, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 257–272 | Cite as

Relationships between body size and some life history parameters

  • L. Blueweiss
  • H. Fox
  • V. Kudzma
  • D. Nakashima
  • R. Peters
  • S. Sams


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 rmax in larger animals or, in more physiological terms, rmax 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.


Body Size Clutch Size Parental Investment Life History Parameter Adult Weight 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrahamsson, S.A.A., Goldman, C.R.: Distribution, density and production of the crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus Dana in Lake Tahoe, Calif.-Nevada. Oikos 21, 83–91 (1970)Google Scholar
  2. Altman, P.L., Dittmer, D.S., Eds.: Growth. Biological Handbooks. Fed. Amer. Soc. Exper. Biol. Washington 1962Google Scholar
  3. Altman, P., Dittmer, D.S., (Eds.): Biological Data Book, Vol. 1 2nd edition. Fed. Amer. Soc. Exper. Biol. Washington 1973Google Scholar
  4. Appolonio, S.: Breeding and Fecundity of the glass shrimp Pasiphaea multidentata (Decapoda, Caridea) in the Gulf of Maine. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 26, 1969–1983 (1969)Google Scholar
  5. Batchelor, R.: Evidence of yearling pregnancy in the Roosevelt elk. J. Mammol. 44, 111–112 (1963)Google Scholar
  6. Belynina, T.N.: Synopsis of biological data of smelt. FAO fisheries synopsis #78 (1967)Google Scholar
  7. Blacker, R.W.: Synopsis of biological data of haddock. FAO fisheries synopsis #84 (1971)Google Scholar
  8. Bonner, J.T.: Size and Cycle: an Essay on the Structure of Biology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. 1965Google Scholar
  9. Brody, S.: Bioenergetics and Growth. Reinhold Publ. New York 1945Google Scholar
  10. Burton, M.: Systematic Dictionary of the Mammals of the World. London Museum Press Ltd. London 1962Google Scholar
  11. Bustard, H.R.: Reproduction in the Australian gekkonid genus Cedura Gray 1842. Herpetol. 23, 276–284 (1967)Google Scholar
  12. Gagle, F.R.: The life history of the Slider Turtle Pseudemys scripta troostii (Holbrook) Ecol. Monogr. 20, 31–54 (1950)Google Scholar
  13. Gagle, F.R.: A Louisiana Terrapin Population (Malacleays). Copeia 1952, 75–76 (1952)Google Scholar
  14. Caldwell, K.C., Caldwell, C.C.: The World of the Bottle Nosed Dolphin. J.B. Lippincott Co., New York 1972Google Scholar
  15. Chapman, R.N.: The quantitative analysis of environmental factors. Ecology 9, 111–122 (1928)Google Scholar
  16. Carlander, K.D.: Handbook of Fresh Water Fishing Biology. Wm. C. Brown Co., Dubuque, Iowa 1950Google Scholar
  17. Clarke, K.U., Sardesi, J.B.: A analysis of the effects of temperature upon the growth and reproduction of Dysdercus fasciatus sign. (Hemiptera; Pyrrhocoridae). Bull. Ent. Res. 50, 387–405 (1959)Google Scholar
  18. Collette, B.B., Earle, S.A., (Eds.): Results of the Tektite Program: Ecology of Coral Reef fishes. Nat. Hist. Museum. Los Angeles Co. Science Bulletin 14 (1972)Google Scholar
  19. Cowie, M.: The African Lion. Golden Press. New York 1966Google Scholar
  20. David, J., Fouillet, P.: The instrinsic rate of natural increase in Drosophila melanogaster: The value of this parameter in population dynamic studies. Terre Vie. 118, 378–394 (1971)Google Scholar
  21. Demir, N.: Synopsis of biological data on anchovy. FAO fisheries synopsis #26 (1965)Google Scholar
  22. Dewitt, R.N.: Reproductive capacity in a pulmonate snail Physa gyrina. Amer. Nat. 88, 353–359 (1954)Google Scholar
  23. Elder, W.H.: Age and sex and weights of Canada geese. J. Wildl. Manag. 10, 93–111 (1946)Google Scholar
  24. Farlow, J.O.: A consideration of the trophic dynamics of a late Cretaceous large-dinosaur community. (Oldman formation). Ecology 57, 841–857 (1976)Google Scholar
  25. Fenchel, T.: Intrinsic rate of natural increase: the relationship with body size. Oecologia 14, 317–326 (1974)Google Scholar
