Mosquitoes, as it turns out, are pretty adaptable little bugs. Research has been done that proves mosquitoes seem to be evolving as a response to global warming. Oh, joy.
Mosquitoes have short life cycles and produce a lot of offspring in a short time. That makes them an ideal subject for witness evolutionary change and adaptations to the environment because many generations can be studied in such a small amount of time.
Mosquitoes may be smarter than we give them credit for, too. Researchers have found that mosquitoes use the length of the day to forestall the coming of winter and then plan their hibernation. Global warming comes into play because mosquitoes are reproducing later in the year due to warmer winters. So, instead of starting their hibernation in late summer while the days are long, they are using shorter days later in the year as their cue to hibernate.
A mosquito’s response to the day’s length is a gene-based trait. The researchers have determined that with the two different species of mosquitoes they study in different climates that there has been a genetic change.
Mosquitoes aren’t the only ones changing, however. Birds, too, have changed their behavior based on global warming and the longer growing season it provides. Frogs are also spawning earlier in the season than they were just 16 years before.
You may be wondering if this is really that big of a problem, but the fact of the matter is that it is a problem. This is because there is disharmony between predator and prey when the breeding season of one species changes. Birds that, for example, eat mosquito larvae may go hungry if the mosquitoes have hatched already.
It can be assumed that more species will adapt to the change in climate and evolve to survive it. Researchers are working to identify the gene responsible for this change. Humans, just as everything else, will need to evolve with the changing world, too.