Shrinking of animals
Animals can shrink. Researchers have shown in different animal species that they not only grow but can also shrink. Shrinkage has been shown in shrews, lizards, iguanas and fish. Shrinkage occurs in mammals, reptiles and fish. It is a normal and adequate survival phenomenon. In humans, shrinkage mainly occurs in older people. In addition, people are a few centimeters longer at night when they lie down than when they are upright during the day.
Recently, researchers from Finland and Norway found that a young trout has shrunk 10 percent. The reason that animals are shrinking is due to a sudden extreme weather change, which means that the usual feeding pattern cannot be maintained.
- Shrinking spine
- Shrinkage due to heating?
- Shrinkage and Growth
An extremely harsh winter can ensure that there is less food available. Yet it does not logically have to be the case that animals shrink by themselves. It is much more common to think that animals die in such a situation. So there are a number of animal species that do not die from eating too little but that adjust their body size. The current mystery for biologists is why the spine, the bone part of the animals, shrinks. It is believed that bone can only get bigger as the animal ages. Now that the spinal column appears to be getting shorter, it is initially speculated that it is due to the decrease in a jelly-like substance between the vertebrae. If only the muscles, tendons, organs and fat layer had shrunk, the change would have been less spectacular. The shrinking of the vertebra is a step further and something that was not thought possible.
Shrinkage due to heating?
The fact that there are fish that shrink in colder conditions goes a bit against the idea that global warming will cause animals to shrink. There has been a lot of research into global warming recently, and some researchers believe that heat can cause animals to shrink. In terms of evolution, it is better to be smaller in a warm climate, argue the climate researchers. This reasoning is undermined by research on shrinking animals under colder than normal conditions.
Shrinkage and Growth
Perhaps biology should get rid of the idea that animals just grow. Animals can grow as well as shrink. Apparently an animal’s growth is subordinate to its will to survive. The longer an animal lives, the greater the chance of offspring. By shrinking, an animal lives longer and needs less food. For the conservation of an animal species it may differ per biotope whether an animal benefits from shrinking or growing. Since fish live in shoals, the number of fish in shoal may help determine the size of an animal. There are many riddles in nature that we cannot solve if we start from the dogma that animals only grow and never get smaller. The idea that animals grow bigger and die if there is too little food can be thrown overboard for a number of animals. The shrinking trout research shows that many studies are needed to solve the mystery of nature.