Nature demonstrates how (possibly) our machines are transforming birds’ whole existence:
Roadside-nesting cliff swallows have evolved shorter, more manoeuvrable wings, which may have helped them to make hasty retreats from oncoming vehicles, according to a study published in Current Biology1.
The study’s authors discovered the trend after noticing that the number of vehicle-killed birds had declined over the past three decades. They suggest that the two findings provide evidence of roadway-related adaptation.
The team discovered that vehicle-killed birds had longer wings than birds that died in nets, and that while the wings of the vehicle-killed birds had lengthened over time, those of net-killed birds — which represented the general population — had shortened.
Micro-evolution (changing species within a few generations rather than a few thousand generations) is getting more and more plausible the more pressure we put on the world.