Research revealed that some of the “warm-blooded” animals are shapeshifting such as getting larger beaks, legs and ears to better cope up with climate change and enhance regulation of body temperature as the planet continues to grow hotter. The findings of the study published in the journal ‘Trends in Ecology and Evolution’ revealed how climate change is impacting animals along with humans. As per ANI, bird researcher Sara Ryding of Deakin University in Australia in the research said, “A lot of the time when climate change is discussed in mainstream media, people are asking ‘can humans overcome this?’, or ‘what technology can solve this?'”
“It’s high time we recognised that animals also have to adapt to these changes, but this is occurring over a far shorter timescale than would have occurred through most of the evolutionary time,” added Ryding.
“The climate change that we have created is heaping a whole lot of pressure on them, and while some species will adapt, others will not,” continued Ryding.
Ryding notes complex phenomenon of climate change
The bird researchers also noted the complexity of climate change and how it is a multifaceted phenomenon that took place over a gradual period of time. Therefore, Ryding said that it is challenging to pinpoint just one cause for the shapeshifting among the ‘warm-blooded’ animals. However, notably, these changes occurred in the animals across wide geographical regions and also among a diverse array of species. The only factor that remains common in all the incidents is climate change.
Particularly, shapeshifting has been reported among birds, Australian species of parrots. Since 1871, there is a 4 to 10 per cent increase in the bill size which also coincides with the summer temperature each year. Other changes have been reported in mammalian species including an increase in tail length in wood mice and leg size increase in masked shrews.
“The increases in appendage size we see so far are quite small — less than 10 per cent — so the changes are unlikely to be immediately noticeable,” said Ryding.
“However, prominent appendages such as ears are predicted to increase — so we might end up with a live-action Dumbo in the not-so-distant future,” added Ryding.
(With ANI inputs)
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