Endotherms

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  • Endotherms
    • An endotherm is an organism that can use internal sources of heat to maintain its body temperature
    • Can use some of their energy intake to stay warm
    • Disadvantages of being an endotherm
      • A significant part of energy intake is used to maintain body temperature
      • Endotherms require more food than ectotherms to survive
      • A smaller proportion of food is used for growth
    • Advantages of being endothermic
      • Constant internal body temperature is maintained despite the external temperature
      • Activity is possible at all times including the night, early morning and evening unlike ectotherms
      • Endotherms are able to inhabit colder parts of the planet
    • Responses used by endotherms to maintain body temperature
      • Sweat glands in skin
        • Sweat production reduced; evaporation rate reducees
      • Lungs, mouth and nose
        • Panting increases which increases evaporation
        • Animal does not pant reducing evaporation
      • Hairs on skin
        • Hair lie flat reducing insulation- heat lost through convection and radiation
        • Hair raise to create insulating layer
      • Arterioles leading to capillaries in skin
        • Vasodilation means more blood near the skin so heat is radiated
        • Vasoconstriction reduces blood flow to capillaries so less heat radiated
      • Liver Cells
        • Rate of metabolism is reduced; less heat produced
        • Metabolic rate increases, generating more heat
      • Skeletal muscles
        • No spontaneous contractions
        • Spontaneous contractions such as shivering generate heat
      • Behavioural mechanisms
        • Moving into shade or burrow
        • Moving into sunlight
    • Blood temperature monitored in hypothalamus
      • Works on a negative feedback cycle
  • Sweat production increased; evaporates cooling body
    • Sweat glands in skin
      • Sweat production reduced; evaporation rate reducees

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