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Snakes are now turning black as a result of industrial pollution - Events - Heroslodge

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Snakes are now turning black as a result of industrial pollution by Noblex: 3:01 pm On Aug 11, 2017

Pollution from mining activities may be encouraging some sea snakes to evolve black skins – the first evidence of “industrial melanism” in a marine species.

Previous studies have observed industrial melanism in invertebrate species, most famously the peppered moth. During England’s Industrial Revolution, the frequency of dark-coloured moths skyrocketed. Schoolchildren are often taught that such insects blended in well with the soot-covered bark of trees in industrial areas, so their odds of surviving and breeding suddenly rose – although this might be an oversimplification.

The study does seem to suggest the sea snakes are evolving in response to industrial pollutants, says Susana Clusella-Trullas at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. But she wants to know whether black sea snakes have higher survival rates and more offspring than their paler peers in these polluted environments.

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