Thursday, 27 March 2014

Salamanders shrink as mountain home heats up

By Ella Davies
Reporter, BBC Nature

Salamanders living in the eastern US have shrunk in size in response to climate change, say researchers.

Scientists have studied the amphibians living in the Appalachian Mountains since 1957.

Analysis of the animals revealed that those caught since the 1980s were on average 8% smaller than earlier specimens.

Biologists warn that a reduction in body size could have fatal consequences for the animals.

The findings are published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Between 1957 and 2007, Prof Richard Highton from the University of Maryland, US, collected hundreds of thousands of salamanders for scientific study.

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