Metabolism rate

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The metabolism rate or metabolism rate is a quantity that is used in zoology . It indicates the energy expenditure per unit of time, based on an organism. It can be determined calorimetrically with the energy output of a living being, with which, however, one can only determine the part of the energy turnover that is released as heat. In aerobic organisms, the rate of metabolism can be determined by the oxicaloric equivalent (breathing in one liter of oxygen provides approx. 20 kJ ) by measuring either the amount of oxygen consumed or the amount of carbon dioxide produced.

Specific rate of metabolism

The specific metabolism rate, also known as metabolic intensity, indicates the energy expenditure per unit of time and unit of mass (body weight). With increasing mass of a living being it decreases exponentially . However, it is also dependent on other factors, such as the body shape, the vascular system and the level of organization of the organism.


  • Wehner, Gehring, Kühn: Zoologie , 24th edition 2007
  • Norbert Henze : Stochastics for Beginners: An Introduction to the Fascinating World of Chance , 8th edition 2010

Individual evidence

  1. Wehner, Gehring, Kühn: Zoologie, 24th edition 2007, p. 318