Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Clinal Geographic Variation in Mammals: Implications for the Study of Chronoclines

Paul L. Koch
Paleobiology
Vol. 12, No. 3 (Summer, 1986), pp. 269-281
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2400433
Page Count: 13
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($12.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available

Abstract

Mammalian species often exhibit clinal geographic variation in body size: individuals tend to be larger in areas with lower mean annual temperature. Climatic change involving increasing or decreasing mean annual temperature may cause clines to shift geographically, resulting in a phenotypic shift at all affected locales within a species' range. I assess the potential of shifting geographic clines to produce morphological trends in the fossil record. Five extant North American mammalian species (Didelphis virginiana, Mephitis mephitis, Odocoileus virginianus, Scalopus aquaticus, and Sciurus carolinensis) are examined to quantify size change along latitudinal clines and to estimate the geographic range and temperature difference commonly associated with a given difference in body size. Relative to body size, the observed size range of skeletal characters within each of these five species is comparable to that seen in a much larger sample of North American mammals. Thus patterns of variation documented for the five species may be used to assess the likelihood of cline translocation as an explanation of size change in the mammalian fossil record. As a case study, I examine three lineages from the Early Eocene of the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. I determine that size change in these chronoclines represents evolutionary change and is not merely the result of shifting geographic clines.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[269]
    [269]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
270
    270
  • Thumbnail: Page 
271
    271
  • Thumbnail: Page 
272
    272
  • Thumbnail: Page 
273
    273
  • Thumbnail: Page 
274
    274
  • Thumbnail: Page 
275
    275
  • Thumbnail: Page 
276
    276
  • Thumbnail: Page 
277
    277
  • Thumbnail: Page 
278
    278
  • Thumbnail: Page 
279
    279
  • Thumbnail: Page 
280
    280
  • Thumbnail: Page 
281
    281