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May 20, 1939

Vital Energetics: A Study in Comparative Basal Metabolism

JAMA. 1939;112(20):2089. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800200087036

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Abstract

This is a comparative survey embracing basal metabolism measurements of all adult animal species studied at the Nutrition Laboratory. Considerable space is devoted to a painstaking consideration of the conditions necessary for comparative measurements of heat production, both intraspecific and interspecific, with analyses of the difficulties involved and the criteria employed. Data are presented for the various warm-blooded species on the basis of twenty-four hour heat production with reference to body weight. Then interspecific comparisons are made, expressed in terms of total heat production per kilogram of body weight and per square meter of surface area. The accompanying charts are plotted arithmetically. The warmblooded animals considered range from the 8 Gm. mouse to the 4,000 Kg. elephant. Comparisons are made also between warmblooded and cold-blooded animals at low cell temperatures and at 37 C. It is notable that among animals of different species but in the same weight group great

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