Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time

Felisa A. Smith, James H. Brown, John P. Haskell, S. Kathleen Lyons, John Alroy, Eric L. Charnov, Tamar Dayan, Brian Enquist, S. K Morgan Ernest, Elizabeth A. Hadly, Kate E. Jones, Dawn M. Kaufman, Pablo A. Marquet, Brian A. Maurer, Karl J. Niklas, Warren P. Porter, Bruce Tiffney, Michael R. Willig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-691
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume163
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

space and time
body size
mammal
mammals
animal
allometry
heritability
autocorrelation
animals
life history
South Africa
analysis of variance
fauna
phylogenetics
species diversity
phylogeny

Keywords

  • Cenozoic
  • Evolution
  • Heritability
  • Macroecology
  • Niche differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Smith, F. A., Brown, J. H., Haskell, J. P., Lyons, S. K., Alroy, J., Charnov, E. L., ... Willig, M. R. (2004). Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time. American Naturalist, 163(5), 672-691. https://doi.org/10.1086/382898

Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time. / Smith, Felisa A.; Brown, James H.; Haskell, John P.; Lyons, S. Kathleen; Alroy, John; Charnov, Eric L.; Dayan, Tamar; Enquist, Brian; Ernest, S. K Morgan; Hadly, Elizabeth A.; Jones, Kate E.; Kaufman, Dawn M.; Marquet, Pablo A.; Maurer, Brian A.; Niklas, Karl J.; Porter, Warren P.; Tiffney, Bruce; Willig, Michael R.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 163, No. 5, 05.2004, p. 672-691.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, FA, Brown, JH, Haskell, JP, Lyons, SK, Alroy, J, Charnov, EL, Dayan, T, Enquist, B, Ernest, SKM, Hadly, EA, Jones, KE, Kaufman, DM, Marquet, PA, Maurer, BA, Niklas, KJ, Porter, WP, Tiffney, B & Willig, MR 2004, 'Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time', American Naturalist, vol. 163, no. 5, pp. 672-691. https://doi.org/10.1086/382898
Smith FA, Brown JH, Haskell JP, Lyons SK, Alroy J, Charnov EL et al. Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time. American Naturalist. 2004 May;163(5):672-691. https://doi.org/10.1086/382898
Smith, Felisa A. ; Brown, James H. ; Haskell, John P. ; Lyons, S. Kathleen ; Alroy, John ; Charnov, Eric L. ; Dayan, Tamar ; Enquist, Brian ; Ernest, S. K Morgan ; Hadly, Elizabeth A. ; Jones, Kate E. ; Kaufman, Dawn M. ; Marquet, Pablo A. ; Maurer, Brian A. ; Niklas, Karl J. ; Porter, Warren P. ; Tiffney, Bruce ; Willig, Michael R. / Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time. In: American Naturalist. 2004 ; Vol. 163, No. 5. pp. 672-691.
@article{97c446cf94634bec97731c1fba8c954f,
title = "Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time",
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.",
keywords = "Cenozoic, Evolution, Heritability, Macroecology, Niche differentiation",
author = "Smith, {Felisa A.} and Brown, {James H.} and Haskell, {John P.} and Lyons, {S. Kathleen} and John Alroy and Charnov, {Eric L.} and Tamar Dayan and Brian Enquist and Ernest, {S. K Morgan} and Hadly, {Elizabeth A.} and Jones, {Kate E.} and Kaufman, {Dawn M.} and Marquet, {Pablo A.} and Maurer, {Brian A.} and Niklas, {Karl J.} and Porter, {Warren P.} and Bruce Tiffney and Willig, {Michael R.}",
year = "2004",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1086/382898",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "163",
pages = "672--691",
journal = "American Naturalist",
issn = "0003-0147",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time

AU - Smith, Felisa A.

AU - Brown, James H.

AU - Haskell, John P.

AU - Lyons, S. Kathleen

AU - Alroy, John

AU - Charnov, Eric L.

AU - Dayan, Tamar

AU - Enquist, Brian

AU - Ernest, S. K Morgan

AU - Hadly, Elizabeth A.

AU - Jones, Kate E.

AU - Kaufman, Dawn M.

AU - Marquet, Pablo A.

AU - Maurer, Brian A.

AU - Niklas, Karl J.

AU - Porter, Warren P.

AU - Tiffney, Bruce

AU - Willig, Michael R.

PY - 2004/5

Y1 - 2004/5

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Cenozoic

KW - Evolution

KW - Heritability

KW - Macroecology

KW - Niche differentiation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=2642568749&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=2642568749&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/382898

DO - 10.1086/382898

M3 - Article

C2 - 15122486

AN - SCOPUS:2642568749

VL - 163

SP - 672

EP - 691

JO - American Naturalist

JF - American Naturalist

SN - 0003-0147

IS - 5

ER -