Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Future of Hybrid Animals

As climate change continues to take hold of our future, our fellow creatures have begun to adapt to the changing world. Polar bears are perhaps the most well known figure in climate change. Everyone knows that they're in danger, and almost everyone can agree that global warming is the cause. Because of the changing climate they, like many other animals will need to learn how to adapt. This adaptation will include the relocation to different geographical locations, this movement will eventually end up overlapping with other animals, creating new hybrids. There has already been evidence of "grolar bears," a grizzly-polar bear. Research has shown that this kind of hybridization between animals will be relatively low, only about 6.4% of  species are predicted to come into a hybridization possibility by the end of the century, and birds have shown to have the greatest overlap rate with 11.6%.

I found this article very interesting, I never really considered the relocation of animals due to climate change, and the hybridization of animals never crossed my mind. But as I read the article it made a lot of sense, and at first I was surprised that the numbers were that low, but then I remembered the concept of "survival of the fittest." Animals are going to die because they are unable to adapt, from the changing climate, or the movement to a new location. In the end, by the time an animal makes it to the new location there wont be many left... Then to mate with a new species just creates other difficulties, which lower survival rates even more. But I wonder why birds have a higher overlap rate, is it because they have wings, and can travel more easily? Or is it because there are birds everywhere, and it's just a more abundant species?