3 down vote favorite 1 I've been wondering about insular dwarfism, and would like to know if it only affects certain animals (Since some animals grow larger upon colonizing an island, often due to the absence of predators.) Do only big animals get smaller, and if so, how big is "big"? Are there any taxonomic groups that are more or less prone to insular dwarfism?

The second thing that I'd like to know is the minimum size of an island without insular dwarfism could be. Also, I'm not sure if resources, biodiversity or climate affects it too (Considering Bergman's rule, the increased competition in jungles, etc.) This may sound like a lot of questions, but the main components of an answer I'd like are shown in the title - who and where.


1 Answer 1


There are no general rules. We have just observed repetitively that organisms living on small pieces of lands tend to be particularly large (insular gigantism) or particularly small (insular dwarfism) compared to the main land counterparts.

There are several possible reasons for these changes and those reasons vary among species. Dwarfism is most definitely not always a consequence and there is no hard coded minimal island size for such change to happen or not happen.


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