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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.
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.


(Animals) an organism with poikilothermic qualities
(Zoology) a variant form of poikilothermic
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Temperature plays an important role on development and reproduction of poikilotherms, such as insects and mites, and it markedly affects the fitness and population dynamics of organisms (Gotoh et al.
Melanomacrophage centers as a histological indicator of immune function in fish and other poikilotherms. Frontiers in Immunology, 8(1), 827.
Ray (1960) found that 13 of 17 poikilotherms followed Bergmann's rule.
Neoplasm in Zoo Poikilotherms Emphasizing Cases in the Registry of Tumors In Lower Animals.
In order to avoid the effect of climate on the growth of common carps, which are poikilotherms, samples were taken from ponds situated in various parts of the country.
Furthermore, most aquatic organisms, such as benthic macroinvertebrates, that fish rely upon as food sources are poikilotherms, and are also limited by water temperature.
In northern latitudes, poikilotherms must remain below frost line in addition to having cold-adaptive strategies during hibernation.
(3,8) Handling-induced hyperthermia, or "stress hyperthermia," has also been well documented in several other nonraptorial bird species, as well as in mammals and poikilotherms. (9-15) Surprisingly, few studies have systematically evaluated the stress-related effects of handling in birds of prey.
This supports other studies suggesting that climate change could enhance the harm caused by invasive species, especially poikilotherms, by removing thermal barriers and allowing them to spread to and flourish at higher latitudes (Brook et al., 2008; Walther et al., 2009).
Compensation for temperature in the metabolism and activity of poikilotherms. Biol.