By Mark S. Blumberg

ISBN-10: 0674013697

ISBN-13: 9780674013698

even if you're a polar endure giving beginning to cubs in an Arctic wintry weather, a camel going days with out water within the barren region warmth, or in simple terms a suburbanite with no air con in a warmth wave, your convenience or even survival rely on how good you adapt to severe temperatures.

during this enjoyable and illuminating ebook, biopsychologist Mark Blumberg explores the numerous ways in which temperature ideas the lives of all animals (including us). He strikes from the actual ideas that govern the circulation of warmth out and in of bodies to the numerous complicated evolutionary units animals use to use these ideas for his or her personal gain.

within the strategy Blumberg tells incredible tales of evolutionary and medical ingenuity--how penguins face up to Antarctic winters via huddling jointly by means of the hundreds of thousands, how susceptible embryos of many species are to extremes of temperature in the course of their improvement, why humans continue to exist hour-long drowning injuries in iciness yet now not in summer season, how yes vegetation generate warmth (the skunk cabbage adequate to soften snow round it). We additionally listen of platforms long past awry--how wilderness species given an excessive amount of water can drink themselves into bloated immobility, why anorexics frequently whinge of feeling chilly, and why you can't sleep if the room is just too scorching or too chilly. After studying this publication, you'll by no means examine a thermostat in particularly an analogous means back.

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Additional resources for Body Heat: Temperature and Life on Earth

Example text

Notice that the amount of fur has not changed, but rather the ability of the fur to trap air. TEMPERATURE: A USER’S GUIDE 23 Humans have been called the naked ape for obvious reasons. We are, however, not completely naked: in addition to the patches of hair on our head and around our genitals, we have retained variable amounts of hair on many other parts of our body, including our arms, legs, and chest. We have all experienced the sensation of goose bumps—each bump is the site of a hair follicle—when we are cold.

Excessive fur and tight clothing are not beneficial because they retard the passage of water vapor from the skin surface, resulting in wet fur or clothing and interfering with the effectiveness of sweating as a heat-loss mechanism. So there we have the physics of heat exchange: the three primary processes, conduction, radiation, and evaporation, plus one auxiliary process, convection. As we have seen, animals use a variety of behavioral responses and physiological strategies to work around the constraints imposed by the laws of physics.

The cost is a rapidly disappearing piece of candy. Like sweetness, heat is gained and lost at surfaces. A dead elephant cools more slowly than a dead mouse—even though they start at the same body temperature—because the elephant has, relative to its volume, less surface area through which body heat can flow from inside to outside. This basic relationship between size and relative surface area drives many of the differences between mammals of different body sizes. Mammals as disparate in size as mice, humans, and elephants all maintain a body temperature of 36–38°C (97–100°F).

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Body Heat: Temperature and Life on Earth by Mark S. Blumberg

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