How is the Metabolic Rate of Lab Mice Affected When Outside of Their Thermal-Neutral Zone?

Michelle Weinstein, Brooke Zimmer


Animals tend to display varying oxygen consumption levels depending on the temperature of the environment they are in. For this study, we chose to test this occurrence on lab mice. Mice will show an increase in oxygen consumption when they are exposed to temperatures outside of their thermal neutral zone. We tested this hypothesis using mice at three different varying temperatures. One trial was tested at room temperature (23.4ºC), warm temperature (38ºC), and a cold temperature (12.7ºC). All of the mice showed increased oxygen consumption at all three temperatures. However, the mice showed a more steady increase in oxygen consumption at the coldest temperature. This shows that whether the temperature is warmer or colder, mice will exhibit an increase in oxygen when they are not in their thermal neutral zone. In this study, we made sure to give each mouse the appropriate amount of time to have a break between each trial so the results will be as accurate as possible without the mice being stressed.

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