17 Crucial Difference between Cold-blooded and Warm-blooded Animals

What is the difference between cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals?

Animals are grouped as cold-blooded and warm-blooded according to their ability to regulate body temperatures. Thermal homeostasis is the process where animals try to maintain their body temperatures.

The main difference between cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals is that the former refers to the animals that cannot regulate their internal body temperature while the latter refers to animals that can regulate their body temperature.

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Difference between Cold-blooded and Warm-blooded Animals

Comparison Table (Cold-Blooded vs Warm-Blooded Animals)

Basic Terms Cold-Blooded Animals Warm-Blooded Animals
MeaningThese are animals that are unable to regulate their internal body temperaturesThese are animals that have the capability to regulate their internal body temperatures
Alternative NamePoikilothermic animals.Homeothermic animals.
TypesEctothermy

Poikilothermy

Homeothermy

Endothermy

Homeothermy

Body Temperature rangeTend to be variable since it depends on the surrounding temperatureIt is usually constant and ranges from 35-40 degrees Celsius
Metabolic RatesDepend on the environment temperatureEnvironmental temperature has no effect on metabolic rate
PhaseIt occurs in two phases i.e hibernation and aestivationDo not undergo any phase
Organ SystemSimple less energy organ system like the brainHave high energy complex organs
Heat RegulationIt is done by stretching in the sun, changing body color, and sunbathingIt is by undertaking metabolic activities and adaptive activities
Resistance against microorganismNot resistant against microorganismsHave an immune system that defends the body against microorganisms
Energy ProductionGain energy in form of heat to help regulate body temperature for survivalProduce heat within the body
SurvivalCannot survive in extreme temperature conditionsCan survive in extreme temperature conditions
Heat SourceDirect sunlight and heat from the environmentProduce heat after consumption of food
ProteinsHave multiple proteins in the body and perform different functionsBody proteins are not temperature specific
GenomeUsually quite complexQuite simple
Effect of body fatsExcess fats cause overheating of the bodyExcess fats help to maintain internal body temperature
ExamplesInvertebrates like fishes, snakes, crocodilesVertebrates like birds and mammals

What Are Cold-Blooded Animals?

Cold-blooded animals are those animals that cannot regulate their internal body temperature. Instead, the body temperature is determined by the surrounding temperatures.

It implies that the body temperature of these animals tends to fluctuate due to the changes in the environmental weather.

Another crucial thing to note that these animals cannot survive in extreme temperature surroundings. The metabolism rate changes with a change in the environment.

Common examples of cold-blooded animals are fishes, snakes, crocodiles, and insects. All invertebrates belong to this category.

What Are Warm-Blooded Animals?

Warm-blooded animals are those animals that have the ability to regulate their internal body temperature. The body temperature is nearly constant despite changes in environmental temperature.

These animals have complex internal mechanisms that help the animal to generate heat in cold areas and coolness in warm areas. It is something that enables these animals to survive in extreme temperatures.

Examples of warm-blooded animals are mammals and birds. These creatures usually obtain energy through food consumption. Their metabolic rate does not change with surrounding temperature changes.

Main Difference between Cold-Blooded and Warm-Blooded Animals

  1. Cold-blooded animals cannot regulate their internal body temperatures while warm-blooded animals can regulate their internal body temperatures
  2. Warm-blooded animals obtain energy from food consumption while cold-blooded animals obtain energy from the surrounding
  3. Warm-blooded animal fats help to maintain internal body temperature while cold-blooded animals more fat causes overheating which can lead to death
  4. Cold-blooded animals cannot survive in extreme temperature change while warm-blooded animals can survive in extreme temperature change
  5. The body temperature of warm-blooded animals are quite constant while that of cold-blooded animals tend to vary with environmental change
  6. Metabolic rate in warm-blooded animals does not change with the environment while that of cold-blooded animals tend to change with the environment.

Similarities between Cold-Blooded and Warm-Blooded Animals

  1. Both happen in the animal kingdom
  2. Both cause a change in body temperature
  3. Both body temperature is affected by the environment

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Comparison Video

Summary

Cold-blooded animals cannot maintain their temperature and warm-blooded animals can maintain their internal body temperature.

Warm-blooded animal examples are birds and mammals while the cold-blooded animal list is fish, toad, insects, and crocodiles.

The core difference between warm-blooded animals and cold-blooded animals is that the former are vertebrates while the latter are invertebrates.

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