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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Which marine organisms would survive this longer Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum?

56 million years ago, Earth underwent the greatest rise in temperature in the last 100 million years. In just 20 to 50 millennia, the global temperature had risen by five to eight degrees Celsius (...
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5 votes
4 answers
160 views

How would this magic system affect the development of agriculture in a Stone Age world?

This post is an improved version of a previous post, which lacked sufficient specificity. I apologize again for the ambiguous wording, as well as for any rules I had violated in posting that question. ...
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6 votes
4 answers
186 views

How would this magic system affect the technological development of a Stone Age world? [closed]

The magic system is known as shamanism, and is centered around entering trance states to communicate with spirits and make pacts with them. My world is an animist setting, so things like humans, ...
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31 votes
9 answers
6k views

What can we eat in the late Cretaceous?

Suppose there is a team of explorers sent back in time 66 million years ago somewhere before the K-T event took place, the mission is to spend no more than 3 months to retrieve a blood sample from a ...
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4 votes
3 answers
122 views

Ideal Settlement Location for Time Travelers [closed]

If a group of time travelers dedicated to travel back 10 million years and settle a humanless earth, where might they decide to found this first colony? Assume that these temporal colonists are well ...
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0 votes
0 answers
61 views

Would a longer PETM make Earth hotter than it was?

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 "Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum",...
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5 votes
4 answers
147 views

What would be some natural threats for inch-scale Neanderthals? [closed]

Exactly what it says on the tin: what would be some natural threats for inch-scale Neanderthals? Think the Borrowers, but as Neanderthals. For instance: floods, puddles, insects, natural acid rain, ...
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4 votes
5 answers
504 views

Our missing sense. What is it and how does it work?

Disaster had befallen the tribe of Mitochondrial Eve, their population had been reduced to less than a dozen individuals, siblings and cousins all. Although this population bottleneck was eventually ...
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4 votes
2 answers
985 views

Could Toxodon, Macrauchenia, and Megatherium be Domesticated, and if so, What Would Their Uses be? [closed]

In my book series, there is this huge flat savannah in the tropical north of my continent (it's in the southern hemisphere), very similar to the Brazilian cerrado in terms of plant life and animal ...
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3 votes
1 answer
144 views

How Quickly Would the Pioneers of this Seeded Jurassic World Alter the Climate?

Sometime last month, I have compiled a comprehensive list of all the prehistoric creatures featured in the bulk of the Jurassic Park franchise--in the five established films, in the upcoming Dominion ...
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3 votes
1 answer
93 views

Where would primitive settlements first start to occur outside of the middle-east and turkey? [closed]

Say when people as nomads, and started to form settlements with other people, where would these primitive settlements first started to appear, they would have first started to settle in regions around ...
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6 votes
1 answer
184 views

Who on Land Will Survive The Inverse Great Dying?

Long ago, I asked a question on what would create an inverse Great Dying. Allow me to clarify on what I meant: 252 million years ago, the worst event in the history of life on Earth occurred. 70% of ...
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4 votes
4 answers
130 views

Would a prehistoric Dragon be Bigger or Smaller? [closed]

I was recently thinking about Dragons, and got thinking about what they would have looked like in prehistory. Dragons were able to survive through the times due to two. main factors: Their Size. ...
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19 votes
2 answers
3k views

If the Roman Empire in the Year 90 AD Found a Living Tyrannosaurus Rex, What Creature in Their Mythology Would They Most Likely Mistake It For?

I'm writing a story where a group of mischievous aliens teleport iconic creatures to inappropriate time periods. (Dimetrodons in colonial Germany, Pterodactyls in the medieval Ottoman Empire, ...
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5 votes
4 answers
259 views

How much trouble would a great depression era rural county have with settling a late cretaceous Montana/Wyoming?

I have a very specific setting in mind that can be pretty much summed up as "Wild West with Dinosaurs". However, I'm still trying to figure out the details of just how the people native to a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
96 views

How Could Cold-Climate War Animals Such as Mammoths be Adjusted for Warfare in Warm Climates?

In this fantasy novel I'm working on, the villain is from a very cold-climate planet and is planning an invasion of a much warmer planet. While most of his army is standard infantry and cavalry, he ...
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4 votes
1 answer
160 views

What Would the Uses of Domesticated Bunyips be?

In my book series, one of the main cultures has domesticated Diprotodon Optatum (called "Bunyips" in-universe). For those of you who don't know, here's what they look like (they're the herd ...
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4 votes
2 answers
174 views

Would a 200-Pound Dwarf Still Need to Wear Clothes?

The average Neandertal male stood 64 inches tall, weighed 143 pounds and had a brain volume of 1600 milliliters. The average female stood 62 inches tall, weighed 110 pounds and had a brain volume of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
183 views

Consequences of a Longer PETM: The Lysocline

I've already discussed the backstory of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum more than once already, so let me shorten this into a list of notes: 56 million years ago 5-9-degree-Celsius rise in ...
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2 votes
1 answer
91 views

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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4 votes
1 answer
120 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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10 votes
4 answers
164 views

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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19 votes
12 answers
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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3 votes
0 answers
96 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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3 votes
1 answer
138 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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5 votes
1 answer
294 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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3 votes
4 answers
273 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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6 votes
7 answers
499 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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-1 votes
3 answers
144 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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3 votes
2 answers
150 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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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

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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5 votes
2 answers
236 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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3 votes
2 answers
190 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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1 vote
3 answers
235 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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5 votes
2 answers
203 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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11 votes
8 answers
4k views

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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3 votes
5 answers
1k 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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0 votes
3 answers
260 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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3 votes
2 answers
2k 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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9 votes
7 answers
2k views

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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16 votes
5 answers
2k views

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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2 votes
2 answers
140 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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8 votes
4 answers
763 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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11 votes
7 answers
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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3 votes
3 answers
222 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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7 votes
1 answer
919 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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  • 607
3 votes
1 answer
238 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
216 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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1 vote
3 answers
234 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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6 votes
7 answers
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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