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Subject: Larger size in Higher Temp is Detrimental ?? rss

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michael humphreys
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I'm sorry if this is been covered elsewhere....

A quick statement in one of the reviews stated that species with larger body sizes were negatively affected in higher temperatures…

Is this true in the game?
And what is its justification if so?
I do not believe that is a generally excepted outcome... evolutionarily speaking... Some of the largest creatures to ever exist, did so during some of the warmest...
I think it's Allens or Bergmans Rule which states that smaller body sizes and/or appendages are more common in species living in cold environments….
 
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Chris in Kansai
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stowcreek wrote:
I'm sorry if this is been covered elsewhere....

A quick statement in one of the reviews stated that species with larger body sizes were negatively affected in higher temperatures…

Is this true in the game?
And what is its justification if so?
I do not believe that is a generally excepted outcome... evolutionarily speaking... Some of the largest creatures to ever exist, did so during some of the warmest...
I think it's Allens or Bergmans Rule which states that smaller body sizes and/or appendages are more common in species living in cold environments….


Bergmann's rule is an ecogeographical rule that states that within a broadly distributed taxonomic clade, populations and species of larger size are found in colder environments, and species of smaller size are found in warmer regions.

Oops!

You're right that many of the humungous dinosaurs lived in warmer regions, although weren't they cold-blooded?
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Lawrence
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Generally, a larger animal has a lower ratio of external surface area to internal mass. In theory, this means that a warm blooded animal will produce more heat internally, while losing less externally. This makes a larger animal more suited towards colder environments (polar bear, elk, whale). Not definitive examples, but somewhat illustrative. Conversely, I can't think of a lot of large warm blooded animals that would thrive in a dessert.
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Morten K
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They do in cold deserts.
 
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Baked Alaska?
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Chrysm wrote:
Baked Alaska?


This is what I get for posting to BGG while eating a midnight cupcake.
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michael humphreys
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mavericklancer wrote:
Generally, a larger animal has a lower ratio of external surface area to internal mass. In theory, this means that a warm blooded animal will produce more heat internally, while losing less externally. This makes a larger animal more suited towards colder environments (polar bear, elk, whale). Not definitive examples, but somewhat illustrative. Conversely, I can't think of a lot of large warm blooded animals that would thrive in a dessert.


You are correct in the first part here.... but I'm not so sure about the second....
And I'm sure there are many factors affecting the natural selection of size in a species besides temps... and perhaps somewhat differently in cold versus warm blooded creatures...
But I believe some of the largest land animals today (elephant, giraffe, water buffalo... (coincidentally all herbivores... and far larger than polar bears (whales also live equally in warm water regions)) live in the warmer ecosystems of Africa...
I do not believe this idea (from the game, as stated in the review I saw) exists anywhere in actual evolutionary theory....
....Of course I can accept it in a game (I know it's not a sim), but as a Bio teacher, it can't help but give me pause....
 
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stowcreek wrote:
mavericklancer wrote:
Generally, a larger animal has a lower ratio of external surface area to internal mass. In theory, this means that a warm blooded animal will produce more heat internally, while losing less externally. This makes a larger animal more suited towards colder environments (polar bear, elk, whale). Not definitive examples, but somewhat illustrative. Conversely, I can't think of a lot of large warm blooded animals that would thrive in a dessert.


You are correct in the first part here.... but I'm not so sure about the second....
And I'm sure there are many factors affecting the natural selection of size in a species besides temps... and perhaps somewhat differently in cold versus warm blooded creatures...
But I believe some of the largest land animals today (elephant, giraffe, water buffalo... (coincidentally all herbivores... and far larger than polar bears (whales also live equally in warm water regions)) live in the warmer ecosystems of Africa...
I do not believe this idea (from the game, as stated in the review I saw) exists anywhere in actual evolutionary theory....
....Of course I can accept it in a game (I know it's not a sim), but as a Bio teacher, it can't help but give me pause....


I think the science is correct. We touch upon it a little in the game rules which you can download on our website (or probably here on the BGG). The issue is surface area to weight ratio. The higher the ratio of surface area to weight, the more that heat will get dissipated. This is physics, not biology.

In addition to physics, which creates the general tendency you'll find in nature, there are biological traits that can help a species deal with the extreme heat or cold. This phenomenon is also modeled in the game with traits like Heavy Fur and Nocturnal.

To be honest, I'm not a scientist. I'm just a game designer who happens to be a science enthusiast (or more correctly, a knowledge enthusiast). Let me know if you still think we have the science wrong, but at some point I might have to refer you to one of our 4 scientific advisers. One of them was Stuart West, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Oxford. He is frequently on the BGG so you can reach out to him if you want.
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Mr. Octavius
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stowcreek wrote:

I believe some of the largest land animals today (elephant, giraffe, water buffalo... (coincidentally all herbivores... and far larger than polar bears (whales also live equally in warm water regions)) live in the warmer ecosystems of Africa...


I belive elephants and water buffalo also have special adaptations to deal with the heat. Elephant's large ears and wrinkly skin provide greater surface area with which to dissipate heat, (similar to the 'Cooling Frills' card), and water buffalo spend time in the water, (similar to the 'Mud Wallowing' card).
I don't know if giraffes have a special adaptation to help them deal with the heat, but they are very skinny which I'm sure helps improve the surface area to volume ratio.

