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Similarity of Mammalian Body Size across the Taxonomic Hierarchy and across Space and Time


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/13063

Similarity of Mammalian Body Size across the Taxonomic Hierarchy and across Space and Time

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dc.contributor.author Smith, Felisa A.
dc.contributor.author Brown, James H.
dc.contributor.author Haskell, John P.
dc.contributor.author Lyons, S. Kathleen
dc.contributor.author Alroy, John
dc.contributor.author Charnov, Eric L.
dc.contributor.author Dayan, Tamar
dc.contributor.author Enquist, Brian J.
dc.contributor.author Ernest, S. K. Morgan
dc.contributor.author Hadly, Elizabeth A.
dc.contributor.author Jablonski, David
dc.contributor.author Jones, Kate E.
dc.contributor.author Kaufman, Dawn M.
dc.contributor.author Marquet, Pablo A.
dc.contributor.author Maurer, Brian A.
dc.contributor.author Niklas, Karl J.
dc.contributor.author Porter, Warren P.
dc.contributor.author Roy, Kaustuv
dc.contributor.author Tiffney, Bruce
dc.contributor.author Willig, Michael R.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-23T23:52:39Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-23T23:52:39Z
dc.date.issued 2004-05
dc.identifier.citation vol. 163, no. 5 the american naturalist may 2004 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0148-0227
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/13063
dc.description.abstract Although it is commonly assumed that closely related animals are similar in body size, the degree of similarity has not been examined across the taxonomic hierarchy. Moreover, little is known about the variation or consistency of body size patterns across geographic space or evolutionary time. Here, we draw from a data set of terrestrial, nonvolant mammals to quantify and compare patterns across the body size spectrum, the taxonomic hierarchy, continental space, and evolutionary time. We employ a variety of statistical techniques including “sib-sib” regression, phylogenetic autocorrelation, and nested ANOVA. We find an extremely high resemblance (heritability) of size among congeneric species for mammals over ∼18 g; the result is consistent across the size spectrum. However, there is no significant relationship among the body sizes of congeneric species for mammals under ∼18 g.We suspect that life-history and ecological parameters are so tightly constrained by allometry at diminutive size that animals can only adapt to novel ecological conditions by modifying body size. The overall distributions of size for each continental fauna and for the most diverse orders are quantitatively similar for North America, South America, and Africa, despite virtually no overlap in species composition. Differences in ordinal composition appear to account for quantitative differences between continents. For most mammalian orders, body size is highly conserved, although there is extensive overlap at all levels of the taxonomic hierarchy. The body size distribution for terrestrial mammals apparently was established early in the Tertiary, and it has remained remarkably constant over the past 50 Ma and across the major continents. Lineages have diversified in size to exploit environmental opportunities but only within limits set by allometric, ecological, and evolutionary constraints. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Geophysical Union en_US
dc.subject heritability en_US
dc.subject macroecology en_US
dc.subject evolution en_US
dc.subject Cenozoic en_US
dc.subject niche differentiation en_US
dc.title Similarity of Mammalian Body Size across the Taxonomic Hierarchy and across Space and Time en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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