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Animals ‘shapeshifting’ in response to climate crisis, research finds

The Guardian: “Animals are increasingly “shapeshifting” because of the climate crisis, researchers have said. Warm-blooded animals are changing their physiology to adapt to a hotter climate, the scientists found. This includes getting larger beaks, legs and ears to better regulate their body temperature. When animals overheat, birds use their beaks and mammals use their ears to disperse the warmth. Some creatures in warmer climates have historically evolved to have larger beaks or ears to get rid of heat more easily. These differences are becoming more pronounced as the climate warms. If animals fail to control their body temperature, they can overheat and die. Beaks, which are not covered by feathers and therefore not insulated, are a site of significant heat exchange, as are ears, tails and legs in mammals if not covered by fur…”

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