A new study warns that cold-blooded land animals like lizards and insects in the tropics may wither as the world warms. “Cold-blooded” is the layman’s term for ectotherms–animals whose body temperature is contingent on the surrounding environment, rather than internally regulated like that of warm-blooded creatures. They thrive in temperatures ranging from 68 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 40 degrees Celsius), above which they overheat. As the globe warms, researchers warn they may be forced to swelter in burrows and under bushes with little time to eat, find mates or rear young.
“Our models suggest that for many reptiles, the room to move may be pretty small,” says Rick Shine, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney in Australia