Animals Will Downsize Over the Next Century, Study Finds

The idea of losing the world's biodiversity "is kind of scary," said the study's lead researcher

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Large birds and land mammals that live long lives, like rhinos and eagles, will die out over the next century while small, insect-eating animals that die young will predominate, according to new research.

NBC News reported that rodents and songbirds will win out as the climate changes, forests disappear and cities grow; large birds and land mammals are known to be less adaptable to changing conditions, according to the study, published May 23 paper in the journal Nature Communications.

Its lead author, University of Southampton researcher Rob Cooke, told NBC News MACH that the loss of the big creatures, "other species that depend on them might also go extinct."

"It's great to have the diversity of life on the planet that we have," he added. "The idea of losing it ... is kind of scary."

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