Endotherms and Ecotherms

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  • (Cold-blooded)
  • Body temp fluctuates with external temp


  • Use less of their food in respiration (means more towards growth)
  • need less food/ can survive long time without food


  • Less active in cooler temps, need to warm up in sun in morning before activity
  • May not be active at all in winter months
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Temperature regulation in Ectotherms

Change behaviour to alter heat loss to environment and absorption of heat depending on temperature:

  • Expose body to sun
  • Orientate body to/away from sun-alters surface area for heat absorption
  • Hide in Burrow
  • Alter body shape
  • Increase breathing movements- evapourates more water
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  • (Warm-blooded)
  • Maintain internal body temp


  • Activity possible durining cold times
  • Ability to inhabit cold parts of the world


  • more energy used to maintain temp- (less for growth)
  • more food required then ectotherms
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Temperature regulation in Endotherms


  • Sweat glands in skin- alter sweat secreted (water in sweat evapourates using heat from blood to supply latent heat for vapourisation)
  • Lungs, mouth, Nose- panting increases evapouration using latent heat
  • Hairs on skin- insulation- less heat lost by convection and radiation
  • Arterioles leading to capillaries in skin- vasoconstriction/dilation - heat lost by radiation
  • Liver cells- metabolism altered-exothermic reactions generate heat
  • Skeletal muscles- spontaneous contractions(shivering)-heat via muscle cell respiration


  • Move into Shade/Burrow or Sunlight
  • Orientate body to or away from sun
  • Move or spread limbs, curl up (when really cold)

Thermoregulatory centre in Hypothalamus in charge of temperature regulation- peripheral temperature receptors in skin detect changes in extremities.

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