The game doesn't say that large species can't survive in warmer climates, just that a species with a large body size is going to have a hard time thriving in warmer climates if it does not have any adaptations that help it deal with the heat.
The largest species with the Cooling Frills trait (closest to the elephant's adaptation) won't have any difficulty surviving in any warm climate other than 'so hot that plants don't grow,' at which point it will still survive better than the smallest species with no adaptation. (At least, as a result of the heat. The lack of available food is a different problem...)
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David A
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Maebon wrote:
... and water buffalo spend time in the water, (similar to the 'Mud Wallowing' card).

Funny you should mention this since an actual photo of this was used in playtesting since the official art hadn't been finished yet
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michael humphreys
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domcrap wrote:
stowcreek wrote:
mavericklancer wrote:
Generally, a larger animal has a lower ratio of external surface area to internal mass. In theory, this means that a warm blooded animal will produce more heat internally, while losing less externally. This makes a larger animal more suited towards colder environments (polar bear, elk, whale). Not definitive examples, but somewhat illustrative. Conversely, I can't think of a lot of large warm blooded animals that would thrive in a dessert.


You are correct in the first part here.... but I'm not so sure about the second....
And I'm sure there are many factors affecting the natural selection of size in a species besides temps... and perhaps somewhat differently in cold versus warm blooded creatures...
But I believe some of the largest land animals today (elephant, giraffe, water buffalo... (coincidentally all herbivores... and far larger than polar bears (whales also live equally in warm water regions)) live in the warmer ecosystems of Africa...
I do not believe this idea (from the game, as stated in the review I saw) exists anywhere in actual evolutionary theory....
....Of course I can accept it in a game (I know it's not a sim), but as a Bio teacher, it can't help but give me pause....


I think the science is correct. We touch upon it a little in the game rules which you can download on our website (or probably here on the BGG). The issue is surface area to weight ratio. The higher the ratio of surface area to weight, the more that heat will get dissipated. This is physics, not biology.

In addition to physics, which creates the general tendency you'll find in nature, there are biological traits that can help a species deal with the extreme heat or cold. This phenomenon is also modeled in the game with traits like Heavy Fur and Nocturnal.

To be honest, I'm not a scientist. I'm just a game designer who happens to be a science enthusiast (or more correctly, a knowledge enthusiast). Let me know if you still think we have the science wrong, but at some point I might have to refer you to one of our 4 scientific advisers. One of them was Stuart West, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Oxford. He is frequently on the BGG so you can reach out to him if you want.


Thanks so much for the responses...
I didn't realize that you really DID do your homework!
... and I certainly wouldn't argue with Stuart West if he signed off on its validity!
I hadn't read the rules yet (but I DID preorder the game a couple weeks ago from CSI)... I put the question out here to see if that rule was as I heard it.. and was a blanket acceptance of the effect on large creatures....
Thanks for a great looking game!
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Morten K
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stowcreek wrote:
But I believe some of the largest land animals today (elephant, giraffe, water buffalo... (coincidentally all herbivores... and far larger than polar bears (whales also live equally in warm water regions)) live in the warmer ecosystems of Africa...
I do not believe this idea (from the game, as stated in the review I saw) exists anywhere in actual evolutionary theory....
....Of course I can accept it in a game (I know it's not a sim), but as a Bio teacher, it can't help but give me pause....


Because they were wiped out in colder climates already. Elephants, water buffalos, hippos etc were all found in northwestern Europe in the last interglacial period. Further north you had the larger mammoths and woolly rhinos. If you look at bears then the Polar Bear is the largest of them all. The ones in warmer climates are generally smaller. That is how it generally is but not always - take polar foxes for instance. They are smaller than the red foxes found south of them.
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Chet C.
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stowcreek wrote:
mavericklancer wrote:
Generally, a larger animal has a lower ratio of external surface area to internal mass. In theory, this means that a warm blooded animal will produce more heat internally, while losing less externally. This makes a larger animal more suited towards colder environments (polar bear, elk, whale). Not definitive examples, but somewhat illustrative. Conversely, I can't think of a lot of large warm blooded animals that would thrive in a dessert.


You are correct in the first part here.... but I'm not so sure about the second....
And I'm sure there are many factors affecting the natural selection of size in a species besides temps... and perhaps somewhat differently in cold versus warm blooded creatures...
But I believe some of the largest land animals today (elephant, giraffe, water buffalo... (coincidentally all herbivores... and far larger than polar bears (whales also live equally in warm water regions)) live in the warmer ecosystems of Africa...
I do not believe this idea (from the game, as stated in the review I saw) exists anywhere in actual evolutionary theory....
....Of course I can accept it in a game (I know it's not a sim), but as a Bio teacher, it can't help but give me pause....


Notably, elephants and water buffalo are known for their cooling mechanisms, namely hanging out in water when it gets warm. Elephants also have the giant heat-disipating ears. Whereas giraffes have such a unique body shape that they can easily lose a lot of heat from their necks and legs. So these animals are uniquely adapted to heat and may not be the norm. Likely, they exist in warmer climates because they new more food than can be had in cold climates.

As in the game, it seems large animals can survive higher temperatures with the right traits.
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