Through most of last year I spent my days researching climate change for my dissertation project. When I started I thought I ‘knew about Climate Change’ – how wrong I was! My dissertation looked at the way in which climate change is predicted to change the global distribution of malaria in the future (click here). Disease is not something that you would necessarily associate with climate change and here is another example of something you might not think was associated with climate change – size.
Bigger is better: the male rhinoceros beetle.
Does size matter? Is it better to be bigger? This is a question we continuously argue about. The question is not a simple one to answer and a simple yes or no will not do. The answer depends on not just the species in question but also the environment in which each individual lives. For example, a relatively large snake living in an environment with little prey will be able to live off its fat reserves, whereas a smaller snake of the same species would not have the same fat reserves. The larger snake may have an advantage in terms of fat reserves, but the smaller snake may have greater agility and ability to capture prey. In short, it is different for everyone, depending on the niche the individual is trying to for fill.