How does surface area affect heat loss? Animal environment related.
There is a direct relationship that exists between surface area and heat loss in organisms. The larger the surface area, the greater the heat loss from the organism, and vice-versa. Whether you believe in evolution or not, this reason actually makes sense. Organisms that exist in extremely cold environments, such as the north pole-south pole extremes, have smaller surface area to volume ratios. This helps them conserve body heat. It is also interesting to note there are few, if any, ectothermic organisms living in this type of environment. Ectotherms are organisms like reptiles which rely on outside sources of heat to warm and stimulate their internal temperature. On the other hand, organisms that live in tropical, equatorial zones have larger surace area to volume ratios, which means they have a need to have a mechanism to help disperse body heat. Their body limbs are much larger and thinner, to help radiate excess body heat into their surroundings.
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