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Nature & Environment

Will animals evolve human defenses ?

By T.K. Randall
February 18, 2012 · Comment icon 21 comments

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The most dangerous predator to ever walk the planet is mankind - but what can animals do in defense ?
Throughout history predators and prey have been usually locked in a race to evolve ahead of one another, with prey developing faster speeds and thicker hides to protect themselves from the threat of predatory animals. When humans arrived on the scene however this all changed, in the modern world animals have no defense at all against the onslaught of man. Is this because insufficient time has passed for nature to evolve a capable defense against us or is there some other explanation ?
Predators and prey are normally locked in an evolutionary arms race. As predators evolve to run faster, their prey too is selected to become fleeter of foot. As predators evolve sharp teeth, herbivores evolve horns for protection. Some carnivores hunt in packs, so their prey form defensive herds.

Source: BBC News | Comments (21)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by karmakazi 12 years ago
For mankind natural selection has been slowed down because we have the ability through technology to circumvent it. We can make people more attractive through clothing, makeup, surgery, etc. We can keep alive those who would die young(without technology & medicine), who then are able to have children, passing on their potentially harmful genes. We can stop some diseases from selecting out those of us who would normally be killed by them. We can even keep people safe or heal them from severe injuries who were perhaps not intelligent enough to avoid the injuries. Because mating is largly bas... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by DaGreatBeliever 12 years ago
I don think that will ever happen. Unless nature permits them to having bullet vests. If not for humans becoming more civilised, animals still would have been hunted to extinction...
Comment icon #14 Posted by Junior Chubb 12 years ago
Do these animals really need to evolve a defence system to survive against humans? What might ultimately ensure survival is being something humans need. I think if animal extinction increases at a rate that some predict, being a chicken will give you a better chance of survival than a tiger. We eat chicken and we will ensure its survival with us. They may be genetically mutated, short lived, unhappy and overweight but they will still be with us after many species will be gone. However once an animal is on this path its evolution is already controlled by humans. So if you can't evolve to escape... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by aquatus1 12 years ago
Or feed us. Entertain us. Basically, make yourself valuable to us.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Junior Chubb 12 years ago
Or feed us. Entertain us. Basically, make yourself valuable to us. Exactly
Comment icon #17 Posted by SatampraZeiros 12 years ago
arent there already "signs" of "forced" evolution out there? well maybe not evolution but still, some animals like Elephants dont grow horns anymore because of us, well really its not that they dont grow them, rather that the males with smaller horns are the ones left to mate now and so their offspring are born with smaller or no horns at all, earth in the end will abide.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Dharma D 12 years ago
Just think of what we are giving a chance to survive and strengthen... Rats, roaches, parasites, bacteria, viruses. They will become the super predator and kill us off. We already have super bugs that our antibiotics can't fight, we are having to make stronger and stronger medications to combat these things. We never know how these bigger species being killed off affect the molds and fungus that these medications are made of. We are setting the whole ecosystem off balance, well really into a new balance... a balance where things very dangerous to us may end up thriving.
Comment icon #19 Posted by odiesbsc 12 years ago
True in concept. Try using actual sentences next time. Grammer Police? Odie
Comment icon #20 Posted by evancj 12 years ago
things dont adapt to over throw another species it dosn't work like that things evolve to get better at what it is they need to do.its that simple The evolutionary arms race or the "Red Queen's Hypothesis".
Comment icon #21 Posted by Paracelse 12 years ago
Tools have been used by animals they're evolving:

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