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Darwin Comes to Town

How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution
Narrated by: Chris Nayak
Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)
Regular price: $18.89
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Publisher's Summary

Darwin Comes to Town draws on eye-popping examples of adaptation to share a stunning vision of urban evolution in which humans and wildlife coexist in a unique harmony.  

  • Carrion crows in the Japanese city of Sendai have learned to use passing traffic to crack nuts. 
  • Lizards in Puerto Rico are evolving feet that better grip surfaces like concrete. 
  • Europe’s urban blackbirds sing at a higher pitch than their rural cousins to be heard over the din of traffic. 

How is this happening? 

Menno Schilthuizen is one of a growing number of “urban ecologists” studying how our man-made environments are accelerating and changing the evolution of the animals and plants around us. In Darwin Comes to Town, he takes us around the world for an up-close look at just how stunningly flexible and swift-moving natural selection can be.   

With human populations growing, we’re having an increasing impact on global ecosystems, and nowhere do these impacts overlap as much as they do in cities. The urban environment is about as extreme as it gets, and the wild animals and plants that live side-by-side with us need to adapt to a whole suite of challenging conditions: They must manage in the city’s hotter climate (the “urban heat island”); they need to be able to live either in the semidesert of the tall, rocky, and cavernous structures we call buildings or in the pocket-like oases of city parks (which pose their own dangers, including smog and free-ranging dogs and cats); traffic causes continuous noise, a mist of fine dust particles, and barriers to movement for any animal that cannot fly or burrow; food sources are mainly human-derived. And yet, as Schilthuizen shows, the wildlife sharing these spaces with us is not just surviving, but evolving ways of thriving.   

This audiobook reveals that evolution can happen far more rapidly than Darwin dreamed, while providing a glimmer of hope that our race toward overpopulation might not take the rest of nature down with us.

©2018 Menno Schilthuizen (P)2018 Headline Publishing Limited

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if you don't pay full attention you'll miss out

it was pretty interesting how me have cause animals to adjust and cause harm to themselves all by adding cars and street lights

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A Hope For Nature

A superbly written and researched book. If you fear for what is happening to our planet, as you should, this will give you some hope for the future of nature.