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Download paper Released 2023-02-4

On the natural selection of body mass allometries

The life history variation in birds and mammals illustrates the natural selection of body mass allometries.

The inter-specific body mass allometries were mathematically deduced by population dynamic feedback selection in 1995 (Witting, 1995, 2017). This selection is entangled, and the present publication uses the covariance among the life histories of birds and mammals to visualize some of the underlying natural selection causes. This includes a graphical deduction of the allometric exponents (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 Allometric representation of the invariant population regulation by local exploitation (top plot) and interference competition (middle plots), with the theoretical predictions (the 2 red lines) solved in the bottom plot for the mass-rescaling exponents for home range and mass-specific metabolism for 1D, 2D and 3D ecological interactions. For details see Witting (2023).


  • Witting, L. 1995. The body mass allometries as evolutionarily determined by the foraging of mobile organisms. Journal of Theoretical Biology 177:129--137, https://doi.org/10.1006/jtbi.1995.0231.
  • Witting, L. 2017. The natural selection of metabolism and mass selects allometric transitions from prokaryotes to mammals. Theoretical Population Biology 117:23--42, https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tpb.2017.08.005.
  • Witting, L. 2023. On the natural selection of body mass allometries. εm Acta Oecologica 118:103889, https//dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2023.103889.