Will Snowshoe Hares Win a Race Between Evolution and Climate Change? | National Geographic

Snowshoe hares face shrinking snowy habitat, but because some populations have a mix of genes for coloration, they may adapt to the changes in their environment.
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When winter nears, a subdued brown coat turns dazzling white in many—although not all—snowshoe hares. But the camouflage can’t work without snow. And length of daylight, not snowfall, triggers molting. Scott Mills and colleagues at the University of Montana study snowshoe hares from a population in Washington state, where some change color seasonally, and others stay brown all year—better if there’s less snow. The research shows that regions where genes for winter-white and winter-brown coats coexist allow natural selection for new, less snowy conditions. The scientists recommend protecting habitat in these evolutionary hotspots.

READ: How Color-Changing Animals Are Rebelling Against Climate Change

Will Snowshoe Hares Win a Race Between Evolution and Climate Change? | National Geographic

National Geographic

Source: National Geographic, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwZzmTuhs3M
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