, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 257-272

Relationships between body size and some life history parameters

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Patterns in life history phenomena may be demonstrated by examining wide ranges of body weight. Positive relationships exist between adult body size and the clutch size of poikilotherms, litter weight, neonate weight life span, maturation time and, for homeotherms at least, brood or gestation time. The complex of these factors reduces r max in larger animals or, in more physiological terms, r max is set by individual growth rate. Comparison of neonatal production with ingestion and assimilation suggests that larger mammals put proportionately less effort into reproduction. Declining parental investment and longer development times would result if neonatal weight is scaled allometrically to adult weight and neonatal growth rate to neonatal weight. Body size relations represent general ecological theries and therefore hold considerable promise in the development of predictive ecology.