Scaling: Why is Animal Size So Important?

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 27, 1984 - Medical - 241 pages
1 Review
This book is about the importance of animal size. We tend to think of animal function in chemical terms and talk of water, salts, proteins, enzymes, oxygen, energy, and so on. We should not forget, however, that physical laws are equally important, for they determine rates of diffusion and heat transfer, transfer of force and momentum, the strength of structures, the dynamics of locomotion, and other aspects of the functioning of animal bodies. Physical laws provide possibilities and opportunities for an organism, yet they also impose constraints, setting limits to what is physically possible. This book aims to give an understanding of these rules because of their profound implications when we deal with animals of widely different size and scale. The reader will find that the book raises many questions. Remarkable and puzzling information makes it read a little like a detective story, but the last chapter, instead of giving the final solution, neither answers all questions nor provides one great unifying principle.
  

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I read this book cover to cover many years ago and have gone back to it many times. I have never read a better book on the subject. It's interesting, rich in real data, and readable. I have used the material in my general physics lectures such that even the bored biology students so the relevance of physics. 

Review: Scaling: Why Is Animal Size So Important?

User Review  - Lynda - Goodreads

Readable, lively popular science look at the impact of area being a square while volume is a cube function. Spoils the credibility of giant insects from the B-movies of the 60s but worth it. Read full review

Contents

Problems of size and scale
7
The use of allometry
21
How to scale eggs
33
The strength of bones and skeletons
42
Metabolic rate and body size
56
What do metabolic regression
75
Organ size and tissue metabolism
90
How the lungs supply enough oxygen
99
The meaning of time
143
Animal activity and metabolic scope
151
running and jumping
165
Swimming and flying
182
Body temperature and temperature regulation
197
Some important concepts
209
A Symbols used
219
Recalculation of equations according to units used
222

Blood and gas transport
115
Heart and circulation
126

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 226 - PS (1964). Respiration of fishes with special emphasis on standard oxygen consumption. I. Influence of weight and temperature on respiration of goldfish Carassius auratus L.
Page 232 - JW 1931. Growth and gill development in the small-mouthed black bass, Micropterus dolomieu, Lace'pede.

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About the author (1984)

Schmidt-Nielsen is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Physiology in the Department of Zoology at Duke University.

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