What Species Would Become Dominant on Earth If Humans Died Out?
Raw Story is asking the above question. There are many possibilities. What if they all became sophonts?
You could have beavers and otters running seaports. The dolphins might try to have a selective breeding program to develop hands (if it works, the dolphins could join the beaver–otter partnership). Increased competitive pressure from the cetaceans might require cephalopods to develop intelligence. Inland, you might find squirrels and raccoons. Fithp-like elephants might form the military class. Parrots could become the radio announcers (if they haven't done so already).
Politics in this world would be even more tribal than in ours. To take just one example: Would beavers seek an alliance with squirrels or an alliance with dolphins? Is rodent solidarity more important than aquatic solidarity?