Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I, For One, Welcome Our New Giant Bird Overlords

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM

The birds are getting bigger, and I suspect they're probably going to be pissed about the spicy chicken sandwich I like to eat for lunch sometimes.

Birds are getting bigger in central California, and that was a big surprise for Rae Goodman and her colleagues. Goodman uncovered the trend while working as a graduate student for Associate Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn, analyzing data from thousands of birds caught and released each year at two sites near San Francisco Bay and Point Reyes National Seashore.

The SF State scientists found that birds' wings have grown longer and birds are increasing in mass over the last 27 to 40 years.

What's making the birds bigger? The researchers think that the trend is due to climate change, but their findings put a twist in the usual thinking about climate change and body size. A well-known ecological rule, called Bergmann's Rule, states that animals tend to be larger at higher latitudes. One reason for this rule might be that larger animals conserve body heat better, allowing them to thrive in the generally colder climate of higher latitudes.

Under this reasoning, some scientists have predicted that animals would get smaller as Earth has warmed up over the past 100 years. But the study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, suggests that the connection may not be so simple.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Dan Gibson

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Hip Hop Yoga

Hip Hop Yoga @ Floor Polish

Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Be-You-tiful Women's Body Image Workshop

Presented by Yoga in the Buff. Bring a mat, towel, journal and pen. Bring a friend! Everything… More

@ Floor Polish Sat., July 22, 3-5 p.m. 215 N Hoff Ave, Suite 107

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Dr. Word Says: Trump Tries His Hand at Poetry (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Flake Takes a Turn To the Right (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Quick Bites: Tequila Takeover (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Cinema Clips: War for the Planet of the Apes (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Flake Loves Him Some Cruzcare (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation