Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Future is Wild - Episode Six Waterland


Today on Far Future Horizons we present the sixth episode of the highly acclaimed documentary series “The Future is Wild”. Today’s installment is entitled “Waterland” and presents us with an interesting array of creatures.


The episode is set in the Bay of Bengal, 100,000,000 years into the future. The episode focuses on three species: (1) Toraton, a descendant of the giant tortoise and the largest creature ever to walk the Earth. They can weigh up to 120 tonnes; (2) Swampus, a descendant of the octopus which has formed a symbiotic relationship with a plant to house its young. They are very intelligent; (3) Lurkfish, a descendant of the electric catfish that can fire up to 1000 volts to stun prey. They are ambush predators. 


The episode shows that at this point of the future, volcanoes are belching out copious amounts of greenhouse gases causing the planet to overheat. It shows how swampus breed and how toraton have evolved to cope with their new size.

The toraton cannot withdraw into its shell like the tortoise could, but its shell is used to protect and partially support its muscles. The toraton has evolved a digestive system that has a muscular stomach to grind its food, and a gut filled with bacteria to digest the rest of the vegetation. Its legs have moved directly underneath its body to support the tons of massive muscle on this enormous creature. Toratons mate back to back because they are so massive that if the male were to get onto the female she would be injured. She lays her two large eggs in a nest. She must help them crack their shells open. They are cared for 5 years by their parents. When an adult toraton feels death approaching, it will migrate to large toraton graveyards, where decomposing toratons produce enormous amounts of heat.

The Future is Wild - Episode Six Waterland
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