Cockroaches’ Increasing Metabolic Rate with Rising Temperatures

Joseph Goodhue, Sarah Ervin, John Reese Hatheway, nicholas conrad hazell, Jie Ren


Metabolism is defined as the process where energy and materials within an organism are transformed and then transferred between the organism and its surroundings. Researchers have concluded that metabolism, which sustains life, increases exponentially with rising temperatures (Gillooly et al. 2001). Ectotherms such as Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are incapable of regulating their body temperatures. We used three cockroaches in a small respiration chamber and monitored their carbon dioxide output as we increased the temperatures of their surroundings. We analyzed the cockroaches’ carbon dioxide output rates divided by their weight to eliminate any variations between trials and enable us to compare the rates to those of different species. By increasing the temperature of their environment and measuring their carbon dioxide output, we concluded that metabolic rate of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches increases as temperature rises. Since carbon dioxide output is a fundamental element of cellular respiration and cellular respiration can be closely related to metabolic rate, our data can be interpreted such that metabolic rate does increase with temperature. This is important today due to climate change, which causes rising temperatures and an increase in the metabolism of ectotherms.

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