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Temperature Regulation in Animals Animals differ widely in their physiologies according to numerous factors Two of the most widely divergent characteristics are how they regulate their own body temperatures We typically separate animals into cold blooded animals and warm blooded animals Reptiles and fish are representatives of the first category while mammals and birds represent the second category These broad categorizations have nothing to do with the actual temperature of an animals blood however As can be noted in Figure A reptilian blood graphed in green can reach or exceed the temperatures exhibited by some mammals graphed in red What these categories describe are how an animal regulates its temperature While reptiles and fish are ectothermic depending on ambient conditions to control their internal temperatures mammals and birds control their temperatures through their own internal regulation they are endothermic Another interesting aspect of temperature regulation in animals is the range of temperatures which can be found in any one individual While this range is narrow in birds and mammals it is quite wide in reptiles and fish Figure A depicts the temperature in Cyclodus for example as ranging from just over zero degrees Celsius to just over thirty-five degrees Celsius In contrast the temperature in the rabbit ranges from just over thirty-five degree Celsius to just under forty-five degrees Celsius The cold blooded animals are referred to as being poikilothermic having a body temperature which fluctuates widely The warm blooded animals are most often homeothermic having a narrowly constricted body temperature range Figure A Body Temperature of Representative Animals in Response to Ambient Temperature reproduced from httprainbowldeocolumbiaeducoursesv100121html Bone histology reveals a considerable amount of information about an animals metabolic system Freeman 1994 Bones which are highly vascularized and metabolically active with few osteons are more representative of endothermic animals while poorly vascularized bone which appears layered are most often representative of ectothermic animals Freeman 1994 The first histological
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