Gallery: Birds Have Evolved Shorter Wings to Better Contend With Cars


Back when Darwin visited the Galapagos, he noticed that finches had evolved beaks in varying shapes and sizes to deal with eating different foods. Now birds probably long for the days when all they needed to worry about was keeping away from predators and finding their next meal. New research from Charles Brown at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma has found that cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) have evolved shorter wings to deal with motor traffic. With 80 million feathered friends being killed by cars each year, humans may be a literal driving force for their adaptation.

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