DEPENDING on different points of view, the class Insecta is divided into some 25 to 35 orders. Thermoregulation has so far been examined in only a few families of some of these orders. From these studies, however, a set of principles has emerged, noting both similarities and distinctions among the various insects, concerning the evolution of mechanisms and the ecology of thermoregulation. The insects show us that endothermy is usually not an advantage that some species may acquire and others do without. Instead, it is something that cannot be avoided, given a certain size and life-style. The sometimes intricate mechanisms of thermoregulation that have evolved along with endothermy are less easily thought of as proof of evolutionary advancement than as necessary adjustments that are apparently easy to acquire. Much progress has been made over the last 20 years in elucidating the mechanisms of insect thermoregulation, but the literature that has accumulated in this time is plagued by numerous misconceptions. This book is a synthesis of the physiology, behavior, ecology, and evolution of insect thermoregulation written with the aim of exposing controversies, confusions, and questions. It is not an unbiased review of all that has appeared in print on the subject.


Evaporative Cool Flight Muscle Flight Speed Muscle Temperature Convective Heat Loss 
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© Bernd Heinrich 1993

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