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The Australian animals ‘shape-shifting’ in warmer temperatures

Published: in Australian News by .

Scientists are worried natural selection won’t be able to keep up with the warming temperatures.

Animals are "shape-shifting" and evolving larger features as the planet warms up, a new study claims.

The research was published Tuesday in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Among the findings was a claim Australian parrots, like the gang-gang cockatoo and red-rumped parrot, have shown up to a 10 per cent average increase in bill size as the temperatures in their natural habitats increase.

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File image of a gang-gang cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum). Some species of Australians parrots are showing a 10 per cent increase in beak size.

The parrots aren't the only animals to show a shift in shape.

Other species of birds in North America and Australia have shown an increase in bill size, wood mice have bigger ears, and some bats are flapping about on larger wings.

The larger features help the animals stay cooler as they offer a greater surface area to release body heat.

However, scientists are worried natural selection won't be able to keep up with climate change.

READ MORE: Tasmanian tiger seen in colour footage for the first time

A dead fish lays on the cracking earth of a dry lake bed as Nevada in the US continues to suffer through a drought.

"It's alarming that we are seeing these responses so early on in the climate crisis," study author Sara Ryding, a researcher in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Deakin University, told CNET.

"We don't know if they'll be able to keep up as the crisis worsens."

Source: 9News

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