Rapid climate change shows the severe unbalance of the natural world. Weather, soil, water and living organisms are affected. Scientists point out the fact that there is a connection between global warming and animal extinction, as so many animal species are endangered.
Environmentalists have recently discussed the case of lizards and how they are affected by climate change. The cold blood reptiles are known for changing their body temperature depending on the sun and the shade. A new study on this issue was conducted by biologist Michael Sears.
The results of the study reveal the stunning prediction that no less than forty percent of the lizard population on Earth will disappear in the next sixty years. This means that some of the species will be entirely extinct.
The researchers started from the assumption that in a world ruled by heat it will be extremely difficult for lizards to find shade in due time. Finding a place to cool is crucial for reptiles, as they need to keep a certain temperature of their bodies. The animals waste time and energy in the process of finding a place that should offer them shade.
Michael Sears and his team of researchers ran several experiments. They used spiny lizards for their tests. What they did was put chips on the reptiles, which would monitor the animals’ body temperature. Next, they took the lizards to the desert and released them. They also provided them with artificial shade places.
What the researchers observed was that the lizards had an efficient body temperature management if they were able to find shade. This leads the researchers to believe that lizards’ chances of survival in the next years depend on the weather conditions and on how they evolve. It is crucial of the species to be able to find shade.
According to specialists, lizards which live in deserts will be the most affected, as they will experience higher temperatures.
Researchers also noted that the way in which climate change affects plants and vegetation is highly important for lizards. Trees or tall plants provide the reptiles with shade. They can also hide from the sun beneath rocks or in rock cracks.
Experts are concerned about the faith of lizards because they suffer just like humans suffer when they have a high fever.
The new study on lizards was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
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