Researchers from San Francisco State University and Point Reyes Bird Observatory believe that among the wide array of consequences and adaptations that are occurring with climate change, birds are getting larger and fatter.
The team analyzed data from thousands of birds that were caught and released over the past few decades in the San Francisco Bay and Point Reyes National Seashore area and found that birds, on average, had increased in mass and in wingspan over the past 27 to 40 years.
The researchers believe that climate change could be leading to this super-sizing of the birds in a couple of ways. One is that birds could be storing more fat to survive the harsher winter storms that have become more common as the world warms. The other cause may be that climate change is affecting plant growth in a way that is leading to fatter birds.
While this doesn't seem to be a negative development so far, the researchers say these type of discoveries make it necessary to understand why some plants or animals are getting larger and some smaller and what the real impact of those changes could be.
via Discovery News
written by Juan Miguel Ruiz, November 03, 2011
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