Home range, time, and body size in mammals.

Stan L Lindstedt, B. J. Miller, S. W. Buskirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

316 Scopus citations


The relationship between home range area and body size of terrestrial mammals is reconsidered in light of the concept of biological time. Biological time is an internal, body-mass-dependent, time scale to which the durations (or rates) of biological events are entrained. These events range from purely physiological (eg muscle contraction time) to purely ecological (eg time to traverse home range). Home range size scales linearly to body mass for carnivores as it does for herbivores. This scaling supports the hypothesis that animals select their home range areas to meet metabolic demands integrated over biologically critical periods. Confounding variables in the home range-body mass regression include habitat productivity and methods of location. Data on home ranges derived from telemetry studies of terrestrial carnivores are presented and used to derive allometric equations for home range area. The exponents of these equations approximate 1.0, although intercept values vary with latitude and, presumably, habitat productivity. Social organization and behavior may also influence the relationship of home range area to metabolic needs for different sex and age categories within a species. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Lindstedt, S. L., Miller, B. J., & Buskirk, S. W. (1986). Home range, time, and body size in mammals. Ecology, 67(2), 413-418.