It was first stated by J. Bristol Foster in 1964 in the journal Nature, in an article titled "The evolution of mammals on islands". In it, he studied 116 island species and compared them to their mainland varieties. He proposed that certain island creatures evolved into larger versions of themselves while others became smaller versions of themselves. For this, he proposed the simple explanation that smaller creatures get larger in the absence of the predators they had attracted on the mainland and larger creatures become smaller with the absence of food sources.
Later, that idea was expanded upon by the publication of The Theory of Island Biogeography, by Robert MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson. And in 1978, Ted J. Case published a much longer and more complex paper on the topic in the journal Ecology. Case also demonstrated that Foster's original conjecture for the reason all this happened was oversimplified and not completely true.