Why global warming is making birds smaller

Why global warming is making birds smaller

If we pay attention, we can learn something every day about how climate change is impacting animals. For example, did you know that birds are shrinking in response to warmer temperatures?

After analyzing 40 years of data collected from more than 77 species of birds in the Amazon rainforest, scientists have found that nearly all the birds weigh less today than they did in the 1980s. Every decade, they’ve lost about 2% of their body weight. Over that time, a third of these species also developed longer wingspans.

Lower body weight and longer wingspans let birds use energy more efficiently and stay cooler. So, it stands to reason that species that live highest in the forest canopy with exposure to hotter, drier conditions show the greatest changes.

There are thousands of similar stories, all pointing to the very real consequences of climate change.

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