Document Detail

Cope's rule and the dynamics of body mass evolution in North American fossil mammals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9563948     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Body mass estimates for 1534 North American fossil mammal species show that new species are on average 9.1% larger than older species in the same genera. This within-lineage effect is not a sampling bias. It persists throughout the Cenozoic, accounting for the gradual overall increase in average mass (Cope's rule). The effect is stronger for larger mammals, being near zero for small mammals. This variation partially explains the unwavering lower size limit and the gradually expanding mid-sized gap, but not the sudden large increase in the upper size limit, at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.
J Alroy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  280     ISSN:  0036-8075     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  1998 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-05-18     Completed Date:  1998-05-18     Revised Date:  2007-03-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  731-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, MRC 121, Washington, DC 20560, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Body Constitution*
Body Weight
Mammals / anatomy & histology*
North America
Comment In:
Science. 1998 Oct 2;282(5386):50-2   [PMID:  9786796 ]

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