Question: lets explore this relationship between hibernation and body size by...
Lets explore this relationship between hibernation and body size, by considering stored energy and the rate of energy metabolism (utilization). Here, you will calculate whether hibernation is necessary by comparing a 1200 pound polar bear and a 1.5 pound grey squirrel (like those living here in Columbus). We can compare how long each could survive during a winter fast if they used only body fat as their energy source, and do not hibernate (which requires a drop in metabolism below the BMR). The weight-specific Basal metabolic rate (BMR) of mammals is 4.46 M-0.30 when expressed in units of mLO2consumed per gram of body tissue per hour and (importantly) weight is calculated in grams. For this simple estimate, you may use BMR, but keep in mind that small animals have a larger increase in metabolism with temperature than large animals. Calculate how long each animal could survive on stored fat equal to 20% of its total body weight (this is a fairly reasonable fat amount found in both squirrels and bears in nature). Make sure you keep all units very clear during this calculation, there are many steps.
Potentially useful information:
The value of energy content of fat is 9.3 kCal per gram of fat and 2.0 L of O2 are consumed per gram of fat metabolized. There are 5280 feet in a mile, and 1.0 foot = 0.3048 meters. One calorie = 4.184 joules. One pound (lb) = 454 grams and one ounce is 28.375 grams.