Skip to comments.Ancient Warming Shrunk Horses to Housecat Size
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.
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And now *global warming* is doing the same thing to cars...
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?
So DemoRats would actually look like and be the size of....Rats?
I always wondered where they got those little horses for the Chuck Wagon dog food commercials.
So from this and and the steadily increasing size of Americans, we can conclude that we are in a period of global cooling...
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.
Bring on that global warming, cuz I think ponies are cute.
You could tell they couldn’t sing, because it was a little horse.
Strange. I always thought cooling made things shrink.
Yes, that was the chain of events as I have read. They had three toes at that time.
Yeah, I’m holding out for one of those - no pygmy horses for me!
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.
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.
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.
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.
What a bunch of the usual crap.