Relationship between Temperature and Metabolic Rate in Mice

Brad Martin, Kyle Hesser, Jordan Kelley, Ryan Sherman


Metabolism is the process in which an organism’s internal resources and energy are altered and traded between it and its environment (Gillooly et al, 2001). Research suggests that endotherms have higher metabolic activity in areas of lower temperature. We can see evidence of this by observing mice, which are more active and eat more in a cooler environment (French, 2014). Knowing this, we wanted to test the connection between temperature and metabolic rate in mice. We hypothesized that if placed in a colder environment, mice will consume more oxygen than they would in a warmer environment because of their higher metabolic rate. We tested our hypothesis by measuring the oxygen consumption of mice in colder environments versus warmer environments by using a respiration chamber. The average percent of oxygen per minute per gram of the chamber was -0.0039123103 during the cold trials and -0.0029828851 during the warm trials. The rate of oxygen consumption was higher when the mice were placed in a colder environment as opposed to a warmer one, so our hypothesis was supported. 

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