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Daphnia (water flea). Photo courtesy of Dagmar Frisch

After Seven Hundred Years, Crustaceans Rise Again to Show Us How We Steer Evolution

On Monday I wrote here about how scientists could retrace the history of evolutionary change in bacteria they raised in their lab by thawing out ancestors and comparing them to their descendants. That’s a much harder thing to pull off in the wild, but under the right conditions it can be done.

For my column this week in the New York Times, I write about a record-setting study of crustaceans that live in a Minnesota lake. Scientists hatched animals from eggs as old as 700 years that were buried in the mud at the bottom of the lake. And by comparing these resurrected water fleas over the centuries, they discovered a big evolutionary shift in the animals–which was probably caused by us. Check it out.