Australian Ecotherms And Endotherms Essay

1377 words - 6 pages

Australian ectotherms and endothermsA- TYPES OF TEMPERATURE REGULATION1- The cat, human and platypus could be described as true endotherms, as they all maintain a relatively constant internal body temperature that is independent of the external temperature. As the environmental temperature rises from 5C to 40C, the humans body temperature remains constant, the cat's and the platypus' increases by around 3▫C.2- The lizard and echidna are ectotherms as their body temperature fluctuates according to the temperature of the external environment. The lizard's body temperature rises by 25C and the echidna by 10C as the external temp rises.3- All animals are either clearly ectotherms or endotherms apart from the echidna. Although the body temperature of this animal increases with the external temperature, it does not increase as clearly as the lizard's. An explanation for this could be that the echidna maintains a higher level of ability to control over internal temperature than the lizard, which has a very limited ability to do so.4- All enzymes and other molecules function within a limited temperature range. Unless the body temperature is maintained at these optimal conditions, the rate of enzyme-catalysed reactions decreases and the organism will not function properly.B- SOME METHODS OF MAMMALIAN TEMPERATURE REGULATIONObservation Explanation Type of adaptationEchidna's living in cold regions hibernate during the winter Hibernation is used to keep the animal's body temperature constantly warm by removing itself from the cold environment BehaviouralYour skin often looks quite flushed on a hot day This is due to the vasodilation of arterioles PhysiologicalMany Australian marsupials salivate and lick their fur on hot days Saliva is used as a way to cool down, much like sweating BehaviouralWhales have a thick layer of blubber under skin This layer provides insulation from the cold water StructuralYou tend to feel cooler on a hot dry day then on a humid day of same temperature This is as the moisture in the air on humid days does not allow the evaporation of sweat to keep body cool PhysiologicalA small mammal, with same body temp as a larger mammal looses more heat than the larger This is due to the fact the small mammal has a larger SA:V ratio. More skin is in contact with the environment, compared to size, thus it looses more heat StructuralC- EXAMPLES OF AUSTRALIAN EDOTHERMSPotoroos5- The breathing rate remains constant from 0 - 34*C at a rate of 40 breaths per minute. When the external temperature increases from 34*C onwards the breathing rate increases rapidly from 40 breaths per minute to 160+, an increase of 400%.6- In extreme temperatures potoroos will increase their breathing rate as a method of temperature regulation.7- Another adaptation of the potoroo for temperature regulation is the fact that it is nocturnal. The animal "sleeps...

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