Humans are shrinking for a scary cause?
That is the argument of Professor Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland – UK). Drawing on a series of studies of fossils of various animals, he and his colleagues help provide insight into how species – including humans – evolved to survive during periods of change. climate change.
Follow The Guardian, Professor Brusatte likens the human potential situation to that of early horses, which became smaller in body size as temperatures rose about 55 million years ago, the period known as the Maximum Paleocene Eocene heat.
Professor Steve Brusatte – Photo: THE GUARDIAN
This phenomenon is also observed when fossils of some ancient human species are linked to living conditions, for example Homo floresiensis, or “hobbit”, which once lived on the island of Flores in present-day Indonesia, is thought to be went extinct tens of millions of years ago.
Writing in The Rise and Reign of the Mammals, Professor Brusatte notes that animals in warmer regions of the globe today are often smaller than animals in cold regions, an ecological principle known as “Bergmann’s law”. .
“The reason is not completely understood, but it is probably partly because smaller animals have less surface area and are therefore better able to dispose of excess heat,” the analysis cited by The Guardian.
The above findings once again warn people about the profound and disturbing changes to all of humanity and the planet’s creatures before the climate crisis – caused by humans.
In a recent study, an international team of scientists led by Dr. Manuel Will from the Department of Prehistoric and Quaternary Ecology, University of Tübingen – Germany, studied human remains for millions of years, also showed that temperature was a major predictor of body size variation.
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