Do you sometimes wish you could shrink your pet crocodile just a little, to make it less frightening and threatening to your family's safety? Sadly, you'll have to make do with your oversized pet for now, but the Americans of the future (if there is a future, ha!) might enjoy smaller crocodiles and other cold-blooded pets thanks to global warming (which isn't actually real).
Researchers at the University of London have known for a while that animals tend to reach smaller adult sizes when raised in warmer-than-usual temperatures, but now they know why this happens. As UPI reports:
The scientists say in many cold-blooded species, the growth rate, or how fast mass is accumulated, and the development rate, how fast an individual passes through its life stages, are consistently "decoupled," with development being more sensitive to temperature than growth.
"We've shown that growth and development increase at different rates as temperatures warm," researchers Andrew Hirst said. "The consequences are that at warmer temperatures a species grows faster but matures even faster still, resulting in them achieving a smaller adult size."
Of course, all this animal shrinkage will never occur because American scientists have proven that global warming is a fictitious phenomenon caused by the forest trees that dwell in Charlie Manson's fantasies. Still fun to think about, though.
[UPI. Image of a tiny frog from New Zealand via AP]