Allen’s rule

A paradigm for morphological adaptation that relates extremity length of mammals to environmental conditions. Heat loss occurs more readily through the peripheries, therefore shorter limbs are often found in colder climates whereas longer limbs are found in climates where heat dissipation is required (Tilkens et al. 2007). The rule was originally proposed by Allen (1877) who observed physiological differences in members of a species inhabiting different latitudes (Lindsay 1987).

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