Via The State:
Humans may be much shorter if global warming continues, according to the latest study.
A new study finds that ancient horses shrunk even smaller than their ancestors, a trend scientists say is likely the result of global warming.
Modern mammals, including humans, could be at risk of shrinking as a result of global warming, just as small prehistoric horses shrank to an even smaller size when temperatures rose 56 million years ago.
The proposal follows from a study of Sifrhippus, the first horse, 56 million years ago. Sifrhippus shrank from about 12 pounds average weight to about eight and a half pounds as the climate warmed over thousands of years, according to a report published by a team of researchers and reported in the journal Science on Thursday.
The study finds that early horses were much smaller than their modern day ancestors, which have since been bred for speed, size, and a number of additional attributes. The earliest-known horse, Sifrhippus, first appeared in North America during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, when increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans caused average global temperatures to begin to rise.