What about size of ocean giants in the geological past ?

Some of the biggest representatives of some phyla lived in the geological past, which are only barely touched upon here. We (Klug et al. 2014) recently tried to summarize the largest marine cephalopods and arthropods living in the Paleozoic: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/let.12104/full We pointed out the problems of verifying the largest specimens as well as taking into account geographic and intraspecic variation. Would your method also work to size oceanic giants in the geological past ? It would be great to integrating such data in a new study. More importantly, what do you think is the most important environmental factor driving body size in ocean giants ?

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Hello Dr. De Baets:

My work with the giant Pacific octopus has focused on items such as growth rate, sex ratios and reproduction. I provided the baseline data on growth rate for this paper but did not do the analysis that you see included in the article. My experience says that the giant Pacific octopus is gradually getting smaller and the reason for that is unknown. Lots of speculation as to why including the idea that larger animals still exist but at deeper depths where they are more difficult to sample and thus go undetected much of the time. In the giant Pacific octopus I feel the most important environmental issues are ocean acidification and warming.

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