Mountain Goats Are Shrinking—A Lot—Because of Global Warming

Chamois goats in the Italian Alps have gotten smaller over the past few decades.

Wild mountain goats in the Italian Alps have gotten significantly smaller over the past few decades in response to a warming climate, scientists reported Tuesday.

Although global warming is known to be driving changes in body size in a number of animals, this result was more dramatic than researchers expected and suggests that a changing climate may have significant impacts on natural systems in the near term, in ways that are only beginning to be understood.

Young Alpine chamois mountain goats (Rupicapra rupicapra) now weigh about 25 percent less than animals of the same age did 30 years ago, scientists at Durham University in the U.K. reported in the journal Frontiers in Zoology.

At the same time, temperatures where the

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