Atmospheric oxygen level and the evolution of insect body size.

@article{Harrison2010AtmosphericOL,
  title={Atmospheric oxygen level and the evolution of insect body size.},
  author={Jon Fewell Harrison and Alexander Kaiser and John M VandenBrooks},
  journal={Proceedings. Biological sciences},
  year={2010},
  volume={277 1690},
  pages={1937-46}
}
Insects are small relative to vertebrates, possibly owing to limitations or costs associated with their blind-ended tracheal respiratory system. The giant insects of the late Palaeozoic occurred when atmospheric PO(2) (aPO(2)) was hyperoxic, supporting a role for oxygen in the evolution of insect body size. The paucity of the insect fossil record and the complex interactions between atmospheric oxygen level, organisms and their communities makes it impossible to definitively accept or reject… CONTINUE READING