Believe it or not, but it is said that whether it’s climate change or other environmental conditions, animals are constantly evolving to better survive. And, unlike what most of us think, that animal evolution takes place over hundreds or thousands or even millions of years, there are many that evolve quickly. Find below 8 such animals that evolve very quickly.
An animal changing due to climate change is the tawny owl, a common owl in Europe. It is said that this owl typically comes in two color variations, one a brownish and the other grayish with the gray-feathered ones being more common in colder areas and the brownish ones in the chilly (and white) environment.
The breeding of a typical German house mouse with an Algerian mouse that was resistant to poison led to a hybrid mouse that could resist typical poisoning In most instances, hybrid animals can’t reproduce, but these long-lasting mice have no problem in that area.
As brown lizards encroach on green lizards turf, the latter have adapted by moving farther up the trees. To get better at climbing, their bodies changed; in a short amount of time (about 20 years), the green lizard grew bigger pads on its toes, and developed stickier scales to help it hold on.
This is a case where evolution is good for animals but bad for humans. As humans use more chemicals to get rid of bed bugs, the bugs develop thicker shells and tougher nerve endings. Most over-the-counter products available to consumers don’t work that well on these pesky insects.
Peppered moths are one of the most famous examples of animal evolution. This creature had two versions: a light, mottled version (top image) and a dark, fairly solid version (bottom image). Before the Industrial Revolution, the dark version was only two percent of the population, but after the revolution, their numbers grew as areas that were once light were darkened by pollution.
Banded or grove snails have two shell colors: lighter yellow or darker brown. Snail samples taken in 1960s were compared to samples taken in 2010, and it was noticed that lighter-colored shells are on the rise. Since temperatures are warmer now, the lighter shells help the snails stay cooler.
Scientists say because of the change in environment, Italian wall lizards switched from an insectivorous diet to mostly plants, thus they developed larger heads and cecal valves (as the valves helped separate the lizard’s intestines to adapt to the new diet).
Scientists say nowadays pink salmon migrate a couple of weeks earlier than they did 40 years ago, due to climate change. Researchers looking closely at the fish populations were surprised to learn that there were genetic changes as well. They aren’t sure what this could mean in the long term, but they suspect it could have an affect on the fishing industry.