Saturday, October 9, 2021

Survival of the Fittest

We can thank Charles Darwin and his evolutionary theory for enlightening us to the concept of "survival of the fittest." (Frequently it leads me to think of Social Darwinism and how that same concept is at play, but I digress.)

The survival of the fittest is still at play today as animal adaptations are still underway, as Katie Hunt shares in her Sept. 7th CNN article "Animals Are 'Shape Shifting' in Response to Climate Change." Highlighting research from Australia (which is featured in the journal Trends in Evolution and Ecology, Hunt shares that some of the "shape shifting" include:

  • Beaks, wings, legs, and ears for some animals are getting bigger to help deal with the heat and regulate their body temperatures as global temperatures continue to rise. (Birds in particular.)
    • The Australian parrot's beak size has increased an average of 4%-10% during the 150 years between 1871 and 2021.
    • Shrews and bats have also been following suit with their ear, tail, wings, and leg sizes.
  • Some species are getting smaller. Smaller body mass holds less heat.

There is some question about causality and correlation--are the adaptations truly survival-related, are they just happening simultaneously, and are they positive or negative changes? Sometimes there are just too many variables. But evidence has shown it is a growing phenomenon. 

Time shall tell, and may prove Darwin right!

Quotes from

No comments :

Post a Comment