A new study argues that animals will become smaller in the future as an attempt to withstand new environmental factors such as climate change. Creatures who are already small, among which we can count the dwarf gerbil and songbirds have the highest favorable odds. Some creatures, like the tawny eagles and the black rhinos, are already in a critical state since they may become extinct.
It is estimated that the size of the creatures may drop by 25% in a century, making them more resilient against deforestation, extensive farming, the continuous increase of urban areas, and global warming. It is known that the average body size has decreased by 14% since the last ice age, which ended 130,000 years ago.
Researchers from the Southampton university observed and classified the several traits, including average lifespan, diet habitat, and body mass of almost 15,484 animals. The red list of threatened species elaborated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature was also consulted as the team of scientists tried to anticipate possible extinctions.
Climate change and other environmental factors would make future animals become smaller
It is now thought that small creatures with short life spans and with a diet which focuses on insects will tend to become the dominant species since they will be able to survive in a large selection of habitats.
According to the lead author of the study, humans remain the prime threat to the ecosystems from all over the world. It is well-known that human activity has led to the disappearance of many natural habitats, which were sacrificed in the name of human progress. While in recent year’s many companies have strived to create sustainable agricultural areas the global demand is high enough to justify further expansions, and the remaining habitats continue to shrink.
Climate change, global warming more specifically, is another significant threat to the welfare of the ecosystem, and recent studies argue that the global temperature continues to rise. It remains to be seen if humanity will be able to enact long-term conservation strategies in the future.