Popular Science

Great tits aren’t the only things evolving to adapt to humans. Here are 12 others.

People are a great and terrible influence on the world.
Horseshoe bend

Changing landscapes prompt evolutionary changes, they just do it much more slowly than humans do.

You already know about antibiotic and pesticide resistance. You’ve heard that mice and rats evolve immunity to poisons. But there are other, sneakier ways that the rest of our planet’s ecosystem has adapted to humanity’s presence.

The reality is that living things are constantly ‘evolving,’ just not usually at a rate that we can pick up on. Every new birth is an opportunity to introduce a mutation that could wind up being beneficial to the organism carrying it. Maybe that critter is a little faster or stronger or smarter or more colorful than average, and it manages to produces slightly more offspring than its brethren—creating babies with the same advantage. In a world where water, nutrients, and sex are plentiful, this mutation might not matter much.

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