Season?

After 150 million years, the most successful empire in the history of Planet Earth finally collapsed 66 million years ago. A five-mile-wide space bomb--there's still disagreement as to whether it was ...
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1answer
105 views

How Would a Continental Landmass Sink?

Atlantis is real. It's just that there's more than one of them, and none of them are actually called "Atlantis". Instead, they consist from the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean to Zealandia, a ...
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4answers
220 views

The Fate of Marsupials in a More Southerly Australia

For the longest time, Australia and Antarctica were one and the same. It wouldn't be until 30 million years ago that Australia broke up from Antarctica. Nowadays, the distance between Australia and ...
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7answers
349 views

How would a Stone age society make use of gunpowder?

Given that the main ingredients for gunpowder(Charcoal, Saltpetre, and Sulphur) exist in varying quantities pretty much everywhere, I've been wondering how it wasn't discovered much sooner than the ...
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3answers
131 views

Pinniped Creodonts

Here is all you need to know about the creodonts: They were a group of carnivorous mammals that, despite having carnassials, had no relation to Carnivora. They were a global force, occupying ...
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2answers
128 views

Could the earliest life on Earth have traveled through a wormhole billions of years ago into an alternate dimension and evolved independently? [closed]

So it's fairly common knowledge that the first signs of life on Earth were in the Archean eon, when the crust started to cool and continents started to form. Life arose around 3.7ish billion years ago,...
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3answers
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What Australian Megafauna Would be Suitable for Domestication, if Any?

Imagine an alternate universe where the aborigines' impact on the Pleistocene Australian ecosystem was much less severe than it was in our timeline, and the Pleistocene megafauna managed to survive ...
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2answers
205 views

Travel distance across water in early prehistory

I have a species which is about half the size of a human. They live on a continent composed of large islands. I'm looking at their migration history. The thing is, I'm likely to have the origin of ...
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2answers
138 views

How quickly do prehistoric populations grow?

I am working on a species that ressembles humans beings and that, although slightly engineered in the sense that the evolutionary leaps are aided by genetic modification, they are left to go through ...
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3answers
174 views

Ecological balance in a pleistocene+ world

So a friend is working on a worldbuilding/rpg project and I'm "beta-testing". He drew up an earth-like map and set the players start locations. Then I ask him about fauna. Will it be modern earth? ...
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2answers
173 views

Would a More Extreme Icing of Antarctica Create an Extinction Event?

55 million years ago, the world was literally a jungle. It was so warm that plants like the bald cypress and the dawn redwood have been found at Ellesmere Island, right inside the Arctic Circle. ...
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8answers
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What's the oldest plausible frozen specimen for a Jurassic Park style story-line?

We've found all sorts of interesting stuff in arctic ice & permafrost around the world. Bacteria & the like far older than the more media friendly mammoth specimens have been found, living ...
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4answers
367 views

Could Argentavis be Ridden?

In my book series, there is a planet called Aurea that is home to all sorts of strange fauna. Not only does it have animals from the real world, but it also has prehistoric and mythical creatures as ...
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3answers
216 views

Backpack contents for a modern person stranded in the stone-age [closed]

A time-travel experiment sends a volunteer back to the stone age. The Stone Age begins with the first production of stone implements and ends with the first use of bronze. Since the chronological ...
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2answers
1k views

Humans without fire?

Suppose anatomically modern, but technologically primitive, humans (say, early Paleolithic) were magically transported to a world broadly similar to our own, but where open flames are impossible. (I ...
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7answers
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Extreme adaptation: evolutionary narrative for Vantablack-like skin pigment

Premise Inhabiting my earth-like world will be humanoid beings that have a skin tone that is as dark as Vantablack. Let's assume these human-like beings share the same ancestry as humans and we can ...
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5answers
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Does harmony have to be invented?

The oldest known musical instruments are a set of bone and ivory flutes from around 42,000 years ago. Paleolithic tribesmen undoubtedly played these instruments gathered around the campfire, as an ...
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2answers
132 views

Earth Time Periods: Choosing for a hidden lair in time [closed]

You are a former nuclear scientist who has researched in the field of fusion, who is in possession of a device that once activated will create a two-way portal into any time period on Earth. The time-...
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4answers
715 views

The Hadean Explosion?

In recent years, the search for the origins of life is becoming complex. It turns out that oxygen is NOT a requirement for multicellular life to thrive. As stated in this BBC article, poriferans (...
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7answers
4k views

Do hunter-gatherers move or stay put in the winter?

A hunter-gatherer society exists in lands similar to that of Bavaria. There is plentiful game in the forests and glades, and there are many rivers with edible aquatic life. Smaller rivers can freeze ...
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3answers
197 views

Can A Theia-Like Object Make Earth Richer?

Let's start with a little backstory--our planet underwent an impact-coalescence cycle only once, 4.5 billion years ago, when a Mars-sized object named Theia destroyed the infant Earth in a glancing ...
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1answer
595 views

What was the weather like in the Eocene?

I was reading this question earlier today. It asks about the characteristics of global winds in a modern-day earth with Eocene-like temperatures. I'm here to ask about other kinds of weather in the ...
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1answer
191 views

A Tiktaalik for Placoderms

So many millions of years ago their was a lobe finned lung fish named tiktaalik that led to the evolution of all tetrapods and the diversity they hold today. And I wanna do that again, but instead of ...
4
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1answer
191 views

How could a stone age tribe of merfolk tame blue whales?

