GRE Reading Comprehension: JiJing 352-GRE阅读机经352篇 - 45GI45NF570SY454K

During the Pleistocene epoch, several species of elephants isolated on islands underwent rapid dwarfing. This phenomenon was not necessarily confined to the Pleistocene, but may have occurred much earlier in the Southeastern Asian islands, although evidence is fragmentary. Several explanations are possible for this dwarfing. For example, islands often have not been colonized by large predators or are too small to hold viable predator populations. Once free from predation pressure, large body size is of little advantage to herbivores. Additionally, island habitats have limited food resources, a smaller body size and a need for fewer resources would thus be favored. Interestingly, the island rule is reversed for small mammals such as rodents, for which gigantism is favored under insular conditions.