Animals That Are Evolving At A Quick Pace
Some of the animals on our planet are evolving rapidly
Many environmental factors cause humans and animals to adapt to their surroundings rapidly to survive. Here are some of the animals that are evolving at a quick pace.
Owls that are changing colour
Many animals are being forced to adapt to survive in new environments due to climate change. One of them is a tawny owl in Finland. These birds come in two colours – brown and pale grey. The cold winters help grey owls blend into their environments. However, because winters have been getting shorter (in the past 50 years), experts have noticed brown owls are thriving, while the pale grey ones are declining.
Shrimps that lost their eyes
A group of cave-dwelling crustaceans are prime examples of what happens in the process of evolutionary change. In this process, you either use it or lose it. These types of crabs and shrimp live underground where they get no sunlight. Therefore, the sense of sight does not do a whole lot of good and so they have gone blind. They heavily rely on smell to help them navigate from point A to B. A team of researchers also discovered there is a striking difference between these spelunkers and their land-dwelling relatives. These creatures were losing regions of the brain linked with vision. However, the areas of the brain that control touch and smell are getting bigger. Even though it has taken about 200 million years for the brain changes to occur it is still a short time in the evolutionary scheme of the process when you look at the bigger picture.
Lizards with extra sticky feet
Carolina anoles, also known as green anoles, are native green lizards that live in branches and trunks of trees found in Florida, United States. These lizards were faced with limited resources when brown lizards started invading their space. The green lizards had to abandon the place they called home and went from occupying the lower branches to the treetops. While it may be a short distance away from the old place, there is an environmental shift, which these lizards had to adapt to. The branches upon the treetops are thinner and smoother. Due to this, their toepads grew bigger and their scales got stickier to be able to cling to the smooth branches. All this happened in a matter of 15 years and approximately 20 generations.