*Institute of Aviation Medicine, P.O. Box 14, Blindern, 0313 Oslo, Norway.
Scaling of insulation in seals and whales
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 230, Issue 2, pages 193–206, June 1993
How to Cite
Ryg, M., Lydersen, C., Knutsen, L. Ø., Bjørge, A., Smith, T. G. and ØRitsland, N. A. (1993), Scaling of insulation in seals and whales. Journal of Zoology, 230: 193–206. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1993.tb02682.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2009
- Accepted 14 May 1992
We describe scaling of morphological variables that influence total insulation in eight species of marine mammals ranging in average size from 35 to 30000 kg. We also calculate total heat loss and the partitioning of heat loss through the body surface and appendages. For the eight species investigated, heat loss in 0°C water is appreciably higher than the predicted basal metabolic rates for small species such as the ringed seal. Rorquals, on the other hand, will probably not need to raise their metabolic rates to keep warm. At rest, 10–30% of the heat production of a resting animal is lost through flippers, fins and flukes. This amount can increase to 70–80% during moderate exercise. Whole-body conductance scales with body size in the same way in marine as in terrestrial mammals, although conductance is higher for a given body size in a marine mammal.