The Change of Core Body Temperature of Badgers of Different Surface Area-to-Volume Ratios When in a Cold Environment

Lane Driskill, Virgle Mincher


In harsher environments, animals tend to retain heat at a much better rate in order to survive the rough, cold conditions. The difference in shapes and sizes of animals in these drastically tough environments force an explanation to be found. To obtain this result, the data needed for the explanation is found in an easy, yet, lengthy manner. Clay models were utilized in this experiment as mock badgers and their change in temperature is recorded as they are placed into an ice bath compared to their respective surface area-to-volume ratios. Several trials were conducted and the average change of temperature of each clay model is noted allowing us to reach the conclusion that animals, specifically badgers, with a smaller surface area-to-volume ratio retain heat better. This key adaptation allows the animals to survive in harsh winter climates, giving us more insight to the thermoregulation capabilities of badgers. It was found that larger animals with a smaller SA:V lost heat at a slower rate than smaller animals with a higher SA:V, as shown by their lower change in temperature, or ΔT.

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