Heat Retention vs. Shape: Using Clay Models to Test if Surface Area to Volume Ratios Truly Makes a Difference in Heat Retention

Blake Bulard, Jackson Ball, Jordan Cash, Michael Cobbs


Why do animals vary in surface area to volume ratio in different climates? Thermoregulation is found in all animals—the organism maintains a variance of temperatures defined by its taxa and its species (Angilletta, 2012). Animals’ ability to retain heat and to release it is directly related to the surface area to volume ratio (French, 2014). This experiment will test the heat retention of objects in varying surface area to volume ratios. This experiment tested clay models with varying surface area to volume ratios for the amount of heat gained or lost over a period of time. This research will help to better understand the different configurations within a species of animals in different climates.

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