Climate change may be lengthening bird's wings

  • PTI

    PTI | Melbourne

    January 2, 2017 | 02:29 PM

Representational Image (Photo: Getty Images)

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Climate change may cause the wing length of some birds to rapidly grow, according to scientists who warn that even small rise in temperatures may have a profound effect on various species.

Researchers found that the wings of ringneck parrots - commonly called twenty-eights - has increased by four to five millimetres over the past 45 years.

"As the climate might be increasing in temperature, the increase in wing length might actually help these birds shed that excess heat and so it is better matched with their environment," said Professor Dylan Korczynskyj from the University of Notre Dame in the US.

The study examined birds specimens dating back to the early 18 century. The oldest ringneck parrot specimen used in the study dated back to 1904.

The biggest changes in wing length have taken place since the 1970s, and that timeframe correlated with increased temperatures and land clearing, Korczynskyj was quoted as saying by 'ABC News'.

Even small temperature changes could have a big impact on animals, researchers said.

"In the 1970s in Western Australia for example, we might have only seen an increase in temperature of maybe 0.1 to 0.2 degrees every 10 years," he said.

"It sounds like a small amount, but in the scheme of the impact on the environment, obviously the research like ours is showing that it can actually have a profound effect on, in this case, the ringneck parrots," he added.

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