Animals Are Transforming Their Bodies to Tolerate the Impacts of Climate Change

Some warm-blooded animals are morphing certain appendages in order to combat climate change. A new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution showed that some animals are experiencing changes to their beaks, legs and ears.

The researchers from Deakin University in Australia, along with collaborators at Brock University in Canada, studied the link between morphing appendages and rising temperatures utilizing Allen’s rule. Allen’s rule states that bodies in warmer climates tend to have more linear body shapes than those in colder climates. The idea is that in colder climates, the body needs to be more compact and large to retain heat, whereas the opposite occurs to expel heat in hotter climates—this leads to taller and leaner body shapes.

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