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Lecture

Ectothermic

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Department
Biology
Course
BIOL 2P92
Professor
Ingrid Makus
Semester
Fall

Description
 Vast majority of organisms are ectothermic, means that their body temperatures are determine by the temperatures of their environments  Body temperature has a profound effect on an ectotherm’s physiological performance  Desert iguanas can survive short exposures to body temperatures as low as 0ºC and as high as about 47ºC o They can only function between about 15ºC - 45ºC  Within this range, cold iguanas run and digest slowly, tire quickly, and hear poorly  As they get warmer, they run and digest more quickly, tire more slowly, and hear more keenly  The relationship between physiological performance and temperature is called a thermal performance curve  Given the sensitivity of physiological function to temperature, we can predict that ectotherms will exhibit behavioural thermoregulation  Ectotherms should move around in the environment so as to maintain themselves at or near the temperature at which they perform the best  As temp. Of their environment changes, iguanas must regulate their body temperature by moving into the sun to warm up or into the shade to cool off o Iguanas prefer to keep their body temp. In the high 30s; this is the center of the range of temperatures at which the iguanas perform best  To prove behavioural thermoregulation, we must show: o That the animal in question is choosing particular temperatures more often than it would encounter those temperatures if it simply moved at random through its environment o That its choice of temperatures is adaptive Do Garter Snakes Make Adaptive Choices When Looking for a Nighttime Retreat?  Snakes have many options for thermoregulation during the daytime, as long as they avoid thin rocks or direct sun in the afternoon  At night, however, it appears that the b
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