Larger Body Size Lowers Extinction Risk

Posted: Feb 14 2018, 9:25am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Larger Body Size Lowers Extinction Risk
In classic extinction models, animals move over their surroundings like pacmen, chomping up resources to fuel their survival. Credit: Laura Chambliss/Studio Yopp
  • New Extinction Formula Includes Body Size and Metabolism

Chances of Extinction are Dependent Upon the Body Size and Metabolic Rate of the Species

Extinction, as scientists say today, is all about energy levels. Animals are pretty animated beings and these forms of life tend to jump, skip and crawl all over their environment and gobble their prey like pacmen.

This in turn feeds the fuel for their long term survival. Once they have reached a certain energy stage, they tend to make copies of themselves. This leads to what is called the immortality effect.

The number of lives they get by reproduction is virtually limitless except for the fact that evolution and extinction, the two pruning elements, limit this process. After all, the environment is not limitless and so it too needs a break.

Once the food supply is finished, the story of the animal is over unless it finds a new environmental niche. The scientist’s models for extinction are plain as the light of day.

The supply and demand or predator and prey ratio is highly balanced. Also the animal is both a predator and a prey at one and the same time. This is how food webs are formed and maintain homeostasis in the vast and grand ecological equilibrium.

A team of highly distinguished scientists did some research on the subject this week and came up with some surprising finds. Animals tend to shift towards larger body size.

This the scientists showed with the relevant evidence. Both body size and metabolism led to the “hungry or full” hypothesis for animals.

The hungry animals tend to go extinct while full animals reproduce and thus pass on their genes to their progeny and beyond. The larger animals which have slower metabolisms tend to keep extinction at bay. It is the smaller ones that have to pay the price in the end.

The findings of this study appeared this week in the journal Nature Communications.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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