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How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are
Getting Started

The lessons in this issue address the questions: “What are the limits on how big or small an animal can be?” and “What effect does an animal’s size have on the animal itself?”

There is a discussion of the ways large animals differ from small ones, with a focus on metabolism and body temperature. Two activities ask students to use background information and a chart to compare the size and other characteristics of a shrew to that of an elephant. Another activity involves students in “creating” their own animal in the form of a cube of marshmallows in order to introduce the subjects of surface area and body temperature. An activity sheet features an illustrated chart of numerous animal size differences.

Note: This is an archival publication dating back to 1987 and any supplements or suggestions for off-site education may not be available.

Download "Art to Zoo: A Mouse Like a House? A Pocket Elephant?: How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are " (PDF).

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How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are

Art to Zoo is produced by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. Teachers may duplicate the materials for educational purposes.

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