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BODY TEMPERATURE IN ANIMALS

Ectotherms y environment determines body temperature (the old cold-blooded ) y produce less heat than endotherms and lose heat more rapidly y use less energy Endotherms y maintain a relatively constant body temperature, usually higher than their surroundings (the old warm-blooded ) y generate considerable amounts of heat by internal heat production y have insulating structures such as feathers, fur and fat layers to help the slow of heat loss to their environment y also use physiological mechanisms and behaviour to regulate loss of metabolic heat y if the surroundings become colder, body temperature is maintained by increasing heat production and reducing heat loss y if it gets hot, heat production is reduced and absorption of heat from the environment is minimised y Keeping warm costs energy especially for smaller animals which have a greater surface area in proportion to their body volume than larger animals. Small animals have less tissue to produce heat and a proportionately larger surface over which to lose it. Therefore, small mammals and birds need more food in proportion to their weight than larger ones. They must use more energy to keep warm y In endotherms, core temperatures of six or more degrees above normal are lethal. Low temperatures are quite well tolerated even down to about 15rC. Heterotherms y some ectotherms can live as endotherms and stay warmer than the medium in which they live

TEMPERATURE-REGULATING PATHWAYS

y

control centre for measuring body temp set-point is the hypothalamus in the brain

y

Animals control heat exchange by insulation, and by physiological and behavioural means. The factors involved in regulating the rate of heat exchange between an animal and its environment are: - the effective temperature difference between the two - the area of exposed surface - the efficiency of any insulation against heat exchange, and - physiological processes involving evaporation and circulatory changes

HEAT LOSS y when the surrounding temperature is lower than body temperature, animals tend to lose heat by radiation, evaporation, conduction and direct loss in body fluids y moving the surrounding air is an important factor in the loss of heat by radiation and evaporation because it moves warm air and water vapour away from the exchange surface. This maintains the temperature and evaporation gradients and therefore the rate of heat loss. y For mammals, if the surrounding temperature is higher than the body temperature, heat can only be lost by evaporation e.g. sweating, panting and/or licking fur y Hot and humid conditions make heat loss difficult, even by evaporation

HEAT GAIN y y y heat is generated by cell metabolism Endotherms have insulation and physiological mechanisms to allow them to retain this heat to maintain a constant, high body temperature The only other source of heat is the surrounding environment

INSULATION y fur, feathers and/or fat layers reduce heat exchange with the environment y feathers and fur trap a layer of warm air next to the skin which reduces the temperature gradient between the skin and the external environment y muscles at the base of individual hairs can contract in cold weather trapping more air

PHYSIOLOGICAL REGULATION y circulatory changes e.g. vasoconstriction, vasodilation of blood vessels in skin y countercurrent flow y sweating increased sweating can cause a significant loss of salt from the body Counter current flow Found in fish gills, legs of arctic birds, seal fins, tuna muscle, platypus feet, mammalian kidney Involves two fluids passing close together in opposite directions Diffusion gradient is maintained along the entire length of the tubes Exchange of heat from one tube to another Heat is kept deep within the animal and not carried to the surface of the body where it would be lost to the environment

BEHAVIOURAL REGULATION y reducing surface area in the cold e.g. huddling y moving out of sun/moving underground y nocturnal behaviour y clothing