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  • Richard Farr

This wonderful life

I’ve just read a review by David Quammen of Dutch biologist Menno Schilthuizen’s Darwin Comes To Town. Apparently, rapid speciation is happening in our cities because of the peculiarities of urban environments: there are now at least three distinct species of mosquito – each descended from the same common above-ground species – living their separate, wholly troglodyte lives in the tunnels of London’s Central, District, and Victoria lines.

I find something comforting in the idea of that, long after we finish messing the place up, and then fade into oblivion ourselves, the world will continue on its fecund way as if we had never been here – and possibly, in a fine biological irony, major species and genera of the future will exist only because we once went to work by tunnel.


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