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Calculating the range of an animal based on its movement costs

  1. Sep 17, 2013 #1
    Hi all,

    So I'm looking at how far an animal can move based on its basal metabolic rate and cost of movement. The total cost of these two is 45 Watts.

    It has 1.5 kg of food reserves with an energy density of 5.2 x 10^6 J per kg = 7800000 J of energetic reserves.

    All I want to do is see how long it can travel based on these values but I'm getting my joules and watts mixed up.

    Is it simply 7800000/45 = 173333.33 seconds? Because Watts are equivalent to Joules per second?

    As ever your help is much appreciated.

    Another thing is just to calculate the cost over its known foraging period which 8 hours so if the cost of existence while foraging is 45 Joules per second, then over 8 hours it will be 45 x 28800 = 1296000 Joules per 8 hours right?
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    7800000J / (45W) = 173000s (rounded to a reasonable precision)

    Looks good.
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