We’ve all learnt how evolution is a process that is long and slow. It takes millions of years for a subtle evolutionary change to take place in the wing of a bird or in the leaf of a plant. But due to adverse and uncontrollably fast-paced human actions, the process of evolution has been sped up to a point where animals and plants are evolving right in front of our eyes.
Evolution is natural and is bound to happen, but these species are evolving for all the wrong reasons. Animals have to learnt at adapt to the growing urban encroachment and all of the indirect as well as direct harm brought upon them.
A report by Listverse shed light on a few species that are going through such kind of changes. Here, we look at five such animals that are going through major evolutionary changes right now in front of our eyes:
Elephants Are Evolving Without Tusks
Elephants use their tusks for almost everything, from protection to foraging for food. But elephants in Africa have been poached for these very same tusks and are very close to extinction due to this.
Poachers target male elephants who have the longest tusks and due to this the only elephants that get to mate with the females are the ones with shorter tusks. As a result, the newer generation of elephants being born either have very short tusks or sometimes, no tusks at all.
Dogs, Coyotes And Wolves Are Now Interbreeding
Wolves were killed in huge numbers in America, when European settlers descended in the area. Being deprived of mates, the females wolves started to breed with the settler’s domesticated dogs and wild coyotes to give birth to a new species of coywolves.
Fishes In New York’s Hudson River Are Adapting To Live With Chemicals
The once thriving Hudson River, has been killed by the amount of industrial chemical waste that is being dumped in to it. The chemicals naturally killed all the aquatic life living below its waters, yet, one specie of fish continue to survive.
The tomcod went through a major genetic evolution that helped it numb the effects of the chemicals on its body.
Swallows Are Growing Smaller Wings
Cliff swallows in the American state of Nebraska usually have their homes set on cliffs, but due to this, their homes would be easily washed or blow away. After discovering structures like bridges, the swallows started to build their nests under them.
At first, this change didn’t go well because the a huge number of swallows would be hit by cars. To overcome this problem, the birds evolved to have shorter wings, which allowed them to maneuver faster and avoid being hit by oncoming cars.
Mice Are Growing Immune To Poison
We’ve all faced a rodent problem and our way to deal with the problem is to either set traps or poison them. Well, in Algeria, mice have grown immune to a specific kind of common poison called warfarin. If a poison trap is set up for these kind of mice, it would not work as the mice would just chew on it and move on without any harm coming to them.
Brown Coloured Owls Are Dominating The Forests Of Finland
Normally, tawny owls in Finland are either grey or brown in colour. The parents pass on their colours to their offspring. Before, the grey owls were the ones that were able to survive Finland’s harsh winters, which caused the brown owl to reduce in numbers.
But recently, due to global warming, the intensity of winters have become less severe, which has made it possible for brown owls to gain back their numbers and almost dominate the forests.