Tuesday, 26 October, 2021
E-paper

Animals ‘shape-shifting’ as climate warms

Animals ‘shape-shifting’ as climate warms

Some animals are “shape-shifting” and have developed bigger tails, beaks and ears to regulate their body temperatures as the planet warms, according to a new study, reports AFP.

From Australian parrots to European rabbits, researchers found evidence that a host of warm-blooded animals have evolved bigger body parts, which could allow them to lose body heat more effectively.

Climate change is heaping “a whole lot of pressure” on animals, said Sara Ryding of Deakin University in Australia, who led the study, in a press release. “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 evolutionary time,” she said.

The study, published on Tuesday in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, reviewed previous research “where climatic warming is a potential hidden explanatory variable for the occurrence of shape-shifting” and found trends particularly noticeable in birds.