Change is a Good Thing; The Change in Metabolic Rates in Endotherms and Ectotherms Due to Temperature Change

Tyler Jolley, Dat Lieu, Baylee Mendell, Tyler Meyer, Dineesha Premathilake


 Does the ability to increase or decrease metabolic rate serve as an advantage when the environment demands it? Endotherms have a relatively stable core body temperature. They maintain their temperature through a process of increasing or decreasing their metabolic rate to thermoregulate and remain at a constant temperature. However, ectotherms do not demonstrate a process similar to an endotherm, seeing that ectotherms have a varying body temperature that is reflective of the surroundings. Therefore, we aimed to record data that showed the differences endotherms and ectotherms display in their abilities to thermoregulate. We did so by recording the respiration rates of a mouse and hissing cockroaches in response to an increase and decrease in the surrounding temperature. Using an oxygen probe we recorded the respiration rate of each animal every fifteen seconds for five minutes as temperature changed. We saw that as the temperature varied, there was a direct response seen in endotherms. However, ectotherms did not display a change in respiration rate as the temperature fluctuated. This means that as the temperature of the surroundings change, endotherms alter their respiration rates in order to thermoregulate compared to ectotherms which showed that they do not change their respiration rate as a response. This is because ectotherms reflect the temperature of their surroundings rather than maintaining a consistent body temperature.

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