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.
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