One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An empirical rule according to which the appendages of a warm-blooded animal are smaller in populations occupying the cooler parts of its geographical range.
1930s; earliest use found in Warder Clyde Allee (1885–1955). From the genitive of the name of Joel A. Allen, United States zoologist, who first formulated the rule in 1877 ( Radical Rev 1 116) + rule.
Allen's rule/ˈalənz ˌruːl/
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