  26. Frazer, B.D.: Life tables and intrinsic rates of increase of apterous black bean aphids and pea aphids on broad bean. Can. Entomol. 104, 1717–1722 (1972)Google Scholar
  27. French, N.R., Kaaz, H.W.: The intrinsic rate of natural increase of irradiated Peromyscus in the laboratory. Ecology. 49, 1172–1179 (1968)Google Scholar
  28. Goldberg, S.R.: Reproductive cycles of the ovoviviparous iguanid lizard Sceloporus jarrovi Cope. Herpetol. 27, 123–131 (1971)Google Scholar
  29. Graham, T.E.: Eggs and hatchlings of the red-bellied turtle Chrysemys rubriventris from Plymouth, Mass. J. Herpetol. 5, 59–60 (1971)Google Scholar
  30. Grzimek, B.: Animal Life Encyclopedia. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. New York 1972Google Scholar
  31. Heinroth, O.: Die Beziehungen zwischen Vogelgewicht, Eigewicht, Gelegegewicht, und Brutdauer. J. Orn. Lpz. 70, 172–249 (1922)Google Scholar
  32. Hemmingsen, A.M.: Energy metabolism as related to body size and respiratory surfaces, and its evolution. Rep. Steno. Hosp. Copenh. 9, 1–110 (1960)Google Scholar
  33. Johnsgard, P.A.: Grouse and Quails of North America. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska 1973Google Scholar
  34. Juszyx, W.: The morphometric structure of populations of green frogs from S. Poland. Acta. Biol. Cracov. 14, 197–204 (1971)Google Scholar
  35. Keith, L.B.: Observation on snowy owls at Delta, Manitoba. Can. Field Nat. 79, 106–112 (1960)Google Scholar
  36. Kirpatrick, C.M.: The Bursa of Fabricus in ring-necked pheasants. J. wild. manag. 8, 118–126 (1944)Google Scholar
  37. Kozlowska, M.: The differences in the reproductive biology of mountain and lowland common frogs, Rana temporaria L. Acta. Biol. Cracov. (Zool.) 14, 19–32 (1971)Google Scholar
  38. Lauglin, R.: Capacity for increase: A useful population statistic. J. Anim. Ecol. 34: 77–91 (1965)Google Scholar
  39. Leitch, I., F.E. Hytten, Billewicz, W.Z.: The maternal and neonatal weights of some mammalia. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1959, 11–28 (1959)Google Scholar
  40. Limpus, Colin J.: The flatback turtle, Chelonia depressa in S.E. Queensland, Australia. Herpetol. 27, 431–446 (1971)Google Scholar
  41. Lowe, V.P.W.: Population dynamics of the red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) on Rhum. J. Anim. Ecol. 35, 291–301 (1969)Google Scholar
  42. Mauchline, John, Fisher, L.R.: The Biology of Euphausiids. Adv. in Mar. Biol. 7, 1–94 (1969)Google Scholar
  43. McCullough, C.Y., Inglis, J.M.: Breeding periods of the Ord Kangaroo Rat. J. Mammal 42, 337–344 (1961)Google Scholar
  44. Meuller, H.C., D.P. Berger, Allez, G.: Age and sex variation in the size of goshawks. Bird Banding 47, 310–318 (1976)Google Scholar
  45. Millar, J.S.: Adaptive features of mammalian reproduction. Evolution 31, 370–386 (1977)Google Scholar
  46. Muphy, G.I.: Vital statistics of the pacific sardine (Sardinops caerula) and the population consequences. Ecology. 48, 731–736 (1967)Google Scholar
  47. Nagel, W.P., Pimental, D.: The intrinsic rate of natural increase of the pteromalid parasite Nasonia vitripennis (Walk.) on its muscoid host Musca domestica L. Ecology. 45, 658–660 (1964)Google Scholar
  48. Parker, W.S.: Ecological observations on the regal horned lizard (Phrynosoma solar) in Arizona. Herpetol. 27, 333–338 (1971)Google Scholar
  49. Parker, W.S.: Notes on reproduction of some lizards from Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Herpetol. 29, 258–264 (1973)Google Scholar
  50. Parker, W.S., Pianka, E.R.: Notes on the ecology of the iguanid lizard, Sceloporus magister. Herpetol. 29, 143–152 (1972)Google Scholar
  51. Pearson, T.H.: The feeding biology of sea-bird species breeding on the Farne Islands. J. Anim. Ecol. 37, 521–552 (1968)Google Scholar
  52. Peters, R.H.: Unpredictable problems in tropho-dynamics. Env. Biol. Fishes 2, 97–101 (1977)Google Scholar
  53. Peters, R.H.: Empirical physiological models of ecosystem processes. Verh. Internal. Verein. Limnol. In press (1978)Google Scholar
