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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


GUNTHER, BRUNO  and  MORGADO, ENRIQUE. Body mass and body weight: a dual reference system in biology. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2003, vol.76, n.1, pp.57-64. ISSN 0716-078X.

ABSTRACT The aim of the present study was to compare two different biological similarity criteria, one was based on body mass (M) as a theoretical reference system in accordance with the MLT-system of physics, while the other utilized the body weight (W) for the same purpose. The mass-dependent allometry should be applied during space flights as well as during fetal and newborn conditions of life, whereas the weight-dependence should prevail in earth-bound physiology. The above mentioned distinctions are relevant not only for the specific metabolic rates but also for numerous biological time functions, as for instance for the heart and respiratory rates of all mammals, whose allometric exponent is b = - 0.09 during fetal life, and b = - 0.25 in all adult specimens.

Keywords : dimensional analysis; biological similarity; allometry; biological time; fetal life; space physiology.

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