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Population density and body size in mammals

Naturevolume 290pages699700 (1981) | Download Citation



There seems to be an inverse relationship between the size of an animal species and its local abundance. Here I describe the interspecific seating of population density and body mass among mammalian primary consumers (herbivores, broadly defined). Density is related approximately reciprocally to individual metabolic requirements, indicating that the energy used by the local population of a species in the community is independent of its body size. I suggest that this is a more general rule of community structure.

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  1. Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, 1103 E. 57 Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA

    • John Damuth


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