Evolutionary arms race seen at warp speed

A lot of people don’t “get” or won’t accept that evolution is real because of the immense time scales required. National Geographic reports on a case when evolution was witnessed over a few years.

A bacteria had been killing almost all male larvae of a species of butterfly found on two Somoan islands. A 2001 study found that 99% of the butterflies were female. As recently as 2005 when an informal count was done no males were found at all. The bacteria was really hammering the males of the species and was in danger of wiping the butterfly out completely.

However, all of a sudden (OK, it took a few years but on evolutionary time scales that is all of a sudden) scientists noticed the male butterflies making a comeback. It seems that a single male evolved a mutation which allowed it to escape the bacteria’s attacks. Because this was such a huge advantage the genes spread extremely rapidly. It seems that the whole recovery took only a few generations.

Evolution in action baby. Don’t deny it. Don’t come with your micro-evolution rubbish. Love it.