What causes dwarfism in nature?

We know what causes dwarfism or achondroplasia in humans. In nature, it can occur in different ways and be caused by various factors.

Dwarfism and the survival of species

Climatic conditions, the amount of resources available and the presence of rival species are determining factors in the size and characteristics of animals.

A clear example of this phenomenon is the so-called Bergmann rule, a known ecological rule according to which the largest species they are found in colder regions and small ones in warmer regions . This is because the morphology of the species is linked to the amount of heat lost.

This rule can be observed especially in the anatomical changes that took place in the Cenozoic era , in which, after an extreme increase in temperatures, the species decreased in size. Some of them lost up to 20% in height.

What is and what causes dwarfism in nature

Dwarfism can be due to a series of hormonal and genetic factors . Achondroplasia is due to an autosomal dominant genetic disorder, so any gender can transmit it to the offspring.

 Dwarfism in nature

The so-called 'insular dwarfism' relates the decrease in the size of a species to the loss of resources in its ecosystem. This usually occurs in islands or isolated habitats, such as deserts, where resources are scarce , and being small can be an advantage.

In the case of herbivores, this evolutionary tool it allows them to have fewer competitors and consume less food. Predators, on the other hand, also reduce their size to be able to catch their prey more easily.

Dwarfism and pets

Today, dwarf pets are no longer ballast to become a trend. In dogs, the existence of carlinos, chihuahuas and yorkshires, among others, proves that humans have been interested in producing smaller and smaller animals that can adapt to the urban living conditions of their owners.

Pygmy pigs

Goats and pigs have not escaped this trend. Their dwarf varieties flood the internet and have a host of admirers who see in them the possibility of having a farm animal in the city.

However, this dwarfism is often the result of unethical breeding practices that may include malnutrition of the pregnant mother, inbreeding, and genetic manipulation.