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Is climate change shrinking animals?

Were all know high temperatures in the washer or dryer will shrink T-shirts and jeans. Now new research says climate change seems to be having a similar effect on plants and animals. With many areas of the world getting warmer and dryer, some water-deprived plants have become smaller and less able to thrive. That, some scientists say, is the reason certain kinds of sheep, insects, and frogs (like the Malaysian frogs here) that eat plants appear to be shrinking also. It's too soon to tell whether the effect will move up the food chain and become a problem for humans as well. And though the researchers behind the study say they don't expect mini-pandas and mini-panthers to join the ranks of poodles anytime soon, they do hope scientists will take notice. "No matter what else they're doing in the field," says David Bickford, who led the study, "we want more ecologists to pay attention to body size and take measurements."


Please note: Some tables or figures were omitted from this article.

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Title Annotation:Environment
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 30, 2012
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