For an explanation, see the main splats page
SPLATS about the environment
The principles of the environment
- For a variety of reasons, there are limits to how small or large an animal can be in a particular environment. These involve both physics and chemistry.
- Bergmann's rule says animals and subspecies in colder climates are larger than those found in hotter climates. Large size makes it easier to conserve heat.
- Gravity affects all land animals and most aquatic animals: there are limits to how light or heavy an animal can be: animals living in water can be heavier.
- Atmospheric pressure and air density affect many flying animals: at altitude, less oxygen is available for breathing, and less air is available to push against.
- Surface tension affects many animals in unexpected ways: land animals need lungs, not gills, small animals can 'walk' across the surface of calm water.
- Mammals and birds are homoiothermic: they maintain their temperature by homeostasis and insulation. Those animals which do not are called poikilothermic.
- There are limits to what conditions animals can survive: they need certain levels of moisture, oxygen, temperature and food as a minimum for survival.
- The turbidity of water may be measured with a Secchi disc, which is lowered until it just disappears, and then raised until it just appears, and averaging them.
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