Optimal body size and an animal's diet

Acta Biotheoretica 28 (1) (1979)
Abstract
Within many animal taxa there is a trend for the species of larger body size to eat food of lower caloric value. For example, most large extant lizards are herbivorous. Reasonable arguments based on energetic considerations are often invoked to explain this trend, yet, while these factors set limits to feasible body size, they do not in themselves mathematically produce optimum body sizes. A simple optimization model is developed here which considers food search, capture, and eating rates and the metabolic cost of these activities for animals of different sizes. The optimization criterion is defined as the net caloric gain a consumer accrues per day. This model does produce an optimum intermediate body size which increases with food quality - not the reverse. This discrepancy is accounted for, however, because the model also predicts that body size should be even more sensitive to increases in food abundance. In nature, many poor quality foods are also relatively abundant foods, hence the consumers eating them may maximize their daily energetic profit by evolving a relatively large body size. Optimum consumer body size also decreases with increases in consumer metabolic rate and prey speed.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,802
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

5 ( #234,319 of 1,099,731 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #303,379 of 1,099,731 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.