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So the increase in temperatures changes the shape and size of many species – Corriere.it

from Silvia Morosi

Parrots have larger beaks, and bats’ wings have grown by 1%. A new Australian study shows that global warming is changing the shape and size of animals. Catullus (WWF): “Don’t let your guard down”

Australian parrots have larger beaks today than their ancestors over a century ago. Bat wings have grown 1 percent since the 1950s. The shrew has pulled out its tails. However, they are not the only animals that have changed their shape and size over the decades. Reason? It’s warmer and the animals are adapting. In fact, the increase in global average temperatures affects not only their behavioral or dietary habits, but also their “physical”.

A team of scientists led by the researcher Sarah Reading of Deakin University in Australia, that many warm-blooded species alter their physiology in order to survive the most extreme events. To change – as stated in the research published in the journal Trends in ecology and evolution – they are in particular the beaks, legs and ears of birds, but also “appendices” of some mammals, which become larger to better regulate heat dissipation (Here is the full study). Among the specimens studied there, for example, are Australian parrots, where an increase in beak size between 4 and 10 percent compared to 1870 was observed. The same is true of the dark-eyed junco, starling (sturnus vulgaris) and a “cute” parrot gang, featuring a funny, soft crest of red in the males, and gray in the females. And again, the shrew cinereus (or “hooded”), widespread in Alaska, Canada and the northern United States, note the growth of the tail and legs. Not forgetting the most common examples: in mice and hares, hypertrophy of the ears is observed; In pigs and mice by tails.

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As for humans even for animals Controlling body temperature is an essential aspect of ensuring health and wellness. “Climate change is now one of the most discussed topics in the media globally. If animals cannot organize their body according to the climate, they may not survive.” Interview with Reading guardian
. In addition to understanding the impact on humanity, we must therefore “understand the consequences of rising temperatures on ecosystems and animals. While some animals evolve, others – he warns – are destined to disappear.” The following studies will use 3D scanning of fossils preserved in Museums, dating back to the past 100 years, are hoping for more detailed results.

Several species have already become extinct in recent decades, and others are moving in response to environmental changes: “Many migratory birds, for example, arrive at breeding grounds when the insects they eat have already completed part of their life cycle, and polar bears on islands are moving In search of frozen areas,” he said Gianluca CatulloBiologist, Head of the Species and Habitat Office at WWF Italy. “It is surprising, however, to note how some of the differences in animals’ bodies are actually visible to our eyes. A phenomenon that confirms the biological plasticity of animals, which is expressed at different levels: from genomic to behavioral, and describes the ability of a “system” to change state in response to external stimuli ». What we don’t know – Catullus concludes – is whether all species would have the same adaptability and we can’t say which species actually evolved the right tools for survival. Therefore, we must not drop our guard because we risk losing large quantities of animals.”

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Sep 8, 2021 (change on Sep 8, 2021 | 22:06)

Harold Manning

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