Physiological Functions that Scale to Body Mass in Fish

C.R. White, Roger S Seymour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopaedia / Dictionary EntryOtherpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Scaling is the study of how body size influences biological traits. In fish, the effects of body size are enormous because the largest adult fish (. Rhincodon, 22 tonnes) is around 10 billion times larger than the smallest (. Paedocypris, 3. mg). Traits that increase in direct proportion to body mass are said to scale isometrically (e.g., skeletal mass), whereas those that do not are said to scale allometrically (e.g., metabolic rate). Here, we examine the scaling of a range of physiological and morphological traits in fish, both during development and between species that differ in size.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Fish Physiology
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Genome to Environment
EditorsAnthony P Farrell
Place of PublicationLondon UK
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780123745453
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Allometry
  • Body size
  • Brain size
  • Cost of transport
  • Critical PO2
  • Development
  • Egg size
  • Gill surface area
  • Heart rate
  • Isometry
  • Mass
  • Metabolic rate
  • Ontogeny
  • Reproduction
  • Scaling
  • Skeletal mass
  • Swim speed
  • Weight

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