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Animals are “transforming” due to the warming climate

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Climate change is not just a human problem. Animals also need to adapt. Some “warm-blooded” animals change shape, enlarge their beaks, legs, and ears to better regulate their body temperature as the Earth heats up. Sara Ryding, a bird researcher at Deakin University in Australia, describes these changes in a review published in the journal on September 7. Ecology and evolutionary trends.


“In many cases, climate For changes, Mainstream mediaPeople are asking, “Can humans overcome this?” Or “Which technology can solve this?”this is At the height We realized that animals also need to adapt to these changes, but this happens on a much shorter timescale than most of the time of evolution, ”says Ryding.On top of them, and between some Race It adapts, but others don’t. “

Ryding states that climate change is a gradual, complex and multifaceted phenomenon that makes it difficult to identify just one cause of shape change. However, these changes occur across geographically large regions and diverse species, so they have little in common other than climate change.

Strong transformations have been reported especially in birds. Some Australian parrot species have shown an average increase in invoice size of 4% to 10% since 1871, which is positively correlated with summer temperatures each year. The North American dark-eyed juncoid, a type of small songbird, was associated with an increase in invoice size in cold environments and short-term extreme temperatures. Changes in mammalian species have also been reported. Researchers have reported increased tail length in wood mice and increased tail and leg size in masked shrews.

The summary of this video outlines the trends in ecology & amp ;. Evolutionary Review “Changes in Shape: Changes in Animal Morphology in Response to Climate Warming”. Credit: Ryding et al.

“The increase in appendage size we’ve seen so far is very small, less than 10%, so changes are rarely noticeable immediately,” says Ryding. “However, it is predicted that the number of prominent appendages such as ears will increase, so it may become a live-action dumbo in the not too distant future.”

Next, Ryding plans to directly investigate the transformation of Australian birds by 3D scanning museum bird specimens over the last 100 years.It will make her team better understand which bird Due to climate change and why, the size of the appendages is changing.

“Transformation does not mean that the animal is coping Climate change And that’s all “ok,” says Ryding. “It means they are evolving to survive it, but what are the other ecological consequences of these changes, or in fact all species can change and survive. I don’t know if. ”


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For more information:
Ecology & Evolution Trends, Ryding et al. : “Change in shape: Change in animal morphology in response to climate warming” www.cell.com/trends/ecology-ev… 0169-5347 (21) 00197-X , DOI: 10.1016 / j.tree.2021.07.006

Quote: Due to global warming, animals “shape shift” (September 7, 2021), from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-climate-animals-shapeshift.html on September 7, 2021 Obtained.

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Animals are “transforming” due to the warming climate

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