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Can Climate Change Cause Birds to Shrink?

can-climate-change-cause-birds-to-shrink05/12 07:45 - Can Climate Change Cause Birds to Shrink?
New evidence published in the journal Ecology Letters would suggest so. As temperatures start to rise, more researchers are beginning to discover the previously undocumented effects of climate change on species adapting to changes in their environment.In 1978, the study’s lead author, Brian Weeks, noticed the staggering number of birds fatally colliding with buildings during spring and fall migration. He decided to start a study on such specimens, and the results were quite consistent across the broad range of migratory bird species involved. Over 40 years, Weeks and his team of volunteers and scientists collected and analyzed 70,716 specimens from 52 North American migratory bird species.The evidence suggests warming temperatures caused the decrease in body size, which in turn caused the increase in wing length.He says the birds most likely to survive migration were the ones with longer wingspans that compensated for their smaller bodies.The scientists aren't exactly sure why warmer temperatures cause birds to shrink. One theory is that smaller animals are better at cooling off, losing body heat more quickly due to their larger surface-area-to-volume ratios.These findings support the theory that climate change causes shrinking in certain species, as other studies since 2014 have shown similar conclusions. -via Kelsey Vlamis / BBC News(Image Credit: Frank Cone / Pexels)...


 
 

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