Fossil expert, Professor Steve Brusatte has spoken publicly about the possibility of humans shrinking in height as the climate gets hotter.
The Edinburgh University Palaeontology Professor has spoken of records showing how mammals in the past have responded to temperature change which provides a layout for how mammals today could react to future changes in the climate.
Professor Brusatte believes that when the earth warms up ‘oftentimes mammal species get smaller in response.’ He cited an example from a species of horse around 55 million years ago during the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, when, after a huge global warming spike about 40% of mammal species in the fossil records shrank in size.
This adaptation would be triggered by the rise in carbon dioxide levels and the overall intensity of climate change. Professor Brusatte noted it is “eerie” how similar the plight of the horses then and humans now are, but the similarities could give us insight into the future of human evolution.
Professor Brusatte has spoken out to mark the release of his latest publication, ‘The Rise and Reign of Mammals’ in which he suggests that humans could be one of the mammals that shrinks as it gets hotter.
This is due to smaller surface area compared to volume can help animals cool down. Brusatte has also turned to the example an archaic type of human that once lived in Flores, about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. The limited resources available suggest that these ancient humans grew only to about 3.5 feet tall.
The professor states that: ‘What's happening now is not new - the causes are new because humans are causing it… So maybe this might happen in the future.’ Suggestion tis could be a likely outcome for humans in the future.
In an interview with Sky news, he states that the change wouldn’t be immediate but instead it would happen over hundreds of generations. He makes it very clear that he doesn’t want to scare or cause alarm, he is merely approaching it from the perspective of looking back at the evidence and how it correlates to the present and future.
Image Credit: Eduindex News
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