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      Increase in predator-prey size ratios throughout the Phanerozoic history of marine ecosystems.

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          Abstract

          The escalation hypothesis posits that predation by increasingly powerful and metabolically active carnivores has been a major driver of metazoan evolution. We test a key tenet of this hypothesis by analyzing predatory drill holes in fossil marine shells, which provide a ~500-million-year record of individual predator-prey interactions. We show that drill-hole size is a robust predictor of body size among modern drilling predators and that drill-hole size (and thus inferred predator size and power) rose substantially from the Ordovician to the Quaternary period, whereas the size of drilled prey remained stable. Together, these trends indicate a directional increase in predator-prey size ratios. We hypothesize that increasing predator-prey size ratios reflect increases in prey abundance, prey nutrient content, and predation among predators.

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          Most cited references77

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          Better Bootstrap Confidence Intervals

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            CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate

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              EXPLAINING THE CAMBRIAN “EXPLOSION” OF ANIMALS

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science (New York, N.Y.)
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                1095-9203
                0036-8075
                June 16 2017
                : 356
                : 6343
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, 1005 Valley Life Sciences Building 3140, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. adielklompmaker@gmail.com.
                [2 ] Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
                [3 ] Department of Geological Sciences, University of Missouri, 101 Geology Building, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.
                [4 ] Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, 1005 Valley Life Sciences Building 3140, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
                Article
                356/6343/1178
                10.1126/science.aam7468
                28619943
                f24ad046-e8ac-4fdb-a22c-03b0b68049f7

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