Animals are changing shape due to climate change. Animals can change shape: climate change is the cause.
The latest climate report has been making waves around the world for the dire predictions, but backed by solid evidence, contained within it. The world's leaders have good reason to be concerned about greenhouse gases like nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide that, by remaining in the atmosphere for a very long time, cause surface temperatures to rise.
There are enough signs of how destructive climate change has been (and will be, increasingly): thanks to it we can unravel the mystery of the Doline, which mean collapses and mega-chasms all over the world. Not to mention the damage to the artistic heritage that humanity uses to know itself: the first work of art of humanity has been endangered.
Climate change is also a problem for fauna and flora. Sometimes the consequences on animals are clear and dramatic, other times they are unexpected and no less worrying.
What does it mean that animals are changing shape due to climate change
Scientists have observed a change in the shape of warm-blooded animals, which they traced back to a warmer climate: larger beaks, legs and ears would in fact serve to regulate body temperature on higher temperatures than in the past. In case of overheating, in fact, animals use their beaks or ears to disperse heat.
Beaks and paws, as well as beaks and ears, are not insulated by feathers, so they represent, for some species other than humans, an ideal place of heat exchange. Overheating for an animal could even mean death: the one performed by these appendages is therefore an extremely important function from a survival perspective.
In which animal species did the researchers observe a change in shape
The researchers observed similar changes in several species of Australian parrots, which manifested a 4-10% increase in beak size over 150 years. An increase in tail length in mice and tail and leg size in shrews was also observed. Even in bats, there is a correlation between increased wing size and increased temperatures.