This chapter is about growth, an obvious process but one which has proved difficult to define precisely and rigorously. Here, it is simply used to mean increases in the sizes of whole organisms with time. Size, of course, can be expressed either in linear dimensions, mass or potential energy and this in itself has presented one of the major difficulties for formulating a precise definition — which is the most appropriate unit? Some consideration will be given to the problem of mensuration in Section 5.3. Most of the chapter will be concerned with a comparative approach to the mechanistic basis of increases in size and, as usual, to their adaptive significance. Ageing phenomena will also be discussed at the end of the chapter since the initiation of ageing has, for many years, been associated in the minds of biologists with the cessation of growth.
KeywordsCell Turnover Brood Pouch Respiratory Loss Growth Figure Actual Growth Rate
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