Unnatural Selection


It has been found that the Caribbean fighting conch had 66 per cent more meat 7,000 years ago than it has today, but human hunting made it more advantageous for the marine shellfish to become smaller. The findings are based on a comparitive analysis of the size of excavated mature shells and fossils, and indicate that human-driven evolution or “unnatural selection” made the shellfish reduce its size. This is the first case where it has been shown how low-intensity activities by humans can cause evolution.


Down To Earth, May 2014