The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Body size evolution in Mesozoic Birds

Hone, D.W.E., Dyke, G.J., Benton, M.J. and Haden, M. (2008) Body size evolution in Mesozoic Birds Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21, (2), pp. 618-624. (doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01483.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The tendency for the mean body size of taxa within a clade to increase through evolution (Cope’s Rule) has been demonstrated in a number of terrestrial vertebrate groups. However, because avian body size is strongly constrained by flight, any increase in size during the evolution of this lineage should be limited – there is a maximum size that can be attained by a bird for it to be able to get off the ground. Contrary to previous interpretations of early avian evolution, we demonstrate an overall increase in body size across Jurassic and Cretaceous flying birds: taxon body size increases from the earliest Jurassic through to the end of the Cretaceous, across a time span of 70 Myr. Although evidence is limited that this change is directional, it is certainly nonrandom. Relative size increase occurred presumably as the result of an increase in variance as the avian clade diversified after the origin of flight: a progression towards larger body size is seen clearly within the clades Pygostylia and Ornithothoraces. In contrast, a decrease in body size characterizes the most crownward lineage Ornithuromorpha, the clade that includes all extant taxa, and potentially may explain the survival of these birds across the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary. As in all other dinosaurs, counter selection for small size is seen in some clades, whereas body size is increasing overall

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 10 January 2008
Published date: March 2008
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 205193
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/205193
ISSN: 1010-061X
PURE UUID: 13157555-3dff-4665-9b6e-4c5ff67fd5dc

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Dec 2011 12:23
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:05

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: D.W.E. Hone
Author: G.J. Dyke
Author: M.J. Benton
Author: M. Haden

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×