- The Loom
The Evolution of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse
Cities may not seem like hotbeds of evolution. Tropical rain forests, maybe. The Galapagos Islands, certainly. But Central Park?
Yes, even Central Park. Wherever there is life, there is evolution. Organisms reproduce, passing down their genes to their offspring. Some variants of those genes may become more common over the generations thanks to lucky rolls of the genetic dice. But they can also become more common thanks to natural selection–because they make individuals better able to survive and reproduce than others. That advantage depends in large part on their particular environment. If the environment changes dramatically–if, for example, people cut down forests and put up skyscrapers–then a new set of mutations may give organisms an evolutionary advantage.
Urban evolution is probably one