Amy M. Barlow

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Hensley

Degree Award Date

Spring 2001




Anatomy | Animal Sciences | Animal Structures | Biology


Allometric analysis is a particular method of hypothesizing relationships among organisms. The basic idea is that the changes of proportions of an organism during developmental growth are due to varying growth rates of the different parts. Some parts of a biological organism naturally grow at a rate faster than others. In some instances, there is a very simple relationship between growth rates of different parts. Often, the relationship is a simple constant proportionality-referred to as "allometric growth." Allometry is the relative growth of a part in relation to an entire organism or to a standard, as well as the measure and study of this growth.

An example of allometry can be easily demonstrated by looking at man. Infants have heads that are proportionally large with respect to the entirety of their bodies. The child's head grows at a slower rate than the rest of the body, resulting in the proportional appearance of children as they grow older. So, all parts of the body are not growing at the same rate, and this change is allometry.

The project was completed by observing the basic assumptions in allometry and following the necessary steps for completing the scientific analysis. This will help to determine the mathematical relationship between different measurement criteria on skull features in rodents. These measurements will result in the development of baseline data from skulls and will be mapped graphically. This will allow for a comparison of baseline data to individually obtained data by ratio and regression correlation.