How do warm-blooded animals stay warm?

We all have heard the term warm-blooded, however have you ever wondered what warm-blooded actually means?

Most mammals, which includes humans, and birds are all warm-blooded. The term itself can be a little misleading, as there there are some reptiles which have hotter blood than ours on a very hot day. The main difference between warm and cold-blooded animals is that warm-blooded ones are homeothermic which means they are able to regulate their heat in both warm and cold environments. As compared to cold-blooded animals which are poikilothermic, which means they live at the same temperatures as their surroundings.

Desert elephants in the Huab River - Elephants flap their large ears to cool themselves down in hot temperatures.

Desert elephants in the Huab River – Elephants flap their large ears to cool themselves down in hot temperatures.

The are several benefits for being warm-blooded. The main one is that animals can hunt and continue daily activities no matter what temperature it is. We generate heat internally and are therefore endothermic. By burning food in a process called oxidation, warm-blooded animals can increase their internal body temperatures to compensate for the lack of external heat in the environment. In places where there are high temperatures, warm-blooded animals are able to sweat from sweat glands to reduce their internal body temperatures.

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Reptiles like snakes don’t regulate heat and therefore remain the same temperatures as their environments.

Saad Bhatty

Blogger, journalist, geologist and Tech-enthusiast. There is always something to write about!

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