About the Size of It...

The correlation of structure and function--that the shapes of organisms and their various parts matters in how they live and survive--can be obvious or subtle. (Leaves are thin enough that light easily penetrates to all of the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis yet the shapes of the leaves on a single tree may vary in ways that prevent overheating of the most exposed leaves.)

This page and its links explore how size makes a difference and how such difference can force changes in shape to compensate for the effects of size. Be thankful that there can be no birds the size of lions.

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Case Studies

How does size affect cells?
Unicellular lives?

In multicellular creatures?

How does size matter to
whole animals?
Coping with heat and cold
Finding food
Running, jumping, standing still

Not becoming food

How does size matter to imaginary beings?


Download a copy of J.B.S.Haldane's classic essay
"On Being the Right Size."