Heating up of Earth may shrink size of some mammals: warns new study

The harsh impacts of global warming on ecology and other various eco-systems of the globe are well-known to all of us. And accompanying these earlier predictions and estimations, a new international study has come up with another astonishing fact which blames human-caused global warming for being the primary cause of the declining number of mammals across the world.

The new study, carried out by the researchers of the University of New Hampshire in the US has claimed that even small events of global warming, known as ‘hyperthermals,’ can cause the shrivel of the mammals species to in terms of size. The research paper also unveils some of the most underlying effects of current human-driven global warming on animal species.

According to Abigail D’Ambrosia, a doctoral student at the University of New Hampshire in the US  and the lead author of the study, “Some 50 million years back, when our mother planet – Earth went through multiple extreme global warming events, youth mammals failed to withstand the effects and started shrinking in size.” It means, the current trend, following which the global warming has been intensifying rapidly, if not capped, can extinct the mammal species form the earth.

The researchers, led by Abigail D’Ambrosia, analysed the teeth and jaw fragments, collected from the fossil-rich Bighorn Basin Province of Wyoming and reached the conclusion that extreme events of global warming can cause the rapid extinction of mammals. Researchers, while conducting the experiment, focused on a number of early mammals like Arenahippus, a premature horse whose size is equal to the scale of a small dog, and Diacodexis – a rabbit-sized precursor to hoofed mammals.

During the study, the experts analysed the size of the fossilised molar teeth as a substitute for body size and found that the significant decrement of the body size of these mammals took place throughout a second, minor, hyperthermal, which is dubbed as ETM2.

As shown in the statistics of the study, the hyperthermal event ETM2 caused Arenahippus species to trip over by nearly 14% in size, and the Diacodexis by around 15%. The complete details of the study appear in the journal Science Advances this week.

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