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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The duration of rat decomposition was related to the temperature because the poikilothermic invertebrate decomposers need a suitable temperature to degrade the carcass.
Age-related changes in catalase activity and its inhibition by manganese (II) chloride in the brain of two species of poikilothermic vertebrates.
tabaci is poikilothermic, even though the lower thermal threshold for B.
Clams, like most poikilothermic animals, are incapable of internal thermal regulation, which means that physiological processes are primarily influenced by ambient water temperature.
(2) Cluster II strains were found in poikilothermic species causing chronic disease.
In Namibia, like in most other developing countries, the majority of snake bites result from the overlap of human and snake habitats, domiciliation of rodents (main prey of most snakes), the nocturnal and heat seeking poikilothermic nature of snakes, and accidents during snake handling.
On exam, the left anterior calf and foot were ecchymotic and poikilothermic, and there were multiple tender, raised red lesions consistent with Osler nodes at the plantar surface of the right foot (Figure 1).
While the exact mechanism remains unclear, core temperature has also been shown to increase during restraint in many avian, mammalian, and poikilothermic species.
Models of poikilothermic cold tolerance suggests a strategy that permits freezing (i.e.
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.