UCR-led research team shows that organisms use their biochemical characteristics to overcome limitations arising from their body size
Life scientists have long maintained that, based on body size, small organisms are more metabolically active than large organisms. But a new study led by Bai-Lian Li, professor of ecology at UC Riverside, shows that this is true only for organisms that are closely related evolutionarily and have body masses differing by no more than 6-7 orders of magnitude – about the difference in body mass between an elephant and a shrew.
For a pair of organisms that don’t meet these conditions, that is, organisms that are not closely related evolutionarily and whose body mass difference exceeds the 6-7 orders of magnitude range, the researchers find that the small organism consumes about the same amount of energy per unit mass as the large organism: 1-10 watts per kilogram of body mass in the resting state of the organisms.
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On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
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