The evolution of maximum body size of terrestrial mammals

Felisa Smith, Alison Boyer, James Brown, Daniel Costa, Tamar Dayan, S Ernest, Alistair Evans, Mikael Fortelius, John Gittleman, Marcus Hamilton, Larisa Harding, Kari Lintaakso, Kathleen Lyons, Christy McCain, Jordan Okie, Juha Saarinen, Richard Sibly, Patrick Stephens, Jessica Theodor, Mark Uhen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The extinction of dinosaurs at the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary was the seminal event that opened the door for the subsequent diversification of terrestrial mammals. Our compilation of maximum body size at the ordinal level by sub-epoch shows a near-exponential increase after the K/Pg. On each continent, the maximum size of mammals leveled off after 40 million years ago and thereafter remained approximately constant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216 - 1219
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume330
Issue number6008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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