In many documentaries we can see how reptiles and amphibians remain practically immobile on stones and other surfaces, dedicating themselves only and exclusively to sunbathing. Why do they do it? On what is this surprising behavior based? The answer is that they are cold-blooded animals, a concept that colloquially refers to the different groups of species scientifically known as ectothermic animals . Without a doubt, the different adaptations and behavior patterns that cold-sangria animals have developed throughout evolution are most interesting.
Continue reading this AgroCorrn article and you will discover the names and main characteristics of +10 cold-blooded animals .
- Why are they called cold-blooded animals
- Crocodiles, large cold-blooded animals
- Lizards, animals that go to the sun to warm themselves
- Reptiles are cold-blooded animals: lizards
- Turtles, reptiles that thermoregulate with the sun
- Ants, cold-blooded little animals
- Orthoptera insects
- Bony fish
- Cartilaginous fish
Why are they called cold-blooded animals
The term “cold blooded” commonly associated with different groups of animals (such as reptiles and amphibians), refers to the need for these organisms to regulate their body temperature using the temperature of the environment in which they live. In other words, cold-blooded animals are not capable of maintaining their body temperature by themselves, but are totally dependent on a correct thermoregulation from the outside.
Here are some examples of cold-blooded animals to better understand how they carry out this thermoregulation process.
Crocodiles, large cold-blooded animals
The crocodiles (Crocodylus gender) , one of the larger reptiles, are characterized by the need to regulate body temperature between aquatic and terrestrial it inhabits.
To do this, crocodiles tend to stay submerged in water (from rivers, lakes and wetlands) at night, since at this time, the water is kept at a higher temperature than the terrestrial environment. On the contrary, when the first sun rays arrive, the crocodiles leave the water to take advantage of the high daytime temperatures , remaining immobile and opening their gigantic mouths to achieve a greater surface in contact with direct sunlight.
Find out more about these amazing animals with this other AgroCorrn post about the crocodile’s Habitat: where does it live?
Lizards, animals that go to the sun to warm themselves
Lizards are probably the best known reptiles for their habits of exposing themselves to the sun’s rays to capture enough heat to allow them to regulate their body temperature. However, there are other adaptations that lizards have been able to develop to adapt to the temperature of the environment that is most suitable for survival. For example, the well-known ocellated lizard ( Timon lepidus ) , in times of drought, intense heat and low humidity, chooses to completely submerge for several minutes in the water of rivers and swamps, staying cooler and thus avoiding excessively warm temperatures of the Exterior.
On the other hand, the species Phymaturus executioner or iguanid lizards stands out for its ability to regulate its body temperature thanks to its melanism (dark pigmentation of the skin), which allows it to better adapt to low temperature conditions, also allowing it to dedicate well more time to other activities not related to the thermoregulation of your body.
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals: lizards
Among the lizards , the genus Iberolacerta stands out, which includes various species of high mountain lizards. These are strongly conditioned by the restrictions that low ambient temperatures and little winter solar radiation prevent them from self-regulating their body temperature easily.
This other group of cold-blooded or ectothermic reptiles are currently threatened by the effects of climate change, so any scientific study related to the thermal biology of ectothermic lacértids will be very useful to avoid their extinction in the medium term.
In addition to being known for their powerful venom, vipers, (Viperidae family) , are characterized by their need to expose themselves to sunlight for several hours a day to regulate their body temperature. They are normally located on rocks, thus acquiring, through a conduction process, the heat accumulated in the rock or other surfaces.
They are capable of dilating or, conversely, contracting the most peripheral blood vessels of their anatomy, thus allowing rapid adaptation to ambient temperature .
Turtles, reptiles that thermoregulate with the sun
Many species of turtles , especially marine ones, are considered gigantothermic animals , characterized by their large dimensions and the ability to maintain both temperatures and high metabolism rates, thanks to their high surface / volume ratio.
They are grouped within the poikilothermic ectothermic reptiles , since they usually regulate their body temperature in a conformist way, that is, allowing their own temperature to fluctuate along with that of the environment in which it is found.
Find out more about these animals in this other article in which we show you Names of species of freshwater turtles .
Among the best-known amphibians , toads (Bufonidae family) inhabit almost all ecosystems in the world, with the exception of the polar regions and very arid desert areas, always adapting to the climatic conditions and temperature of the environment in order to self-regulate their own temperature. bodily.
Species such as the common toad ( Bufo bufo ) and the runner toad ( Epidalea calamita ) stand out , both capable of surviving for months with little food, as long as they have their energy and temperature needs covered.
Ants, cold-blooded little animals
Many invertebrate animals , such as insects, are capable of heating their flight muscles through repeated vibrations, thus being able to adapt to the temperature of the environment in which they live.
Among them, the ants (Family Formicidae) stand out for their ability to build their nests under large stones that remain exposed to the sun. In this way, the ants manage to maintain a higher temperature throughout the areas of the anthill that are located under the stones.
They are also remarkable for their termorregulativa capacity , insects belonging to the group of the Orthoptera, among which crickets (family Grillydae) and grasshoppers (suborder Caelifera) . The behavior of these insects to try to obtain the maximum possible heat from the solar rays is really surprising. To do this, they are located from early in the morning on vertical supports, such as plants and shrubs. Later, they move to the ground surface, to continue capturing the solar radiation re-emitted by the ground.
Fish are also cold-blooded animals . Due to their variable metabolism, many of the bony fish have developed certain adaptations that allow them to regulate their body temperature. Tunas (genus Thunnus) for example, have a complex adaptation, the swimming muscle. it heats up due to the effort and action of swimming, being able to exchange emergy in the form of heat.
Other bony fish, on the other hand, simply change their depth in the water throughout the day, to find the most suitable temperature for their energy needs, and capture heat thanks to solar radiation. This is the case, for example, of the sunfish ( Mola mola ) , the heaviest bony fish in the world.
The other major group that stands out in the classification of fish , the group of cartilaginous fish, are also characterized by being cold-blooded and need to adapt their body temperature to that of the aquatic environment in which they are found. Among all of them, the great white shark ( Carchadoron carcharias ) stands out as one of the gigantothermic fish capable of maintaining high temperatures and metabolism rates thanks to its high surface / volume ratio.
If you want to read more articles similar to +10 cold-blooded animals , we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category .
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