Thermoregulation and Internal Temperature Change

Emily Jarolim, Alexis McCray, Justin Agan


An animal’s surface area and volume have a significant impact on how animals regulate their internal core temperature. The ability that the animal has doing so determines how successful it is in its surroundings. Through observations we can see a relationship between the size of the animal and their environment. Animals tend to choose an environment or at least learn to accommodate to one based on their potential needs in terms of thermos regulation (Fredricksen, 2014). Thermoregulation is the ability that an animal possess that allows them to maintain their internal core temperature. The importance of size ultimately comes down to the surface area to volume ratio. It is known that large animals have a smaller surface area to volume ratio compared to smaller ones, but why is this significant? With their small SA/V larger animals historically have a higher success rate in colder temperatures than smaller ones. This is because of their ability, due to their large size, to regulate their internal temperatures better than smaller ones. To test this theory we conducted an experiment to simulate a similar situation. The results were conclusive in their support and our hypothesis was proven. 

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