Project Overview: What are the limits and implications of mammalian body size?
         Body size reflects complex and dynamic tradeoffs between physiology, life history, environment, phylogenetic constraints, and past geologic and climatic history.  Nevertheless, certain ‘invariant’ size-dependent scaling relationships are repeatedly observed for mammals and other taxa.  Do these patterns arise because of common ancestry (phylogeny), because organisms exist in similar environments, or because they face similar design or life history constraints?  The intellectual merit of our IMPPS Research Coordination Network stems from our investigation of the influence of various intrinsic and extrinsic factors in generating ‘invariant’ body size patterns of mammals across vastly different scales of space and time.  In addition to exploring commonalities in size distributions, our RCN will examine constraints setting minimum and maximum size for terrestrial, volant, and marine mammals, and develop statistical approaches for dealing with “natural” and non-replicated data.  
     
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