Size and Shape in Biology

  title={Size and Shape in Biology},
  author={Thomas Aquinas McMahon},
  pages={1201 - 1204}
  • T. McMahon
  • Published 1973
  • Biology, Chemistry, Medicine
  • Science
Arguments based on elastic stability and flexure, as opposed to the more conventional ones based on yield strength, require that living organisms adopt forms whereby lengths increase as the ⅔ power of diameter. The somatic dimensions of several species of animals and of a wide variety of trees fit this rule well. It is a simple matter to show that energy metabolism during maximal sustained work depends on body cross-sectional area, not total body surface area as proposed by Rubner (1) and many… Expand
On structural theories of basal metabolic rate.
It does not appear that purely structural considerations could explain the deviation between the empirical 0·75-law of basal metabolic rate and the surface law. Expand
Interspecific allometry of bone dimensions: A review of the theoretical models
A historical review of this subject is made, summarizing the main experimental papers as well as discussing the main theoretical proposals, to elucidate several aspects of mammalian limb-bone scaling. Expand
Dynamic strain similarity in vertebrates; an alternative to allometric limb bone scaling.
Throughout the range of animals considered, it appears that similar safety factors to failure are maintained by allometrically scaling the magnitude of the peak forces applied to them during vigorous locomotion, regardless of animal size or locomotory style. Expand
Body size, long bone geometry and locomotion in quadrupedal monkeys
It seems probable, therefore, that postural and other behavioral modifications must act together with allometric scaling to preserve structural integrity of the locomotor skeleton in monkeys of very different size. Expand
The Allometrics of Rattlesnake Skeletons
In an investigation of the systematic status of the Pleistocene rattlesnake Crotalus giganteus, Christman (1975) reported measurements which suggested that the dimensional relationships which have heretofore been applied only to skeletons of tetrapods might apply to snake skeletons as well. Expand
Body size, locomotion, and long bone cross-sectional geometry in indriid primates.
It is concluded that either changes in locomotor performance must compensate for the weight-related increase in forces and moments or that the larger-bodied animals operate appreciably closer to the limits of their safety margins. Expand
Integrative biomechanics for tree ecology: beyond wood density and strength.
It is shown here that the support function can be described on the basis of four biomechanical traits, two safety traits against winds and self-buckling, and two motricity traits involved in sustaining an upright position, tropic motion velocity (MV) and posture control (PC), integrated at the tree scale. Expand
Allometry and Biomechanics: Limb Bones in Adult Ungulates
Power-law equations of the type y = mxb (allometric equations) were used to compare a parameter y, such as brain weight, to another parameter x, often body weight, in individuals representing species of different size within a phyletic group and produced consistent empirical descriptions of the effects of growth and body size differences in adults. Expand
Biomechanical consequences of scaling
  • A. Biewener
  • Mathematics, Medicine
  • Journal of Experimental Biology
  • 2005
SUMMARY To function over a lifetime of use, materials and structures must be designed to have sufficient factors of safety to avoid failure. Vertebrates are generally built from materials havingExpand
Allometry of quadrupedal locomotion: the scaling of duty factor, bone curvature and limb orientation to body size.
  • A. Biewener
  • Biology, Medicine
  • The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1983
Preliminary data provide preliminary data which appear to explain, along with the decrease in bone curvature and angle, the similar magnitudes of peak bone stress developed during locomotion in different sized animals. Expand


Body size and metabolism
Abstract does not appear. First page follows. The statement that the basal metabolism of animals differing in size is nearly proportional to their respective body surfaces, is called the surfaceExpand
Geometric Similarity in Allometric Growth: A Contribution to the Problem of Scaling in the Evolution of Size
  • S. Gould
  • Biology
  • The American Naturalist
  • 1971
The coefficient b of the power function y = bxa has long been misinterpreted as a measure of size-independent differences between regressions. Just the opposite is true; b is a scale factor thatExpand
Measurement of the respiratory volumes of laboratory animals.
  • A. Guyton
  • Biology, Medicine
  • The American journal of physiology
  • 1947
Two valve methods and one modified respirograph method have been used in the investigations described in this paper, and special precautions have been taken in the design of this apparatus so that the pressure against which the animal must be known. Expand
Cross‐Circulation Experiments on the Mechanism of the Natriuresis during Saline Loading in the Dog
Analysis of periods during cross-circulation with a decrease in FNa lower than the lowest control value showed that sodium excretion was elevated significantly above control levels in experiments with normal, hepatectomized, and decapitated donors. Expand
Scaling of respiratory variables in mammals.
  • W. R. Stahl
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Journal of applied physiology
  • 1967
Elements of Strengthi of Materials
  • 1962
Oxygen Uptake as Related to Body Size in Organisms
  • E. Zeuthen
  • Medicine, Biology
  • The Quarterly Review of Biology
  • 1953