LONDON: Ever wondered why cold blooded animals grow bigger in the warm weather on land, but smaller in warm water? The availability of oxygen may hold the key, finds a new study.
"Enhancing our understanding of what influences the growth of animals will mean we can start to make better predictions about how different groups of species will cope with the climate change,” said lead author of the study Curtis Horne.
The new findings strongly support the idea that reduced oxygen availability in water causes aquatic animals to reduce their body size.
This new information could be significant in analysing the impact of climate change on animal species, as changes in body size with warming could not only affect several aspects of an animal's health, but also alter the composition of important ecosystems like ecological and economical.
"We really see a close match between lab experiments and patterns observed in nature, which suggests that the same factors are at play.
“It significantly brings us a step closer to solving a problem that has long puzzled biologists," Horne said. The findings appeared in Ecology Letters.