  54. Raitt, P.F.S.: Synopsis of biological data of blue whiting. FAO fisheries synopsis #34 (1968)Google Scholar
  55. Reay, P.J.: Synopsis of biological data of North Atlantic sand eels of genus Ammedytes. FAO Fisheries synopsis #82 (1970)Google Scholar
  56. Rensch, B.: Evolution above the Species Level. J. Wiley and Sons. New York 1950Google Scholar
  57. Ricker, W.E.: Linear regressions in fishery research. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 30, 409–434 (1973)Google Scholar
  58. Rue, L.L.: The World of the Red Fox. J.B. Lippincott Co. N.Y. 1969Google Scholar
  59. Putter, R.J., Pimlott, D.H.: The World of the Wolf. J.B. Lippincott Co. N.Y. 1968Google Scholar
  60. Sacher, G.A., Staffeldt, E.F.: Relation of gestation time to brain weight for placental mammals: implications for the theory of vertebrate growth. Amer. Nat. 108, 593–615 (1974)Google Scholar
  61. Schoener, T.W.: Sizes of feeding teritories among brids. Ecology 49, 123–141 (1968)Google Scholar
  62. Schrieber, R.W.: Growth and development of nestling brown pelicans. Brid Banding 47, 19–39 (1976)Google Scholar
  63. Scott, W.B., Crossman, E.J.: Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Fish Res. Board Can. Bull. 221 (1973)Google Scholar
  64. Skrzypiec, Z.: Development of the reproductive organs of the female frog Rana ridibunda in the breeding season. Acta. Biol. Cracov. 7, 47–58 (1969)Google Scholar
  65. Smith, F.E.: Quantitative aspects of population growth, in E. Boell, (Ed.) Dynamics of Growth Processes. P. 274–294. Pinceton: Princeton University Press 1954Google Scholar
  66. Southwood, T.R.E., May, R.M., Hassell, M.P., Conway, G.R.: Ecological strategies and population parameters. Amer. Nat. 108, 791–804 (1974)Google Scholar
  67. Steele, R.G.D., Torrie, J.H.: Principles and Procedures of Statistics. McGraw-Hill Inc. New York 1960Google Scholar
  68. Stahl, W.R.: Similarity and dimensional methods in biology. Science 137, 205–212 (1962)Google Scholar
  69. Stonehouse, B.: The Biology of Penguins. McMillan Press Ltd. 1975Google Scholar
  70. Vitt, L.J.: Observations on reproduction in five species of Arizona snakes. Herpetol. 31, 83–84 (1975)Google Scholar
  71. Vitt, L.J., Ohmart, R.D.: Reproduction and ecology of a Colorado River population of Sceloporus magister (Sauria: Inguanidae). Herpetol. 30, 410–417 (1975)Google Scholar
  72. Walker, E.: Mammals of the World, 3rd ed. vol. 1 and 2. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1975Google Scholar
  73. Warmer, J.V.: The World of the Black Bear. J.B. Lippincott Co. N.Y. 1966Google Scholar
  74. Watson, R.M.: Generation time and intrinsic rates of natural increase in wildebeeste (Connochaetes taurinus albojabatus Thomas). J. Reprod. Fert. 22, 557–561 (1970)Google Scholar
  75. White, James B., Murphy, G.G.: The reproductive cycle and sexual dimorphism of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina serpentina. Herpetol. 29 240–246 (1973)Google Scholar
  76. Wilkie, D.R.: Metabolism and body size. pp. 23–26 in: Scale Effects in Animal Locomotion. T.J. Pedley (ed.). Academic Press, London 1977Google Scholar
  77. Williams, F.: The tuna, Euthynnus afinnis. FAO Proc. of World Sci. meetings of Bio. of Tunas and other species. pp. 167–179 (1963)Google Scholar
  78. Wrensch, D.L., Young, S.S.Y.: Effects of quality or resource and fertilization status on some fitness traits in the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch. Oecologia. 18, 259–267 (1974)Google Scholar
  79. Yarwood, C.E.: Generation time and the biological nature of viruses. Amer. Nat. 40, 97–102 (1956)Google Scholar
  80. Yntema, C.L.: Observations on females and eggs of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina. Am. Midl. Nat. 84, 69–76 (1970)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Blueweiss
    • 1
  • H. Fox
    • 1
  • V. Kudzma
    • 1
  • D. Nakashima
    • 1
  • R. Peters
    • 1
  • S. Sams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations