Surface AreatoVolume Ratio
by Greg Crowther
CHORUS:
Surface area to volume ratio:
If you're small, then it's high;
If you're large, it's low.
Animals aren’t cubeshaped, but let’s pretend.
Say L is the length of a side  what then?
6L to the 2 over L to the 3 equals SA over V.
SA over V.
CHORUS
Animals’ internal metabolic activities can’t
Exceed what they exchange with the environment.
And so, as they get wide and tall,
Their metabolic rates must fall.
Metabolic rates must fall.
CHORUS
Written for BIOL 220 at the University of Washington, this song explains the relationship between body size and massspecific metabolic rate. It references the formulas for the surface area and volume of a cube with sides of length L. In the line "If you're large, it's low," the alliteration of "large" and "low" facilitates recall that a large body size implies a low surface areatovolume ratio.
