When a bird or mammal in a cold environment has the opportunity to escape to a warm one, generally it will do so. This reaction, which involves “conscious” adaptation, constitutes thermoregulatory behavior. If the animal cannot escape the cold environment, biological reactions, primarily an increase in thermogenesis, will occur in order to diminish the cold stress and prevent a fall in central temperature (hypothermia). These reactions are part of the physiological aspects of thermal regulation. They are, in general, purely involuntary. Behavioral and physiological thermoregulation also exist to prevent an increase in body core temperature (hyperthermia) when the animal is subjected to a warm stress. Ectothermic animals (poikilotherms) also exhibit behavioral thermoregulation but only the endothermic animals (homeotherms) have both behavioral and physiological thermoregulation.
KeywordsHeat Loss Cold Stress Skin Temperature Heat Production Heat Storage
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