Imagine the follwing situation: a newly born animal is brought into a small room. This room has no windows, but artifical light to imitate the sunlight. Furthermore, this light behaves like the sun, so that there are artificial nights and days in the room. The animal will be provided with food and water, too, so that it has enough nutrients to develop in a normal way. What will happen with the animal, when the room is so small, that it would limit the body height of the animal? (One extreme example: an elephant, living in a normal sized room)

Would the growth of the animal be limited by some biological/biochemical mechanism? Or would the animal grow in a more or less normal way?

In summary, my question is: does the body height of an animal depent on its environment? If yes: how strong is this dependence?

  • $\begingroup$ The animal would grow normally to its natural height, but if limited, would continue to grow but become deformed. Do you have a specific reason for asking this? $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2017 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse Do you have any sources to read more about this? No special reason, I have just been curious about it. So no reason to panic: this is (of course) just a hypothetical situation! $\endgroup$
    – zimmerrol
    Dec 18, 2017 at 21:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Have you ever heard of the binding of feet in Chinese women? Hormones , and nutrition, etc.control growth, not space. Growth hormones + limited space = deformity. Sources, no. Any such experiment would be unethical, not to mention unhelpful. $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2017 at 2:02
  • $\begingroup$ @FlashTek do you think examples from anongoodnurse answers your question? If not, please explain why. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Dec 19, 2017 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse I did not really think about big experiments but rather observations about situations in which something like this has happend. Initially I thought, that the an animal in such a situation might release hormones which hamper growth hormones, so that the animal's growth will be limited. $\endgroup$
    – zimmerrol
    Dec 19, 2017 at 16:42


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