Mammals May Get Smaller As The Earth Is Getting Hotter

Posted: Mar 16 2017, 4:59am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 16 2017, 8:41am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Mammals may Get Smaller as the Earth is Getting Hotter
Worlds Smallest Horse Thumbelina stands with owner Michael Goessling (R). At least twice before in Earth's history, when carbon dioxide levels soared and temperatures spiked, mammals shriveled in a bit in size, including our earliest primate ancestor, according to a new study based on fossil teeth found in Wyoming. And the study's chief author said it could be a glimpse of a smaller mammal future under even faster man-made warning that's going on now. Credit: Getty Images
  • Mammals may become Smaller due to Global Warming
  • Dwarf Horse Thumbelina weighs 58 pounds and 17.5 inches tall

It is being said that mammals may become smaller in size as global warming proceeds in its march in a relentless manner.

We all know that global warming in ancient times caused certain mammals to shrink in size. This scenario may undergo a repetition since the same environmental conditions are present today.

Many warm-blooded creatures shrank in their dimensions when the earth’s temperature increased twice in the prehistoric past. The carbon dioxide levels hit the roof during these times of extreme weather conditions as well.

As global warming continues in its relentless pace towards a destructive end, scientists are worrying lest the mammals become tiny facsimiles and replicas of their former selves.

The legitimate question to ask is not if but how fast these transformations are going to appear. 54 million years ago when the earth became a virtual cauldron, many species sort of shrank in size.

One of them was an early form of horse that reduced its mass by 14%. It went from 17 pounds to 14.6 pounds in its weight. This was gauged from the fossilized dentition of this horse.

Thus this horse may have shrunk all the way to the size of a canine or a feline. Another animal that shrank in size probably looked like a lemur. It was the earliest example of a primate. It reduced in size by about 4%.

This may not look like a great deal of difference but it was significant in the long haul. The animal was actually getting bigger over time, so to see it getting smaller was the oddest of things to witness for the scientists.

Besides horses undergoing diminution, cows may also show this phenomenon. They then yield smaller amounts of milk in the hot conditions.

The connection between heating and shrinking is thus a very strong one in its nature. Climate change does have a significant effect on body size despite its deniers railing on regarding it as being a hoax.

By looking at patterns and trends, scientists know for sure that global warming has consequences that are very deleterious for many species (including man). It is our choice to learn from these scientific facts and benefit in the long run.

If we ignore them we do so at our own peril. The reason behind mammals shrinking during hot times is that they need to get rid of the excess heat.

Smaller mammals have more skin per poundage as compared to larger ones and so the heat can easily leave their bodies. They are thus better suited to a hotter climate. Those animals which are huge in size tend to survive and thrive better in a colder climate though.

The findings of this study got published in the journal Science Advances.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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