The Future Is Wild

The Future Is Wild

infobox television
show_name = The Future Is Wild

caption =
rating = pg
format = Speculative fiction, Science fiction
picture_format = Unknown
runtime = 20 – 25 minutes
creator =
starring = "See Scientists below"
country =
network = Animal Planet/Discovery Channel/BBC/Discovery Kids (2007-present)
first_aired = 2003
last_aired = 2003
num_episodes = 13
website =
imdb_id = 0455253
tv_com_id =

"The Future Is Wild" was a 2003 joint Animal Planet/ORF (Austria) and ZDF (Germany) co-production, which used computer-generated imagery to show the possible future of life on Earth. The seven-part television series was released with a companion book written by geologist Dougal Dixon, author of several "anthropologies/zoologies of the future" such as , in conjunction with natural history television producer John Adams.

Based on research and interviews with dozens of scientists, this documentary was put together to show how life could evolve in the future if "Homo sapiens" became extinct; the Discovery Channel broadcast softened the harsh outlook by stating the human race had completely migrated from the Earth and had sent back probes to examine the progress of life on Earth. The show was played out in the form of a nature documentary. For a time in 2005, a theme park based on this program was opened in Japan. In 2008, a special on the Discovery Channel about the development of the video game Spore was combined with airings of The Future is Wild.


Twelve ecosystems were chosen at three points in time:-

5 million years' time

:The world is in an ice age and there are giant seabirds and carnivorous bats. The ice sheets extended to as far south as Paris in the northern hemisphere and as far north as Buenos Aires in the southern hemisphere. The Amazon Rainforests dried up and opened into grasslands. The North American plains shrivelled to become cold desert. Africa collided with Europe and closed off the Mediterranean Sea again. With no water to replace it in the dry climate, the Mediterranean dried out into a giant salt flat dotted with brine lakes, as it has been in the past. Most of Europe became frozen tundra. The part of Africa east of the African Rift Valley has broken off of Africa. Asia has dried up and is now mountainous. The once dry area of Central America has now been transformed into warm dry tropical forests. Australia has moved north and collided with eastern Indonesia.;Denizens:Babookari, a ground-living New World monkey, descended from the present-day uakari.:Carakiller, a giant flightless bird of prey, descended from the present-day caracara.:Cryptile, a frilled lizard that inhabits salt flats and has a sticky frill.:Deathgleaner, a giant carnivorous bat.:Gannetwhale, a seal-like seabird, descended from the present-day gannet.:Gryken, a slender terrestrial mustelid, descended from the present-day pine marten.:Rattleback, an armoured rodent, descended from the present-day agouti.:Desert Rattleback, another type of rattleback, which lives in deserts. Herbivorous, unlike other species:Scrofa, a rock-dwelling wild boar.:Shagrat, a giant rodent which lives in herds and migrates with the seasons in northern Europe,descended from the present-day marmot .:Snowstalker, a giant saber-toothed mustelid, descended from the present-day wolverine.:Spink, a small mole-like burrowing bird, descended from the present-day quail.

100 million years' time

:The world is very hot, octopuses have come onto land, and there are enormous tortoises. Much of the land is flooded by shallow seas. The surrounding land has become brackish swamps. Antarctica has drifted towards the tropics, and once again it is covered with trees, as it was 300 million years before. Australia has collided with North America and Asia, forcing up an enormous, 10-kilometre-high mountain plateau taller than the modern Himalayas. Greenland has been reduced to a small, temperate island. While low lying land is warm shallow seas, cold deep ocean trenches form. Africa's Sahara Desert has once again become Rich Grasslands as it was millions of years ago. ;Denizens:Falconfly, a giant predatory wasp.:Grass Tree, a species of plant in the Great Plateau that is harvested by Silver Spiders to feed the Poggles,descended from bamboo.:Great Blue Windrunner, a giant four-winged bird: its legs have flight feathers on and can act as gliding surfaces,descended from the present-day crane.:Lurkfish, a giant big-mouthed electric fish.:Ocean Phantom, a giant jellyfish.:Poggle, the last mammal, descended from the present-day hamster. :Reef Glider, a swimming sea slug.:Roachcutter, a swift jungle bird.:Silver Spider, a large colonial spider.:Spindle trooper, a giant sea spider. They live in Ocean Phantoms, which they defend against enemies.:Spitfire Bird, a species of flutterbird which spits corrosive liquid.:False Spitfire Bird, a species of bird that resembles the Spitfire Bird, but is harmless.:Spitfire Beetle, a cooperative predatory beetle which preys on Spitfire Birds.:Spitfire Tree, a flowering tree that makes two chemicals collected by the Spitfire Birds, which in the process pollinates the tree.:Swampus, a terrestrial octopus.:Toraton, a giant tortoise, grows to 120 tons.

