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An organism that depends on external sources for its body heat.


an animal whose body temperature is determined by ambient temperature, and hence any animal except birds and mammals


(ˈɛk təˌθɜrm)

a cold-blooded animal.
ec`to•ther′mic, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ectotherm - 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 ?
We chose the yellow-bellied turtle, Trachemys (=Pseudemys, = Chrysemys) scripta, as our model species for examining the effects of environmental factors on radionuclide kinetics of ectotherms. Trachemys scripta is abundant in most lentic and lotic habitats within its range in southern North and Mesoamerica (Ernst 1990, Legler 1990), and there is a wealth of information available on its physiology, life history, and ecology (Gibbons 1990a) that may be relevant in predicting its responses to environmental contaminants.
Growth rates of ectotherms can be profoundly influenced by environmental conditions, especially temperature (Hartnoll 1982, Atkinson, 1994, vanderHave and deJong, 1996, Arendt, 2011).
The regulation of body temperature in ectotherms has a major impact on their physiological and behavioral processes (Angilletta 2009).
Lizards are ectotherms, regulating their body temperature by exchanging heat with their surroundings.
Ectotherms adjust their rates of [O.sub.2] use following changes in environmental temperature.
Intertidal invertebrates are marine ectotherms that must regularly contend with a terrestrial environment, and as such provide a unique perspective on examining the effects of fluctuating temperatures on organismal physiology and ecology (e.g., Hofmann and Somero 1995, 1996, Stillman and Somero 1996, Roberts et al.
Although paleontologists once saw them as sluggish ectotherms, many now envision dinosaurs as endotherms.
Although most ectotherms have only limited ability to thermoregulate via physiological adjustment, many use behavioral adjustments to regulate body temperatures at remarkably narrow species-specific levels (Huey 1991, Madeira et al.
The importance of morphological and behavioral traits for managing body temperature has been demonstrated in many terrestrial ectotherms such as insects, reptiles, and gastropods (Schmidt-Nielsen et al., 1971; Porter et al., 1973; Stevenson, 1985; Huey, 1991; Kingsolver, 1996; Kearney et al., 2009), and similar roles for morphological and behavioral variation have been hypothesized for littorinid snails and other intertidal gastropods.