HomeBody, the Orange County Register, California blog about home and gardening, will now devote each Saturday to “squirrel talk.” This week’s discussion revolves around squirrels enjoying the fruit of an avocado tree (mmmmmmm – you simply can’t blame a squirrel for raiding the best of what mother nature has to offer, food-wise!) and another reader discussing how he’s got plenty of wildlife in his yard — not just squirrels, but raccoons, owls and coyotes. Sounds like fun!
Apparently paleontologists are examining fossil records of California ground squirrels to see how a currently warming world is affecting animals, although this DailyGazette.com article doesn’t really do a good job of explaining why. Ah, science journalism — such a tricky thing.
Back when the world was really hot and wet, all animals were larger in size, since hot and wet means tropical, and tropical means plentiful, year-round food supplies.
Then, the earth cooled, and animals shrunk in size. And shivered a lot more.
In the near future, as weather patterns are expected to shift rapidly (and some would say already are) scientists expect the size of animals to change. Or, I think that’s what the research is getting at. It’s not totally clear in this article.
Actually, I think the research was simply meant to study old fossils (which is fine with me) but the public relations department was desperate to find a current news peg. What’s hot? Global warming. Let’s tie it all together and see if we can get some publicity.