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Animal Body SizeLinking Pattern and Process across Space, Time, and Taxonomic Group$
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Felisa A. Smith and S. Kathleen Lyons

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226012148

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226012285.001.0001

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Geographic Variation in Body Size Distributions of Continental Avifauna

Geographic Variation in Body Size Distributions of Continental Avifauna

(p.83) Chapter Three Geographic Variation in Body Size Distributions of Continental Avifauna
Animal Body Size

Brian A. Maurer

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines variation in the body size distributions of birds on different continents. The results show that the structure of body size distributions is scale dependent and is influenced by the size of continents. Distributions for continents and geographic regions are not simple random mixtures of species from the global distribution but instead are “filtered” by continent size in at least two ways. First, larger continents have a wider range of body sizes than smaller continents, indicated by the increase in variance in log body size distributions with larger continents. Second, larger continents tend to have a disproportionate share of large species. The biogeographic mechanism and the nature of process that lead to this filtering of body size as a function of continent size are also discussed.

Keywords:   body size, continent size, biogeographic mechanism, scale dependent

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