|SREL Reprint #1832|
Decrease in body size of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus
virginianus) during the late Holocene in South Carolina and
Body size is an important determinant for many biological functions and
characters closely associated with fitness (e.g., Peters, 1983-, Calder, 1984).
Many of the genes that determine traits like body size probably are invanant in a
population (Fisher. 1930) and have low heritability due to past selection. Indeed,
body size in mammals has been shown to have low heritability (Falconer. 1989).
Body size also tends to be quite responsive to changes in certain environmental
factors that in turn serve as the ultimate sources of selection (Falconer. 1989).
Studies of animals that have changed body size rapidly in the fossil record could
be useful to an understanding of evolution in response to variations in
SREL Reprint #1832
Purdue, J.R. and E.J. Reitz. 1993. Decrease in body size of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during the late Holocene in South Carolina and Georgia. In Morphological Change in Quaternary Mammals of North America, edited by R.A. Martin and A.D. Barnosky. p. 281-298. Cambridge University Press. Great Britain.