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Press Release 09-188

Climate Change Triggered Dwarfism in Soil-Dwelling Creatures of the Past

Ancient soil biota decreased in size by up to 46 percent during period 55 million years ago

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Photo of thick red rocks in the Bighorn Basin near Worland, Wyoming.

Thick red rocks mark an ancient time in the Bighorn Basin near Worland, Wyoming.

Credit: Steve Hasiotis and Jon Smith


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Photo of a filled-in burrow that was created by beetle larvae and other soil biota.

This now-filled-in burrow was created by beetle larvae and other soil biota.

Credit: Steve Hasiotis and Jon Smith


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Photo of a former crayfish burrow in the Willwood Formation, Wyoming.

A rock in the Willwood Formation in Wyoming shows a former crayfish burrow.

Credit: Steve Hasiotis and Jon Smith


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Photo of a fossil crayfish next to a modern crayfish.

A fossil crayfish is shown next to a modern crayfish.

Credit: Steve Hasiotis and Jon Smith


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