Could Horses Shrink In The Future? Science Says Yes

by | 03.20.2017 | 5:49am
In this artist rendering provided by the Florida Museum of Natural History, illustration by Danielle Byerley shows a comparison of a Sifrhippus sandrae, right, with a modern Morgan horse that stands about 5 feet tall at the shoulder and weighs about 1,000 pounds. Global warming often leads to global shrinking for mammals, like us, a new study suggests. At least twice before in Earth’s history, when carbon dioxide levels soared and temperatures spiked, mammals shriveled in a bit in size, including our earliest primate ancestor, according to a new study based on fossil teeth found in Wyoming. And the study’s chief author said it could be a glimpse of a smaller mammal future under even faster man-made warning that’s going on now.  (Florida Museum of Natural History, illustration by Danielle Byerley via AP)
In this artist rendering provided by the Florida Museum of Natural History, illustration by Danielle Byerley shows a comparison of a Sifrhippus sandrae, right, with a modern Morgan horse that stands about 5 feet tall at the shoulder and weighs about 1,000 pounds. Global warming often leads to global shrinking for mammals, like us, a new study suggests. At least twice before in Earth’s history, when carbon dioxide levels soared and temperatures spiked, mammals shriveled in a bit in size, including our earliest primate ancestor, according to a new study based on fossil teeth found in Wyoming. And the study’s chief author said it could be a glimpse of a smaller mammal future under even faster man-made warning that’s going on now. (Florida Museum of Natural History, illustration by Danielle Byerley via AP)

According to a recent study carried out at the University of New Hampshire, global warming could cause horses and other mammals to shrink in size and volume.

According to researcher Abigail D'Ambrosia, fossil records show that during two periods of natural warming in the earth's history, in which the carbon dioxide levels and temperatures both increased significantly. D'Ambrosia says that man-made global warming could have the same effect.

“It's something we need to keep an eye out for,” she was reported as saying in The Mercury News. “The question is how fast are we going to see these changes.”

The study, which was published in the journal Science Advances, says that according to fossilized teeth, scientists have concluded that 54 million years ago there were three species, including one of the earliest ancestors to the modern-day horse, which shrank significantly 54 million years ago when the earth went through a documented warming period. The early horse, which was predicted to have weighed only 17 pounds, shrank to just 14.6 pounds – a change of 14 percent – over time.

Another animal that showed a decrease in body size was the earliest known primate, who is reported to have undergone a 4 percent decrease in size during the same period.

Other studies have come to similar conclusions regarding the decrease in body size of animals during periods of warming. Farmers have also long been aware that cows naturally produce less milk during hotter periods of time.

Read more at The Mercury News.

  • Joan and Fred

    We must be ahead of the times! The operators of our farm are 4’10’ and 4’11”. We have a thoroughbred mare who is coming 5 who is only 14 2 hands tall and her full sister who is 3 is barely 14 hands tall although still growing albeit somewhat slowly even with good food and pasture. They are both very fast and quick to execute turns! They both would be good for barrel racing if a rider could be found that was able to stay on them!

  • tony a

    Junk science.

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