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Basal metabolic rates in mammals: taxonomic differences in the allometry of BMR and body mass.


No single equation adequately describes the allometric relation between body mass and BMR for mammals. Least squares regression of log-transformed data for 248 eutherian species results in a line with a slope (-0.30) significantly different from that of Kleiber's line (-0.25). Interordinal comparisons of least squares regressions of log-transformed BMR and mass suggest that the Insectivora have a significantly steeper slope to their allometric relationship than do most other orders, while the non-insectivore orders are statistically homogeneous with respect to slope. With respect to elevation, Edentata have the lowest BMRs; Marsupialia, Primates and Chiroptera are indistinguishable from each other but above the edentates; Primates, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Lagomorpha and Carnivora form the next highest homogeneous grouping; and Artiodactyla have the highest BMRs, significantly greater than all but Lagomorpha and Carnivora. Analysis of intraordinal variation within the Rodentia suggests significant heterogeneity among families in BMR-mass allometry.

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