An underwater stone age tribe of merfolk captured 2 baby whales and killed the adult beast for meat. My sea people would like to tame the young whales and use them as transport when the babies reach ...
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3answers
209 views

Evolution of intelligent drepanosaurs

For a story I require an intelligent [drepanosaur]. But to work with the plot the creature needs to still have traits that don't mix well with classical vertebrate evolution of intelligence. ...
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7answers
1k views

Humans get knocked back into the stone age; would archeologists from 10,000 years in the future be able to tell that we existed?

I am inspired by Dr. Robert Schoc's hypothesis that the Great Pyramid and Sphinx date back to a lost civilization from 10,000 BCE. The Question: Suppose an asteroid/mega solar flare/etc. reduced ...
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5answers
539 views

How would a Mesolithic community go about building a permanent settlement?

Edit: I've gotten some answers now, but many of them use Neolithic settlements as examples. I wish I had the archaeological know-how to analyze these settlements' technologies and economies and ...
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6answers
278 views

What kind of trade/profession would be the most useful to uplift a paleolithic tribe? [closed]

Inspired by the question What technologies could an every-man teach a Palaeolithic tribe? If you want to jump start the civilization of a late paleolithic tribe, and instead of high school dropout ...
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9answers
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What technologies could an every-man teach a Palaeolithic tribe? [closed]

In my story I have an every-man, lets call him Jim. Jim never finished high school, works as a night guard, and spends his time drinking beer, watching TV, surfing the internet and hanging out with ...
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1answer
129 views

How might lions and orcs engage in warfare with one another? [closed]

There are two populations of beings in a world akin to prehistoric subsaharan Africa: lions and orcs. The orcs have essentially the same intelligence and physical capabilities as humans, but they are ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the closest Mesolithic/Neolithic peoples could get to making a flint-knapped “sword”?

In the two latter periods of the Stone Age, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic, technology improved significantly. Their predecessors, the Paleolithic people, used roughly hewn flints as weaponry and ...
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3answers
656 views

All Else Equal, would certain human types be better suited for living in an Ice Age? [closed]

(Turns on future technology super-computer, opens world simulation command prompt) ...
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5answers
1k views

Humans with natural “weapons”, how effective would they be and how would it impact development

The difference between humans and most animals, is that animals usually have natural "weapons", by that I mean claws, powerful jaws with sharp teeth, horns, tusks, etc... Humans depend on their ...
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3answers
297 views

Effectiveness of flaming spears as a psychological weapon in a hunter-gatherer society

In my world, there is a tribe that covers themselves in ash and attacks in the dark, with torch spears. While this is clearly a really good way to be seen and picked off by archers, in a time of ...
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4answers
404 views

Realistic division of labour in a small prehistoric village?

If you have undeveloped society, like hunters-gatherers living in a small village, but at the same time a highly developed social structure with division of labour and expertise, what would it look ...
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4answers
435 views

Can early civilization utilize gold and silver when they are abundant, and copper and iron are rare?

This question is a thought expansion on this What early tools might be devised on a planet where diamonds were abundant? According to this article, prehistoric men already utilized gold and silver ...
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5answers
460 views

Could prehistoric humans colonise a planet with no land bridges between continents?

If an approximately Earth-sized planet had a greater ocean-to-landmass ratio than Earth, and the minimum distance between continents was at least the width of the Atlantic (i.e. >3000 km), how could ...
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24answers
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What Natural Forces could Make Intelligence/Technology a Disadvantage or at Least Inferior to Something Else?

Premise I'm creating a pre-history world to attempt to demonstrate an alternative sequence of events. I would like natural forces to somehow make natural selection view intelligence/technology as ...
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4answers
598 views

How long would it take these two languages present in a common area over a LONG period of time to merge?

Note: Sorry if this post is needlessly detailed, I understand a lot of these details don't affect the question much. I thought I'd bring them up anyways since this is quite the unique situation for ...
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1answer
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Asteroid-Merging vs. Dwarf-Planet-Merging: What's the Difference?

It has become accepted knowledge that the planet Earth was birthed via a swirling cloud of dust and gravel clumping into larger and larger pieces of rock. It began 4.54 billion years ago, and 100 ...
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4answers
943 views

Encountering the Accountants : Spreading Numeracy in the Neolithic World

The BBC in the UK are currently screening a archaeology series exploring the idea that the Neolithic peoples in the Orkney Isles (North of Scotland) were the cultural capital of the British Isles. ...
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3answers
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How long could an operational Virginia-class sub survive in the Jurassic sea?

A nuclear attack submarine carrying a crew of, at least, a hundred people went missing in the North Atlantic Ocean, its last known location was the Bermuda Triangle where ships and planes have ...
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1answer
136 views

Establish common language with Chalcolithic group (Modern man vs copper age group)

How would a single person establish a common language with group that does not speak any language that this person knows? This group is from copper age period and modern man does not have any modern ...
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2answers
563 views

What are the hippos of the Americas?

In a world where man entered North and South America without causing a mass extinction, all of the paleofauna which became extinct ~10,000 BC in the Americas are still around. There are several ...
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4answers
2k views

What American animals would have been domesticated had they not gone extinct?

Here are some lists of North American and South American megafauna that went extinct during the Quaternary. In Eurasia, many species of large mammal were domesticated, most particularly the 'big 4' ...