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Birds evolve shorter wings to dodge traffic

swallows birds shorter wings traffic

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 04:37 PM

Collisions with road vehicles are driving a population of swallows to evolve into faster, more agile fliers with shortened wings.

Natural selection has favoured birds that are better able to get out of the way of oncoming cars and trucks, scientists in the US discovered.

Survivors tend to have shorter wings that make it easier to take off quickly and pivot out of the path of danger.

http://www.dailymail...t-30-YEARS.html

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#2    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 04:56 PM

I always thought that Natural Selection takes a very long time, thousands of years, to take any discernible effect. Consequently, therefore, this makes me suspicious. Have we been lied to all these years?

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#3    WolvenHeart7

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:15 PM

View PostLord Vetinari, on 18 March 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

I always thought that Natural Selection takes a very long time, thousands of years, to take any discernible effect. Consequently, therefore, this makes me suspicious. Have we been lied to all these years?

Of course. :w00t:

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#4    Abramelin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:25 AM

View PostLord Vetinari, on 18 March 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

I always thought that Natural Selection takes a very long time, thousands of years, to take any discernible effect. Consequently, therefore, this makes me suspicious. Have we been lied to all these years?

It's about "four millimetres over the past 30 years"


#5    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:12 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 19 March 2013 - 08:25 AM, said:

It's about "four millimetres over the past 30 years"
Well, exactly. if it takes just that amount of time for a detectable difference to appear, why are we told that it took tens of thousands of years for Apes to stand upright, or for lizards to evolve legs, or vice versa? Something looks fishy to me.

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#6    Abramelin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:03 AM

View PostLord Vetinari, on 19 March 2013 - 09:12 AM, said:

Well, exactly. if it takes just that amount of time for a detectable difference to appear, why are we told that it took tens of thousands of years for Apes to stand upright, or for lizards to evolve legs, or vice versa? Something looks fishy to me.

Because those changes you mentioned are huge in comparison.

Personally I think it's nothing special, those 4 millimeters. It's about total wingspan, so 2 mm less on both sides. We're talking feathers here.


#7    Emma_Acid

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:21 AM

View PostLord Vetinari, on 18 March 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

I always thought that Natural Selection takes a very long time, thousands of years, to take any discernible effect. Consequently, therefore, this makes me suspicious. Have we been lied to all these years?

No. Small changes like this can happen generationally. Darwin observed this.

"Science is the least subjective form of deduction" ~ A. Mulder




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