AnimalTraits - a curated animal trait database for body mass, metabolic rate and brain size

Marie E. Herberstein, Donald James McLean, Elizabeth Lowe, Jonas O. Wolff, Md Kawsar Khan, Kaitlyn Smith, Andrew P. Allen, Matthew Bulbert, Bruno A. Buzatto, Mark D.B. Eldridge, Daniel Falster, Laura Fernandez Winzer, Simon C. Griffith, Joshua S. Madin, Ajay Narendra, Mark Westoby, Martin J. Whiting, Ian J. Wright, Alexandra J.R. Carthey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Trait databases have become important resources for large-scale comparative studies in ecology and evolution. Here we introduce the AnimalTraits database, a curated database of body mass, metabolic rate and brain size, in standardised units, for terrestrial animals. The database has broad taxonomic breadth, including tetrapods, arthropods, molluscs and annelids from almost 2000 species and 1000 genera. All data recorded in the database are sourced from their original empirical publication, and the original metrics and measurements are included with each record. This allows for subsequent data transformations as required. We have included rich metadata to allow users to filter the dataset. The additional R scripts we provide will assist researchers with aggregating standardised observations into species-level trait values. Our goals are to provide this resource without restrictions, to keep the AnimalTraits database current, and to grow the number of relevant traits in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number265
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Data
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2022


  • trait databases
  • animal traits
  • Terrestrial ecology
  • datasets
  • Body mass
  • metabolic rate
  • brain size


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