Comparison of Genus and Species-Level Compilations of Metabolic Rate through Time

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Divya Sundararajan1, Noel A. Heim1 and Jonathan Payne2, (1)Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States, (2)Stanford University, Los Altos Hills, CA, United States
Metabolism is the basis of fundamental principles of biology and sustains life through vital processes such as growth and reproduction. Brown et al. (2004) showed that metabolism is central to our understanding of patterns and dynamics at all levels of biological organization. Often, paleontologists use the holotypes of type species to represent genera in global analyses, but they rarely test how representative the type species are of the genus of a whole. Through my analyses, I compared genus and species-level compilations through time by comparing the mean metabolic rate of each genus to the metabolic rate of the type species to see if using this representative provided effective data when conducting genus-level analyses. To achieve these objectives, I used sizes collected from Catalogue of Ostracoda and Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. The range of the type species’ metabolic rate varied, but there is no systematic bias towards higher or lower metabolic rates. Therefore, using type species in genus-level analyses is effective when looking for general trends, but the absolute values based on the holotype of type species have some bias to them and are not as accurate.