Cities Trigger Rapid Evolution in Animals Thriving On the Urban Landscape

One of the unintended consequences of Urban reality on the planet is the evolution of species that are adapting to urban life, species like the British Great Tits (real name, so don’t blame me) and mosquitos

From Tech Times

Urban Evolution

Researchers from the University of Toronto and Fordham University have found that animals in urban settings have adapted and evolved rapidly in response to urbanization. As a result of habitat loss because of barriers, buildings, and roads, the creatures that once thrived in their own habitats have had to adapt — leaving the question of which species could survive in the relatively new environment.

Just last month, researchers revealed that the staggering amount of birdfeeders that people place in their homes have resulted in the rapid evolution of British Great Tits, whose beaks have gotten longer in the last few decades alone. This in itself is a prime example of how quickly evolution can take place given a foreign enough environment to be forced to adapt to. Mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants, and even insects and even viruses are all susceptible to this phenomenon.

The Question Of Public Health

Because these animals were forced into an entirely new environment, some of them have adapted to become more threatening to public health. For instance, bed bugs and other pests weren’t much of a problem in the past but have adapted to insecticides and have since had a massive increase in population.

In London, mosquitoes thriving in the London Underground have evolved to drop their need to feed on blood in order to produce eggs, as well as their dormancy in winter. These mosquitoes carry a number of diseases and have alarmingly been found in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

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