Ch3 Adaptations to the Physical Environment1.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
University College Courses
Spencer Barrett

chapter 3: ADAPTATIONS TO THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT  when air temp. approach the max. tolerable body temp., animals dissipate heat only by evaporating water from their skin and respiratory surfaces  in hot deserts, water is scarce, evaporative cooling is costly  animals become less active, seek cool microclimates, and sometimes undertake seasonal migrations to cooler regions  kangaroo rats: venture out only at night, during the day stay in their cool humid burrows  ground squirrels: remain active during the day, and their body temperature rises; before their temp. goes too high, they go to their cool burrows to lose heat w/o losing water  they shuttle back and forth b/w their burrows and the surface  camels: allow body temp. to rise during the day  their large bodies give them an advantage  w/ increasing size, the surface area of an animal (across it which it absorbs heat and intercepts solar radiation) increases less rapidly than the animal’s volume (which is the bulk that heats up)  thus, the camel heats up slowly during the day and dumps the excess heat at night to its cooler surroundings  living organisms transform NRG to perform work  sunlight is the ultimate source of NRG for most life processes  plants use this NRG by photosynthesis, producing high-NRG bonds of organic molecules which forms the basis of the food chain  sunlight is also the ultimate source of thermal NRG  creates s
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