A latest study has revealed that, warm-blooded animals are better at adapting to climate change than their cold-blooded peers, reptiles and amphibians.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia joined scientists in Switzerland and Sweden to analyze data from 11,465 species, spanning more than 270 million years.
“We see that mammals and birds are better able to stretch out and extend their habitats, meaning they adapt and shift much easier,” said lead author of the study Jonathan Rolland from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
“This could have a deep impact on extinction rates and what our world looks like in the future,” Rolland said.
The planet’s climate has cooled significantly over the last 40-million years and Rolland says data shows birds and mammals have been able to adapt and move to habitats in more northern and southern regions.
He says animals that regulate their body temperatures, known as endotherms, might be better able to survive harsher climates because they keep their embryos warm, take care of their offspring and can migrate or hibernate.
By combining data from the current distribution of animals, fossil records and phylogenetic information for 11,465 species, the researchers were able to reconstruct where animals have lived over the past 270-million years and what temperatures they needed to survive in these regions.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Ecology.