Archive for February 12th, 2012

Evolving to be big takes a long time

February 12, 2012

Some mammals need roughly 24 million generations to go from mouse-size to elephant-size, a new study says.

Using both fossil and living specimens, scientists calculated growth rates for 28 different mammalian groups during the past 65 million years—and found that, for mammals, getting big takes longer than shrinking.

The relative sizes of mouse and elephant skulls.

It takes a minimum of 1.6 million generations for mammals to achieve a hundredfold increase in body size, about 5 million generations for a thousandfold increase, and about 10 million generations for a 5,000-fold increase, the team discovered. Learn more here or here.


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