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What is an ectotherm?
An ectotherm is an organism that relies on
external sources of heat to regulate its
body temperature.
Some examples of ectotherms are:…read more

Slide 3

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Advantages and disadvantages of being
an ectotherm?
Advantages Disadvantages
Use less food in respiration They are less active in cooler
temperatures, and can need
to warm up before they can be
Need to find less food so can In colder months they may
survive long periods of time never warm up enough to be
without eating. active and so would need
large stores of energy to
enable them to survive these
A larger proportion of the food
they eat can be used for
growth.…read more

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Temperature Regulation
As ectotherms don't rely on internal sources of
energy for heat, they must modify their
behaviour to either increase of decrease the
amount of energy they are getting from within
their environment.…read more

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Decreasing body temperature
When an ectotherm is too hot, it will change its behaviour or
physiology to decrease the absorption of heat from its
environment. To cool down they will move higher up a plant to
get away from the hot ground, or face the sun to reduce the
surface area exposed.
Some ectotherms will also hide in a burrow or underground to
get way from the direct heat of the sun. Some organisms such as
locusts will increase their breathing movements, to evaporate
more water from its mouth, similar to when a dog pants.…read more

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Increasing Body Temperature
When an ectotherm is cold, it will change its
behaviour or physiology to increase the
absorption of what from its environment. To
warm up, the organism might bask in the sun, or
lie on a warm surface. They might also change
their body position so that they are side on to
the sun, to enable them to increase the amount
of themselves that is exposed to the sun.…read more


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