The behavior of the maximum body size (body length) in an evolving clade is exemplified by the evolutionary histories of Bivalvia, Cetacea, and Camerata (Crinoidea). Changes of the maximum size with time track closely diversification history: when a clade diversifies exponentially, the maximum size also increases exponentially, and when the number of species changes irregularly (at varying rates), the maximum size also changes in that manner. However, within any given clade, the maximum body size changes at lower rates than diversity does. The observed shifts in maximum body size approximate the rate of diversification per unit of time to the power of about 0.5.
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Vol. 59 • No. 5