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Meet the relatives.

HE'S a boneless eight-ton squid and he's about to inherit the Earth.

But with a little bit of luck, that won't happen until somewhere near the year 200million.

Scientists now believe evolved squids will be the planet's dominant life form in the future.

Man, the mammals and the birds will have disappeared millions of years previously.

And sea life will have changed drastically. These squids will resemble an eight-legged mass of fat.

Professor of zoology McNeil Alexander came up with the image of the megasquid for a new TV programme.

Today's land-dwelling creatures are descended from sea life - and he believes evolution will repeat itself if life on Earth is wiped out.

Professor Alexander, who works in the biology department at Leeds University, said of the squid: "A thing like that presents all sorts of challenges.

"First of all, it has to be strong enough to stand up, because it has no skeleton.

"The size of the legs is limited by what you can fit underneath the animal.

"It has to be able to move its legs to walk and that means four legs move and are set down and the other four move and set down."

He believes future life will also include fish that can fly and snails that can hop across the desert like a kangaroo rat.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 29, 2003
Words:220
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