A joint study by American and canadian scientists has shown that the urban environment over the last century has become a powerful evolutionary mechanism. From around the world flock information about securing the animals have mutations that help them survive in human cities.

The beaks of finches in England evolved to fit the model to the feeders. In the sewer tunnels under U.S. Metropolitan areas found new species of mosquitoes. Crested lizards of Puerto Rico had grown a long, prehensile fingers – the scientists differ in their guesses why. And in Chinese waters began to catch fish, which transcend the pesticides and nitrates used in agriculture and washed away in the river.

In nature the rate of appearance of new mutations is relatively small, but in close proximity to industrial facilities such level of impurities, this process is accelerated significantly. Conditional on a thousand dead mutants is always surviving individual which will produce offspring. And since man populated areas are often blocked by roads, walls and canals, it creates an isolated area, which quickly form new species.

The main factors of urban evolution, scientists call it: artificial light, man-made tunnels (the habitat), the replacement of natural soil with concrete and asphalt, the presence of a wide range of contaminants with mutagenic factor. The world finally entered the era of the anthropocene, when human actions have become the flywheel of evolution. Only we must not delude ourselves – we are not in the least control the process of genetic shift, but only observe some of its manifestations.

Source — Science