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June 26 2013

From minute to massive - mammal size evolution explained


Scientists have added another piece to the evolutionary puzzle to explain why certain mammal families evolved to be very large, while others remained tiny.

In research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, an international group of scientists including Monash University's Dr Alistair Evans proposed a new theory explaining the diversity of mammal sizes - from the Etruscan shrew which weighs around two grams, to the blue whale which clocks in at almost 200 tonnes. Surprisingly, baby weight relative to adult body mass is key.

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