Watch out: Mammals shrink when Earth heats up

2017-03-16 12:48
An artist’s impression of a comparison between two horse species with the modern Morgan horse on the left. (Danielle Byerley Florida Museum of Natural History via AP)

An artist’s impression of a comparison between two horse species with the modern Morgan horse on the left. (Danielle Byerley Florida Museum of Natural History via AP)

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Washington - A new study suggests global warming often leads to global shrinking of mammals.

Using fossil teeth found in Wyoming, researchers say mammals including our earliest primate ancestor shrivelled a bit in size at least twice in Earth's history when temperatures spiked.

University of New Hampshire scientist Abigail D'Ambrosia warns that mammals - but not people - could shrink in the future under even faster man-made warming that's going on now.

When Earth warmed suddenly and naturally about 54 million years ago, three different species shrank noticeably. An early small horse got 14% smaller, going from about 7.7kg to 6.6kg.

The study results was published in Wednesday's journal Science Advances.

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