SCIENCE

In Hawaii, You Can Actually Hear Evolution In Action

Show this video to anyone who doubts Darwin.

There's a strange quiet on the small, remote Hawaiian island of Kauai that suggests Charles Darwin got it right.

There, in order to protect themselves against parasitic predatory flies, crickets have rapidly evolved to ensure their own survival.

A field cricket, like those found in Hawaii.
A field cricket, like those found in Hawaii.

From the late 1990s to 2003 -- "just 20 or so cricket generations," according to one study -- male crickets' wings evolved to prevent them from making their signature chirping sound.

The mutation, while a challenge for mating, means the predatory flies can't locate them. 

"Silence saved their lives," says biologist and science writer Joe Hanson in an episode of "It's Okay To Be Smart." "Not only did we see natural selection in action, it happened in the blink of an eye."

The video below -- part of an ongoing series called "12 Days Of Evolution" -- is for all your evolution-denying friends out there. 

 

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