A unified approach is developed for the evolutionary structure of mammalian life histories; it blends together three basic components (individual growth or production rate as a function of body size, natural selection on age of maturity, and stable demography) to predict both the powers and the intercepts of the scaling allometry of life history variables to adult size. The theory also predicts the signs (+, -) of the correlations between life history variables when body size is held constant. Finally, the approach allows us to eliminate body size to predict the dimensionless relationships between the life history variables themselves.
life history, allometry, body size scaling, evolution of maturation, dimensional analysis, stable demography
Charnov, E.L. 1991. Evolution of life history variation among female mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 88:1134-1137