Mountain ridges on adaptive landscapes and the predictability of evolution

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Abstract

Current animal abundance (population density) and the number of species in a genus are shown to be inversely related to the deviation from the regression line of metabolic rate on body mass in mammals. Such a regression line between key characters is interpreted as a 'mountain ridge' on the adaptive landscape, the more deviant a species is from the line the higher its probability to become an evolutionary dead-end.

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