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Ancient Warming Shrunk Horses to Housecat Size
Yahoo/LiveScience.com ^ | Feb. 23, 2012 | Stephanie Pappas

Posted on 02/23/2012 11:33:29 AM PST by Free ThinkerNY

An ancient global warming event shrunk the earliest horses down to the size of scrawny housecats, according to new research that could have implications for what mammals might look like in a future warming world.

During what's known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, about 56 million years ago, a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere and oceans boosted average global temperatures by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 degrees Celsius) over 175,000 years. Mammals responded to this climate change by shrinking, with about one-third of species getting smaller.

Now, new research reveals that these changes occurred in lockstep with temperature fluctuations during the period. The earliest-known horse Sifrhippus started out this period as a bit of a pipsqueak: The animals weighed only about 12 pounds (5.6 kilograms) on average, about the size of a miniature schnauzer.

But by 130,000 years into the PETM, Sifrihippus had shrunk down to only about 8.5 pounds (3.9 kg), the size of a small housecat. These humble horses then experienced a size rebound, bulking up to about 15 pounds (7 kg) in the last 45,000 years of this warm period, putting them on par with the average bichon frise.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: cryptobiology; cryptozoology; eocene; godsgravesglyphs; paleocene; paleontology; sifrihippus
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To: Free ThinkerNY
"Ancient Warming Shrunk Horses to Housecat Size"

And now *global warming* is doing the same thing to cars...


21 posted on 02/23/2012 11:48:59 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Free ThinkerNY

Sounds like global warming is the solution to overpopulation and food shortages.

It gets warmer, people get smaller and eat less.

Does this mean the gov’t is going to subsidize big-block chevy’s now?


22 posted on 02/23/2012 11:49:11 AM PST by fruser1
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To: Free ThinkerNY
An ancient global warming event shrunk the earliest horses down to the size of scrawny housecats, according to new research that could have implications for what mammals might look like in a future warming world.

So DemoRats would actually look like and be the size of....Rats?

Sweet!

23 posted on 02/23/2012 11:50:54 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it. (plagiarized))
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To: Free ThinkerNY

I always wondered where they got those little horses for the Chuck Wagon dog food commercials.


24 posted on 02/23/2012 11:51:02 AM PST by Wissa (Gone Galt)
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To: Free ThinkerNY
"Now, new research reveals that these changes occurred in lockstep with temperature fluctuations during the period."

So from this and and the steadily increasing size of Americans, we can conclude that we are in a period of global cooling...

25 posted on 02/23/2012 11:51:21 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Eldon Tyrell

These “horses” were small with paws rather than hooves. Eohippus, one of the earliest horses, was about the size of a collie dog, for example, and had five toes. Occasionally a foal today is born with more than one hoof at the end of each leg. Julius Ceasar, before he became a Senator, owned such a horse; it was named Toes.

The small stature of these creatures may, in fact, be due to the scarcity of food rather than due to global temperature.

A very good description of what happened planet-wide after the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event (Chicxulub) can be found in John & Mary Gribbons book, Fire On Earth. When a bolide that large smacked into the earth, it sent powerful ground shock waves around that earth that met and possibly cracked open the crust, leading to a horrific volcanic event (Deccan Traps - India). It may well have taken millions of years for the earth’s geologic structure and climates to stabilize.

High temperatures themselves wouldn’t normally cause smaller sizes among animals, scarcity of food, however, would have done so. Many animals in equatorial Africa are large as long as they have ample food sources. In a hot place such as the Sahara, little food equals smaller animals or no animals.


26 posted on 02/23/2012 11:52:00 AM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: Free ThinkerNY

Bring on that global warming, cuz I think ponies are cute.


27 posted on 02/23/2012 11:52:28 AM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Free ThinkerNY

You could tell they couldn’t sing, because it was a little horse.


28 posted on 02/23/2012 11:53:01 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Free ThinkerNY
They originally drove SUVs , which also shrank to subcompacts because of global warming.
29 posted on 02/23/2012 11:54:33 AM PST by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: Free ThinkerNY
An ancient global warming event shrunk the earliest horses down to the size of scrawny housecats...

Strange. I always thought cooling made things shrink.

30 posted on 02/23/2012 11:55:29 AM PST by freeandfreezing
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To: equaviator

Yes, that was the chain of events as I have read. They had three toes at that time.


31 posted on 02/23/2012 11:56:32 AM PST by org.whodat (Sorry bill, I should never have made all those jokes about you and Lewinsky, have fun.)
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To: dfwgator

Yeah, I’m holding out for one of those - no pygmy horses for me!


32 posted on 02/23/2012 11:57:11 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Sacajaweau
Their whole logic is insane. If CO2 and temp increased back then, then plants would go haywire (like they do now, but even more so) growing out of everything possible, growing larger, more concentrated, increasing O2 even higher which would lead to even larger animal life forms.

Man or anything on this planet, short of a moon sized meteor hitting it or Al Gore never shutting up, will never ever overtake plants. It's THE reason the atmosphere is made up of 21% O2 while only 0.04% is CO2 (which you can literally call zero point zero BTW)

Plants RULE earth or maybe liberals think all this green stuff is green colored people and cars? And that is not even counting the ocean plant life like algae.


33 posted on 02/23/2012 11:57:44 AM PST by GrandJediMasterYoda (How ironic that Ann Coulter should write a book called Treason.)
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To: freeandfreezing
Strange. I always thought cooling made things shrink.


34 posted on 02/23/2012 11:58:10 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: RC51
You have that right, Google Philip Johnson(?) on the Hippi, A does not always equal B.
35 posted on 02/23/2012 11:59:08 AM PST by Little Bill (Sorry)
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To: livius
Medieval Europeans experienced a warm period where wine grapes were grown in England, then followed a “little Ice Age”.

Despite hysterical warnings that an increase in temperature is caused by industrialization and will be unambiguously harmful to the economy - the Medieval warm period was pre-industrialization was was, by all accounts, a rather good thing. The “little Ice Age” that followed wasn't as much fun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period

36 posted on 02/23/2012 11:59:39 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: Eldon Tyrell

Wow, going to hard to find jockeys. Unless of course people also shrink due to gw. What about cats, dogs will insects get smaller or just seem larger.


37 posted on 02/23/2012 11:59:41 AM PST by LauraJean (sometimes I win sometimes I donate to the equine benevolent society)
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To: Free ThinkerNY

More Darwin evolutionary religion claptrap.

There’s not one shred of anything you can apply the SCIENTIFIC METHOD to that will prove any of this garbage.

No one can observe it or reproduce it.

Which means we have an untestable theory.

Just like the endless search for the “missing link” that will never appear.


38 posted on 02/23/2012 12:00:51 PM PST by Advil000
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To: Free ThinkerNY; SunkenCiv

Regression ping.


39 posted on 02/23/2012 12:01:10 PM PST by Little Bill (Sorry)
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To: Free ThinkerNY

What a bunch of the usual crap.


40 posted on 02/23/2012 12:05:18 PM PST by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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