According to an interesting study which the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution recently published, mammals and birds might have the best chance of survival climate change here on Earth. This study was based on an analysis of how thousands of species survived over 270 million years of temperature fluctuations on our planet. It seems that animals that have warm blood can adapt better to these changes as opposed to cold-blooded creatures, like amphibians and reptiles.
According to lead author Jonathan Rolland, both birds and mammals have a higher capacity of extending their habitats, adapt and therefore, survive. This interesting discovery might be the reason why certain species go extinct while others survive for thousands of years. Also, it could provide an insight into what our planet might look like in the future. There is a clear and famous example which proves that this theory is certainly true. The giant asteroid that crashed into Earth about 66 million-years ago decreased the temperatures on the planet. This thermic shock killed all non-aviary dinosaurs, like the T-Rex or the Triceratops. But the other warm-blooded animals survived and even thrived without the predators around.
Birds and mammals might survive climate change
It’s important to note that today’s global warming has also triggered a similar mass extinction event. This is the first one since the disappearance of the dinosaurs. Nowadays, certain species are going extinct about 100 times faster than before. According to earlier research, the temperatures on Earth began increasing with the Industrial Revolution.
So, Rolland and his team looked back and analyzed how mammals and birds moved around to survive. They were able to change and extend their usual habitats. Sadly for the cold-blooded animals, they were not so lucky. And the proof is visible today. There is a very small number of amphibians and reptiles in the Antarctic area. They are not very many in temperate climates either.
Image source: pexels