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Macroecological Patterns of Body Size in Mammals across Time and Space

Macroecological Patterns of Body Size in Mammals across Time and Space

Chapter:
(p.116) Chapter Five Macroecological Patterns of Body Size in Mammals across Time and Space
Source:
Animal Body Size
Author(s):
S. Kathleen LyonsFelisa A. Smith
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226012285.003.0006

This chapter examines the macroecological patterns of body size in mammals across space and time. It addresses the following questions: How similar are overall body size distributions across individual continents and large islands? How similar are overall body size distributions across time in North America? Are present-day patterns warped? Is the relationship between body size and range size consistent across time and space? Are the shapes of body size distributions at the community level consistent across time and space? The results show gross similarities in macroecological patterns across land masses and throughout evolutionary time. Although there are unique aspects to the patterns on individual continents, the shapes of body size distributions and the moments of the distributions are remarkably similar despite their different evolutionary and geological histories.

Keywords:   macroecology, body size distributions, mammals, range size, North America

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