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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.


(Animals) an organism with poikilothermic qualities
(Zoology) a variant form of poikilothermic
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.poikilotherm - an animal whose body temperature varies with the temperature of its surroundings; any animal except birds and mammals
animal, animate being, beast, creature, fauna, brute - a living organism characterized by voluntary movement
References in periodicals archive ?
1-Temperature: All fishes are poikilotherms ('cold blooded') and are very susceptible to changes in their external environment.
The growth performance in poikilotherms is generally optimized at the lower range of the organism's thermal tolerance under low-food situations (Jobling, 1997), but there is a lack of such studies at life stages when organisms are dependent on endogenous resources.
Because fish are poikilotherms and because CyHV-3 only affects fish when the water temperature is 18[degrees]C-28[degrees]C, the effect of temperature on CyHV-3 replication growth in vitro has been investigated.