Wildlife

Altered Evolution

Humankind is wielding so much influence on the natural world that we are reshaping the evolution of many species.

Researcher Sarah Otto from the University of British Columbia wrote in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that the altered evolution includes some fish growing mouths that are smaller and harder to hook by fishermen, and swallows developing smaller, more maneuverable wings to help them navigate through buildings and traffic.

“Human impacts on the world are not just local,” she said. “They are changing the course of evolutionary history for all species on the planet, and that’s a remarkable concept to ponder.” She says some mammals are becoming nocturnal to avoid conflict with humans.

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