Surface Area to Volume Ratio and its Effect on the Rate at Which Badgers Lose Body Heat

Alicia Johns, Aubrey Hicks, Cameron Jackson, Traci Richardson


When the surface area to volume ratio increases, it causes the rate of heat loss to increase as well. Animals in cold climates have been observed as bigger than their relatives in warmer climates. How do these correlate? We propose that a greater surface area to volume ratio causes animals to lose heat more quickly, and therefore have a higher chance to survive and reproduce in warmer climates. We investigated this using clay, molded into cubes, and an ice bath to measure heat loss in comparison to size. If our hypothesis is supported by the data, it can provide insight into the survival chances of animals in both their current and any future environments.

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