Just breathe: metabolic rate at low temperatures is maintained by high oxygen consumption

Erin Francis, Kelli Perkins, Giovanni Penna, Jillian Wormington


Temperature is one of the largest factors that affects thermoregulation in regards to metabolic rate.  It has been found that acclimation at different temperatures of different species is a metabolic process used to prevent heat loss (Nzama, Downs, Brown, 2010).  In our experiment we tested mice O2 consumption at cold temperatures and at room temperature by placing mice in chambers at different temperatures and measuring their O2 consumption.  We predicted that in a colder environment, the mice would consume more oxygen.  Our results suggested this to be true, as the rate of O2 consumed per gram of mouse was significantly larger than the rate of the room temperature group.

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