Thermoregulation With Regard to Surface Area to Volume Ratios

Clara Emery, Kellie Baxter, Jillian Wormington


Different sized animals live in different geographical regions with varying environmental temperatures.  Bergmann’s rule is an explanation for this phenomenon because it states that larger animals live in colder climates and smaller animals live in warmer climates (Blackburn and Hawkins, 2004).  The hypothesis being tested is that different sized organisms in an environment can regulate body temperatures differently. We used clay cubes to represent different sized species and tested them on a hot plate and in an ice bath over a period of 10 minutes. Our data supported our hypothesis that different sizes in organisms allows thermoregulation to occur. We suspect the reason for this is the different surface area to volume ratios.

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