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Abstract

The most striking feature about an assemblage of different organisms is the distinction among species in size and architecture. Excluding entities such as viruses that reproduce but are generally regarded as nonliving, the size range spans at least 21 orders of magnitude from wall-less bacteria known as mycoplasmas at about 10−13 g to blue whales, which exceed 108 g. The blue whale, incidentally, is the largest animal ever known.

Suggested Additional Reading

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  6. Knoll, A.H., D.E. Canfield, and K.O. Konhauser (eds.). 2012. Fundamentals of Geobiology. Oxford Univ. Press, UK. An excellent, well-illustrated synthesis by multiple authors on the early history of life on Earth. Google Scholar
  7. Thompson, D’A. W. 1961. On Growth and Form. (Abridged edition edited by J.T. Bonner of the original 1942 text.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England. This classic book remains a benchmark of excellence on the analysis of form. Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

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