Metabolic Rate Changes in Mice based on O2 Consumption

Carlee Luttrell, Kajal Patel, Mark C Matli, Michael Cobbs


In this experiment, we are testing the oxygen consumption of mice to determine metabolic rates, answering the question why animals would eat more at certain temperatures. Oxygen consumption is a way to measure metabolic rate based on common knowledge that O2 is a major reactant in the chemical process of aerobic respiration. Therefore we can, by testing the levels of oxygen in the respiration chamber, relate the amount of oxygen consumed to the metabolic rates of the mouse. We are doing so by directly measuring the change in oxygen consumption as we manipulate the change in temperature. This manipulation allowed us to measure the metabolic rate. We found as the mouse moved out of its thermal neutral zone (i.e. the temperature rose or fell by a few degrees) then the metabolic rate fluctuated, no longer remaining constant. This means that when the mouse is forced out of its thermal neutral zone by changes in temperature, its metabolic rate would increase.

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