by Nancy MacDonald

Illustration by Brian Franczak

Gigantism is an anomalously large body size phenomenon that can be a result of genetics, adaptation to a changing environment, or survivorship, which is influenced by food availability and/or a lack of preda tors. Cope's Rule, which is most important on the microevolutionary scale, suggests that size tends to increase within lineages or taxa (Damuth & McFadden,1990). Some organisms evolve smaller, but in general, for structural and physiological complexities to be augmented, a tendency towards body-size increase is the most favourable situation.

Body size is a very important parameter of life. It implicates metabolism, diet, population density, population growth rate, respiration, circulation, locomotion, thermoregulation, and several other indirectly related factors.

This web site provides a glimpse into what it means to be big, whether in the present day or in the past.

Link to the Hooper Museum