Regulation of body temperature

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  • Regulation of body temperature
    • Mechanisms of heat loss and gain
      • Body temp too low = enzymes don't work as efficiently   Body temp too high = enzymes may be denatured meaning the organism may not function
      • Methods of gaining heat include: production of heat by the metabolism of food during respiration and gain of heat from environment by conduction, convection and radiation.
      • Conduction occurs mainly in solids and is the transfer of energy through matter from particle to particle.
      • Convection occurs in fluids and is the transfer of heat as a result of the movement of warmed materials.
      • Radiation is very different from conduction and convection. The energy is not transferred by the movement of particles but by electromagnetic waves
    • Regulation of body temp in ecotherms
      • Ecotherms gain most of their heat from the environment so their body temperature fluctuates with that of the environment.
      • An adaptation may be exposing themselves to the sun
      • Another may be taking shelter from the sun to prevent over heating
      • One other may be gaining warmth from the ground, they spread themselves flat on the hot floor
      • Generate metabolic heat from respiration
      • They vary in colour, darker colours absorb more heat while light colours reflect more heat
    • Regulation of body temp in endotherms
      • Endotherms gain most of their heat from internal metabolic activities. their body temp remains relatively constant.
      • Core body temp is between 35-44 degrees Celsius. This is a compromise so that enzymes work efficiently.
      • They use behavior to maintain a constant body temp. They will shelter from the cold wind or hot sunshine, curl up when its cold and spread out when is warm. they can as well use a wide range of physiological mechanisms to regulate body temp.
    • Conserving and gaining heat from a cold environment
      • Vasoconstriction were the diameter of the arterioles near the surface of the skin are made smaller, this reduces volume of blood to skin = less heat loss
      • Shivering, the muscles of the body undergo involuntary rhythmic contractions that produce metabolic heat
      • Raising of hair, thick layer of still air gets trapped which is a good insulator
      • Increased metabolic rate which means more heat produced
      • Decrease sweating
      • Behavioral mechanisms e.g sheltering form the wind
    • Losing heat in response to a warm environment
      • Vasodialation were the diameter of the arterioles near the surface of the skin expand letting more heat out
      • Increased sweating so water evaporates form skin which requires energy
      • Lowering of body hair so reducing thickness of insulation layer
      • Behavioral mechanisms e.g avoiding the heat of the day by sheltering


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