The Atlantic

These Crickets Can’t Sing Anymore—But They’re Still Trying

The change represents one of the fastest examples of evolution on record.
Source: Will T. Schneider

It took several years for the crickets of Kauai to fall silent. When Marlene Zuk first visited the Hawaiian island in 1991, she heard the insects chirping away, loudly and repeatedly. But every time she went back, the chirping diminished. In 2001, she only heard a single male, apparently singing into the void.

The crickets had disappeared from sight, too. But when Zuk returned to Kauai in 2003, she started seeing them again, seemingly in greater numbers than

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic10 min read
Spain’s Attempt To Atone For A 500-Year-Old Sin
The country is offering citizenship to Jews whose families it expelled in the 15th century.
The Atlantic4 min readWellness
The Real Danger of Booze-Making Gut Bacteria
Microbes can produce so much alcohol that people become drunk—and sustain liver damage—without touching any booze.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Why I Cover Campus Controversies
Each fall semester, America’s long-running debate about campus politics begins again. And I’ll take part this year as I have in years past, especially when the debate concerns matters of free speech. Critics say my energies are misplaced. There is no