sealNote: In our Animal Defense series, we have looked at how animals defend themselves from other predators. This time, though, I want to highlight how God made animals with the ability to protect themselves from non-living forces.

During the Ice Age, millions of creatures had to survive temperatures that would make our winters feel like a day in the beach (it is called the “Ice Age” for a reason). But, even in this, animals had to survive.

In order to survive, these animals had to have a built in defense that went past fur and blubber. They needed size. Believe it or not, big size is one of the biggest advantages to any animal living in frigid temperatures. Why?

Imagine a cube of ice. You place it out in the one-hundred degree yard and go back in the house. You then come out with a block of ice two feet thick and two feet wide. You place this piece of ice outside as well. Now, which piece melts first?

Without knowing from experience, one might, just might say the big piece melts because it is bigger, therefore it is exposed to more heat. However, experience shows us that the little piece will melt first. Why?

Because the smaller piece had little volume (the amount of room the ice cube takes up), it was exposed to more heat by ratio. For example, you could say, for every 1 of surface area exposed, the cube had 1 of volume. This, although not figured to scale, equals out to the piece having equal amount of surface area and volume, thus making it melt fast.

But, when you get to the big cube, we see something different. For, hypothetically, every 1 of surface area we have 5 of volume. So, when the surface area is exposed, more of the ice is kept safe from harm. When that 1 melts, there are 4 behind it, whereas the little piece melted the volume away right away.

So, how does this transfer over to animals?

During the Ice Age, many of the animals were quite large or, at least, quite stocky. This extra volume outweighed (literally and figuratively) the amount of surface area and made the animal more resistant to the cold.

For example, a house cat would freeze long before a mammoth would all because of the volume to surface area ratio.

Although often overlooked as a defense mechanism, mammoth proportions equals better when your foe is the cold!

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