Thermoregulation is the process by which an organism controls its internal temperature. Fish have many different mechanisms for regulating their temperature. Most fish are ectothermic, using their environmental temperature to manage their body temperature, but some fish are endothermic, having the metabolic ability to internally manage temperature. Poikilothermic fish are ectotherms which have no control over … [Read more…]
Poikilothermic fish have no control over their body temperature and their core body temperature can fluctuate broadly. While some ectothermic stenotherms thermoregulate their body temperature by inhabiting constant temperature environments, internal temperature of poikilotherms can widely vary.
In contrast to stenotherms, eurythermic fish can function at a wide range of water temperatures. They are often, but not necessarily, ectotherms. Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius), for example, can function in ambient temperatures ranging from 4 to 45 degrees Celsius. This thermoregulatory strategy requires that organs, enzymes, and metabolic processes can operate at varying environmental temperatures.
In contrast to eurytherms, senothermic fish can only function in a narrow range of water temperatures. Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), for example, function optimally approximately between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius. This thermoregulatory strategy requires that organs, enzymes, and metabolic processes operate in a small temperature band and makes these fish particularly vulnerable to environmental changes. … [Read more…]
Unlike endotherms which can metabolically control their own body temperature, ectotherms rely upon environmental temperatures for thermoregulation. Most fish are ectotherms. Ectothermy can be metabolically more efficient than endothermy because organisms do not have to expend any energy to self-regulate their body temperatures. However, they are at the mercy of their environment more than endotherms because they … [Read more…]