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The effect the surface area of an organism has on the rate of heat loss.

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Introduction

Biology coursework write-up: The effect the surface area of an organism has on the rate of heat loss. Introduction The surface area: volume ratio of an organism gets larger as the organism gets smaller. As the surface area of an organism is what affects heat loss, you are unlikely to get small animals such as insects in the North Pole and large animals such as polar bears in the desert but you do get large animals such as elephants in the desert and small animals such as rabbits in the arctic. ...read more.

Middle

Variables Prediction As the volume of water increases, the rate of heat loss will decrease. This is because the surface area to volume ratio of the higher volumes is much lower than that of the smaller volumes, therefore the smaller volumes will drop 100C very quickly compared to the higher volumes. Method I will use volumes 20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90 and 100cm3 of water at 700C The water will be put in a beaker and the time for the temperature to drop from 70-600C will be recorded. To start at 700C I will allow the water at a higher temperature to cool. ...read more.

Conclusion

0.1 0.425 0.2 0.455 0.3 0.511 0.4 0.523 0.5 0.539 Conclusion As the volume to surface area ratio increased, the rate of heat loss decreased. This agrees with my prediction. Analysis The results for the experiment could have been slightly inaccurate as room temperature increased by 20C during the experiment. I think using real animals could prove the prediction and this experiment only shows results for animals without the ability to control their body temperature, e.g. cold-blooded animals. Using warm-blooded animals or a source of heat could be done as a follow up experiment. ...read more.

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