Getting Warmer: Surface Area to Volume Ratio Impact on Homeostasis

Christina Eyman, Matt Chamberlin, Brya D'Abrosca, Jeremy Kaplan


Biologists have found that badgers vary in size in different regions of the world. This information led us to questions whether the surface area to volume ratio of the badgers was related to the climate of the environment. Research has been conducted that investigated the relationship of surface area to volume ratio to environmental conditions in other animal groups; however we were intrigued by the vast nature of the badger’s variation (French, 2014). We have hypothesized that badgers in cooler climates have body types with lower surface area to volume ratio because less surface area is exposed, which assists the badgers in thermoregulation. To test this question, we designed and executed an experiment by cooling clay models for a certain amount of time and then measuring the rate at which the models returned to the initial temperature that was measured. After this research was conducted, it will offer those studying the environment a better understanding in the reasoning behind the variation in body types.

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