Nature & Environment

Global Warming May Shrink The Mammals, A New Study Reveals

Elaine Hannah
First Posted: Mar 16, 2017 04:00 AM EDT

A new study reveals that warm-blooded animals such as mammals may tend to get smaller as the Earth heats up. This does not include the people.

Based on the analysis of fossil teeth published in the journal Science Advances last Wednesday, three mammals shrank about 54 million years ago when the temperatures heated the planet Earth. These include a compact horse that became smaller by 14 percent. It weighed about 17 pounds and became 14.6 pounds. Another mammal that dwarfed was the lemur-like animal, which was known as the earliest primate. The said animal become smaller by 4 percent, according to Phys.org.

The scientists are worried that the shrinking of mammals in the ancient past could occur again this time as carbon dioxide heightens and heats up the planet. Abigail D'Ambrosia, the lead author of the study from the University of New Hampshire, said that they must watch out for it. She added that these mammals might be the size of a dog and then dwarfed to the size of a cat.

Meanwhle, other past studies indicated the shrinking of mammals millions of years ago. These include the horse ancestor and cows that shrank and provided less milk during warmer times, according to NZ Herald.

Jonathan Bloch, who was not involved in the study and a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said that the results of the study are noteworthy. This gives information and test whether climate change alters the body size of mammals. He further said that if the patterns are repeating, then humans can learn from it. The lessons will certainly be significant as thinking for potential reaction of plants and animals to future climate change.

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