Two-phase increase in the maximum size of life over 3.5 billion years reflects biological innovation and environmental opportunity

  title={Two-phase increase in the maximum size of life over 3.5 billion years reflects biological innovation and environmental opportunity},
  author={J. Payne and Alison G. Boyer and J. Brown and S. Finnegan and M. Kowalewski and R. A. Krause and S. Lyons and C. McClain and D. W. McShea and P. M. Novack-Gottshall and F. A. Smith and Jennifer A. Stempien and S. Wang},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  pages={24 - 27}
  • J. Payne, Alison G. Boyer, +10 authors S. Wang
  • Published 2009
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • The maximum size of organisms has increased enormously since the initial appearance of life >3.5 billion years ago (Gya), but the pattern and timing of this size increase is poorly known. Consequently, controls underlying the size spectrum of the global biota have been difficult to evaluate. Our period-level compilation of the largest known fossil organisms demonstrates that maximum size increased by 16 orders of magnitude since life first appeared in the fossil record. The great majority of… CONTINUE READING
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