Cope's Rule
Is Bigger Really Better?

Cope’s rule is the tendency for lineages to increase in size over time. For many years, this rule has been widely accepted without question. In recent years the concept has been the subject of controversy between many ecologists. Here, I look at several studies in support and several studies in opposition to the rule and analyse their implications. In general, the papers which advocate the rule, although they show strong trends, are less complete and provide less evidence than those papers which refute the rule. In order for Cope’s rule to dismissed altogether, more complete research must be performed on complete lineages over long periods of time


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Page Created By: Liz Ross - March 2006