As humans encroach into
areas that once were wilderness,
animals make fantastic adaptations
in order to survive.
Cliff swallows move from
natural bluffs where their nests are
more likely to be washed away by rain,
onto highway overpasses which protect them
from storms but come with a risk of roadkill.
Over the years, the swallows have
evolved to have shorter wings and
better evasion skills, thus allowing them
to take advantage of secure nesting sites
without getting themselves killed.
Mexican free-tailed bats
have moved into the crevices
under the Congress Avenue Bridge
in Austin, Texas, forming a colony
one and a half million strong.
Each night they fly out to devour
ten to twenty thousand pounds of insects,
and every year they generate around
ten million dollars in tourism as
people flock to watch them fly.
In Japan, clever crows have
learned a new way to crack nuts
using cars as tools.
They put the nut on the road,
wait for a car to crush it, and then
swoop down to eat the pieces.
Hermit crabs normally use
empty seashells as homes, but
if they can't find one of those,
they'll use anything that fits.
They have been observed
wearing bottlecaps, broken bottles,
lightbulb bases, and most disturbingly,
the plastic head of a doll.
It seems that no matter what
humans do, nature will find
some way to take advantage of it.
* * *
Cliff swallows are nesting on overpasses.
Bat colonies are growing under bridges.
Crows use cars to crack nuts.
Hermit crabs are increasingly found wearing trash instead of seashells. See them wearing a bottlecap, broken bottle, lightbulb base, and doll head.