Evolutionary model of species body mass diversification. Journal Article uri icon



  • We present a quantitative model for the biological evolution of species body masses within large groups of related species, e.g., terrestrial mammals, in which body mass M evolves according to branching (speciation), multiplicative diffusion, and an extinction probability that increases logarithmically with mass. We describe this evolution in terms of a convection-diffusion-reaction equation for lnM. The steady-state behavior is in good agreement with empirical data on recent terrestrial mammals, and the time-dependent behavior also agrees with data on extinct mammal species between 95-50 Myr ago.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009

Full Author List

  • Clauset A; Redner S

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 038103

end page

  • 038103


  • 102