Climate Change And Shrinking Sheep

Posted By Ben Goulding, 3 July, 2009 | permalink

sheepSheep living on a remote island off the coast of Scotland have been shrinking for 20 years. New research suggests that climate change is to blame. Natural selection would suggest that sheep would get larger over time, however warmer winters and longer summers have led to wild Soay sheep, which live on the island of Hirta, shrinking by 5 percent since 1985.

Researchers believe that the milder weather in recent years has meant that small lambs who would not have survived previous winters are now surviving, reproducing and consequently breeding smaller offspring. The change in climate also means that mothers are giving birth earlier and so they produce smaller lambs.

Local residents thought something wasn’t right when they noticed their lamb chops were not as big as they used to be. Have you noticed any other animals getting smaller? Let us know!

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Posted in: Sci/Tech

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