One of the effects of climate change is the bodily reduction of animals according to a new interesting study conducted by researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT). The researchers analyzed data for a period of 23 years between 1976 and 1999 and found this change with regard to the average body size of a group of birds.
Among other things, as specified by the statement on the University website, in the past, as we discovered from the fossil record, cases of global warming have led to similar effects with marine and terrestrial animals that have tended to become smaller. To support this theory, the researchers analyzed the size of a genus of passerine birds called Motacilla. Specifically, they analyzed various groups of Motacilla Clara that live along the Palmiet, a river in South Africa.
The researchers, by the voice of Res Altwegg, one of the authors of the research, declare themselves astonished by these results: they did not expect such effects to be deducible even in a quarter of a century. The results instead clearly indicate not only the average shrinkage of the body of these birds but also the fact that climate change was the reason.
The researchers also used data from a nearby meteorological station and discovered an average temperature increase of 0.18 ° in the period examined. This has led, due to the evolutionary adaptation to the environment, a slow replacement of the heavier individuals in favor of the lighter ones.
Furthermore, according to Altwegg, there are other studies that show that animals are reducing their body size in many places around the world. However, these are deductions that concern the average of the animal world and there are certainly no exceptions: some species could, for example, increase the size of their bodies while others may not modify this morphological aspect at all.