Science

Evolution Is Happening At A Faster Pace Now

By Rodney Rafols , Dec 12, 2016 12:00 AM EST
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Evolution is usually a slow, steady process. It takes time for species to adapt. This can last for thousands and even millions of years. However, the process is now speeding up. Evolution is happening at a faster pace now.

Much of the plants and animals species today are having a faster evolution time. Much of it has to do with human activity and influence. This human influence is speeding up evolution, according to a new study.

Much of evolution is happening today. That is the contention of Andrew Hendry, a professor in the Redpath Museum and the Department of Biology at McGill University. He is also one of the researchers on the study. Many activities of man have helped in speeding up evolution.

Three key areas have been focused by the study. They are commercial fishing, invasive species and urbanization. As humans grow in population, more areas are being invaded. This drives species in the areas that humans have invaded to adapt or else face extinction. This adaptation is forcing the species in the invaded areas then to evolve.

Urbanization is another area that is being studied. With many cities growing, plants and animals in it have to adapt to this environment. An example has been given about plants, wherein plants put out less seeds to compensate for the lack of soil. Animals can have resistance to bacteria as well.

In commercial fishing, fishes adapt by being able to reproduce at younger ages. This is for the species to compensate to numbers lost due to fishing. This can affect commercial fishing, as then younger fishes would mean fewer yield in the future, according to the McGill Newsroom.

Much of the plants and animal species are responding to human development, as noted by Hendry. The changes are so fast that it is only now taking plants and animals just years to adapt, as Science Daily reports. It used to be that plants and animals adapt over a long period of time, taking thousands and even millions of years. Due to the fast pace of human development, many species are also trying to catch up to survive.

As human progress continues, much of nature tries to adapt as well. Evolution is happening at a faster pace now, and will only get faster while human progress continues. A study earlier shows how evolution can take time, as some vertebrates failed to adapt during the Ice Age.

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