Dates of pronounced jump (~6 orders of magnitude) in maximum size of organisms

Range 1.9 Ga mid-Paleoproterozoic: 0.6-0.45 Ga Ediacaran through Ordovician Ga
Organism Biosphere
Reference Payne JL et al., Two-phase increase in the maximum size of life over 3.5 billion years reflects biological innovation and environmental opportunity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan 6 106(1):24-7 p.24 right column top paragraphPubMed ID19106296
Method Researchers document the evolutionary history of body size on Earth, focusing on the upper limit to size.
Comments Ga=billion years ago. The maximum body volume of organisms preserved in the fossil record has increased by ~16 orders of magnitude over the last 3.5 billion years (Fig. 1). Increase in maximum size occurred episodically, with pronounced jumps of approximately 6 orders of magnitude in the mid-Paleoproterozoic (~1.9 Gya) and during the Ediacaran through Ordovician (600–450 Mya). Thus, ~75% of the overall increase in maximum body size over geological time took place during 2 geologically brief intervals that together comprise <20% of the total duration of life on Earth. The 1st event coincides with appearance of single-celled eukaryotes: the 2nd with the appearance of multi-cellular eukaryotes. See Olivia P. Judson, The energy expansions of evolution, Nature ecology & evolution, 28 April 2017, p.3 right column 6th paragraph: "Around 575 million years ago (Ma), during the Ediacaran Period, a new form of life began to become abundant: animals (ref 84)."
Entered by Uri M
ID 107058