7 thoughts on “A cool mammal evolution graphic, and a request

  1. Thank you for this and so many other post I have enjoyed. Please excuse me if I might come on a little naive but I am totally uneducated in this fieldAfter reading the old post you referred to there is one thing troubling me: Here where I live in Iceland we have an avi-fauna that has been semi-isolated only since post glacial times, yet we see a considerable increase in size of many of our bird species, even some of those that are more or less migratory. Also noteworthy is that I believe that the Icelandic race of the Common Long Tailed Field Mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, which probably came here first with the settlers only about 1100 years ago, now shows a considerable increase in size from her relatives in Scandinavia. This is always explained as a thermodynamic adaptation. When considering that some of the birds mentioned, like the Redshank, Tringa totanus, probably had very limited predation pressure for most of these 10 thousand years, this sounds very plausible.Now since climate has had this quite dramatic effect here (given that this is right), could the climate, i.e. cold, have had a greater role to play in the problems you are discussing in you blog than I am able to read from it or is it considered a minimal factor? Sitting here in the warmth of my home with cold weather outside, I cannot but think how terribly pressured by the winter weather the wild animals are outside my window. Is there a reason not to believe that large herbivores would rapidly increase in size and diversify primarily because of the climate factors and then being followed by the raptors increasing size rather than raptors having such a strong effect on prey size?Again thanks to all of you at Scienceblogs for the wealth of informative discussion you bring to us peripheral amateurs. It makes a huge difference. Keep up the good work!

  2. Jon: All good points. The interaction between climate, climate change and evolution is fascinating but difficult, difficult almost to the point that some people seem to be giving up on it.

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