The effect of an animal’s surface area to volume ratio in a cold climate environment

Trent Caldwell, Levi Craig


Why are animals’ different shapes and sizes in different climates? We believe this is related to the surface area to volume ratio (SA:V) of certain animals. Certain types of animals tend to be different sizes depending on where they live. Our goal is to test why the size difference is present between the animals, however, using actual animals would make a controlled experiment more difficult due to animals being uncooperative. While using animals is the end goal, we believe that using clay is simpler and easier to control. For example, we used different balls of clay with different surface area to volume ratios to support our hypothesis by testing their change in temperature under the effect of a cold climate. The results, which are displayed in a graph, show the rate at which the differently sized spheres lose heat. The rate of the larger sphere was much slower than the smaller sphere. 

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.