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.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
It is sort of funny - in a very sick/dark kind of way.
Yeah but i still want one
“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.”
Liberal solution- Shrink the size of human beings in order to be able ride a 12 lb. horse.
Sea horses! A big thing for kiddies in the late 50s.
Then it must have cooled down again, because the last I checked horses were pretty dang big. Good thing too. What fun would it be going to the track and watching cat size horses? And what would cowboys ride? Would be a sad day indeed watching old movies with John Wayne sliding off a elephant.
Evidently, "temperature fluctuations" are totally normal.
But let's pretend they aren't so we can demagogue the issue.
Anybody wanna make a bet?
Guess what... we weren’t there “destroying the ozone layer” at that point...which means human beings have nothing whatsoever to do with “global warming,” if it does in fact exist.
The earth has warmed and cooled several times over its many millenia. Mediaeval Europe suffered through a horrible cold period that we cannot even imagine and human beings had nothing to do with it.
Wow so in other words this has happened before. How incredibly man made. Did Al Gores caveman ancestor demand payment? Don’t tell me: He sat on his ass all day while cavemen paid him in skins and rocks for starting fires.
But what did it shrink housecats down too... I Wants me a hamster kitty!!!
So did dinosaurs shrink to lizards? I bet they did.
Are all these scientists smoking something or what?
That’s from NCIS?
I call BS on this. Shrink in size of species tends to be a product of scarcity of food. (For example see North Korean’s decline in average height).
If temperature had anything to do with it then why are African Elephants still so large today?