APR 15, 2017 8:06 AM PDT

Does Climate Change Cause Animals to Shrink?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Why is it that some animals seem to shrink and some seem to get bigger? Some studies have shown that this phenomenon occurs from the effects of climate change.

As it gets hotter on the Earth, animals may shrink as a direct result of food source shortages and because it makes them more efficient at cooling off.

In terms of eating, warming temperatures can cause droughts, which means fewer plants to eat - and in cases where animals shrink, less animal flesh to consume. In terms of cooling off, essentially having the lowest amount of body surface area as possible makes it faster for the body to fix body temperature problems.

Interestingly, not only do animals shrink as the temperature becomes warmer, but it has also been observed that animals get larger as the temperature becomes colder. This process is essentially known as Bergmann's Rule.

While temperatures may not be the only cause behind the strange phenomenon of shrinking animals, it's certainly interesting to study as the Earth's overall temperature is predicted to only continue to rise.

Perhaps animals will become much tinier as time goes on...

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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