Download e-book for kindle: Animal Life at Low Temperature by John Davenport

By John Davenport

ISBN-10: 940105035X

ISBN-13: 9789401050357

ISBN-10: 9401123446

ISBN-13: 9789401123440

To people, chilly has a exceedingly confident caliber. 'Frostbite', 'a nip within the air', 'biting cold', all exhibit the concept that of chilly as an entity which assaults the physique, numbing and destructive it within the approach. most likely the richness of descriptive English during this sector stems from the early stories of a gaggle of basically tropical apes, making their residing on a chilly and windswept island staff part­ manner among the Equator and the Arctic. in the course of a systematic schooling we quickly study that there's no such factor as chilly, purely a scarcity of warmth. chilly doesn't invade us; warmth easily deserts. Later nonetheless we come to understand that temperature is a mirrored image of kinetic power, and that the amount of kinetic strength in a process is dependent upon the rate of molecular circulation. regardless of this attention, it really is tough to desert the practical prejudices of palaeolithic Homo sapiens shivering in his huts and caves. for instance; appreciating polar undergo is maybe as cozy whilst swimming from ice floe to ice floe as we're while swimming in the summertime Mediterranean isn't effortless; figuring out the thermal sensa­ tions of a 'cold-blooded' earthworm almost most unlikely. we should be cautious of an anthropocentric angle while contemplating the consequences of chilly on different species.

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They have more numerous mitochrondria (particularly in the case of muscle and liver) and there is a greater turnover of substrates. However, the biochemistry of heat production by both groups of animals is essentially similar for most tissues. There are exceptions though, and these are related to 'emergency' heat demands. g. honey bees) are parttime endotherms; their wing muscles need to be warmed before they function effectively. Many texts imply that muscle temperatures are raised simply by muscular activity before take off.

Much of the area of tropical and subtropical regions of the world features sustained high temperatures on land; they will be little mentioned in this book. Exceptions occur in the case of low latitude deserts. Ecologists define deserts simply by rainfall (or snowfall at high latitude) and lack of trees. Treeless, sparsely populated areas with an annual precipitation below 255 mm are deserts whether they be in North Africa, Australia, Greenland or Antarctica. However, deserts of all types feature extremes of cold, even in subtropical and tropical areas.

A few small high latitude birds are probably obligatory migrators because of cold alone. The snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is a small finch found north of the arctic circle in summer. At environmental temperatures below -40°C the core body temperature of the bird starts to fall. Snow buntings cannot survive arctic winters, yet even in this case it is probable that day length or food supply trigger migration, and not cold per se. Migrations of terrestrial mammals, such as those of reindeer and caribou appear to be driven by similar forces; the animals can survive high latitude temperatures, but cannot reach their diet oflichen if the snow cover is too thick.

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Animal Life at Low Temperature by John Davenport

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