PNAS paper by NESCent working group


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The Phanerozoic Body Size Trends in Time and Space: Macroevolution and Macroecology working group, lead by Jonathan Payne (Stanford University), Jennifer Stempien (University of Colorado - Boulder), and Michal Kowalewski (Virginia Polytechnic Institute) have published a paper based on their database of bodysize information. Their analysis suggests several interesting factors in body size, including a 16 fold increase in body size over 3.5 million years. Two key time points seem to account for the majority of the size increase. Size increases are tied to the evolution of eukaryotic cells and the evolution of multicellular organisms - major increases in complexity as well as size.

Payne,J.L., Boyer, A.G., Brown, J.H., Finnegan, S., Kowaleski, M., Krause, R.A., Lyons, S.k., McClain, C.R., McShea, D.W., Novack-Gottshall, P.M., Smith, F.A., Stempien, J.A., Wang, S.C. 2009. Two-phase increase in the maximum size of life over 3.5 billion years reflects biological innovation and environmental opportunity. PNAS Vol106(1):24-27.doi/10.1073/pnas.0806314106

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