Badgering Time and Temperature: The Effect of Surface Area to Volume Ratio on Heat Retention

Caitlyn Gilbert, Zoe Hamby, Leslie DeRossi, Kaytlyn Goodwin


Organisms in colder environments are larger than organisms in warmer environments. Based on the trend that larger badgers live in cooler climates, we believe that surface area plays a role in temperature retention.  Previous work has failed to provide a reason why surface area affects where organisms live.  We hypothesized that larger organisms have better temperature retention than smaller organisms because the larger organisms have a smaller surface area to volume ratio. Our experiment was conducted to measure the cooling rate of two cubes with different surface area to volume ratios.  After conducting three trials, data showed that the smaller cube cooled down faster than the larger cube.  This research will help readers comprehend the relationship of surface area to volume ratio and badgers’ body heat retention.

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