200 million years' time

:The world is recovering from a mass extinction caused by a flood basalt eruption almost as large in size as the one that created the Siberian Traps. Fish have taken to the skies, squid to the forests and the world's largest ever desert is filled with strange worms and insects. All the continents have collided into one another and fused into a single supercontinent, a second Pangaea. Due to one single current system and one large global ocean, deadly hurricanes smother the coastlines of the continent all year long. The northwestern side of Pangaea II, drenched with an endless supply of rain, has become a temperate forest. Mountains resting at the end of the coast block most of the rain's moisture from reaching a long line of scrubby rainshadow deserts. The very center of the continent does not receive rain at all and has become barren plantless desert. At this time most of the common life forms such as Mammals, Reptiles, Birds and Amphibians are extinct. ;Denizens:Bumblebeetle, a flying insect which lives and breeds inside the carcasses of dead Flish.:Deathbottle, a carnivorous plant, residing in the Rainshadow Desert.:Desert Hopper, a hopping snail with a modified single foot.:Forest Flish, a bird-like fish that no longer lives in the oceans, but instead flies like birds.:Ocean Flish, another type of Flish that relies on the ocean more than the Forest Flish.:Garden Worm, an algae-filled worm that feeds only on sunlight.:Megasquid, an elephant-sized omnivorous terrestrial squid. Its 8 arms have evolved into walking legs like an elephant's. It uses its two long tentacles for feeding.:Rainbow squid, a giant chameleonic squid.:Sharkopath, a bioluminescent pack-hunting shark.:Silverswimmer, fish-sized neotenous crustaceans.:Slickribbon, a cave-dwelling predatory worm.:Slithersucker, a giant slime mold.:Squibbon, a terrestrial tree-swinging squid. Relatively intelligent; the likeliest ancestor for future sapient life.:Terabyte, a colonial termite that has become highly specialized.:Gloomworm, a primitive bacteria-eating worm.

Episode List

Although there are presumably many thousands of different species around at each point in the future, each episode generally focuses on just one food chain.
# Welcome to the Future (a brief summary of the coming episodes)
# Return of the Ice (5 million years time, in the new frozen wastes of Europe)
# The Vanished Sea (5 million years time, in the Mediterranean salt desert)
# Prairies of Amazonia (5 million years time, in the grasslands where the Amazon Rainforest once existed)
# Cold Kansas Desert (5 million years time, in North America)
# Waterland (100 million years time, in the swamps of Bengal)
# Flooded World (100 million years time, in the shallow seas)
# Tropical Antarctica (100 million years time, in an Antarctica which is now on the equator)
# The Great Plateau (100 million years time, at the spot where Asia, North America and Australia have collided)
# The Endless Desert (200 million years time, in the vast desert of central Pangaea II)
# The Global Ocean (200 million years time, in, the ocean of the world)
# Graveyard Desert (200 million years time, in a rainshadow desert)
# The Tentacled Forest (200 million years time, in the rainforest)
# The Future Is Wild and the Making of Spore (a special on the Discovery Channel about the development of the video game Spore was combined with airings of The Future is Wild.)

DVD release

The series was released on three DVDs. The first DVD in the series includes episodes 1-5, the second includes episodes 6-9, and the third includes episodes 10-13. The three DVDs have also been released together as a set.

Both the DVD singles and the 3-DVD set are available for DVD regions one and two. Although the singles are available for region four, the 3-DVD set is not. Magna Pacific, the company contracted to market the Future is Wild series to Australasia, originally planned to release the 3-DVD set in May. When asked in December 2005, the Executive Director of Magna Pacific stated, "We have this scheduled for a May release." However, when asked again in August 2006, the National Marketing Manager of Magna Pacific announced, "Unfortunately the 3-DVD set of Future is Wild has been withdrawn from release, the singles will continue to be available but plans for the release of the 3-DVD set have been placed on hold with no future date set at this stage."


Scientists involved in the project
* R McNeill Alexander, zoologist
* Leticia Aviles, evolutionary biologist
* Phillip Currie, paleontologist and paleoornithologist (the study of prehistoric birds)
* Dougal Dixon, geologist
* Richard Fortey, paleontologist
* William Gilly, cell biologist, developmental biologist, and marine biologist
* Stephen Harris, mammalogist
* Kurt M. Kotrschal, zoologist
* Mike Linley, herpetologist
* Roy Livermore, palaeogeographer
* R. McNeill Alexander, specialist in biomechanics
* Karl J. Niklas, botanist
* Stephen Palumbi, marine biologist
* Jeremy Rayner, zoologist
* Stephen Sparks, geologist
* Bruce H. Tiffney, palaeobotanist
* Paul Valdes, paleoclimatologist

Children's Series

Infobox television
show_name=The Future is Wild (2007 series)

format= Animated
country= Canada
runtime=22 minutes
starring=Ashley Peters
Taylor Abrahamse
Marc Donato
Miranda Jones
Richard Binsley
Cedric Smith
num_seasons= 1
channel=Discovery Kids
first_aired=October 13, 2007

An animated children's version of the show was developed by Nelvana Animation, and directed by Mike Fallows, with characters and creatures designed by Brett Jubinville. It is made in CGI animation. It airs in Canada on Teletoon and in the US on Discovery Kids where it made its debut on October 13, 2007. It features four teenagers (CG, Luis, Emily and Ethan) who study the future of the earth to find a new habitat for humanity, while learning about the futuristic creatures who inhabit it. The show is set for 26 episodes and as of July 5, 2008, it had finished its first season.

Episodes of the series have been made available on:


Time Flyer - A vehicle that transports to different eras of time through vortexes, the navigation system tells what the era is, C.G. is the one who pilots it.

InfoStation - A larger, more thorough version of the holodat that is contained in the Time Flyer

Holodat - A portable device that shows the species of an animal and other information.

Chameliograhpic Helmet - A device that C.G, Luis, Emily, and Ethan use for turning into other animals, it scans the animal first and then creates a holographic image around the user to mimic the animal.

Communicator - The crew wears them on their wrists to communicate to each other. In "Sweet Home Pangaea II" it revealed that it also has a force field funtion.

Dune Skimmer - A jetski-like vehicle used for fast travel over harsh conditions like sand, snow, and water.

Molecular Compressor - A device that can alter an object or person's size. The effects wear off in about an hour.

Cameras - compact, disc-shaped cameras.


Named Animals

Episode list

eason 1

ee also

* List of The Future Is Wild species
* "Future Evolution"
* Human extinction
* "Life After People"
* "The World Without Us"
* ""

External links

* [ Official website]

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