Fiona Jackson, Daily Mail
Soon you may not be able to tell your pigeon from your parrot, as climate change threatens to wipe out birds with more extreme physical features.
New research from the University of Sheffield suggests that they are adapting to global warming by developing big beaks and losing distinctive characteristics.
The scientists discovered that the world’s smallest and largest birds are likely to be most at risk of extinction.
They also found that the diversity loss could happen faster than we might expect based on the loss of species alone.
This could result in birds with unique traits that could benefit humans going extinct.
Lead author Dr Emma Hughes said: ‘As species go extinct you expect the traits that they represent to also be lost.
‘But what we found was that with morphological diversity, the traits were lost at a much, much, much greater rate than just species loss could predict.
‘This is really important because that can lead to a major loss of ecological strategies and functions.’