Quirks and Quarks: Unnatural Selection

Raincoast's Chris Darimont speaks with CBC

CBC’s Bob McDonald speaks with Chris Darimont about natural selection: It’s perhaps not surprising that humans are having an impact on the evolution of other animals on the planet. What is surprising, according to Dr. Chris Darimont, an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the way we’re doing it. Dr. Darimont and his colleagues looked at several examples of species that humans prey on: fish, plants and animals.  What they found is that these species are forced to change far more quickly than happens with more “natural” selection. What’s more, since humans tend to choose the largest and healthiest animals, the kind of selection we do is very different from natural predators that ordinarily take the sick and the weak.

Source file (MP3) here

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Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.