Polar Plunge Poikilotherms: How varying temperatures correlate with the metabolic rate of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa)

Olivia Sharon-Kaye Morgan, Natalie Rae Morton, Taylor Kathryn Johnson, Michael Ellison


An ectotherm’s core temperature is dependent on the ambient temperature of the environment. The specimen of choice for the experiment was the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, which is an ectotherm. The purpose of the experiment was to see how the temperature influenced the metabolic rate in the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. To conduct the experiment, a series of three sets of three trials were done in differing temperatures. It was hypothesized that the metabolic rate of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach would increase as the temperature rose and it would decrease as the temperature fell. During the trials the carbon dioxide output was measured so the metabolic rate could be calculated. There was a five-minute rest period in between each trial in the control and an eight-minute rest between trials when we manipulated the temperature. The temperature of the respiration chamber had a noticeable effect on the metabolic rate of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The hypothesis ended up not being supported, it was found that the metabolic rate was the highest during the room temperature trials at 12.51 (PPM/min/g).

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