Barring fluctuations due to the cyclic phenomena, the extrauterine course of growth in linear dimensions and in weight of the dairy cow follows an exponential law having the same form as the law representing the course of monomolecular change in chemistry. This suggests the interpretation that the general course of growth is limited by a monomolecular chemical process, and that the cyclic phenomena are due to subsidiary processes in the fundamentally exponential course of growth.
The fact that growth follows or tends to follow an exponential course may be stated more simply as follows: if the unit of time is taken sufficiently large so that fluctuations due to the cyclic phenomena are balanced or eliminated, then the amount of growth made during the given unit of time at any age tends to be a constant percentage of the growth made during the preceding unit of time. Thus, the growth in height at withers made during any year is about 34 per cent of the growth made during the preceding year. Similarly the growth in weight made during any year is about 56 per cent of the growth in weight made during the preceding year. This is in accordance with expectations if it is assumed that each animal begins life with a definite endowment of limiting substance necessary for the process of growth, and that this endowment is used up at a constant rate (or percentage) of itself.