About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

At Least Two Ancient Global Warming Events Responsible for Shrinking Body Size of Mammals

by Kathy Jones on November 3, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Font : A-A+

 At Least Two Ancient Global Warming Events Responsible for Shrinking Body Size of Mammals

The body size of mammals shrunk significantly during two ancient global warming events, a new study reveals.

The new finding suggests that a similar outcome is possible in response to human-caused climate change, according to a University of Michigan paleontologist and his colleagues.

Advertisement

Researchers have known for years that mammals such as primates and the groups that include horses and deer became much smaller during a period of warming, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), about 55 million years ago.

Now U-M paleontologist Philip Gingerich and his colleagues have found evidence that mammalian "dwarfing" also occurred during a separate, smaller global warming event that occurred about 2 million years after the PETM, around 53 million years ago.
Advertisement

"The fact that it happened twice significantly increases our confidence that we're seeing cause and effect, that one interesting response to global warming in the past was a substantial decrease in body size in mammalian species," Gingerich, a professor of earth and environmental sciences, said.

The research team also includes scientists from the University of New Hampshire, Colorado College and the California Institute of Technology.

They concluded that decreased body size "seems to be a common evolutionary response" by mammals to extreme global warming events, known as hyperthermals, "and thus may be a predictable natural response for some lineages to future global warming."

The PETM lasted about 160,000 years, and global temperatures rose an estimated 9 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit at its peak.

The smaller, later event analyzed in the latest study, known as ETM2 (Eocene Thermal Maximum 2), lasted 80,000 to 100,000 years and resulted in a peak temperature increase of about 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
BMI Health Effects of Global Warming Healthy Living Global Warming 

Recommended Reading
Health Effects of Global Warming
Greenhouse effect causes excessive heat to build up in the earth's atmosphere causing global ......
Air Conditioner Health Hazards
This section gives a brief introduction about what air conditioner health hazard means and what ......
UN: Global Malnutrition Costs 'Unacceptably High'
According to the United Nations, malnutrition problems cost the world 3.5 trillion dollars, where .....
Switching to Global Reforestation Unlikely in Future
A new study has claimed that feeding a growing global population while also slowing or reversing ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use