Apr 24, 2022

Humans Disrupting 66 Million-Year-Old Fundamental Feature of Ecosystems — “This Hasn’t Happened Before”

Posted by in category: food

According to a new study, the U-shaped association between diet and size in modern land mammals could also stand for “universal,” as the relationship covers at least 66 million years and a range of vertebrate animal groups.

It’s been several decades since ecologists realized that graphing the diet-size relationship of terrestrial mammals yields a U-shaped curve when aligning those mammals on a plant-to-protein gradient. As illustrated by that curve, the plant-eating herbivores on the far left and meat-eating carnivores on the far right tend to grow much larger than those of the all-consuming omnivores and the invertebrate-feasting invertivores in the middle.

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