Endotherm  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An endotherm (from Greek ἔνδον endon "within" and θέρμη thermē "heat") is an organism that maintains its body at a metabolically favorable temperature, largely by the use of heat set free by its internal bodily functions instead of relying almost purely on ambient heat. Such internally generated heat is mainly an incidental product of the animal's routine metabolism, but under conditions of excessive cold or low activity an endotherm might apply special mechanisms adapted specifically to heat production. Examples include special-function muscular exertion such as shivering, and uncoupled oxidative metabolism such as within brown adipose tissue. Only birds and mammals are extant universally endothermic groups of animals. Certain lamnid sharks, tuna and billfishes are also endothermic.

In common parlance, endotherms are characterized as "warm-blooded". The opposite of endothermy is ectothermy, although in general, there is no absolute or clear separation between the nature of endotherms and ectotherms.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Endotherm" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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