Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to poikilothermic: homeothermic, poikilothermia


An organism, such as a fish or reptile, having a body temperature that varies with the temperature of its surroundings.

[Greek poikilos, spotted, various; see peig- in Indo-European roots + -therm.]

poi′ki·lo·ther′mi·a (-thûr′mē-ə), poi′ki·lo·ther′my (-thûr′mē) n.
poi′ki·lo·ther′mic (-mĭk) adj.


(ˌpɔɪkɪləʊˈθɜːmɪk) or


(Zoology) (of all animals except birds and mammals) having a body temperature that varies with the temperature of the surroundings. Compare homoiothermic
[C19: from Greek poikilos various + thermal]
ˌpoikiloˈthermism, ˌpoikiloˈthermy n
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.poikilothermic - of animals except birds and mammals; having body temperature that varies with the environment
cold-blooded - having cold blood (in animals whose body temperature is not internally regulated)
References in periodicals archive ?
The physico-chemical parameters play significant role in the growth of poikilothermic animals such as fish.
For poikilothermic marine animals such as the Iceland scallop, the growth rate of individuals in the fishable stock is regulated by seawater temperature, providing sufficient food is available (Jonasson et al.
While the exact mechanism remains unclear, core temperature has also been shown to increase during restraint in many avian, mammalian, and poikilothermic species.
Thus, the core temperature, and especially the temperature in the brain, is regulated close to 37[degrees]C, with an almost perfect thermoregulation, but at the expense of the skin, which is actually poikilothermic and its temperature resembles the ambient temperature about 33[degrees]C.
Upon presentation, he had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of 12/15 (E3V3M6), and a physical examination revealed a pale, pulseless, and poikilothermic left lower extremity.
Evolutionary importance for the membrane enhancement of the production of vitamin D3 in the skin of poikilothermic animals.
Ticks are poikilothermic parasites that depend on ambient temperature for their activities, with the minimum thermal threshold being 14[degrees]C (3) and optimum physiological development occurring between 27 and 32[degrees]C (4).
Furthermore, fish cells retain important traits like poikilothermic behaviour, unique xenobiotic metabolism, and low rate of repair mechanism [148], thus, making fish as sentinel organism for biomonitoring studies.
Temperature regulates hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) in a poikilothermic vertebrate, crucian carp (Carassius carassius).