An Endotherm’s Metabolic Funtion in Correlation with Changes in Ambient Temperature: Investigating a Rodent’s Oxygen Consumption

Clark Crotty, Jennifer Dotson, Colin Currie, Justin Agan


Animals of different species show changes in their metabolic rates depending on their environments (French 2014). This observation raises questions regarding the amount of oxygen that is consumed by an animal at different environmental temperatures. The amount of oxygen taken in has a direct proportional relationship to metabolic functions (Hoefnagels 2015). This means that as oxygen consumption increases, in turn metabolic rates also increase. In order to understand these changes we decided to test and record the metabolic rates of mice through measuring their O2 intake. We hypothesized that if a mouse is subjected to warmer or colder temperatures, its oxygen consumption will increase which in turn will cause its metabolic functions to increase as well. To observe how seasonal changes could potentially affect the metabolic rates of the mice, the mice were measured in hot, cold, and room temperatures in order to observe rates of oxygen consumption The data gathered from this experiment suggests that, when outside of its thermal neutral zone, a mouse’s metabolic rate will increase which results in an increase in oxygen consumption. It was found in our experiment that when placed in varying temperature the rodent’s metabolic rate increased in order to compensate for the temperature change. In other words as the mouse was placed in colder temperatures, or warmer temperatures, its metabolic function increased. It’s important to know how mice react in different temperatures to further understand how they adapt to varying temperature within their own environments. 

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