Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / A quadratic approach to allometry yields promising results for the study of growth

Etienne Geraert (2016)

A quadratic approach to allometry yields promising results for the study of growth


Julian HUXLEY (1924) came to the conclusion that intra-specific growth usually follows a sequence of power curves. So HUXLEY claimed that during growth sudden changes in the growth rate can occur. The restudy of his material, however, reveals that his observations closely follow single quadratic curves. As a result the intra-specific allometry studied by HUXLEY is comparable to ontogenetic allometry. The quadratic factor of the quadratic equations obtained, represents the growth rate; it shows the constant increase (positive factor) or decrease (minus factor) of one of the measurements for a constant increase in the other measurement with which it is compared. The quadratic factor explains the entire growth process and is the same for the smaller (younger) and larger (older) specimens. It could probably permit the prediction of the shape of larger and/or smaller animals not yet found, or give a clue to some evolutionary changes. By using the quadratic parabola there is no need to postulate ``sudden changes in the growth curve'' and so it appears that HUXLEY's power curve can be abandoned.

allometry; Huxley; parabolic curve; quadratic equation; shore crab; stag beetle
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology