Table 1.

Thermal conductivity k values for blubber from a variety of marine mammals and other substances

Speciesk (W m-1 deg.-1) (Reported mean)SourceMethod
Cetaceans
    Balaenoptera acutorostrata0.20-0.28* Kvadsheim et al., 1996 Standard material
    Balaenoptera acutorostrata0.18 Folkow and Blix, 1992 Hot plate
    Balaenoptera physalus0.21 Parry, 1949 Hot plate
    Delphinapterus leucas (blubber)0.102 Doidge, 1990 Heat flux plate
    Delphinapterus leucas (epidermis)0.249 Doidge, 1990 Heat flux plate
    Phocoena phocoena0.06 Yasui and Gaskin, 1986 Heat flux disc
    Phocoena phocoena0.1 Worthy and Edwards, 1990 Heat flux disc
    Stenella attenuata0.2 Worthy and Edwards, 1990 Heat flux disc
Pinnipeds
    Mirounga leonina0.07Bryden 1964, in Doidge, 1990Unknown
    Phoca groenlandica0.18 Worthy, 1985 Heat flux disc
    Phoca groenlandica0.19 Kvadsheim et al., 1994 Standard material
    Phoca hispida0.2 Scholander et al., 1950 Hot plate
    Phoca vitulina0.18 Worthy, 1985 Heat flux disc
    Halichoerus grypus0.18 Worthy, 1985 Heat flux disc
Fatty acids
    Stearic acid (C18:0)0.16CRC 1967 in Doidge, 1990Unknown
    Palmitic acid (C16:0)0.17CRC 1967 in Doidge, 1990Unknown
    Oleic acid (C18:1)0.23CRC 1967 in Doidge, 1990Unknown
Miscellaneous materials
    Air0.024 Schmidt-Nielsen, 1997 Unknown
    White pine wood0.104 Liley, 1996 Unknown
    Human fat0.21Hensel et al., 1973 in Doidge, 1990Unknown
    Lead35 Schmidt-Nielsen, 1997 Unknown
    Iron80 Schmidt-Nielsen, 1997 Unknown
  • * This range of values represent mean thermal conductivity across four body sites.