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Durham University

Evolutionary Architecture of Reproduction in Female Mammals


The Database

Under construction

The database will allow users to search and download raw data of prenatal and postnatal maternal reproductive traits and offspring developmental traits for several hundred species, that we extracted from the literature. This will include: structure of the placenta, milk composition, neonatal brain size, daily milk intake, type and duration of delayed implantation and embryonic diapause, and total daily energy expenditure (or field metabolic rate). Traits such as gestation length, litter size, neonatal body mass, and lactation length are not included here because already available in several comprehensive online life history databases. The full database including a description of all the variables, will be available following publication of our results. Interested users can, in the meantime, use datasets on the species average values that are published together with each one of our papers (links below); we ask users to please cite the accompanying paper for each dataset they use.

Available Datasets

The following datasets contains data that we used for our comparative studies. Each dataset is text-delimited file and accompanies a published paper. If you use these data, please cite the appropriate paper.

Capellini I., Venditti C. & Barton R. A. 2011 Placentation and maternal investment in mammals. American Naturalist, 177 (1): 86-98. [Online paper]

The dataset accompanying the paper includes data on placental structure (invasiveness and interdigitation), neonatal brain and body size (in grams), gestation length ( in days excluding time in delayed implantation/embryonic diapause), litter size, state of maturity at birth (altricial or precocial) and maternal body mass (in grams) for 109 mammalian species. Full description of the data and protocols to extract the data and the list of references can be found in the paper and its online Appendix.


Capellini I., Venditti C. and Barton R. A. 2010. Phylogeny and metabolic scaling in mammals. Ecology91 (9): 2783-2793. [Online pdf]

The dataset (below) contains basal metabolic rate (ml O2/hour) and field metabolic rate (KJ/day) for several hundred mammals. Description of the protocol we followed to extract the data from the literature can be found in the paper, references to the data can be found in the Appendix.


Montgomery S. H., Capellini I.Barton R. A. and Mundy N. I. 2010. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensisBMC Biology 8, 9. [Online pdf] [Datafile and Appendix]

The dataset includes brain and body size for the primates species used in the analysis and is available as Table S1 in the Appendix.